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User logged in as JanEl
Interesting ... Well, the man known in history as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also had multiple christening names. His full name was originally Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. And Maria Callas was one of those exceptions to the rule on an Orthodox Christian receiving only one baptismal name: she was christened as Sophia Cecilia Anna Maria Kalageropoulos.
It might actually be thought of as pretentious to give your child multiple names, if you're not of royalty or nobility. On the other hand, it's largely about culture: if that's the custom of where you live, then so be it.
Im not blue blooded and have three formal and baptismal names as well as a family name. My sister has four and i know plenty of others who have 4 or at times even up to 7 first names.
4 or 5 actually is really not uncommon as it gives parents the option to name the child after all 4 grandparents and give it a chosen first name.
I understood your point; it's just that as a child, I grew up stuck on the idea that people generally went by their first names. After all, I grew up in a culture where, like in Orthodox Christian countries, a child is given only one personal name. I don't even have a middle name myself. Also, in many cases, the mother's maiden name is a middle name (e.g. John Fitzgerald Kennedy). It took some eye-opening to the larger world out there, with different customs, to see that first names are not always the rule.
For royals, it's somewhat understandable, since Catholics and Protestants typically have multiple christening names to choose from. But ordinary folk usually don't have multiple names -- or at least anywhere near as many -- to choose from.
Perhaps that's why celebrities have sometimes changed their names or adopted stage names, or chosen to be known by nicknames. Sometimes, a person reverses his first two names (e.g. Dwight David Eisenhower was originally David Dwight Eisenhower).
In fact, sometimes the first and last names get reversed (e.t. Tito Ruffo was originally Ruffo Titta, Scott O'Dell was originally O'dell Graham Scott).