hyphenated last names

I recently came upon the site for an old friend who I haven’t spoken with for nearly a decade and she has a hyphenated last name. In your opinion, what are the chances that she got married rather than just recognizing her father and mother’s surnames on her checkbook and in correspondence?


I have never heard of anyone changing their name as an adult to recognize both of their parents. I’ve had a hyphenated name for my entire life, so I tend to notice stuff like that. Everyone I know who’s hyphenated was born with the name, or adopted it upon marriage.

IMHO I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that’s true… Although I’d try to keep from mentioning it to her until you know for sure.

The odds that she changed her name without getting married are fairly slim. As with Kyla, I grew up with a hyphenated name, and the only people I’ve ever known with them was a result of either parents doing the same or parents giving their kids both names (knew two like that in high school).

What happens when people with hyphenated names marry? Suppose Sue Smith-Jones marries Bob Murphy-Williams. Does she become Sue Smith-Jones-Murphy-Williams?