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  #1  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:47 PM
Rubystreak Rubystreak is offline
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Hyphenated last names: woman's name first?

In talking with my husband's aunt, she mentioned that when people hyphenate a combined last name, they always put the mother's or woman's last name first. I had never heard this, but when I asked my students who has hyphenated last names, it turned out that all of them had their mother's name first. I looked around the internet but couldn't find any evidence that this was the "proper" or accepted way to do it. wikipedia, for whatever it's worth as a source, says it's acceptable to have the names in either order.

Is there an established custom or tradition where the mother's last name comes first in hyphenated combined last names? Not aesthetics, but actual rules about whose name goes first.

Thanks for any help with this.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2009, 11:04 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is online now
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Originally Posted by Rubystreak
Is there an established custom or tradition where the mother's last name comes first in hyphenated combined last names? Not aesthetics, but actual rules about whose name goes first.
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette from 1995 says (p. 655), "it's customary for the woman's name to come first".

However, this is by no means universal, as in the case of this blog description of how the author and his wife decided how to divvy up the pre- and post-hyphen space.

I don't think you'll get anything more authoritative than various etiquette book descriptions of what is "customary".
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:12 PM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
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I don't have any cite, but I do have a hyphenated last name, and FWIW my mother's last name is the first bit (and functionally the only bit I use). I am not aware of any sort of hard-and-fast rule or even social standard for hyphenated last names, and I imagine that the tradition of multiple last names has been common in many cultures, making coming up with any sort of standard nearly impossible. Additionally, there are any number of reasons why one might wind up with a hyphenated surname.

I do know (er, I'm pretty sure at least) that in many Hispanic cultures, where you can get stupefyingly long compound names, the first name is traditionally the paternal name. So Maria Gomez Chavez's father's last name is Gomez, and Chavez would be Maria's mother's maiden name. If Maria got married to Whoever Ortega Peralta, tradition would see her name change to some variant of Maria Gomez Chavez (de) Ortega, taking her husband's father's name as an indicator of being married.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:50 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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WAG -- maybe it comes from the custom of given children the mother's maiden name as a middle name, ie, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, so the mother's name comes first when said in full. My brother and I are in the category (although I actually have my maternal grandmother's maiden name), but our names don't sound nearly as elegant.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:56 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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The earliest example I can think of of a hyphenated last name was Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie, Irene being the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie (and there's a brainy family for you: The two generations had three Nobel prizes between them). So there is precedent for the woman's name coming last.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:37 AM
Weedy Weedy is offline
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My aunt & her husband hyphenated their names when they got married. The husband's name came first.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:52 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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I'd like to know the etiquette of when a gay or lesbian couple does it (although I suppose that's still in the process of being worked out, marriage equality being a fairly recent phenomenon). My girlfriend asked me the other day how are we going to hyphenate our names when we get married. I would go with alphabetical order in the absence of any other protocol. Either that or a coin flip?
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:13 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I don't think there's a true rule on this. Some cultures that hyphenate have a traditional order, but if you're outside of one those it comes down to whatever you want to do. As far as same-sex couples, I suggest you talk about/negotiate the matter.

I just wish I could convince people that yes, the hyphenated combo really is my last name and it's not a matter of choosing one or the other, it's both. The first one is NOT my middle name, it's the first half of my last name.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:38 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
I just wish I could convince people that yes, the hyphenated combo really is my last name and it's not a matter of choosing one or the other, it's both. The first one is NOT my middle name, it's the first half of my last name.
I have trouble being convinced of this, although I see this argument often. It seems to me your children will simply have to decide instead of you if you take the position the whole hyphenated thing is your real last name as opposed to a social convention to link you with your marriage partner.

If you are Smith-Watson and your kid marries Johnson-Gomez, and their kid marries Petersen-Mtumbe, is the grandchild Timmy Smith-Watson-Johnson-Gomez-Petersen-Mtumbe?

At some point it becomes a matter of practicality to start dropping someone's last name, hurt feelings or not. When those names are dropped--or truncated, if the choice is to uncouple them--the argument that the hyphenated name is "both" and not a matter of choosing becomes weaker. Somebody gotta choose eventually...

Hyphenated names seem to me to be yet another way of foisting off difficult choices onto our children. I like the practice of everyone keeping (or creating) their own surname, but where I see them hypenated, I confess to seeing indecisiveness and weak egos. Kimstu's link is a classic for demonstrating the impossibility of making a decision when both egos involved are too weak to actually make a decision.

