I have a last name that is a very common first name for girls. I have friends in similar naming situations with the last names of Gale, Mallory and Shirley. (Though, I must say my last name is even more commonly a first name than any of those!)
My husband has two brothers with children- one has given his daughters middle names, the other has not. Of course, the theory for the non-middle-name givers is that the daughter's maiden name will become her middle name when she marries.
My maiden name did NOT become my middle name; I kept my original middle name, so now I have three first names.
Anyway, what does your readership think? Do girls get middle names? What if their last name will one day turn into a perfectly suitable middle name?
I absolutely think girls should be given middle names---or rather, that their "being a girl" shouldn't make their naming structure different than the structure we'd use for a boy. Some girls won't marry. Some girls who do marry will keep their own names. Some girls who marry will want to call themselves First Middle Married instead of First Maiden Middle. Some girls who marry will want to hyphenate their surname. Some girls who marry will have reason to want to disassociate from their family, rather than treasuring the surname in the middle name slot. Some girls who marry will want to use their married name socially but their maiden name professionally.
Giving a girl a middle name won't affect her choices later on: she still can, when she marries, drop that middle name and put her maiden name there instead. Or she can do what I did and add the maiden name as a second middle name. OR WHATEVER. But in the meantime, and in all the decades before she marries (if she does marry), she has a middle name, and it's useful to have it. In the U.S. it's useful because the naming culture is so strongly middle-name, I have even encountered the occasional computer form that won't let the middle-name slot be left empty. (Obviously this is a flaw with the form, and it should be FIXED, not allowed to dictate naming practices. I mention it only to illustrate how much "having a middle name" is culturally assumed.)
It's also useful if the girl is one of two with her first name in her class or in her extended family: some might prefer to be Abigail Louise, rather than Abigail M.
It's also useful for a girl who doesn't feel like her first name fits her, but doesn't really want to CHANGE her name, either: she can easily go by Louise, or by A. Louise.
It's also useful for differentiating among the near-inevitable case of more than one person in the country having the same first and last name combination. For tax forms, resumes, all legal documents, it's handy to have an extra identifying item. Not essential, and of course the other person might have the same middle name or middle initial---but still handy.
Plus, it's fun to choose a middle name, for those of us who enjoy baby names. And it's a good place for naming compromises: one parent gets his/her first choice for the first name, so the other parent gets more say in the middle name, that sort of thing. It's also an excellent place for a namesake name, especially if the name in question is not one that the parents would want to use in the first name slot. And it's a great place for any other name that the parents don't want to use in the first name position because of initial problems or popularity (either too common or too out-there) or any other similar issue.
And it gives her a classic 3-letter monogram.
And of course it is classically used to inform the child that he or she is in trouble: "Abigail Louise, you get in here RIGHT NOW and pick up that mess!"
I don't think it matters one single bit if the surname happens to be an established first name as well: either way, a middle name is useful, and leaving a slot free for when she marries is making too many assumptions.
Note: None of this means that I think people MUST give children middle names, or that it is somehow required---and of course things are done differently in different cultures and/or family traditions, and there are other reasons why a middle name might not be used (I had an acquaintance whose family had a tradition of letting the child choose his or her own middle name at a certain age, which I thought was charming). I mean only to answer the question about whether girls in particular SHOULD NOT be given middle names, in order to leave a space for their maiden names when they get married.
What do you all think? Should girls not be given middle names, in order that they can use their maiden names as middle names later on? Does it make a difference if the maiden name is a girl's name?