The Double Barrelled Last Name Debate

(62 Posts)
PhieEl06 Tue 05-Feb-13 11:16:54

So OH & I cannot agree on last name, we aren't married & probably won't be for a very long while, he wants baby (sex not yet known) to have his last name only, a very uncommon 3 syllable name. I want baby's last name to be double barrelled so my very common 1 syllable name then OH last name. My reasons for this being that at the moment we aren't married I haven't got his last name, there are no plans for us to be getting married & baby could well be in teens before this is a reality as silly as it seems I don't want to feel like my family has no connection to our child, if we do for double barrelled & we eventually get married I will either double barrel my name or change our child's to just his but obviously this could be a long way off. OH's reasons are this baby is his & it's just traditional that babies take their fathers names, he also makes the argument that in the future we will get married & it saves the hassle on name changing now.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation with DP & what was your outcome?

Lamazeroo Tue 05-Feb-13 11:20:47

My DS has our two names double-barrelled. Each is two syllables so not short but too unwieldy. We are married but each kept our own surname. I am not a fucking possession and will not lose my identity just because it's traditional! Likewise, my child is no more his father's than mine so his name signifies this. Never crossed my mind to only give him the name of one of his parents.

ThedementedPenguin Tue 05-Feb-13 11:40:31

Yes I thought about this. Couldn't decide what to do. In the end I gave ds my partners last name. I hate my last name and the fact it associates me with my dad so I refused to have it included in my sons name.

You need to do what's right for yourself.

Although to me a last name doesn't change the fact he is my son and we are a family. Hopefully some day we will get married but there's no plans on that yet.

HazleNutt Tue 05-Feb-13 11:54:49

"OH's reasons are this baby is his & it's just traditional that babies take their fathers names"

It's also a)your baby and b)it's traditional to be married before having kids, so he just wants to pick and choose when the tradition suits him?

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 11:58:56

Try it both ways round:

Jamie Duh-Duhduhduh
Jamie Duhduhduh-Duh

Which makes the better sound?

There's no better reason for the baby to have his name alone than there is for the baby to have your name alone.

DoingItForMyself Tue 05-Feb-13 12:17:32

Its only traditional that babies take their father's surname because its also traditional that mothers take the father's surname when they get married. If you aren't that traditional, then you can do whatever the heck you like with names!

For me, I would find it frustrating if school/doctors etc called me Mrs Duhduhduh because they assumed I had the same surname as my child.

My children and I all have a DB name (mine then stbxh's). When I get divorced I may change my name back to my maiden name, but only because it will still be part of my DCs' names too - I will be Mrs A, XH can be Mr B and the DCs' surname can still be AB, linking them to us both.

This would make the most sense to me, as regardless of your marital status or whether you choose to change your name, your DCs have a link to both families.

I think DB names are quite sensible when the parents have different surnames - certainly it is as logical to blend them as to prefer one over the other.

But what happens when Jamie A-B falls in love with Jane C-D? All the adults I know who had DB surnames as children have dropped one part - so Jamie A-B is known as Jamie B, Jane C-D is known as Jane D, and the children of that partnership are Josh B-D or just Josh B.

PoppyAmex Tue 05-Feb-13 13:28:26

You know you can have both surnames (not double barrelled)?

In my country and most of continental Europe people just add the father's surname to the mother's and that's what I did with DD, so she has 2 surnames.

They would look awful double barrelled though.

Would one work as a middle name?

AyeOopMoose Tue 05-Feb-13 15:20:26

Can't you all just go for the double barrelled version?

I wanted keep my name when we married but also take DH's. We discussed this and decided that any future DC would have that "new" name and DH didn't want to be left out, so changed his name too.

We love that we have our own family name did cause problems with the ILs though

It also limited the choice of names for DC as we wanted to keep them short.

photographerlady Tue 05-Feb-13 15:22:57

Double Barrelled were always the bullies at school smile

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 15:24:53

Does your name look like a surname or does it look like something that coul dbe a middle name?