The appeal in the OP to find a "rule" where the most obvious rule is that everyone gets to choose their own name exemplifies nicely our collective inability to simply step up to the plate and decide for ourselves once we figure out we can't all be first and we can't all be last.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:19 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
I have trouble being convinced of this, although I see this argument often. It seems to me your children will simply have to decide instead of you if you take the position the whole hyphenated thing is your real last name as opposed to a social convention to link you with your marriage partner.
1) I do not, and will not, have children.

2) The husband and I, through a process called "negotiation", decided prior to marriage that in the event of children they would have his name alone.

Now, what is the issue again?

Yes, I recall - because I have a womb I'm not allowed to be called by my legal name, I must submit to having it distorted or abbreviated by intolerant jerks who wish to impose their narrow-mindedness upon my identity.

Quote:
I like the practice of everyone keeping (or creating) their own surname, but where I see them hypenated, I confess to seeing indecisiveness and weak egos.
I hyphenated my name because at the time of my marriage I was working in a field where obtaining additional work was dependent almost entirely upon my reputation, which was attached to my maiden name. By changing my name to my husband's I would have had to start entirely over in my profession. This would have been stupid. But for reasons that are none of your business I also agreed to take his name. I'm sorry if protecting my income strikes you as being a sign of a "weak ego" and "indecisiveness". For me, it was at least 50% pure practicality and a desire to maintain my income.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:23 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
I'd like to know the etiquette of when a gay or lesbian couple does it (although I suppose that's still in the process of being worked out, marriage equality being a fairly recent phenomenon). My girlfriend asked me the other day how are we going to hyphenate our names when we get married. I would go with alphabetical order in the absence of any other protocol. Either that or a coin flip?
I vote alphabetical order, unless that results in a combo that's more awkward to pronounce or comical (if Ms Noz marries Ms Moking, they should definitely stick to alphabetical order and be the Moking-Noz family).
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:51 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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For what it's worth, when the woman (alone) on entering a marriage determines to hyphenate her maiden name with her husband's surname, the custom seems to be that she places her maiden name first: Marcia Plumb marries Jeremy Pudding, and adopts the surname Plubm-Pudding.

When the couple together conjoins their surname (as, for example, when to only children marry and wish to continue both family names), the custom seems to be for the bridegroom's surname to lead: Henry Thorsen IV marries Dorothy Vanderrijn, and they decide to become Henry and Dorothy Thorsen-Vanderrijn.

There are no doubt exceptions to both usages, but they seems to be the generally preferred customs.

The Plunkett brothers (the fantasy writer Lord Dunsany and his brother Adm. Reginald Plunkett) furnish an interesting example of a quadruple-barrelled surname: Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. Also interesting is Sir Winston Churchill's actual surname: Spencer Churchill -- not hyphenated, and alphabetized as if it were just Churchill. This dates from the First Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, perhaps Britain's greatest general before Wellington, whose sole surviving child was a daughter who married one of Princess Diana's collateral ancestors. Thereafter the males in direct descent used Churchill for a surname but always bore a "pre-surname" of Spencer as a second middle name. Churchill himself was Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill; both his father and son were Randolph Spencer Churchill. This preserved the 'famous' ancestry from Marlborough while acknowledging the male descent was from the Spencers.

As to what one's 'real' name is, it is always what the law provides -- which in general is what one chooses to use as a formal name, barring fraud and complying with any legally mandated registration of such name. What etiquette deems to be a 'proper' name must give way to what the law requires -- and the law has generally been accommodating to an individual's wish to designate what he or she chooses to be identified by.

Last edited by Polycarp; 05-27-2009 at 07:54 AM.. Reason: coding error and typoes
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:03 AM
sailor sailor is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
1) Yes, I recall - because I have a womb I'm not allowed to be called by my legal name, I must submit to having it distorted or abbreviated by intolerant jerks who wish to impose their narrow-mindedness upon my identity.

I hyphenated my name because at the time of my marriage I was working in a field where obtaining additional work was dependent almost entirely upon my reputation, which was attached to my maiden name. By changing my name to my husband's I would have had to start entirely over in my profession. This would have been stupid.
The Spanish system where a woman keeps her name all her life makes much more sense to me than the British-American system.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:25 AM
SanVito SanVito is online now
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
I'd like to know the etiquette of when a gay or lesbian couple does it (although I suppose that's still in the process of being worked out, marriage equality being a fairly recent phenomenon). My girlfriend asked me the other day how are we going to hyphenate our names when we get married. I would go with alphabetical order in the absence of any other protocol. Either that or a coin flip?
I'd always thought I'd go with the order that just sounded better. However, my girlfriend and I both have rather long and difficult to spell names already, so I imagine, should we ever decide to go down the marriage route, that we'd just keep our own names.

