What is origin of hyphenated or double-barreled surnames?

Back in days of yore, names were closely tied to notions of inheritance. If a family lacked any male descendants, creating a double-barrelled surname was a way of preserving a name that would otherwise have died out – and of keeping the estate in the family (just think of the plot of every other costume drama…).

When did double barrel surnames start?

According to Dr Sophie Coulombeau, the habit began in the 15th Century and had become widely adopted by the 17th Century. Prior to this, a married woman was considered to lose her surname upon marriage and have no surname whatsoever!

Why are some surnames hyphenated?

Hyphenating your last name allows you to maintain your identity while also accepting your spouse’s. Your friends, colleagues, and clients won’t lose track of you after your name change. Keeps your professional identity. Hyphenating can be great if you use your current last name for professional reasons.

Are double barreled surnames posh?

Even allowing for the fact that football is becoming a more middle-class profession, these numbers suggest that a double-barrelled name no longer denotes the upper tier of society. But double barrels are caught in their own double bind – no longer posh, yet still taken as such.

Should double-Barrelled names be hyphenated?

Hyphen or no hyphen? Again, it’s a matter of choice whether you decide to double barrel with or without a hyphen. In fact, this can even vary within the same family: the comedian Sasha Baron Cohen keeps his two surnames separate, whilst his cousin Simon Baron-Cohen links them together.

Can a child have a double barrel surname?

Yes, you can choose to double barrel your child’s name. If you and your spouse don’t share the same last name but you want to make sure that you both share a last name with your child, it’s possible to pass on both names to the child in the form of double barrelled or hyphenated surname.

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