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Hyphenated surnames

(16 Posts)
purplefeet Thu 02-Jun-11 10:26:10

Two men I work with have recently become fathers. One had a dd and the other a ds. They keep joking about their dc getting married to each other.

Neither of them are married and have given their dc hyphenated surnames, obviously of theirs plus the mothers.

I wondered if the dc did get married one day would they call themselves 4 surnames eg Jane Smith-Jones-Wright-Wilson

Has anyone had dc with or married someone with hyphenated surname and what did you do?

roundthehouses Thu 02-Jun-11 10:29:33

i have a hyphenated surname but did not take dh´s name when i got married so no dilemma. I have a friend who married a man with 2 surnames and she did take his on top of hers so she has 3 surnames (hers plus his two).

BluddyMoFo Thu 02-Jun-11 10:32:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cattleprod Thu 02-Jun-11 10:40:51

I think it's going to be a real issue in the next generation, with more people having double-barrelled surnames, and less women blindly taking their husband's name. One of the side effects of gender equality I guess. I have no idea what people will do - in a few generations people could have dozens of surnames, which is clearly not practical.

Xiaoxiong Thu 02-Jun-11 11:27:54

This is DH's (only valid) argument against giving our DC both our last names. What will they do if they get married, what if they marry someone who also has a double surname, etc.

My view is, if our DC ever get married they can figure it out for themselves at that point. If they decide they want loads of surnames, fine - if they want to keep just their own, no problem, if they want to change it to something entirely new, also fine. At that point it will be their lives and their names.

(In other news I do know a couple of boys who have triple-barrelled surnames and it's no big deal, certainly easier to spell than some of my colleagues in our Bangkok or Warsaw offices.)

roundthehouses Thu 02-Jun-11 11:38:42

but its quite rare for a woman to double barrel her and her dh´s surname isn´t it? surely the most common options are either taking his or keeping her own? so its unlikely this would be an issue, really.

in spain everyone has 2 surnames, mother and father. You do not take your dh´s surname when you get married. You each pass on your father´s surname only to your children so they have 2 surnames sharing one which each of their parents to make a new combo.

urbandaisy Thu 02-Jun-11 22:27:24

I know quite a few people who've combined their last names on marriage. My husband and I didn't -- couldn't see any good reason for either of us to change our name -- but our child will be hyphenated.

A good way of doing it I've heard of is for a girl to take her mother's part of the hyphenated surname if she wants to change her name when she gets married, and similarly the boy takes his father's half of his surname if he wants to change his name. And a similar approach when it comes to naming children if they haven't already changed their names.

Seems sensible to me.

RedCurls Mon 06-Jun-11 21:02:27

Our child will have a hyphenated surname and if/when the time comes they want to marry someone else with a hyphenated name it'll be upto them to decide what to do, can't imagine anyone trying to bung the two together and ending up with 4 surnames smile

WhereIsTheFire Mon 06-Jun-11 21:26:31

I always think it puts the DC is a difficult situation later in life. If a couple marry and they each have a hyphenated surname ie. mothers surname-fathers surname, they won't want to combine these to make a 4-barrelled name so they will each have to choose one of their own names to carry on.

Eg. Jane Smith-Wright marries John Smedly-Jones
Will Jane choose to carry on her mother's name or her fathers name?
I know in Spain they carry forward the fathers name forward, so say Jane's father's name was Smith and John's fathers name was Smedly then the children would be Smith-Smedly.

But always carrying on the fathers name, never the mothers name (like I believe they do in Spain), is a perfect example of the patriarchal system that people are trying to move away from so I don't see that as much better.
Anyway, as there is no standard convention for this situation in the UK it means that individual couples will have to decide what to do. I think it would have upset me to have to decide which of my parents names to give to my children.

PilgrimSoul Wed 08-Jun-11 00:49:18

I think hyphenated names are no longer allowed to be given to children in Finland for this very reason.

Barbeasty Wed 08-Jun-11 08:07:56

My DH had a double barrelled surname when I married him, and I took his name rather than add mine to it. Our DD has that same surname.

The only annoyance is continually being asked which half was mine, when in fact it was done in the 18th century!

I don't think you should worry about what your children will do for a surname, that's so far in the future (if ever!) and who knows what the convention will be then.

CharlotteWasBoth Wed 08-Jun-11 23:46:21

I grew up with a double barrelled surname. Complete PITA. Was so glad to ditch it and take on dh's sensible single barrel which everyone can spell. I would never, ever, ever have triple or even quadruple barrelled. Awful.

seeker Wed 08-Jun-11 23:51:33

My children have a hyphenated last name. With a nearly rude word as one of the names. Never been the slightest problem - apart from ds's current head teacher, who tries so hard NOT to make the slight mistake that will turn ds;s last name into a rude word that he always does!

emptyshell Thu 09-Jun-11 14:16:02

Someone I went to uni with with a double-barrel (I went to a v v posh one) married and double-barrelled the double-barrel.

I grew up with a long, difficult to spell and pronounce surname - and fucking hated it. Ditched it the day I got married, no patriarchal tradition or misogyny - just bloody convenience. Can only imagine the annoyance of double-barrels from that.

oohlaalaa Thu 09-Jun-11 14:29:28

I know three people, with hyphenated surname, which their parents had hyphenated, and have had their names legally changed to just their fathers, and are now Lewis, Jones and Millar. They didnt like their hyphenated surname, and as they hadnt been hyphenated for generations, did not think they had to keep with it. Two of them are men - Lewis and Jones. One is a female, and her hyphenated surname did not flow well at all.

It has rather put me off hyphenating surnames.

Aworryingtrend Thu 09-Jun-11 16:01:22

When DH and I married we both became double-barrelled, as our DCs will be. When they get marrie it will be entirely their choice whether they keep any of their surname, be it my 'half' or DH's 'half', or whether they will take a new name for themselves. I can't see the problem really.

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