August 4, 2009

When a man, marrying, takes his wife's last name.

Why does he do it?
I did it because I love Mona - because I wanted her to know that I didn't expect her to become anyone other than herself. It mattered to me that we shared a name, so I reasoned I should be the one to offer mine up. And a combination name like Neufeld-Thiessen would only solve the dilemma temporarily. Eventually a child of ours would bring this unwieldy last name to his or her own marriage - most likely to another hyphenee.
Some hilarious comments over there, like:
One question - when she divorces you in 5 years because she wants to be with a guy who actually HAS a pair, will you take your old name back?
(Link via Kerry Howley.)

What did Meade and I do, you may wonder? Well, we're not making any more children — unless we're given a miracle — so the "family name" issue was absent. I didn't change my name the first time I married, back in 1973, and I've already gone through all the struggles of not having the same name as my sons. I had to sit silently while the judge who granted my divorce lectured me about the problem of women not changing their names. He presumed to opine — based on zero evidence — that my failure to change my name was a causal factor in the divorce.

I kept my name a second time. Why? #1: My sons have the middle name Althouse, and I care about that identification. I'm also damned used to my name after all these years, and I've made it slightly famous. Of course, I could keep using Althouse professionally and still have Meade as my legal last name, but I can also do the reverse and use Meade in practice for any purpose aside from signing various documents. And, as that last point reveals, Meade didn't change his name to mine either.

100 comments:

Maguro said...

Plus you'd have to make a new tag - Meade + Meade - which is entirely too much trouble.

Nichevo said...

No one expected anything else from you. This is kind of like how you'll vote for Obama again in 2012.

bearbee said...

Is Meade related to Civil War General Meade?

John Thacker said...

In Japan, it's legally required that a married couple have the same family name. There are the rare birds who have gotten around it by marrying immediately before they have to perform some government regulation that requires it, and then divorcing. It used to be illegal to be a Japanese citizen with a non-Japanese last name, though now people who become citizens can have phonetic equivalents of their original last names.

However, there's a reasonable percentage of men who take their wife's family name. This is particularly likely if the wife is the only surviving member of her family in her generation, or her family is more prestigious/wealthier/owns a company named after them, or especially both.

TRO said...

If he didn't have that pesky E on the end of his name you could start your own beer label called Althouse Mead.

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

But the problem with this, Ann, is that it does NOTHING to piss off Andrew Sullivan and the chicks at feministing. I wanted you to have a big church wedding, with 8 bridesmades in puffy sleeves and white doves and an organist and all that crap. All just to piss them off. Who cares if it is not your style or what you two want? Weddings are not about the couple getting married--they are about pissing people off!

TRO said...

"But the problem with this, Ann, is that it does NOTHING to piss off Andrew Sullivan and the chicks at feministing. I wanted you to have a big church wedding, with 8 bridesmades in puffy sleeves and white doves and an organist and all that crap. All just to piss them off. Who cares if it is not your style or what you two want? Weddings are not about the couple getting married--they are about pissing people off!"

Althouse on Bridezillas? Think of the marketing possibilities!

Balfegor said...

In Japan, it's legally required that a married couple have the same family name. There are the rare birds who have gotten around it by marrying immediately before they have to perform some government regulation that requires it, and then divorcing. It used to be illegal to be a Japanese citizen with a non-Japanese last name, though now people who become citizens can have phonetic equivalents of their original last names.

Re: illegal to have a non-Japanese last name, the best story about that is Masayoshi Son. Zainichi Korean, richest man in Japan. Apparently, in order to keep his last name, he made his fiancee change her last name to Son, married her, and took her last name. Which was his original family name.

Relatedly, I believe the Japanese name law was enforced in Korea during the occupation as well -- I think my grandfather's name was Ikeda at that time, although I'm not sure of that.

Another interesting quirk about naming and marriage -- apropos of the forgoing -- is that Koreans do not take the name of the spouse when they marry. It's not clear to me why there is this difference between two populations whose customs are so similar in so many respects, but I think it's because other than the elites, most Japanese didn't even have family names until the Meiji Isshin, so they probably adopted the custom in imitation of Western countries. Korean family names, on the other hand, have been in use for over a thousand years.

rhhardin said...

