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Any Registrars or other similarly knowledgeable people? Question about hyphens in names.

(8 Posts)
thatstoast Fri 04-Jul-14 16:48:20

General Question really, I've been browsing the ONS spreadsheet of Babies Names in 2012 and noticed a few names with just hyphens on the end.

Lily- (7 Babies)
Summer- (3 Babies)

Would this be an error and there should be something after the hyphen? Or is it the case that a parent would put the hyphen in the forename section but then a middle name in the middle name section making the hyphen redundant? Presumably as a registrar you have to record it as written?

Allimc Mon 27-Jul-15 10:35:09

I am a registrar- hyphenated names would generally be recorded as one name. I wouldn't register a name with a hyphen at the end. It could be an error particularly if the parents changed their mind about the hyphenated names half way through!

We record names as parents wish but do have to follow certain rules as what is recorded becomes the legal name of the child so needs to be what they will use exactly.

Hope that helps?

EmmaWoodlouse Mon 27-Jul-15 16:24:45

Or is it the case that a parent would put the hyphen in the forename section but then a middle name in the middle name section making the hyphen redundant?

Things could have changed, but when my DC (now in their late teens) were registered, there was no first name or middle name section. Their birth certificates just have one line for their full name with surname last and in capitals (so e.g. John Michael Edward BLOGGS). Also, we as parents didn't fill anything in, we had to tell the registrar, and they checked with us which spelling we wanted, if it wasn't obvious, for each name before typing it.

Allimc Mon 27-Jul-15 17:43:48

It is relatively recently that we started inputting electronically (and we still do complete handwritten manual registrations -ie register pages- quite often when there are IT issues etc) so that could absolutely be the case.

The certificates still print with all the names in a line in one box whether they've been entered as a hyphenated first name or a first and middle name- you wouldn't be able to tell from the certificate. Surnames are always in capitals in any registration- birth, death or marriage.

I understood this was from 2012 though and in any case the manual records would still need to have been entered onto the General Register Office computer system at some point so it could be how they've been put in.

You're absolutely right also that once the registrar has established who the legal informant(s) are, they ask very specific questions in order to obtain exactly the information they need and write exactly what they say. When you sign the registration you are confirming all the details are correct so it is REALLY important you are sure- most things can be corrected afterwards but not all.

titchy Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:34

Ooh can I ask - when parents give you the name say 'Phoebe' do you specifically ask them to spell it, or can you say 'so Phoebe spelled P H O E B E yes?' Just so the poor kid doesn't end up being Pheobe. Can you suggest spellings, or suggest that perhaps Priiinssess is going to be problematic....?

Allimc Mon 27-Jul-15 18:25:50

Hi Titchy
We do check spelling. I generally ask "how are you spelling that?" Or "spelled the English/ usual/ Scottish way etc" "with or without an 'E'?" I would mention that it's not the usual spelling, always check what the initials spell and parents have several opportunities to double check and agree. We can refuse a name if we consider it would cause the child distress or is offensive. If the child ever gets married they will need to repeat their FULL legal name in the vows..... just a thought!

titchy Mon 27-Jul-15 19:59:32

Thanks! I couldn't do your job - I'd be gritting my teeth constantly I suspect!

thatstoast Mon 27-Jul-15 20:23:34

Thanks for replying. I'd almost forgotten I'd posted about this.

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