I was going to say call your child Jamie Middlename Duh Duhduhduh (no hyphen) but then people might assume that he is Jamie Middlename Duh(second middlename) Duhduhduh(lastname).

Hyphens make it clear that they are both last names.

marshkat Tue 05-Feb-13 17:57:36

In same situation, but dont think i wan2 use my surname, so might use my Great nans (who is nearly 100) Me and oh think this is great but other people are complaining and moaning!

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Tue 05-Feb-13 20:58:57

What HazelNutt said.

I'd just be giving the baby my surname if the dad wasn't offering to marry me.

badtemperedaldbitch Tue 05-Feb-13 21:03:55

If you use both surnames but don't hyphenated then you can choose which or both to use.

If it's hyphenated then that is your name.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 05-Feb-13 21:56:20

I agree with HazleNutt too.

Whilst I agree with the sentiment of why should the child take the identity of only one parent, if you keep both names, where do you stop as the generations progress? Your great great great grandchildren would have a whole list of hyphenated names bogging them down. Personally, my feeling is that my maiden name was only a sliver of my identity and not representative of any of my female ancestors anyway, so I didn't feel strongly about hanging onto it. I also find double-barrelled surnames unwieldy and rather pretentious if I'm honest. The kids I knew at school with them were all faintly embarrassed by them and edited them down to one name as soon as they reached adulthood.

louschmoo Tue 05-Feb-13 22:00:04

My son has my maiden name as a middle name and DHs name as his surname. I also kept my maiden name as a middle name when I got married, and DC2 will also have my name as a middle name. Works for me as a way of retaining a connection to my family, and works for DH as he gets to keep the 'tradition'.

PhieEl06 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:11:08

No possible way either of our names could be a middle name, mine too obviously a surname (second most popular in UK), OH's too complicated & unfamiliar so again obviously a surname, I suppose after really thinking about it my main annoyance would be being presumed to be a Mrs ..., the plan is there to get married in the future & I would want to take his name but not yet. Hmmm, still unsure but thanks for your responses so far! smile

Rhubarbgarden Wed 06-Feb-13 11:26:45

If you have children you will be presumed to be a Mrs anyway.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 11:33:18

Oh for fuck's sake.

It's traditional that babies have the man's name, but he's not fussed about the 'tradition' of getting married before you procreate?

The baby is his - and it's not yours?

It's not even that you're arguing for your name and he's arguing for his. You're arguing for both and he's arguing for his. That's ridiculous - yours IS the compromise position already. He's being a knob. Sorry, but he is. WHY should his name trump yours? There is exactly no good reason.

I'm also sick to death of the 'what about when they marry another double-barrelled' argument. If they're old enough to marry someone, they're old enough to work out a compromise on names. That's no reason to make a decision on anything, it's just an excuse. People have had double-barrelled names forever, it's hardly so unprecedented that they'll grow up, get to the church door and then panic.

In that situation I would be giving the baby my surname, and letting DP know that when you marry, you'll change both names.

PoppyAmex Wed 06-Feb-13 11:40:53

Everything Tortoise said.

puddock Wed 06-Feb-13 11:42:59

We did what PoppyAmex said - two surnames, first mine then DP's, no hyphen. Registrar was fine with it, nobody else has raised any eyebrows. (Once in a while you get a computer system that can't cope with two unhyphenated last names e.g. at our pharmacist - I'm not bothered about a hyphen being put in under these circs.)
Maybe my DC's will drop one or other of the names in later life, or demote it to a middle name, that's okay with me. Surnames as middle names is traditional in my (Scottish) family.

Like anyone whose children's surname doesn't match theirs, now that mine are a bit older, I occasionally get phone calls that go "hello, are you Mrs Mysurname DPssurname?", but answering "I'm DS1's mum, what can I do for you?" usually works ;)

puddock Wed 06-Feb-13 11:46:47

And, yeah, what Tortoise said.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 11:50:31

Personally I'd also be going with "when/if we marry, why don't we all hyphenate to reflect the coming together of two individuals, then we'll match DC". Since either way, it's two name changes: you and DC, or you and DP.

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