Thursday, May 19, 2011

To hyphen or not to hyphen...

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about how Miranda Lambert changed her name to Miranda Shelton. She will still use "Miranda Lambert" as her stage name though. They asked listeners if they changed their names, kept their names, or hyphenated their name.
I was SHOCKED at how many people called in and said they hyphenated their last name. I think only one person said they changed their name. It surprised me. I changed my name and I was actually excited about it. My maiden name was pretty generic so I was excited to get a unique name. It still hasn't grown old when people mispronounce or misspell my last name. I actually love it. Of course, my maiden name was a part of me for 24 years and I have thought about making it my child's middle name.
I had a friend who kept her maiden name because it was a cultural thing. She is a high powered exec at GM and when her parents came to visit her and saw their last name on the door, it was very special for them.
Everyone has reasons for keeping, changing, or hyphenating their last name. I'm not judging. I just find it extremely interesting to hear why people chose what they do.
So tell me. What did you decide to do and why?

24 comments:

Samantha said...

I made my maiden name my second middle name. I didn't want to lose my original middle name because it is the same as my grandma's name, but I also didn't want to lose my maiden name. I am now "Samantha Middle Maiden Last"

I can drop the original middle name if I want to be "Samantha Maiden Last" (my licensing/professional certificate/resume, etc.) but usually I am "Samantha Middle Last". My driver's license couldn't fit all 4 names so that has "Samantha Middle Initial Maiden Last". I just have a plethora of names/options I guess :)

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I dropped my maiden name all together. There was never a question in my mind I would take my husbands name. For me getting married was creating a new family so it only made sense we have the same name. We knew all along we'd be having children and I didn't want to burden them with a hyphentated last name or give them a last name that wasn't the same as mine or my husbands.

I don't care if other women choose to keep their maiden name, it just wasn't for me.

Lauren said...

I dropped my maiden name, but certainly would have liked to have kept it as my middle name (it just didn't work as a middle name) since I work in our family business that operates with our last name!

I never thought it was an option of dropping my name. I know who I am and where I came from and that's all that matters to me. I guess to each their own, but I think when you join to your husband that means you need to show that you are a complete family unit and unified in all ways...not just a hyphenated version.

The Shabby Princess said...

My mom took her husbands last names--she was married three times, I was born as the child of her second marriage, and her only child. When she married her third husband when I was in high school, she hyphenated her last name because she still wanted to have the same last name as me, which was really special to me.

I took my husbands last name, but, I never really liked my maiden name. Although, my dad only has daughers, so, the last name essentially dies with us. Sad face!

Courtney said...

I dropped my maiden name all together. My husband was really surprised, but I'm just a really traditional girl :)

Sunshinemeg said...

It is an interesting topic. Insted of dropping my maiden name or using a hypen, I chose not to get ride of anything. What I mean is that I know have 2 middle names. I'm Megan (middle name) (maiden name) (married name). I didn't want to change any part of my name because it is who I was before I met my husband.

Having 4 names gets spacey on things like passports and drivers licenses though = ) For me it was right.

Kristi McInerney said...

I dropped my maiden name "Mckinney" and went to "McInerney" lol, I was happy to take my husband's last name and actually they are super similiar! My students totally approved!

Katiellirb said...

I dropped my maiden name too. I would love to add it as a child's middle name or even my mom's maiden name "Riley" as child's first name.

Jessica said...

I chanaged my name and took my husbands. Call me traditional, but that is what I grew up knowing. It all goes back to a woman and man leave their parents to become one unit not a hyphenated unit lol
but to each their own, times are changing that is for sure!

Newlywed Next Door said...

I took my maiden name as middle name (WHICH WAS A GIANT PAIN WITH CA DMV!) and changed my last name. I love my new name. I don't really like hypenating -- I'd rather just keep my maiden name rather than hypenate. That's just me.

A New England Girl said...

I haven't gotten married yet, but this is something I think about a lot. My last name is very unique, and I have always been proud of the way it connects me to a large extended Italian family. It's a name I wouldn't want to lose, but I'm not sure I would it attached to another name by a hyphen. Keeping my last name and just adding my future husband's name (whoever that may be) might be the way to go... but, who knows.

Café Moka said...

Women that get married here, in Québec, can't change their last name, they keep their middle name (since 1981 I think, it's the law in Québec!) But in other Canadian provinces, women can take their husband name!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

this is a great post! i am definitely adding his name to mine. my last name is already hyphnated and long but the idea of losing my last name is a really difficult process! i do want to just have my first name and my husband's last name for work purposes but for all legal documents it will be the first name, my last name and his last name! everyone has to do what is right for them!

USCEmily said...

I'm very traditional, so I'll be taking my fiance's last name as my own. I'll drop my current middle name and keep my maiden name as my middle name. I work for a University, and in academia, it seems like very few women take their husbands' names, which makes it a pain in the a$$ to send them invitations to things, etc. But, to each his own!

Caroline said...

I dropped my middle name, and kept my maiden name as my new middle name. One caveat to this- I had already established myself at my company (which is huge), so I did not want to anyone to be confused as to how to find me. So for work, I chose to hyphenate my old last name & new last name. It flows really well. However to everyone else (friends, family, etc), I'm Caroline Gray.

Anne said...

I changed my name… part of the biblical principal of “leaving and cleaving” I guess.

Mrs. S. said...

I dropped my maiden...I have a broken relationship with my father now and was ready to be rid of it. My mom is remarried and we didn't have the same last name anymore, so there was no connection to my maiden namw.

Megan said...

I dropped my maiden and took on my married name! :) I never even questioned that.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I dropped my middle name and took the hubs' last name. That seems to be the popular choice down here. I do love my original middle name though and want to use it for a daughter one day. I also love my maiden name and want to use it for a boy name one day.

The Pink Owl said...

When I was married, I changed my name. It wasn't easy getting my maiden name back when I got divorced. When and IF ;) I ever marry again, I will either hyphenate or just not change my name at all. I guess I felt like I lost my identity in my marriage (hence, a divorce) and getting my maiden name back was such a relief. I have a very unusual last name and even though I hated it while growing up, I'm very proud of it today. :)

Erin said...

I never questioned it, either. You're starting a new family and are under the headship of your husband :)

It kinda makes me giggle when women say they keep their maiden names because their identity doesn't "belong" to a man...but you either have your dad's name or your husband's! Sorry, sisters!

Robyn said...

I dropped my maiden name when I got married. I am very traditional and the thought to still use my maiden name didn't even occur to me. Now 4 years later, hearing my first name and maiden name together sounds so foreign to me. It doesn't fit anymore!

Glamorous Newlywed said...

I know a lot of people have dropped their middle name and used their maiden name as the middle name and married name as the new last name (does that make sense?) That would probably make legal documents, bills, etc easier to keep in order... but I really like my middle name so I kept it and changed my last name :)

Wow, that was kind long, and pretty rambling. Sorry to anyone who had to read it!

Jen Caputo said...

I don't want to hyphen because I don't want me kid to have to deal with it but I'll be honest. I haven't gotten around to changing my last name yet. It just seems like such a hassle and I like "Caputo" better than "Murphy" :P
I'll definitely get around to changing it before I have a kid (if I do), but for now, I don't really see the point.