Out of interest, is it a common practice to double-barrel wives'/husbands' names in the US? It's really not that common in the UK and is seen as rather a posh people's sport (happens particularly if the wife comes from a more notable family than the husband).
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:39 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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The Spanish system where a woman keeps her name all her life makes much more sense to me than the British-American system.
Well, more and more often these days, when a journalist or other writer needs to impart information rapdly about a maried woman, the custom is, when the former Mary Ellen Waters married Thomas McKenzie and took his surname, to refer to her as "Mary Ellen (Waters) McKenzie", with the parentheses serving to indicate "This is her maiden name which she does not customarily use" to anyone who cares to know.

As for me, I get confused as between Maria Gomez Gonzalez, Maria Gomez y Gonzalez, and Maria Gomez de Gonzales, as to what is being specified by the two surnames and the presence or absence of the "y" or "de" in linking them.

Last edited by Polycarp; 05-27-2009 at 09:39 AM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:43 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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My son is a hyphen and we put his dad's name first only because it flows better that way.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:59 AM
sailor sailor is offline
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
As for me, I get confused as between Maria Gomez Gonzalez, Maria Gomez y Gonzalez, and Maria Gomez de Gonzales, as to what is being specified by the two surnames and the presence or absence of the "y" or "de" in linking them.
María Gómez González would be the only legal and customary name in Spain. No other. The "y" just means "and" and is meaningless today. In very old times when there was no legal structure for names and many people just went by a single family or place name the "and" was used by those who were of two noble families. Like he was Vanderbilt *and* Rockefeller. Wow! Impressive! Nobody would use it today except to show how pretentious one can be. Legally it does not exist.

The "de" is also an outdated social convention which has no legal validity. It is mostly outdated but may still be used rarely when a woman is invited or attending due to being the wife of her husband rather than on her own merits. The wife of the ambassador may be listed thusly when she is there because she is the wife of the ambassador.

It is not complicated not difficult and, again, these are just social conventions with no legal standing. The name of a woman in Spain does not change throught her life (which seems quite logical to me).

Last edited by sailor; 05-27-2009 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:21 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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So that's why they keep putting my second last name as my first last name when addressing me!

When I was in Florida, I decided to start hyphenating my last names, so I went by Grenze-Secondlastname. I'm guessing since Florida had a lot of Hispanic students, they caught up on that, and learned to address me as either complete Grenze-Secondlastname or just as Grenze (which is what is usually done, to use the first last name).

Then when I moved to Louisiana, and also now in Georgia, people keep addressing me as "Secondlastname" despite that being the last name of the hyphenated pair. In fact, my vet school email address is "secondlastname" because that's what they thought was my "real name" when they set up the account for me. My LSU email (not the same), though, does have "grenze" in it.

Pedant, usually only the first two last names of the couples are passed on the kids (typically the paternal granparent's last names).

IF Smith Watson is a man that marries Johnson Gomez, their kid traditionally and doesn't matter with respect to gender, will be Smith Johnson (in Spanish countries). IF Smith Johnson is a male and marries Petersen-Mtumbe, their kid, traditionally, will be Smith Petersen.

You can tag the rest of the last names as follow if you're playing genealogy, but legally is Smith Petersen. Four names will be Smith Petersen Johnson Mtumbe.

The thing is, provided you have the two last names of your ancestors, you can go back real far with little difficulty, by going through that pattern.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:33 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
1) I do not, and will not, have children.

2) The husband and I, through a process called "negotiation", decided prior to marriage that in the event of children they would have his name alone.

Now, what is the issue again?

Yes, I recall - because I have a womb I'm not allowed to be called by my legal name, I must submit to having it distorted or abbreviated by intolerant jerks who wish to impose their narrow-mindedness upon my identity.


I hyphenated my name because at the time of my marriage I was working in a field where obtaining additional work was dependent almost entirely upon my reputation, which was attached to my maiden name. By changing my name to my husband's I would have had to start entirely over in my profession. This would have been stupid. But for reasons that are none of your business I also agreed to take his name. I'm sorry if protecting my income strikes you as being a sign of a "weak ego" and "indecisiveness". For me, it was at least 50% pure practicality and a desire to maintain my income.
It was wrong of me to post what I did in a GQ forum.
I am sorry.

