Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Middle

Well, this post brings me smack dab into the middle of the A to Z Challenge.  I’m half way home! (Technically the middle is between M and N, but it would be cheating to post and MN blog.  So I will just call that the middle ground over which I will cross between today and tomorrow.)

Didn’t think I would get this far.  I really didn’t think that I would make it to the middle.  I figured that I would crap out around F or G and not finish.  But here I am!  In the Middle!
Middle is such a funny word.  Say it out loud a few times.  Middle.  Middle.  Middle. 

It’s also a rather neutral place to be.  Not the beginning.  And not the end.  The centre, the mid-point, midmost, halfway, equidistant, heart, core, hub…  I still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Yet after this, the road ahead becomes shorter than the road behind. 

The etymology of middle is rather diverse:  West Germanic – middila;  Sanskrit – madhyah; Latin – medius; late Latin – medialis; Gothic – midjis; Old Englis – midd; Old Church Slavonic – medzu…  All meaning middle, or mean, as in the mathematical sense of being in the centre.

It was once popular to make a middle name an outstanding quality, but originally middle names were generally lineage related.  Mother’s maiden names and grandparent’s names, being the most popular.  The first form ever to have a space for a middle name was an enlistment form for WWI.  Before that, middle names were relatively rare and mostly confined to the nobility.  Only three of the first 17 US presidents had a middle name. 

Songs with the word middle in the title include:  Middle of the Road, Middle of Hell, Middle of Nowhere, Man in the Middle, Meet in the Middle, Roll to the Middle, Somewhere in the middle, Walk Me Down the Middle, Action is My Middle Name and, of course, Stuck in the Middle With You. 

Places with middle in their names include:  Middlesex, England, the Middle East and, my favourite, fictional though it may be, Middle Earth.

The Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th centuries and were also known as Medieval Times. 

You can be a middle child, earn a middle-income, or be fair to middling!  You can be caught in the middle, be in the middle of nowhere (as opposed, for instance, in the middle of the A to Z Challenge), or be middle-aged.  You can play Monkey in the Middle.  You might even get to throw first in darts after calling out “Middle for diddle.”  (That’s actually a new one on me.)

And there you have it, my tribute to the middle.   It’s not nearly as average as I thought it was.

Middle for diddle?  Only the British could come up with that!


  1. That's some fair to middlen typing . And it's diddle for the middle. Closest to the bull goes first

  2. Well, in the middle, but over the hump. It's all downhill from here - you'll make it! Be interesting to see what you do with 'X'. And wouldn't it be interesting if anybody gave their kids our maiden name for a middle name? LOL!! LOL!! LOL!!! I can't stop laughing thinking about that one!


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