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What do you think about hyphenated surname?

(121 Posts)
CravingCheese Thu 21-Nov-19 18:19:11

My DH decided that he'd prefer a double barrelled surname for the lo.

I personally feel like it's just too long and that both our surnames are a bit fussy, especially if someone were to combine them....

What do you think?
and would it influence your opinion / preferences in regards to first names?

I feel like many of the names on our list simply wouldn't 'work' with both our surnames (together)....

OP’s posts: |
CravingCheese Mon 02-Dec-19 08:17:17

*first DM and then DD DF.

OP’s posts: |
CravingCheese Mon 02-Dec-19 08:16:23

Well, my parents (first DM and then DD) told me to stop acting like a naive teen and get my name in there...
(well, df had a few more choice words and rather rational arguments that are rather specific to our situation/our families.)

So yes. I suppose you mumsnetters were right and my name should at least be somewhere in there (whether as a middle or last name).

Thanks, everyone.

OP’s posts: |
Derbee Fri 29-Nov-19 05:47:49

*names being passed on
*on your behalf

Derbee Fri 29-Nov-19 05:46:54

I‘m still rather opposed to a hyphenated surname (And I‘m not opposed to simply using mine. DH however is)

Isn’t your husband overstepping here? He’s not happy leaving off his surname. He’s not happy leaving off your surname. He wants to double barrel.

Surely each person gets to decide if they’re bothered about their passed on? If you’re not bothered, why does your husband have a right to insist on your name being passed on, on our behalf?

I think double barrelled names are silly. What’s happens in the next generation? Quadruple barrelled?

ironickname Mon 25-Nov-19 22:04:49

A bit wanky?

MikeUniformMike Mon 25-Nov-19 21:52:04

I think that's probably because Welsh names and surnames didn't vary much.
It used to be quite usual where I'm from to address people by their first names as if it was their full name.

I'd be referred to as Mike Uniform or Mike Uniform Mike, not Mike Mike.

If you had a common name like John Roberts or something, people would say John Vaughan Roberts and John Lloyd Roberts, or whatever the full name was.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 25-Nov-19 21:43:01

"Gwenhwyfar, the mother's maiden name or a family surname as a middle name is very popular in Wales, but they're rarely double barrelled."

No, but you do quite often see two surnames (not just a surname used as a middle name) whether they're double barrelled or not.

GroupCaptainChablis Mon 25-Nov-19 21:41:44


It's not a bloody 'gotcha' at all. I'm genuinely interested. I'm a genealogist and frequently see DM's maiden names given to children, both male and female, as a middle name.

If I had a hyphenated surname which included both surnames of my DM and DF I would be genuinely conflicted as to which one to keep and which one to drop. Although I might just invent a new surname in conjunction with my new husband instead. Perhaps that's the best way forward?

Heh1991 Sun 24-Nov-19 23:04:16

Lovely that your DH wants to include your surname but since it is your surname if you’re not fussed then I’d just skip it?

MikeUniformMike Sun 24-Nov-19 20:42:03

Sorry, in my example the father's surname was Jones nor Surname.

MikeUniformMike Sun 24-Nov-19 20:39:00

Gwenhwyfar, the mother's maiden name or a family surname as a middle name is very popular in Wales, but they're rarely double barrelled.

Middle name as known as name is popular too.

Not that many had two middle names, and those who did were often:
Firstname Knownasname Familysurnameusuallyfrommothersside Surname.

There were a few duplicated names at school, too, and you'd get
Firstname Middlename Surname (Villagename) on name lists.

Some were on bc as Firstname Dadsfirstname with Dadsfirstname as a surname, and some who would go on to use Firstname Middlename as their full name.

For example,
John Surname married Mair Lloyd Roberts and have 4 children:
Dylan Siôn (full name, Sion is welsh for John)
Carys Mair Lloyd Jones (uses Carys Mair as her full name or stage name as an adult)
John Gareth Lloyd Jones (known as Gareth Jones)
Bethan Llwyd (full name, Llwyd being Lloyd unanglicised)

The names are made up and not based on anyone. I do know families where the children didn't have the same surnames, based on this sort of naming.

AnotherEmma Sun 24-Nov-19 20:18:25

Yes more flexibility to drop one of the names. (I know this from experience because I myself have two surnames, no hyphen).

Also, we have discovered that one quirk of the French bureaucracy is that if we give our child two surnames without a hyphen, he can choose to pass on just one of the names to any future child, but if we hyphenated, he would have to pass on the whole double-barrelled name in its entirety.

emilybrontescorsett Sun 24-Nov-19 20:13:26

Can I ask those who gave their children 2 surnames, e.g. Smith Jones , what the difference that was to double barrelling.
Is it more likely that one name , and it's usually the first part of the surname so here it would be Smith, get a dropped?