Please accept my apologies. I was not careful about expressing my opinion in an appropriate place. You are absolutely right to be annoyed with me.

Again, I am sorry.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:38 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Now, what is the issue again?

Yes, I recall - because I have a womb I'm not allowed to be called by my legal name, I must submit to having it distorted or abbreviated by intolerant jerks who wish to impose their narrow-mindedness upon my identity.
Other possible solutions include both partners merging their name into a single new name, both partners taking on a completely new name, or the husband taking the wife's name. It doesn't have to be sexist.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:48 PM
sailor sailor is offline
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Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
So that's why they keep putting my second last name as my first last name when addressing me!

When I was in Florida, I decided to start hyphenating my last names, so I went by Grenze-Secondlastname. I'm guessing since Florida had a lot of Hispanic students, they caught up on that, and learned to address me as either complete Grenze-Secondlastname or just as Grenze (which is what is usually done, to use the first last name).

Then when I moved to Louisiana, and also now in Georgia, people keep addressing me as "Secondlastname" despite that being the last name of the hyphenated pair. In fact, my vet school email address is "secondlastname" because that's what they thought was my "real name" when they set up the account for me. My LSU email (not the same), though, does have "grenze" in it.

Pedant, usually only the first two last names of the couples are passed on the kids (typically the paternal granparent's last names).

IF Smith Watson is a man that marries Johnson Gomez, their kid traditionally and doesn't matter with respect to gender, will be Smith Johnson (in Spanish countries). IF Smith Johnson is a male and marries Petersen-Mtumbe, their kid, traditionally, will be Smith Petersen.

You can tag the rest of the last names as follow if you're playing genealogy, but legally is Smith Petersen. Four names will be Smith Petersen Johnson Mtumbe.

The thing is, provided you have the two last names of your ancestors, you can go back real far with little difficulty, by going through that pattern.
I think the explanation is more likely that they thought your first family name was your middle name and the second family name the last name.

Also it is not uncommon is Spain that people are known by their second family name if it is more recognizable. Like "Zapatero"
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:52 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Well, yea, which is related to what someone else posted above, wasn't it? That the female last name was considered to become the middle name. BTW, it is likely they thought I could be married (particularly the vet school), and as such acted like that.

But if the etiquette seems to be "The first name doesn't count, it is the second one"... I can see then how they ended up mangling my name.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:52 PM
Rubystreak Rubystreak is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
The appeal in the OP to find a "rule" where the most obvious rule is that everyone gets to choose their own name exemplifies nicely our collective inability to simply step up to the plate and decide for ourselves once we figure out we can't all be first and we can't all be last.
I know you already apologized, but I feel I need to clarify. One does not want to commit an accidental faux pas with one's child's name. Thus, if there is a rule of which one is unaware, it's a good idea to find out what it is before going ahead with naming. So, I figured I'd ask, in GQ, so as not to get people's unsolicited opinions about hyphenated names, which I explicitly did not want. My reason for wanting my last name to come second is because the other away around, the initial combination would be unsavory. Since there's no particular rule either way, I can do it how I want without worrying about screwing up.

This thread served its purpose, and thanks to all who posted informative commentary.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:19 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Originally Posted by Rubystreak View Post
This thread served its purpose, and thanks to all who posted informative commentary.
Now that it's served its purpose, perhaps the obligatory Johann Gambolputty link which comes to my mind whenever I see commentary on hyphenated last names...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYMRjnM6j6w

Still one of my Monty Python favorites.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:12 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Out of interest, is it a common practice to double-barrel wives'/husbands' names in the US? It's really not that common in the UK and is seen as rather a posh people's sport (happens particularly if the wife comes from a more notable family than the husband).
It's rather hit or miss - remember that the US covers a much larger geographical area than the UK. Hyphenating names are most common on either coast, more common in the north, and large urban areas. It is also more commonly seen among women who marry later in life, and/or work in areas where name recognition is a significant factor, such as acting, the arts, scientific/medical researchers who publish in peer reviewed journals, and in corporate America though it is by no means universal even in any of those areas. Another option is for a woman to use her maiden name professionally while changing her legal name, but that adds additional complications.