Wodehouse got a lot of great British family names out of generations of hyphens.

Stephen Potter, too.

Balfegor said...

Wodehouse got a lot of great British family names out of generations of hyphens.

They really did do that -- look at the Gascoyne-Cecils (Marquesses of Salisbury), or the Fitzalan-Howards (Dukes of Norfolk).

Life in the Fifties said...

It's a lot more important how you say your sweetheart's name than whether or not you use it as your own. Everyone should enjoy their name.

I started using my husband's name long after we married. I told him after 10 years and 3 kids I guess it was going to last. Now it's 30 years, 4 kids, 1 in-law, a dog and 2 cats. I can't even remember their names.

Congratulations on actually getting married! That's the important part. All the rest is details.

reader_iam said...

Just don't call me late to dinner.

dbp said...

My wife of 17 years just got around to changing her name and it was a royal pain in the ass.

I never cared one way or the other, but she (after going through all this) wishes she changed it back when we got married.

I think she mainly changed it so that it would match the last name of our kids.

tim maguire said...

My wife kept her name and I occasionally needle her about it (she'll give in one day). I thought and think it's important for husband and wife to share a last name and we discussed several possibilities including doing a mash up of our names, but unfortunately they don't mash well.

My favorite option was for us to select an entirely new name we would both adopt. I lobbied hard for Gatsby, but nobody other than me thought it was a good idea.

In the end, we each kept our names.

dbp said...

Added: We had a researcher in our lab who is Greek. She told me that in her country it is illegal for women to change their name to match their husband's.

She said the logic of it was that if it was allowed then all women would be pressured into changing their name even if they didn't want to. I don't see how this improves things: Now, even if they want to change it they can't--equal and opposite lack of freedom.

Paddy O. said...

All good points, and pretty expected.

But, honestly, I was kinda hoping for a compromise. And in doing that, taking the blog to the next level: Meadehouse.

Sounds like a great place to hang out.

Juris Dentist said...

Some hilarious comments over there, like:
One question - when she divorces you in 5 years because she wants to be with a guy who actually HAS a pair...



This *is* hilarious, since one could ask Meade the same thing!

William said...

You both have value neutral last names. Neither name has negative undertones nor, for that matter, positive overtones.....I knew a woman who kept her husband's name even after the divorce and a subsequent remarriage. She liked having an Italian last name, rather than a WASP one. It made her feel sexier. She said that people reacted differently to her because of her Italian name.....Mickey Mantle had the greatest name for a baseball hero. Derek Jeter is the name of a back hollow moonshiner. Some people fulfill their name and some people defy it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I have a friend from school who added his wife's name to his. He sent me many angry, pro-Obama missives during the election. Not that those two facts are related.

Ron said...

Over at Trooper York's I dubbed thee Meadehouse a few months back! It does have a nice ring to it!

TitusAppalachinSpringthankyou said...

When I am marry my Indian husband with big arms and tits and a British accent, I will keep my name.

Because I can't pronounce his name and sometimes I even forget it.

You will be all invited to our Monsoon Wedding. Refreshments at The Kebab Factory right near by fabulous, expensive loft.

Rare clumbers will be holding each side of my train in their mouths.

NKVD said...

I asked my ex- to stop using my name - she refused. Didn't want to go back to her ethnic name. Bitch.

Knew a guy who changed his name to a hyphenated version of his and his wife's last names - too many syllables, two words that didn't go well with each other, and as it turns out, neither did they. They got a divorce and he had to change his name, again. Stupid.

A former girlfriend got married and she and her husband made up a non-hyphenated name out of their last names. Both of them changed their name, and as far as I know, it is a unique last name. That is an interesting way to approach it. Their new last name begins with them. Kind of cool, actually. Creative. No hyphens.

Donna B. said...