AnotherEmma Sun 24-Nov-19 13:03:57

The Spanish system is still patriarchal because it's the men's names that are passed down, but it's still an improvement on the British system in which women are expected to change their names after marriage (Spanish women don't, my Spanish SIL finds it very strange indeed!) and in which children often only get their father's surnames (in Spain all children share one surname with each parent).

There is one simple tweak which would make the Spanish system perfect. All they need to do is pass on names via the female line. Eg a mother could pass on her mother's name and a father could pass on his father's name. Both matrilineal and patrilineal.

FizzyGreenWater Sun 24-Nov-19 12:17:32

But I do appreciate the argument about divorce or one of us dying.

One of the reasons that the baby is named with the mother's surname.

If you divorce, there's about a 95% chance the baby will reside with you.

Parker231 Sun 24-Nov-19 12:13:43

DT’s have double barrelled surname- seemed logical and straightforward to us as it combined both DH and my surname. I didn’t change my surname when we got married. It’s long and complicated to spell but that was always going to an issue having French surnames whilst living in the UK.

Gwenhwyfar Sun 24-Nov-19 12:07:17

"When I was at school, hardly anyone had a double-barrelled surname, but I'm sure if I went to the same school now, there would be quite a few."

But you're a Welsh speaker aren't you Mike? Having two surnames, not always hyphenated has always been reasonably common for us. Looks at the poet R. Williams Parry and his poet-cousin T.H. Parry -Williams. Not to mention David Lloyd George.
I had a friend with a hyphenated surname at school and nobody thought she was posh (there surnames were not something like Parker-Bowles!)

Gwenhwyfar Sun 24-Nov-19 12:00:39

"Spanish people are great at this."

No, they're not. In Spanish families the mother's surname usually only lasts one generation and only the father's surname is passed on.

CravingCheese Sun 24-Nov-19 11:56:16

Thank you very much, fellow mumsnetters.
You comments were helpful.
We (DH and I) both want a name that will serve the LO well.
Whether that's a feminist, 'wannabe posh' or working class choice is rather irrelevant in my personal opinion tbh. (I find it an interesting discussion but it's not what I want to consider when naming our DC.)

But I do appreciate the argument about divorce or one of us dying. We have to be smart about that and make a choice that would be best for the LO in such a scenario. (well, as well as we can actually predict 'best', I suppose.)

OP’s posts: |
FizzyGreenWater Sat 23-Nov-19 10:36:27

If you didn't change your name to his, then the baby should have your surname if you want to be traditional.

Maybe he could change his name to yours if he now wants to share a surname with his child?

I guess it's nice for him to want to include my surname as well, yes.

It is nice indeed that you are considering having his surname too, for the baby you are birthing, yes smile

raskolnikova Sat 23-Nov-19 10:30:32

The Spanish take the family name and then have their surname. We hyphenated as he's British and it's the only way we could use both here when we returned to uk. Also his is via deed poll as Spanish birth certificate would only allow the one surname - his S dads family name.

That's interesting, my DD was born in Spain to unmarried British parents, and we gave her an unhyphenated double-barrelled surname, it's on her Spanish birth certificate and we use it the same way in the UK. I guess we had a more relaxed registrar.

TatianaLarina Sat 23-Nov-19 10:05:06

Men’s birth surnames, on the other hand, are apparently more solidly attached to them.) Women who keep their names on marriage are thus being terribly, terribly silly and not actually taking a feminist stance

Men’s surnames while they don’t change them, are still their father’s family name. Think of all the cultures that specify son of including Mac, Ap, O’ etc.

You can’t change a patrilineal society to a matrilineal one by holding onto a paternal name. It’s simply a family name. In true matrilineal societies women pass down maternal not paternal family names and daughters inherit.

No-one has said women are ‘silly’ to keep their birth name - that’s invention. I think women should do what they like - keep it, change it, whatever works for them. The upshot of feminism, of equal rights, is surely that individual women have the right to make their own choices.

emilybrontescorsett Fri 22-Nov-19 22:27:16

I do think some double barrelled names sound better than others.
I think 2 syllable-1 syllable surnames sound better but you can't always achieve that.
Some names are too much of a mouthful and I know lots of people who drop one of their names.
Some names sound much nicer than others.
If you have a choice then choose the nicest sounding name.

Gallivespian Fri 22-Nov-19 22:14:43

Well, @TatianaLarina has already produced the other regular penetrating insight of these threads. Women’s birth surnames aren’t really their names because they’re their fathers’ names. (Men’s birth surnames, on the other hand, are apparently more solidly attached to them.) Women who keep their names on marriage are thus being terribly, terribly silly and not actually taking a feminist stance.

DuchessMustard Fri 22-Nov-19 21:50:57

@TatianaLarina One man’s surname or two men’s surnames. Is that your idea of feminism?

Erm, I'm not a man in a gay relationship. We're one woman & one man. What do you mean, two men's surnames?


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