Saturday, May 28, 2016

Multiplying Names.

I've blogged about names before, but here's something about them I haven't mentioned in previous posts.

In times past when a woman got married she left her "maiden name" behind and took her husband's last name as her own. That's how it was alwsys done. Period.

Today lots of people think that's sexist, and since it originated because women became the property of their husbands when they got married it certainly was in times past.  Today it's just traditional.

But in our time when people marry they often share each others' surnames.

For example if Mary Jones and Bob Black get married they may become Mary Jones-Black and Bob Jones-Black. And their children may (or may not) use the combined names as their own.

But what would happen if they do, and then Susie Jones-Black marries Jim Brown-Smith? Should they and their children have the last name of Brown-Smith-Jones-Black?

And what if those children were to grow up and carry on that tradition with their own kids. In a few generations people would have surnames so long they could hardly remember them!

Of course this isn't likely to happen, but it's amusing (to me, anyway) to think about.

2 comments:

Penelope Cole said...

Hi Janet,
I like the Spanish way. The mother has her own name, the father is own name, the children take a name from each parent. For example. Carolina Sofia Garcia Delgado marries Jose Miguel Francisco Blanco. Their children are Maria Theresa Francisco Garcia, and Rosa Lolita Francisco Garcia. Then when their children marry, the tradition continues. But w/ each subsequent generation, one name is lost, I think.
Here's an example from Wikipedia (that even confused me more):
For example, if a man named Eduardo Fernández Garrido marries a woman named María Dolores Martínez Ruiz and they have a child named José, there are several legal options, but their child would most usually be known as José Fernández Martínez. Very strange. I liked it when girls were given their maiden name as a middle name, so that their family name wouldn't be lost. So I would be Penelope Anne Cole and when I married I'd be Penelope Anne Cole Smith. Or even drop the Anne or hyphenate it: Penelope-Anne Cole Smith. Then my kid would be Katy Cole Smith Leong. Something like that. I guess that's why Europeans have such long names--to honor both sides of the family. I just hate it that the woman's maiden name would be lost. But I think the hyphenated names have gone out of fashion and a lot of newlyweds are keeping their own name, especially if their education and work experience is in their maiden name. I've seen women change their names because they didn't like their name.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Yes, sometimes old ways made better sense than modern things. I was taught that a maiden name was automatically inserted between a woman's middle and new last names, but didn't realize that wasn't legally automatic. I never used my maiden name that way, but thought it was still there, if invisible. Of course with all the identity theft going on today I wouldn't want anyone to know my kids' mother's maiden name.