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to not understand the rules of double barrell names. Explanation needed!

(96 Posts)
heliumballoon1 Thu 14-Feb-13 10:56:47

Dh and I have decided to give our new baby both our surnames. I kept my surname when we married and want our DC to have my name too.

However, I'm not entirely sure how it works. Sometimes double barrell names are hyphenated and sometimes not. Why is this? And which one should we go for? Does a hyphen mean that the two names are one complete name and are always used together?

We may just decide to use just one name on a daily basis - does that mean it would be better not to use hyphen?

Advice needed please!

Unfortunatlyanxious Thu 14-Feb-13 10:58:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KirstyoffEastenders Thu 14-Feb-13 10:58:53

I want to do the same thing, haven't quite convinced BF yet though. I thought they had to be hyphenated, tbh.

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 11:00:45

the rules are whatever you choose.

it's that simple.

you can be dhname-yourname
yourname dhname
dhname your name

or anythingelse that you choose.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 14-Feb-13 11:00:52

Yep it should be hyphenated.
Sometimes it is not because some systems don't accept a hyphen.
BA systems can't do hyphens. My bank never used to be able to but they can now.
Congrats on the new baby!

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 11:01:46

my dd is 3lettersfrondhname3lettersfrommynameasanewword

the birth certificate specifically asks for surname of child, so that's where you decide.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 14-Feb-13 11:02:44

what nickelbabe said

milbracat Thu 14-Feb-13 11:03:05

I think a hyphen would be preferable as it would stop people thinking that the first surname is actually a middle name.

NotGeoffVader Thu 14-Feb-13 11:03:05

Me and DD have both surnames. When I married DH I just added his on (IYSWIM). I don't use a hyphen.

What nickel says is pretty good advice though ! smile

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 11:04:10

i would say if a hyphen isn't recognised in computer systems that when you need that, to use it as if it's one word. even if it's not normally. i don't think it matters as long as it's recognisable as a full surname

SamSmalaidh Thu 14-Feb-13 11:04:52

There are no rules, you can name your baby however you like. DS has DH's surname as a middle name and mine as a surname.

AllBellyandBoobs Thu 14-Feb-13 11:11:49

Me and dd are double barrellled, we're my name dh name with no hyphen. I tend to just use my surname on a day to day to basis and dd can choose what she wants to be known as when she's older, seems easier to do if there is no hyphen!

wigornian Thu 14-Feb-13 13:38:10

As has been said, no rules, though there are conventions - though they may have fallen by the wayside. Historically whether or not there was a hyphen was significant. Families that wanted to reference a surname for sentimental or historical reasons only, no hyphen: "Thomas Grosvenor Smith".

Hyphens were linked to the combination of landed estates. Hence if an heir married an heiress and her lands came through her to augment those of her husband, her surname, historically linked to the estates, would be added to that of her husband to be used by them and their children thereafter signifying the joining of the estates and families "Grosvenor-Cholmondeley". This is also linked to Heraldry, the children or an heraldic heiress + their father combined their respective coat of arms.


Pixieonthemoor Thu 14-Feb-13 13:44:01

I have a double barrelled surname and would recommend the use of a hyphen to make it clear that those last two bits go together and are the surname. Otherwise you suffer from things being registered under the last bit of the name and secretaries, flight admin, anything you care to mention will not be able to find you on their computers. I have lost count of the times I have lost my temper and asked if they register Mr Tailor under L for 'lor' or Mr Fisher under s for 'sher' which is basically the same thing. Aaaarrgh!

countrykitten Thu 14-Feb-13 13:47:09

Yes to the hyphen.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 14-Feb-13 13:47:28

Ex and I did this. It goes TwattyEx'sName- Mylovelyname grin

My name went last, as we only have girls in my family, so I wanted to continue my family name. I have a DD though so its probably gonna go soon sad

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 13:49:24

why say that?
your DDs choose whether to keep their own name or change it.
so it's up to you to educate them into how important it is to see their name as their name.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 14-Feb-13 13:52:25

Very few people keep their name though, so it's highly likely she will get rid of it. Especially since if she has children, doing a double barrelled surname with an already double barrelled surname is bordering on ridiculous.

I hope she does choose to keep the name, it means a lot to me, but I can't force her to do it.

nickelbabe Thu 14-Feb-13 14:00:31

no, you're right, you can't force her, but you can make sure she understands names and history and women's rights etc etc.

I worked with a couple who double barrelled so that they took each other's names. I love that.

Jelly15 Thu 14-Feb-13 15:00:25

My MIL double barrelled her and FIL's names but when DH and I married I was happy to take his name but not his MIL's, so he dropped his mum's and we are both just his FIL's surname, as are our kids.

DH said it was a PITA when he was at school to have a double barrelled surname.

We went for tradition but each to thier own, however, can you imagine if every couple added the womans name for each generation it will get very silly with several surnames.

wigornian Thu 14-Feb-13 15:07:50

PS to illustrate the point: Richard Draz MP is in fact: Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, with a mix of hyphen and no hyphen!

mummymeister Thu 14-Feb-13 15:08:20

i don't get it - sorry. what happens when your little one (first second-third) has a baby with another first second - third. does their child then become name first-first-second-second? what is this trend all about. do people somehow feel better that their child is the only one in the class with a double barrelled name? its a modern trend and hopefully it will pass. makes me sound old and perhaps i am.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Feb-13 15:11:00

I think there are rules. As far as I can remember you can only double barrel, not triple or quad or quint...

So if you want to give them more than two family names that is where the middle names come in - no restrictions there

SamSmalaidh Thu 14-Feb-13 15:20:17

I don't think there are any laws forbidding triple+ barrelled names - Sir Ranulph Fiennes is actually Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes.

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