Last name(s) question

I’d like to hear what fellow berries would suggest about our last name dilemma. DH is basically set on giving his LN to our children. I’m not really going to fight him on this- he is the last male of his generation, so he wants to keep the LN going. I kept my maiden name when we married, and I would like to feel “related” by name to our kids, too. For reference, DH’s LN is Dutch, 2 syllables, and sounds like Beckers. My LN is British, 2 syllables, and sounds like Pretty.
We’re not so into the hyphenated LN idea.
What do you think of doing a double last name, with no hyphen? So Girls’ name Pretty Beckers or
Boys’ name Pretty Beckers?

If we go that route, do we give our children middle names as well? So then they have 4 names…? Also, if you have a double last name with no hyphen, does the 1st or 2nd last name ever end up getting dropped on forms or applications?

Alternatively, we could just use my LN as a MN for our child- if that route, do I only do that for female children, or for males as well? (My actual last name is not as girl-specific as “pretty”.)

Or, another option, 1st child gets DH’s LN and 2nd child gets my LN. Not sure how I’d feel about our kids having 2 different LNs. (We’re expecting our 1st right now but hope to have at least 2 children.)

So confused, and DH is not at a stage where he enjoys playing the name game, so I’d love your thoughts/advice.

Personally I would want my kids to all have the same last name if possible. I think using two last names would be fine, especially since both last names seem fairly simple and short. Using your last name as a middle name would work too.

I definitely would NOT give the kids different last names. That seems like unnecessary confusion to me.

I imagine that the second last name would get dropped often, but I’m not sure. I think that’s why people hyphenate.

I think giving the kids your last name as a middle would be nice. I’d use it as a second middle and put something else in the first middle spot, personally, but I know a lot of people use it as the only last name.

Now this is just my personal opinion, but I wouldn’t like to have both of my parents last names. It’s one thing for a woman to keep or hyphenate her last name when she gets married, but I don’t really like the idea of forcing two last names on a child. [name]Just[/name] my two cents.

I’m a regular on other boards where parents have alternated LN for their kids or have gone down gender lines. It’s not unheard of in more progressive circles.

[name]How[/name] do your names sound smooshed together? That is what my husband and I plan on doing. But if that doesn’t work, two last names are not a problem. [name]Just[/name] watch the Olympics and you’ll see plenty.

One of my good friend’s family has three girls and all have their mother’s maiden name as a second middle name. I thought it worked beautifully.

I think honestly that would cause less confusion than a double last name would, but that’s my opinion!

It’s a tough one to figure out!
Good luck to you!

I have my mother’s surname as my middle name and I love it. I’m not a fan of double middle names. If you give your child a meaningful middle name (as in your surname), why do you need another middle name? Also, if you give your child your last name and another middle name, one is likely to almost always be dropped. I would suggest staying away from unisex names for girls if you use your last name as a middle, though.

[name]Hi[/name]! [name]Just[/name] a few things I wanted to say…

  1. My mother has kept her maiden name, but none of us children have it. She’s fine with that, but if you aren’t, then don’t go with that option…

  2. A family I know has a mom with the last name [name]Kelley[/name] and a dad with the last name Swift. Each of them go by both, as in [name]Emmeline[/name] [name]Kelley[/name] Swift. That is one way to do it, and if so, I’d go with a shorter middle name - just one! - along the lines of [name]Emmeline[/name] [name]Claire[/name] [name]Kelley[/name] Swift. I’m not a huge fan of this because the last names don’t look like a unit; rather, [name]Kelley[/name] looks like a second middle name to me!

  3. I know another family who combined the parents’ last names. Mom was a [name]Faulkner[/name], dad was a Cooney, and the children all went by [name]Faulkner[/name]-Cooney. I think this works very well, personally…

  4. Another family I know has a mom with the last name Gruber and a dad with the last name [name]Maxwell[/name] (names have been changed). [name]Both[/name] children, one boy and one girl, have Gruber as their middle name, as in [name]Steven[/name] Gruber [name]Maxwell[/name] and [name]Alexis[/name] Gruber [name]Maxwell[/name]. This is also very nice! If you wanted to, you could make your last name the second middle name for each of your children…

  5. I’ve never heard of giving girls the mom’s last name and giving boys the dad’s last name - meaning I’ve never known someone to do that. I think it is pretty confusing and defeats the purpose of family to some extent. I know I would’ve felt weird if my brother had a different last name than me!

