Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's In a Name?

I admit, it is a bit of a pain to have to spell out my last name and to say, "hyphen" while doing so. Why did our family hyphenate? Both Steve and I like the last names we were given by our families and hyphenating was a way to keep our names and make sure our child had the same last name as both of her parents (instead of keeping our own names and then giving our daughter one of our last names).

If you're married...or not, what do you think? Why did you make the choice regarding a last name that you did? Are there stereotypes that you have of people with hyphenated last names?


  1. Hmmmm.... this is a REALLY good question. I never gave it a second thought when I married my husband - I just went ahead and took his last name. I figured it's easier if we all have the same last name and honestly never even thought to do otherwise. Is that sexist? I don't think so, I'd say it's traditional.

    As for hypenated last names, I don't think I really steriotype those people.... but I do have to wonder what their kids will do. Will Sophie become Albee-Scott-Hunter? You know what I mean. :)

    I like your last name, it works so well and sounds good. Mine would sound BIZARE. Rains-Datwyler... Datwyler-Rains. Sounds weird.

  2. Tannie, we wonder what Soph will choose to do and of course it will be up to her, but if she decides she wants to take only 1 of our names and has trouble deciding which one, we'll choose for her, if she asks. I'd like her to marry someone with a hyphenated last name and for them to hyphenate :)

    I don't think taking your husband's last name is sexist, it's the common thing to do and most people just do it, there's really no thought to it...I think. I do find it interesting when women hyphenate and their spouses won't, I think if that were the case I would've just kept my name, but Steve was the one who wanted to hyphenate (I think he just really likes my last name :) ).

  3. Found you!!

    I'm like Tannie--I didn't really give it a lot of thought. I just always planned on taking my husband's last name, and I was okay with that.

    (Kind of a funny note though, I always had a not-so-secret hope that I'd marry a guy whose last name was at least as high in the alphabet as mine. My mom's last name started with a "W" and she married a "C". I was glad that I got to be towards the front of the lunch line in elementary school, and I didn't want to mess that up for my future kids. It was a little touch and go for those two months that I dated an "S" in college, let me tell you!)

    As to hyphenating, If I'm really honest, I have to admit that I do subscribe to a stereotype or two regarding those who do hyphenate. I tend to assume that a person who hyphenates his or her last name will be less traditional than I am, and probably more accepting of some ideas or beliefs than I. However, I can honestly say that I don't see that as a bad thing, just a different thing.

    (And--while I'm semi-quick to make first-glance judgments, I'm also pretty willing to let go of those judgments if a closer association with the person in question proves that those judgments aren't valid.)

  4. In Greece I am Sia Durocher (my original last name). In the USA I am Sia Hurst (my husbands last name). It was too much paperwork to change my last name in Greece, so I did not do it. I am not sure why I changed my name in the USA. I don't think there was an option to keep my original last name though. I do not have anything invested in a name ... what I mean is, it makes no difference to me what people call me, as long as I get to wake up and have another great day in this adventure of life. I wonder why people would have strong opinions about this ... is identity really just the name that you 'own'? Isn't our identity deeper and more substantial than that? You can call me whatever you like - just please call me and continue to share these wonderful posts with me!