As long as the taxman knows where to get in touch with either/both of you, it doesn't matter what your name is.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Having seen comments like the one about the man "having a pair" because his wife abandons her name, and the thread on Volokh about it being unmanly to sit while urinating, I think manhood must be a very fragile thing. Back in the 70's (I think) there was a lot of palaver about the "fragile male ego". I thought that was a bunch of crap, but now I'm not so sure. Seems like it takes a lot of effort not to devolve from manhood, somehow. Eternal vigilance is required.

dbp said...

It is not that sitzpinkling will cause a man to become un-manly, it is just evidence that he already is a girly-man.

Same with the name change.

Synova said...

"I never cared one way or the other, but she (after going through all this) wishes she changed it back when we got married."

Changing your name is a PITA but it's always always less of one NOW than it will be LATER.

I can't imagine why Althouse or Meade ought to do so at this point in their lives though. Doesn't even make sense.

One of my roomates in college had a really great French last name (that I wish I could remember) passed down from some really really early fur trapper in the Dakotas. She was largely native American. She said she wanted to keep her last name because she was the last in her family with that name. I *like* that reasoning, even if I'm usually a traditionalist. The motivation is respect for family and family continuity.

What reasoning I find fault with is the "why should I change *my* name to *his*" thing as if it's some sort of contest. The answer is simple... because you LOVE him.

Don't you?

Synova said...

Oh, yeah... it is sort of fun to forget what your name *is* though... amid the sleep deprived fog of basic training.

And I'd only been married a couple of *years*. ;-)

Lou said...

I know a male attorney, who when he married in the '70's, gave up his last name in favor his new wife's last name. Some kind of token expression of the equal rights movement, I suppose.

Fifteen years later, he divorced, but kept his wife's last name after the divorce.

Then, he married again, and his new wife took his current last name, meaning the last name of his first wife. They then had kids, and all of the kids have the last name of Dad's first wife.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

dbp said...

It is not that sitzpinkling will cause a man to become un-manly, it is just evidence that he already is a girly-man.

Same with the name change.


And evidently a cause for deep anxiety and distress on the part of men who don't even know those girly-men. Why?

Skippy said...

I don't see why a man sitting to pee is such a bad thing. With many men's inability to get it all in the toilet, it seems like a more sanitary and polite thing. Too bad I haven't prevailed in that issue at my house.

As for name-changing, I didn't do it when I married. I was what I was, a Swede, and I couldn't see toting around a Polish-Hungarian last name. Why would I want to lose that identity of my beloved grandparents? And why do some men get so pissy about it?

knox said...

Boy, Juris Dentist is really bringing the envy!

knox said...

Well, we're not making any more children — unless we're given a miracle — so the "family name" issue was absent.

Last names? Whatevs... Meade promised me that child will be named "knox." Don't think I've forgotten.

John Althouse Cohen said...

What reasoning I find fault with is the "why should I change *my* name to *his*" thing as if it's some sort of contest. The answer is simple... because you LOVE him.

If it's just about "love," why is it a one-way street? That is, if there's a name change, it's always the woman making the change to the man's name (except in very rare cases like the one mentioned in this blog post). I thought the man and woman are supposed to love each other equally.

David said...

My wife kept the last name of her first husband, with my encouragement. It had been her last name for 35 years (she was married at 20), most people knew her by that name, personally and professionally and it was her children's name. I thought keeping the name was a no brainer. She wasn't completely sure, until she realized I sincerely did not have a problem with it.

Sometimes when we travel, she gets addressed by my last name, and less often I get addressed by hers. We just smile and respond without a correction. Why make it into a hassle? By now, we know who we are (and aren't) anyway.

So hooray for Althouse and Meade. They have two great names.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

"And a combination name like Neufeld-Thiessen would only solve the dilemma temporarily . . . "

Sounds a little like a Jew who married a Nazi--talk about kubmaya!

Freeman Hunt said...

From the article:

I wear my new name as proudly as I wear the tiny woman with braided hair I carved from a piece of antler and hung around my neck as a wedding ring.

Okay.

Paco Wové said...

Boy, Juris Dentist is really bringing the envy!

