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Hyphenated names: yes or no? And why?

(42 Posts)
MolotovBomb Fri 19-Oct-12 10:22:58

Just a quick one really, I'm interested in your opinions re. the subject line.

My question is prompted by another thread on here called 'Names like Ella-May' as well as some others on MN where one can often see a strong aversion to hyphenated names.


I know a 4yo with an absolutely beautiful hyphenated name, IMO: Heidi-Rose. Everyone compliments her and her mum about he pretty name (it's not me or either of my DDs, btw!)

So, if you like 'em - why? And if not, why?


HeinousHecate Fri 19-Oct-12 11:12:59

Depends on the name. Some are really pretty.

I don't have a straight "-" good/bad opinion, it really does depend on the individual name.

SomersetONeil Fri 19-Oct-12 11:16:02

No, there's the whiff of the trailer park about them. Even when you're not American, the whiff is still present. wink

I realise it's ludicrously snobby to think like this, but, what are you going to do?

Heidi is a lovely, simple, timeless name. Rose is nice, too. But Heidi-Rose? Why? Just no. Why do people have this uncontrollably urge to hyphenate and then whack -May/-Rose/-Grace on the end?? I don't get it.

eBook Fri 19-Oct-12 11:23:05

Hyphenated names sound indecisive!

ladymia Fri 19-Oct-12 11:27:50

I always think it dumbs down the names, if that makes sense

MolotovBomb Fri 19-Oct-12 11:41:20

My personal opinion is close to Heinous - whilst I think that Heidi-Rose is pretty, I am aware of a Lacey-Jai, which I do not like. I also secretly get the 'whiff'' that Somerset mentioned. So, for me, it's not the hypen that causes such issues. Rather, it's the individual names.

Ive just noticed a generic dislike for hyphens on MN. Well, more accurately it's that people why state that they don't like them really don't like them. I'm interested in both views, neutral views, too.

LemonBreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 11:44:26

I just find them unnessecary. Pick a nice name or two but don't bunch them together.

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Oct-12 11:48:10

My real name is hyphenated. Lets say my name is Mary-Jane ( it isn't!) I have so often been called for example 'Anne-Marie' or 'Mary-Lou' or 'Mary-Ann' or 'Sarah-Jane'

People just remember that I have a hyphenated name. They can't remember the actual name.

So personally I do wish my parents had given me a normal one word name.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 19-Oct-12 13:36:16

They're a bit low class IMO. And once the kids hit about 10 they're only ever called by the first name,without the hyphen anyway. For example, Sarah-Louise becomes just Sarah and so on.

PhyllisDoris Fri 19-Oct-12 13:40:53

Agree wtih Somerset. And I think they're a bit twee and chav (if they can be both at the same time). Does anyone actually use both names? eg I would guess that Heidi-Rose gets called Heidi by all her mates.

Willyoulisten - why don't you just introduce yourself by one of you names? You don't have to use both.

picnicbasketcase Fri 19-Oct-12 13:43:36

Just have first name and middle name. Hyphenated names look like the parent either can't make their mind up or that there were too many to choose from and decided to use all of them at once.

echidnakid Fri 19-Oct-12 13:46:55

It seems very American to me. Not that that's inherently bad but it feels wrong somehow. It makes me think "trailer park" which I know is my own prejudice but I can't help it.

I suppose hyphenated names feel made up - like that Renesme child from Twilight. Just two names mooshed together to make one non-name.

willyoulistentome Fri 19-Oct-12 13:50:57

I do, because my first hyphenated bit is my Mum's name, and my second hyphenated bit happens to me my MIL's name. So if I get called just either it's just ...WRONG.

I don't hate my name or anything. I have, in fact, given up correcting people when they get it wrong.

DinosaurSchool Fri 19-Oct-12 13:52:39

I think there are two sorts - the trashy sort (Lacey-Jai) and others which seem a bit pretentious (Heidi-Rose - sorry!).

Although I reserve a special loathing for people who have hyphenated names abbreviated to initials - e.g. Sarah-Jane known as SJ - urrghhh.

Marineblue Fri 19-Oct-12 13:57:07

This is just so bizarre for me. In France, hyphenated names are very, very traditional, and certainly as bourgeois as you get. And most of the time, they are considered names in their own right : An "Anne-Claire" would always be called "Anne-Claire" for instance, and never ever "Anne". Actually, if they are shortered it is often to the two initials: Francois-Xavier would be "FX"
or Jean-Baptiste "J-B".
It's true that there is a trend for made-up American style ones such as Lili-Rose. TBH don't like these much...they make me think of dusty convenience stores or gas stations in Tenessee. Don't ask. grin

MJandherdog Fri 19-Oct-12 13:59:33

I don't like the prissyness of them. It smacks of, I have a baby, she's a girl baby, she's a girly-girl baby, let's give her a girly-girl baby name: aha Lilly-Jo, Ella-May, Sophie-Leigh etc...

They're not feminine, they're sickly sweet.

The poor girls have to grow up with these names!

Snowflakepie Fri 19-Oct-12 14:03:38

I find them a bit twee, trying to make otherwise nice names into something more fancy somehow. I do tend to associate them with people who are a bit thick, not sure why. Like changing s's for z's. Unnecessary.

MJandherdog Fri 19-Oct-12 14:05:53

He he he Snowflake- I also associate them as being thick. I will be struck down one day I know it!

PhyllisDoris Fri 19-Oct-12 14:09:24

I know Marinebleu - weird isn't it. I'm always impressed that French people call people by their full name, even if there are two hyphonated ones, and very rarely shorten them. Complete opposite to UK.

amck5700 Fri 19-Oct-12 14:27:28

My only view is that it is a PITA if you work with one and have to email them smile I have one colleague who has a hyphenated name, both names have more than one spelling and her surnames can have an apostrophe in it - it's a bloody lottery whether you actually get the name correct. That's mainly because the IT bod making up the address will use his own set of rules as to whether to use the hyphen or not, to use the apostrophe or not - just depending on the mood he or she happens to be in.

Viviennemary Fri 19-Oct-12 14:39:38

I don't like the ones where each name is a shortened version of a proper name. They are a bit twee and American. I always think Ellie-May Clampett. Not sure if it was hyphenated though! But I think if each name is a full name they are nice. Like in France where you have Mary ... And a very long time ago Catholic countries put Mary even in front of boys names. Don't know if they still do.

MolotovBomb Fri 19-Oct-12 14:54:46

The cultural differences are interesting: such as hyphenated names being commonplace in France. Here in the UK, there appears to be a gulf: hyphenate names are seen as either 'trashy', 'sickly sweet' or at the other end 'pretentious'.

This last point is interesting as I was talking to a lady the other week who has two daughters. Both girls names were almost hyphenated, but they decided against it, both times, as they were about to register the births because they were worried the names would be considered "pretentious".

The lady was saying how she and her DH regret that now and insist on the girls having 'Firstname-Middlename' on all their schoolwork!

javotte Fri 19-Oct-12 17:01:47

marinebleu I think it is true for traditional names such as the ones you mentioned. There are now lots of French Lili-Roses, Lili-Jades, Lou-Annes etc. which are NOT bourgeois names at all.

Cahoots Fri 19-Oct-12 17:59:34

I don't like hyphenated first names. I think they sound too twee and too pretentious. They are ok if you are French though.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 19-Oct-12 18:11:13

Ah see when discussing hyphenated names I generally think of hideous Ellie-May combos favoured by er...chavs isn't allowed is it? :/

French names like Jean-Paul (I knew one once actually) don't register as being the same as the above at all!

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