(Closed) Does anyone here wish they had hyphenated their name?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


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kwahom03:  No perfect solution, but personally I hate hyphenated names. Names are difficult for most people to remember and pronounce and hyphenating makes it worse. I dropped my maiden name, but kind of wish I had done what you did.

If you do hyphenate, you probably won’t be able to just limit that to legal documents. I tried to continue using my maiden name in certain contexts, but all kinds of problems arose.

Post # 32
32 posts

I hope no one takes offense to this, and if you are happy with your decision then thats great! I am not and I never will make comments on what life choices you’ve made. But here is my opinion. Years ago women took their husband’s name because women did not have any legal identity. In fact, law in the 1700s stated that “By marriage …. the legal existence of the woman is suspended and is under the wing and protection of her husband.” In those days to say something was under the protection of, meant it was property of. So a red house is under the protection of John Richardson means it is the property of John Richardson. A female under the protection of her husband means she is her husband’s property. Centuries and decades have past. Women are no longer property, woman can votes, become educated, doctors, judges, Captains in military, yet women Still lose their identity to their husbands. Again, if that is what you want to do, great, its your life. I just want to know why are women still treated as the second class citizen? If there was a tradition that said “If any African American person marries a white person, the African American’s name must change.” That would be considered racist and unacceptable. Or if the tradition was “If a Jewish or Buddhist person marries a Christian person, the Jewish or Buddhist’s name must change.” That would not happen in our country because we cannot have policies that only effect some people unequally and unfairly, Yet for some reason we still do it to women. Believe me, I have heard ALL the arguments and with every single one the bottom line is that woman are second class citizens to men. People say, “Its tradition. ” Slavery was tradition, women not voting was tradition, African Americans having to sit at the back of the bus when a white person got on was tradition. There were MANY unfair traditions until someone somewhere stood up and said “No more. You cannot treat me like this. I am not a second class citizen.” I heard the other argument, “You can just add his name, hyphenate.” My answer to that is, Why am I expected to add and hyphenate but he is not? That is once again forcing me to do something, forcing me to change my identity, Only because I am the woman. Once again if only African Americans, or only Jewish or Buddhist people needed to hyphenate, it would be unacceptable. Then people say, “What about the children?” “Wont the children have his last name?” “If so, don’t you want to have the same name as your own children?” If the children have the husbands last name then that is the name they were born with. It is THEIR name. THEIR identity. I have a friend who was married and had 2 kids, then her husband died in the war. She married again, had another child, a few years later they divorced. She was single for a while, then last year she married again. So here she is, this is her 3rd husband and she has 3 children with 2 other men. Whose name should she have now??? The name of her first husband because that is the last name of her first 2 kids? The name of her second husband because it is the last name of her 3rd child? Or should she take her 3rd husband’s name? I think many of you will say yes, she should have his last name because he is her current husband. So here is my question. If she takes her 3rd husband’s last name she will Not have the same name as ANY of her children. So why is it acceptable for her to not have the same name as her children because she took her husband’s name, but it is Not OK for her to not have the same name as her children when she has her OWN name?? Again, it is outright saying that women just don’t count. Married 3 times and changing names 3 times is so offensive in my opinion because it is reducing the woman to a traded baseball card. Or a used car that you just keep switching titles. Woman are human beings. In other words, they are people with lives. Every once in a while someone asks me, by keeping your father’s name isn’t that also sexist? Heres what I have to say. This is the name I was born with. It is my identity in the world. It may have been my father’s but somehow through the ups and downs in life, it became mine when i entered the world. It is on my birth certificate. It is the name I registered with when I started Kindergarten, it is the name on the driver’s license I earned when I was 17, it is the name on my High School, College, and Graduate transcripts, and it is on the deed to my house. Because those are all things I’ve done in MY LIFE. Not John Richardson so that the name Mrs. John Richardson is placed on those accomplishments, My Name is on them. I studied my brains out for weeks and months and years to earn those degrees. I traveled throughout the world on planes and boats and dirty trains to research my thesis. Not Richardson, me, I did it. I saved every dollar I earned until I had enough money for a house down payment and took a mortgage in My name. No one should put their name on my life, I live it, I earned it. I am not cattle for someone to brand their name onto me. For all you women who want to keep your name, keep this in mind, there are a lot of us out there. It will be difficult, the man in your life will be against you and MANY MANY women will be also. I am really shocked by how many women become angry with me and criticize me. But listen, every group of people who wanted to change society also had to fight for it. Slavery was not ended by one person or in one day. The right to vote did not happen in one day (in fact look up how many women were killed for fighting for their right to vote) Civil rights did not happen in one day. Stay strong and fight. If for no one else than for your daughters. Help them to grow up in a world where they are not born a second class citizen and constantly told that there name, their identity, is worthless. One more thing, a woman taking her husband’s last name is a Western tradition. Most Eastern countries do not do this, and they are shocked when they find out that American women do, because they always thought women were treated as equals in the United States. I was in Dubai which is an Arab/Muslim country. The women do not leave their homes without a man by their side to “protect” them. At that time I did not know that Arab women do not take their husband’s name. I was calling a woman by her husband’s last name one time and the man said to me “My wife’s last name Bushar.” And I told him that I was sorry and that I thought her last name was the same as his because women in the US take their husband’s name. And that Arab/Muslim man’s face froze. He was shocked and appalled and he said, “Who do men think they are that they can take away a person’s name? They are not God that they gave the name and can take it away.” (In Arabia it is believed that God has already planned a person’s name even from before he or she is born) My point is, even in a male dominated society, they can see when something is just outright wrong. They do not do that in Arabia because they were not taught to do it. We were taught to do it here in the United States. We can un-learn these prejudices if we stick together. Women who want to keep their husband’s names, I wish you all the best. It is a free country to do with your name as you wish. We should all be free to keep or change our names as we wish.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by ToniToni.
Post # 33
3383 posts
Sugar bee