No kidding. AJD's so cute when he's choking on his own bile!

Freeman Hunt said...

This is why I took my husband's name:

(1) Because we would have children, I wanted us to have the same last name.

(2) I find hyphenated names illogical. What happens when X-Y marries A-B? Are they X-Y-A-B? Hyphenation just passes the conundrum on to your children.

Thus, I was left either with us taking my name or us taking his name.

(3) My husband wanted to keep his last name.

(4) Because of tradition, a woman taking a man's name is entirely unremarkable. Because of tradition, a man taking a woman's name seems very feminine.

(5) I like my husband's last name.

Fin.

dick said...

As with all the complaints about men leaving the seat up. Again men are, I guess, supposed to bow down to the superior feminist POV.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

(2) I find hyphenated names illogical. What happens when X-Y marries A-B? Are they X-Y-A-B? Hyphenation just passes the conundrum on to your children.

Actually, I've thought about that. What would be cool would be if the female children took the half of their name that came from their mother, and the male the half that came from their father, and carried those forward when they married. That way the husband, wife, and unmarried kids all have the same name, but you could trace the matrilinear line like you can the patrilinear line. Geneologists would love it.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

dick said...

As with all the complaints about men leaving the seat up. Again men are, I guess, supposed to bow down to the superior feminist POV.


You guess the feminist POV is superior?

I just never see the suggestion that if men don't leave the seat down, or whatever it is, the women in the household somehow will lose their femininity.

rhhardin said...

Last names are all fathers' names anyway.

chickenlittle said...

My wife took my name after we married.
We did give both our kids the same middle name: "van" which is both part of their mother's original name as well as reminder of their half Dutch heritage.

knox said...

Last names are all fathers' names anyway.

Okay, now the chicks at feministing are mad. Thanks a lot, rh.

NKVD said...

Look into how things are done in Iceland. Last names only last one generation.

chickenlittle said...

Look into how things are done in Iceland. Last names only last one generation.

yes but it's still patriarchal.

Olaf's two kids are: Sven Olafsson and his sister Sveta Olafsdottir. The mom is still left out.

knox said...

I kept my original last name because I love it. It went well with my first name: I used to get compliments, even. So I wasn't interested in giving it up, and my husband could care less.

Anyway, after we had our first kid, it was just too complicated. Take the kids to the doctor, or to school, and my last name is different from theirs. I got called my husband's name half the time anyway. So I changed my name. And I don't think I've thought about it once, since.

No way would I do the awkward hyphenation thing.

knox said...

"Olaf"

LOL

RLB_IV said...

Donna B @ As long as the taxman knows where to get in touch with either/both of you, it doesn't matter what your name is.

This is so true.

Although I have not been in the vortex for a great length of time, I would be surprised if they changed their names. This not 1909.

A professional women whose name is part of her brand would not make a change. An accomplished and intellectual woman such as the professor would not join with a man who was not her intellectual equal or a man who could not add a missing detention to her life.
That man would give her a new balance and that man is the Meadsteer.

In years past the formal letterhead would read, Mrs. Lawrence Meade. Those days are gone, for most part, but not completely. In our country the are people that hold fast to the "old Ways". The formality of the past lives in this country.

I was fascinated by the Althouse groupy men. This blog is very unusual.I cannot believe the Meade guy is not suitable. Here I go again, love after 50.

It is the team of Althouse and Meade.

So shall it be, let it be done.

chickenlittle said...

When Bertha Krupp's father commited suicide in 1902 she and her younger sister inherited the family armament business. When it came time to marry, her suitor prefixed her last name to his and become Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (it's was unfortunate that he already had two last names). Moreover, under the so-called Lex Krupp, only their oldest male child was allowed to carry on the Krupp portion of the name.

Methadras said...

Any man who does this loses my respect and loses the title of Man.

chickenlittle said...

An accomplished and intellectual woman such as the professor would not join with a man who was not her intellectual equal or a man who could not add a missing detention to her life.

I'll bet Meade missed a lot of detention in his day. :)

John Lynch said...