I have found that government agencies, at all levels, are FAR more accommodating to hyphenated names than are private individuals and even many companies. The bigger the business the more likely they are to accommodate this.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:28 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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...It's really not that common in the UK and is seen as rather a posh people's sport (happens particularly if the wife comes from a more notable family than the husband).
Often the husband would recieve additional property in the marriage settlement for doing this. One advantage to putting the husband's surname first is that you'll appear close to him and the kids in alphabetical lists (assuming he keeps & passes on his name to the kids).
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:26 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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I'd always thought I'd go with the order that just sounded better. However, my girlfriend and I both have rather long and difficult to spell names already, so I imagine, should we ever decide to go down the marriage route, that we'd just keep our own names.

Out of interest, is it a common practice to double-barrel wives'/husbands' names in the US? It's really not that common in the UK and is seen as rather a posh people's sport (happens particularly if the wife comes from a more notable family than the husband).
Among my colleagues--professionals, mostly; typically physicians--I see hyphenated last names used by women more than men within the same couple.
Even more commonly than hypenations, I see the woman simply keep her own surname for almost everything, but not making any sort of big deal out of it should an assumption be made by outsiders she uses her husband's last name.

I don't see any hyphenations where the man's name is first, and I don't see children using any name but the father's last, regardless of whether they are male or female children.

I have a vague sense that hyphenated names here in my area are seen as pretentious and/or indecisive, but of course that may be my own personal circle.

FWIW I live in the Chicago suburbs. Midwest US.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:38 PM
Rubystreak Rubystreak is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
I don't see any hyphenations where the man's name is first, and I don't see children using any name but the father's last, regardless of whether they are male or female children.

I have a vague sense that hyphenated names here in my area are seen as pretentious and/or indecisive, but of course that may be my own personal circle.
Hyphenations are by no means common, but I have about 5 out of 80 students this year who have it. If the mother and father have different last names, and value their names equally, I don't see why anyone has the right to judge them "indecisive or pretentious" for wanting the child to have both their names. But I guess people have a lot of spare time to judge others without any more information than their kids' last name.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:13 AM
SanVito SanVito is online now
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Even more commonly than hypenations, I see the woman simply keep her own surname for almost everything, but not making any sort of big deal out of it should an assumption be made by outsiders she uses her husband's last name.
Actually I was going to ask about this. In the UK I find it much more common for professional women to continue to use their maiden name for work purposes and their husband's name for private purposes (e.g. Cherie Booth/Blair, Tony Blair's wife). It's also very common for the wife to just keep her own name for all purposes (in which case, the children would 'normally' take the husband's name).
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:45 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
For what it's worth, when the woman (alone) on entering a marriage determines to hyphenate her maiden name with her husband's surname, the custom seems to be that she places her maiden name first: Marcia Plumb marries Jeremy Pudding, and adopts the surname Plubm-Pudding.

When the couple together conjoins their surname (as, for example, when to only children marry and wish to continue both family names), the custom seems to be for the bridegroom's surname to lead: Henry Thorsen IV marries Dorothy Vanderrijn, and they decide to become Henry and Dorothy Thorsen-Vanderrijn.
I agree that this is the traditional practice. However, it seems that in America at least, we're going through a period in which everything is up for grabs, really.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:04 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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My aunt & her husband hyphenated their names when they got married. The husband's name came first.
When my fiancee and I discussed the possibility of changing our names post-marriage (ultimately decided neither of us with change our names, and actually we may not get married after all because, but that's another thread), we came very close to deciding that my name would be hyphenated with her last name first, and hers would be hyphenated with my last name first. That way, our "final" last names would still be our original names.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:18 PM
MamaMurphy-Kennedy MamaMurphy-Kennedy is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Hyphenated names seem to me to be yet another way of foisting off difficult choices onto our children.
This isn't true of everyone, though...I have a daughter from a previous relationship, and I don't plan on changing her name when I get married, so I am hyphenating to make the transition a little less confusing...so I can explain that I'm still a Murphy, but now everyone knows that I'm married to Daddy (She's two and a half, but we don't plan on getting married until she's old enough to sit through the whole ceremony; she already knows him as Daddy). Makes life a LOT easier to hyphenate, and I'm not foisting the choice off on her, she stays a Murphy.
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  #33  
Old 07-08-2014, 04:36 PM
Private_Public Private_Public is offline
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Me and the wife talked about this when we got married. Does she drop her maiden name and take mine? Do I take hers? She has a pretty kickass last name. What we decided was this....

She hyphenates both last names, her last name first then mine. She did this mainly for professional reasons. That and it would be a pain to do all the legal change of name stuff.

