I have my father’s surname which I was given by my parents.
The reason behind this is because when my parents got married,
my mother took on my father’s last name,
in turn losing the surname that she grew up with.
And this wasn’t a one-off case.
Across the globe, the common tradition is that
when a man and a woman get married,
the wife removes her surname and takes on the surname of her husband,
in turn give that surname to their children and allowing that surname to carry on.
So how and why is this the case? When did this tradition start?
The name that follows your first thing takes on many names:
姓氏 姓 别名 家族姓氏
surname, a last name, a second name, a family name.
But the names for this name we are interested in: a maiden name and married name.
The term maiden name is the name for a woman’s surname before she is married,
while married name obviously being the name a woman takes on when she is married.
Along with surname changes, a woman also traditionally changes her title when she marries too.
三个常用头衔有 小姐 太太 女士
Three popular titles are Miss, Mrs and Ms.
Traditionally Miss is the title used for an unmarried woman,
Mrs is used for a married woman,
and Ms is used interchangeably for a woman who doesn’t want to use either of the other two.
Regardless of their marital status,
Ms grew in popularity for the 50s and 70s during women’s movements,
as the title should have the equal respect of Mr.
It is possible for men to have maiden names too.
我读过一篇文章 关于一个姓豪的男士 因为自己的妻子姓氏很特别
One article I read was about a man with surname Howe took his wife’s surname,
due to his wife having a rather unique surname,
and she came from a family of just daughters,
and he had brothers to carry on his name.
They decided that the Verhovek’s name would carry on in their marriage,
making his previous surname Howe his maiden name
from what he and I could gather is that
there isn’t another name for this.
It’s not called a paternal name or anything.
娘家名有源头可循 寓意为最早 首先 原始
Maiden has roots and was like earliest, first or original.
So it makes sense for a man’s original name to be called a maiden name, too.
Though in that after entering case, the husband took his wife’s surname,
and the more popular tradition is that wives take their husbands’ names.
So where did this tradition start from?
For this, we need to go back to England in the past.
To start with surnames weren’t all that important,
most people in medieval England were known by just their first name
which was cemented in Baptism and what they’re also known as Christian names.
然而 随着人口的增长 记录每个人的名字变得越来越困难
However, as the population grew, it got harder to keep track of everyone.
So surnames were formed too,
with surnames coming from places like a parent herd, your occupation,
or place of birth.
It was around the ninth century in England where this custom of women taking their husbands names
became more commonplace.
It was in this time lawmakers fought more into personhood in marriage.
And at this time of history,
women didn’t have the rights they do now.
Woman would considered one with the men in their life,
they took their father’s name and only changed it to
their husband’s name when they will wear it.
This was known as coverture.
它意味着 在一个女性结婚后 她的存在便消失了
And it meant that when a woman got married, her set for existence disappeared,
and the husband and wife retreated as one entity.
In the eyes of the law,
women would be seen as an extension of the man in their life
whether that be their father or husband.
Of course, as time has gone on,
this law of coverture has dwindled,
we’re women, we ought to keep our own names.
Changing your name after marriage also appears to be a fair bit of work
involving getting your marriage license,
then changing in all the appropriate places,
such as on your passport,
你的社保卡 驾照 银行账户
social security card, driving license, bank accounts,
all that kind of stuff.
I can understand how more women might be put off taking their husbands names,
especially if they’re as lazy as me when it comes to sorting our paperwork.
As well as there being enough time passing for women to no longer
have to take their husbands’ surnames.
Marriages have become more accessible to many more people.
在世界上的许多地方 男性可以与男性结婚 女性可以与女性结婚
In many parts of the world, men can marry men and women can mary women
which is awesome.
但是 当然了 我也不禁去想
But of course that got me thinking –
what are the name changing conventions when it comes to homosexual marriages?
Well, from one 2015 article I read, it seems
there aren’t any sort of traditions when it comes to name changes
in homosexual marriages.
Some couples keep their own names,
some took on other names,
and some double-barrelled their names.
There’s a lot of interesting points in the article which will be a link down below.
Some choose to keep their name for business reasons.
Tt’s the name their audience know them by.
And others change their name to their partner’s names solely
because it sounded nice and was easier to pronounce.
One couple Martha West and Tanya Khaliv asked
chose to host a football match.
然而 那篇文章说到了足球 然后嘘…嘘…
Well, the article says soccer but sh…sh.
The winning team would have their name used as the name in their wedding of marriage.
The match ended in a tie and the name is still being decided on.
All of this leads us to now 2019
unless you’re watching this in the future,
如果你真的是 也别忘了给我点个赞 订阅一下
and if you are don’t forget to like and subscribe.
What is the current state of wives taking their husbands names after marriage?
Well, it seems that more women than ever are deciding to keep their maiden names.
With roughly 20% of women choosing to do this
though that does leave eighty percent of women taking the tradition.
And that’s fine too.
I’m not here to tell you what to do.
But say if you are getting married and want to break the tradition,
well, here are some things you can do –
keeping your own name is a more acceptable option now more than ever.
But of course there’s the option I mentioned earlier
where the husband takes their wife’s surname which is too becoming more popular.
One article from the BBC spoke with men who took their wives names
and how they were treated for taking this seen as untraditional option.
一位男士说 他父亲认为 这是他家族所蒙受的最大侮辱
One man said that his father said it was the biggest slap in the face for him in the family.
Honestly, this concept of a husband taking his wife’s name
and the stigma that surrounds it
could be a video into itself.
There’s too the option of taking our double-barrelled surname
where both names are hyphenated as one name.
But of course with that comes the argument of whose name goes first.
A really interesting thing I read focus more on the name of your child and the name taken on during marriage,
and that’s the idea of blending both surnames together.
So if one parent is called Smith and the other called Jones,
you could take on the surname Smones as a married couple,
and in turn name your child that
leads into a new or awesome name.
Traditions are weird things.
Even the most open mind of us can find it hard to let go of certain traditions.
I know there are certain traditions in my life that I refuse to let go of.
But maybe it’s something we need to think about more in life.
No one gets arrested if you break a tradition.
But still we can find it so hard to let go of them.
And perhaps one of these interesting traditions to discuss is
the tradition of a wife taking her husband’s name.
Thank you to all my patrons
who support Name Explain on a monthly basis.
Name Explain depends on small monthly donations
from fans like you to help keep the channel running.
Just the small amount of two dollars a month helps out in a huge way.
Grants you patron exclusive Name Explain extras,
and gets your name here with all these awesome people.