A blog called Meade. Eh. Althouse sounds better. No offense.

RLB_IV said...

My bad, as the kids say, too much Gray Goose. It is after five here on the left coast. I did say that this was favorite drinking blog. Cheers, more ice please.

NKVD said...

You say "patriarchal" as if that is a bad thing.

Now many women I know don't bother to marry and use their own last name (from their father, I guess) as the last name for their child. The model in the earlier blog has a granddaughter with the last name Sims. That is a case of 2 generations of women passing their last name on to their girl children.

chickenlittle said...

You say "patriarchal" as if that is a bad thing.

Did I? I didn't mean to. Actually, I think there's a certain genetic logic to the genealogy. It's analogous to the way a Y chromosome is handed down.

Synova said...

"If it's just about "love," why is it a one-way street? That is, if there's a name change, it's always the woman making the change to the man's name (except in very rare cases like the one mentioned in this blog post). I thought the man and woman are supposed to love each other equally."

Because taking his name when it is the cultural norm is not a statement and *not* taking his name *is*.

Instead of being about love or making a new family it becomes about (supposed) patriarchal dominance and holding the line on your own independence while supposedly going into a union.

Unless, of course, there is some other reason not to change names or to change in a way contrary to what is usual in our culture, and there are plenty to choose from. Lots of reasons and lots of other cultural templates that may apply.

But all else being equal, seriously... if you believe marriage is about the patriarchy and want to stay independent... maybe you ought to consider *not* entering a partnership.

James Frank Solís said...

Those concerned about children's last names could solve the problem the way Spaniards and other hispanics do (except those of us fully assimilated): The wife keeps her last name and the children get both last names. Thus my name, if my family still did things the traditional way, would be James Frank Solís Bernard. There is a way for a married woman to include her husband's surname: she adds the preposition "de" ("of") before her husband's surname. Thus my mother would be Sharyle Bernard Anderson de Solís. But that wouldn't sound as good in english as it does in spanish, I think. Now you know why hispanic names can be such a mouthful.

Synova said...

"Those concerned about children's last names could solve the problem the way Spaniards and other hispanics do..."

That ends up with the same problem that the Norse model has, if the "problem" is why does the male line dominate.

George Grady said...

I always figured that the reason patronymics and taking fathers' last names are so common is because it's obvious who the mother is; she's the one who gave birth to the child. Taking the father's last name or using a patronymic is making a statement: "This man is the father."

Skippy said...

My mother said, "Well, why are you getting married if you're not going to change your name?" (As if my mom would have been happy that I had merely moved in with a man without being married almost 30 years ago!)

There are legal reasons that a marriage is beneficial to both parties, rather than just living together. Tax benefits, for example. (Hey, how come our tax preparer always has me signing as the spouse all these years! Patriarchy! Grrr!)

Given that about 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and one has the complications of changing and undoing all those name changes, it may make things easier not to make a name change.

But it does make things more complicated with my dental office's billing and our insurance under my last name.

Skippy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Taking the father's last name or using a patronymic is making a statement: "This man is the father."

George makes a good point.

Synova said...

"...because it's obvious who the mother is; she's the one who gave birth to the child. Taking the father's last name or using a patronymic is making a statement: "This man is the father.""

Yes, very good point.

Edgehopper said...

What if I want to take my wife's name because my father's side of the family is downright evil, and I want their name terminated (I'm the last of the male line)?

Seriously, I expect that I'll take my future wife's name for that reason.

Ralph L said...

Althouse should hyphenate her name with Meade's first name:
Alt-Laur, the gangsta law professor.

Synova said...

I say go for it, Edgehopper.

Ralph L said...

All of them, Edgehopper? Remember, the paddy doesn't fall too far from the cow.

On the other side of the coin, I'm now disgusted that my step-monster took my dad's name.

AlphaLiberal said...

That judge sounds like a real wanker.

Donna B. said...

Genealogists want tradition so they can follow traditional clues. Children with the mother's name does not fit!

It's not a matter of right or wrong for a genealogist, it's a matter of can I prove this!

