to think we should just get rid of surnames

(41 Posts)
kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:47:29

It seems it would make life a lot easier.

Maybe it could be replaced with where you were born?

Kim of ........

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Thu 13-Jun-13 22:16:43

I was quite taken aback at the dentists yesterday when an elderly lady in the waiting room was addressed by the dentist by her first name - it sounded most disrespectful to me. I'm getting more accustomed to being referred to as mrs brandnew and rather like it. Mind you I get offended if someone I don't know well shortens my first name so maybe I'm just fussy.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 13-Jun-13 22:15:57

I would be fine with it though
I would prefer my full first name from strangers so
Stranger-Charlotte friend-Charlie
Or
Stranger-Georgiana friend-George

amigababy Thu 13-Jun-13 22:09:40

We just got round to watching The Killing and I noticed a) they often used all 3 names where we would just use the first name and b) with men it was often just the surname - no Mr Hartmann, just Hartmann. Which I thought would sound abrupt to us.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 13-Jun-13 22:06:18

In Iceland, because so many people have such similar last names, many just go by their first names, apparently.

So leading on from this, a quick question (hope this doesn't side track the OP), would anyone mind being addressed by their first name by everyone, or would you find it over familiar?

I have posted on the other thread about surnames.

My DD went to school with her neice, but didn't know until the last two years.

I think that the father's name should be registered somewhere. We only found our relatives by accident. The system has changed for adopted children, thankfully (and unmarried father's).

When we didn't have surnames, incest was frowned upon (sometimes) but not illegal.

There is probably a fair bit of incest going on in some area's, where people carry on like something off Jeremy Kyle.

Surnames exist so that teachers can tell the children with the same names apart.

There are 6 ... Yes 6 Harry's in my son's class.

Startail Thu 13-Jun-13 21:48:35

DD2 would be fine.
Common first name of tiny village/house name.

DH and I with very common names born in big city hospitals would be in trouble.

bran Thu 13-Jun-13 21:48:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LegoAcupuncture Thu 13-Jun-13 21:42:31

I think they should start given people names from the dictionary, alphabetically in the order they are born. Would save the surname and no name would be the same. Poor Bastard, Fuck and Twat though sad

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:41:40

But I do find early language and social development interesting.

Like when did someone decide to call themselves a name.

Lweji Thu 13-Jun-13 21:39:56

Surnames connect families.
There's a reason they exist.

Lots of surnames indicate the name of the father: Johnson, etc. The same occurs in loads of countries. Then there are other that continued, clearly as passed on nicknames, as professions, place of birth, etc.

In Spain, for example, they have two surnames and the very last surname belongs to the mother, not the father.
In Portugal, it's the other way around.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:38:09

holly

I am actually aware of where surnames come from. Honestly.

HollyBerryBush Thu 13-Jun-13 21:35:49

Over reaction? I'm quite calm, thanks for the armchair psychology though.

There is a very old saying, you don't know where you are going unless you know who you are. My thing is history, just my quirk - but I read a lot, plus my little ASD streak grin Not being main land British, I do find the level of poor education astounding on a very basic level

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 21:31:57

Noooo OP I have a surname which is thought to date back to the Angles ie where my ancestors originally probably came from.

I've also noticed that certain surnames seem to carry certain common traits. e.g. you see some surnames appearing more often with successful athletes than you would otherwise think would be the case, and it is a strange phenomenon that certain surnames are more well represented in criminal convictions than others when you level out everything else.

amigababy Thu 13-Jun-13 21:30:41

I like the Icelandic system where you are ......sson or .......dottir, according to your father's (or mother's) first name and not a family surname

Tee2072 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:30:36

FFS Holy, overreaction much?

My maiden name has nothing to do with my family origins or my forefathers' occupations. My father's best guess is a travelling salesman and a "woman of easy virtue" who took his name.

So what does that tell you? Other than that I had a prostitute for an ancestress.

sarahtigh Thu 13-Jun-13 21:26:19

most surnames were just to distinguish between john the blacksmith and john the millar and john who is william's son and john who moved from dudley and john with the very big beard

loads of surnames imply son O', mac, son, ben, Mc, bar, etc

hence john smith, john millar, john williamson , john dudley and john beardsmore,

my fathers name is job related, my grandfather & grandmothers are places, my other grandmother is job related DH has a Mac.... name

passmetheprozac Thu 13-Jun-13 21:23:36

YABU I love being unique and as far I am aware I am the only person in the UK with my name grin

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:22:51

And it is actually interesting to wonder who decided there should be a "surname".

As in when did it first start? How long ago?

Like I said, just thinking out loud. If that's ok with you.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 13-Jun-13 21:18:10

Really Holly? One person on a whole thread...

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:17:38

holly It was kind of a piss take thread in relation to other surname threads.

I was just thinking out loud and didn't give much thought to the derivation of surnames. I have no idea where my surname originates from.

HollyBerryBush Thu 13-Jun-13 21:15:50

The utter lack of sense of history and belonging astounds me on MN sometimes. Here we are in the western world with unfettered access to education and the ability to research, I do shake my head at what I think are very basic factors of history.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 13-Jun-13 21:08:48

I am not a number, I am a free (wo)man

maddening Thu 13-Jun-13 21:08:25

That's how surnames started anyway - from either places or characteristics, jobs and whose child you were.

Seems silly to redo a whole system that isn't broken.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:07:54

It's probably going that way.

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