Why have one name when two is far more interesting!
Double-barrelled names are apparently becoming all the rage. In a recent article from the Huffington Post it would seem that if you want to be keeping up with celebrities, your new baby girl has a hyphen. Boys usually have just the one christian name but those with two are on the increase.
I’ve always had an interest in names since I heard that ‘Phillipa Phillips’ was taking part in the radio quiz for schools Top of the Form centuries ago. I found it hard to imagine who would think of putting those two names together! It does roll off the tongue though I suppose.
I seem to look at these things with a teacher’s eye and think of school registers and exam papers, neither of which have a very big space for the name. Of course the little one also needs to be able to spell their names long before exams loom. I have had experience of parents adding both their surnames together so you get double-barrelled names at the end. If you also add two christian names to that it make for a huge space being needed!
In trying to get my head round this increasing trend, my thoughts have been around the surnames. The tradition of taking on your husband’s name when you marry is not for everyone and many women are choosing to keep their maiden names. Also, many couples are choosing not to get married so that does present a decision about the surname for their children. Putting them together does solve that problem but we know how important your christian name is in giving you an identity – does the same apply to the surname? I know of friends who have remarried and changed the children’s surname to their new husband so it is very important to some people. If it is part of your identity, can it cause confusion if you are one who has double-barrelled names?
Whatever the answer, I put my teacher hat back on my head and think about that daily register and the possibility of calling ‘Daisy-Mae Smith Jones’.
However, it isn’t a problem for one of our successful athletes Katarina Johnson-Thompson. They manage to get her name on her vest when she represents the country and the commentators are able to pronounce it when following her events in the decathlon.