Good luck in your decision!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:


I completely understand where you are coming from. [name]Just[/name] a few thoughts…

  1. My mum kept her last name when my parents married, and me and my siblings received her last name as a middle, as well as another middle so my name was like this: [name]Elizabeth[/name] A… mum’slastname dad’slastname. I never had a problem with having two middles, I used both, or the initials.
  2. However, I don’t agree with just the man’s last name getting passed down to the children. I actually hate this so much I recently changed my last name to my mother’s. It feels great!
  3. I hate hypenated last names, they are too long and sound way pretentious.
  4. I think my partner and I have agreed to alternate last names for our children. Yeah, it might be weird to some, but so what? People need to be more open-minded, and this isn’t really this unusual in some circles. I think we’d do something like this:
    Child 1: FirstName MiddleName HisLastName MyLastName
    Child 2: FirstName MiddleName MyLastName HisLastName
    etc. etc. etc. That way they can decide later themselves if they want to keep using the last name they were given, use both, or switch! If you like this option, then I would say go for it! It may cause confusion at some points, but it’s easily remedied!
  5. If my partner and I could mash ours together and make a new name, I would do this. That way everyone has the same name but it’s everyone’s name, not just the man’s. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Maybe you could try this?

[name]Just[/name] my two cents.

Also, I made a thread similar a while ago, check it out, maybe something will stand out and help you out…

[name]Hi[/name]! [name]Just[/name] thought I’d put my two cents in, I have 2 surnames, those of both my parents, and don’t intend changing them when I get married. They’re not hyphenated, just a double surname, making a total of 5 syllables. I have a three syllable first name ([name]Sophia[/name]) and then two middle names, adding up to another 4 syllables. It’s a lot of names, but I love each of them. I always go by both names, and so do my siblings. My mother, without being evangelical about it, was a strong feminist, and I’ve inherited from her a pride in having a name that is my own, from both sides of my family! I have no idea what I’ll do for my own children, three surnames seems a bit much, even in my family (and my fiance’s surname is 4 syllables!) but for me it works perfectly. I take a great deal of pride in my surnames, and it’s never, ever been an issue in regard to legal forms etc. At the worst, sometimes (particularly on airline departure/arrival cards) I have to write my name in small letters, can you imagine the horror? :slight_smile:

On another note, I have an acquaintance whose maiden name was [name]Flannery[/name], and she married a man whose surname was [name]Drew[/name]. When they got married, they changed their surname to Drewery (which apprently, and I don’t know if this is true, means love) and that is the name they have given to their children. I thought that was quite cute.

Wow, thanks to all for your ideas and for sharing your experience. Although I grew up with step siblings and half siblings, resulting in 3 different surnames among 7 kids, I guess I still feel pretty strongly that I don’t want to give our children different surnames. So that option is out.
Unfortunately, my and DH’s names don’t combine well into one name, so that’s off the table, too.
I actually proposed the idea, before we got married, of coming up with an entirely new last name that we would both take. DH never warmed up to that idea… oh well.

I do like the idea of either giving my maiden name as a 2nd middle name, or as one of 2 surnames. The reason I would want it as a 2nd middle and not as the only middle is partly selfish (there are so many great names out there- do I have to limit myself to choosing 1 when naming this baby??) and partly out of the thought that we might want to use names from our genealogy as middle names. So we wouldn’t have the opportunity to honor my grandparents, for instance, if we don’t use 2 middle names (unless we were to use the grandparents names as first names, but I don’t like them enough to do that… selfish, again!).

I’ll keep doing some research into the double last name thing (non-hyphenated) to see how complicated it could get, although it sounds like it’s nothing more than a minor nuisance at times, and a head-scratcher to some people.

Thanks again for the advice!

When my parents got married my Mom took Dad’s name and added her maiden name as a second middle name. My brother has my mom’s maiden for his only middle name. My sister and I both have a middle name plus Mom’s maiden name as a second middle name. I think that worked well, we all have Mom’s maiden name somewhere. Although, I have never really used my second middle name, it is on my birth certificate but nowhere else. I don’t think it is officially part of my name anymore after I got married. :frowning: Oh, well.

I think you should either use both last names in some way, but use them as last names. My middle name is my mom’s maiden name, and I always really disliked it because my first name has no nicknames and I can’t use my middle name as a name. So I was always stuck with it. Also I have a unisex first name and so anyone seeing my name would usually assume I was a boy. So if you’re going to use your last name as one of your kids I would say that you should use it as a second middle name with another middle name. If you definately want to use it as a middle name, I would give your daughter a girlier/more feminine first name that has some different nicknames in case she doesn’t like it. I know I never liked being stuck with my one name option. I don’t mind it as much now, but it’s not what I would have picked for myself.

I don’t know if this would be the same for a boy, because lots of boys have last names as first names. So it would probably be easier for the boy to have your last name as a middle name.

I hope this helps =]