I’m not changing my name at all. He’s not changing his so I’m not sure why I should change mine. 

Post # 34
130 posts
Blushing bee

Personally I don’t like hyphenated names, they make everything difficult and are just annoying. =)

I’ve also wondered what would happen if two people, both with hypenated surnames, wanted to get married and hypenate their last names! Mr and Mrs Smith-Jones-Hill-Brown.

Anyways, we just compromised and made up a whole new last name for ourselves.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by OldestTree.
Post # 35
3080 posts
Sugar bee

I never changed my name – and I was married in the late 70s. Still married 37 + year later.

I did research at the time, and if I remember correctly, the only state where it was required to change your name was Hawaii. It never, ever made sense for me.

P.S. We gave our children hyphenated names. A number of their school classmates had hyphenated names, too. They’ve survived, thrived, and prospered.   

Post # 36
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I never thought I would ever drop my last name as I am proud to have my family name and also because I knew my parents would appreciate having a “Dr Family-Name” in the family.

However as our wedding approached, I thought about it a lot more and really wanted to take on my husband’s last name as well so I ended up hyphenating! I am very happy to have the best of both worlds, even though it now means my full name is Joanne MiddleName ChineseName OriginalLastName-HusbandsLastName! 

Post # 37
1110 posts
Bumble bee

I’m going to push my last name to the middle name spot. Don’t want a mouthful of a last name, and no one can pronounce my current last name anyway…so why make it more complicated? I’d like him to take my future maiden name as a 2nd middle name…that’s what my parents did. If We both had simple 1-2 syllable last names, maybe I’d consider hyphening. 

But then you have to take it into account when you have children. Do they get a hyphenated last name too? What about when they get married and want to incorporate their spouses names? And with the recent trend in double middle names, you’re talking names 6+ names long. 

Post # 38
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

View original reply
ToniToni:  I could not agree with you more!!!!

Post # 39
395 posts
Helper bee

I will not be hyphenating.  I like his name, and while mine will always be important to me, it does not take with it my true identity.  I am me regardless of what I am called.  

I really don’t care at all what any other person does with their name.  

“That which we call a rose by any other name may smell as sweet.” -about a man giving up HIS name, btw, which he agrees readily to do.

Post # 40
2417 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My ties to my family aren’t broken by changing my last name.  Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’ve always loved the idea of changing my name when I got married.  Doodling “Mrs. C” on things may or may not have happened after we got engaged.

I’m also not taking my maiden as my middle name.  


My best friend hyphenated, and just last week, she mentioned what a pain it is, because it’s long, and both of the names need to be spelled out to people.  Her name is actually too long to be on her credit card, so her first name is just an initial.

Post # 41
5648 posts
Bee Keeper

In the UK this idea of maiden name becoming middle name is unheard of. At least I don’t know anyone who’s done this or talked about it. Maybe like many things, the UK will pick up on USA trends in a few years. 

I would like like to hyphenate my surname with my husband’s to be, but our names are so similar it would just sound really odd. 

im very happy to be Mr and Mrs …….. , but I think I’ll probably keep my surname for work. It just seems easier. 

Post # 42
15 posts
  • Wedding: August 2016

In Canada we don’t have to change our last names, we can legally assume our husband’s name, meaning that on our drivers license, health cards, passports etc., we can use out husbands last name, maiden name or hyphenate. It does not change our birth certificates or social insurance cards. We also have a right to use both names. I plan to use my maiden name professionally and married name socially. I’ve built up too much of a career with my maiden name to want to change it professionallu, but it means a lot to him for me to use his name socially and I have no problem doing that, I’d change it professionally too if it wouldn’t cause more issues than benefits. 

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