We decided any kids we have, will have my last name only. Our kid seems fine with that, not like she was given a choice though.
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  #34  
Old 07-08-2014, 05:22 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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zombie or no

if one partner hyphenates and the other keeps their name then if the hyphenee uses the other's first then they will alphabetize together. if they both hyphenate then keeping the same order will alphabetize together.
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  #35  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:18 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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In this day and age, people just do whatever the hell they want.

If you are looking towards tradition for your solution, then the wife traditionally takes the last name of her husband, and all the children use the paternal surname.

Alternative traditions are kind of oxymoronic.
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  #36  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:38 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is online now
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I don't even think it is obligatory for the bride to assume the groom's surname, even if a stand-alone name is chosen. It may vary by state, but in Canada, the couple may choose either stand-alone surname to be their legal name. It is rare for them to choose the bride's last name, but it can be done simply by a declaration at the time of marriage. In Canada, about 20% of all married couples choose to keep their separate names.

When a women with a hyphenated name marries and choose, with her husband, to hyphenate their name, which name takes priority and carries to the next generation?

If a couple hyphenates their name with the woman's name first, and their daughter marries and also hyphenates her name with her mother's name first (dropping her father's name), does that create a de-facto matrilinear naming culture?
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  #37  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:38 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Actually I was going to ask about this. In the UK I find it much more common for professional women to continue to use their maiden name for work purposes and their husband's name for private purposes (e.g. Cherie Booth/Blair, Tony Blair's wife). It's also very common for the wife to just keep her own name for all purposes (in which case, the children would 'normally' take the husband's name).
I was going to say pretty much the same thing. When I worked in a hospital, there were two pairs of married doctors where the ladies kept their maiden names. I asked one about it, and she just pointed at the set of certificates on her office wall; all obtained before she got married.

Double barrelled names in the UK are seen as a bit pretentious.
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  #38  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:47 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
In this day and age, people just do whatever the hell they want.

If you are looking towards tradition for your solution, then the wife traditionally takes the last name of her husband, and all the children use the paternal surname.

Alternative traditions are kind of oxymoronic.
Of course, that depends on the culture. In many cultures, the tradition is that the woman does not take the last name of the husband, but keeps the one(s) she grew up with. What surname(s) their kids get varies by culture and tradition.
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  #39  
Old 07-09-2014, 07:30 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
So that's why they keep putting my second last name as my first last name when addressing me!
When I work with people whose first languages don't include Spanish or Portuguese, I always give only my first lastname. That one is three words, with the structure Commonlastname from Place, normally abbreviated to Commonlastname except for contracts and ID; German speakers have serious trouble accepting that there are spaces in there, I can't use auto-check-in machines for Lufthansa or Swiss because my passport "doesn't match" what their computer has. My current client (English) used LinkedIn to check me up, so even though the name the agent had given them was Nava Commonlastname from Place, they'd set me up everywhere as Nava Secondlastname.

At least they were able to correct it in email and so forth, but I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at my manager's explanation that Secondlastname "is actually her middle name". I swear over my ancestors' graves that it's not.

Last edited by Nava; 07-09-2014 at 07:31 PM..
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  #40  
Old 07-10-2014, 04:13 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Nava, you're quoting me from something 5 years ago, and the sad thing is, it still happens!

When I applied to the new job, yes, of course, I had to submit the paperwork with my full name. After all, this was a foreign place, and they also wanted to know what my name was in my birth certificate and passport and all that.

When I introduced myself, I used either both last names, or shortened to the first last name.

But it didn't matter because then they all saw my written application, saw that I had two last names, and proceeded to call me by my second last name. *Sigh*

And to add insult to injury, they misspelled that last name when setting up my work account. My email has my full name, but even that one has my second last name misspelled. Way to go IT, way to go. And my attempts to fix it have been fruitless.

The weird thing is, it would be such an easy thing to fix. And it results with half of my coworkers calling me by one last name, and the other half calling me by another one.
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  #41  
Old 07-10-2014, 04:26 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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FWIW, I know two couples who have done this, one an American couple, one a Kiwi-American mix (the wife was American but became a naturalized Kiwi), and they both put the wife's surname first. In neither case is the new hyphenated surname in alphabetical order.
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  #42  
Old 07-10-2014, 06:34 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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NVM - didn't realize it was a zombie.

Last edited by Broomstick; 07-10-2014 at 06:37 AM..
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