Though I have to admit that if you hit one of those "brick walls" it's much more difficult (ie, expensive) to chase the mother's lineage than the father's through DNA.

We hit one of those with my father and had his DNA checked. It came back matching a name nowhere close to his last name and the interpreters suggested that a "non-paternal event" had taken place.

If ever there was a stupid label for something, that's it.

Rob said...

Here we missed a golden opportunity. You could have given us a long and detailed story about the difficulty of changing your Blog's name and URL.

We could have commiserated about having to change our links and then we all could have had a two-to-three day debate about what to do with all of your blog subjects that contained Althouse.

Really, this whole thing about changing drivers license and credit cards is so 20th century...

Anne said...

Keeping my last name was never a big deal. Sure, it adds a sentence to the conversation when you're dealing with your children's doctor or teacher, but they catch on pretty quick. So do their friends.

And with all of the divorces and remarriages, it's not like it's a big deal for one family to have different names.

I just make sure to bring along a copy of their birth certificate whenever I take them out of the country -- to prove I'm their parent. I'm told immigration agents look for divorced parents trying to take their kids out of the country.

jacksonianlawyer said...

"Taking the last name of one's wife." Just another example of the feminization of the American male in this increasingly nanny-state in which we live.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

jacksonianlawyer said...

"Taking the last name of one's wife." Just another example of the feminization of the American male in this increasingly nanny-state in which we live.


Yes. Since to be female means to obliterate one's identity as soon as one finds a mate, taking his on instead, and since the government is making the men act that way, you are spot-on.

MadisonMan said...

My wife sometimes regrets taking my 9-character last name. Her original last name was a crisp 4 characters.

People who hyphenate are the people who take forever deciding what brand of detergent to use.

knox said...

People who hyphenate are the people who take forever deciding what brand of detergent to use.

LOL.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

As your fortunes are in part (now) due to name recognition, keeping your name makes sense. Hyphenating makes sense even. But for someone to curse children with hyphenated names is pure vanity. For a young woman who has not made a mark to hyphenate or refuse to take a name is to spit on marriage and tradition.

For a man to take his wife's name is pure sissiness on his part, and a sign that both don't understand their roles in western society.

We can thank the sort of folks who voted for Obama for that last one.

TosaGuy said...

The guy who gave up his name because he didn't want the wife to change a thing will end up being miserable because he will give up everything else about himself and not expect her to change a bit. There will be no compromise in that relationship.

Assuming another person's name does not subserviate one to another nor does not assuming another's name destroy one's sense of self.

In the case of the the sackless wonder mentioned above, it was not his decision that makes him a pussy, it is his reasoning for the decision that makes him one.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Mr. Thacker.

In Japan, sex with actual women is being replaced by anime-based masterbation and robots. The childless rate is skyrocketing, and they are actually selling manbras.

Not a real manly country, which is the point. No actual man with a pair of stones would take the wife's name.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

JAC,
Are you really so clueless as to western history and cultural tradition that you think the whole thing about name changing is about "equal love"?

The man is and has been the guardian of the family. The wife and kids take his name, letting all others know that if they mess with someone, they are messing with the family of "X".

Now,the Liberal Athiest/Liberal Jewish trend is to gut the expectations for manhood, in part because they are still marching to Stalin's orders, and in part because liberal athiests and liberal jews know that they are pathetic wimps and the easiest way for a wimp to soothe his ego is not to practice courage but to deride and degrade the couragious, and to redefine "manhood" down to their level.

This is why liberal men support laws restricting self-defense, and why they love movies that show women able to out-think and out-fight men. They love abortion because it eliminates male responsibility.

Ann, it looks like you raised your son to not understand masculinity or western tradition.

He posts here with his middle name prominent,living off of mama's glory, maybe hoping no one wil slam him, fearing mama's wrath/banishment.

MadisonMan said...

For a man to take his wife's name is pure sissiness on his part, and a sign that both don't understand their roles in western society.

We can thank the sort of folks who voted for Obama for that last one.

Barack Robinson has no ring to it.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

TosaGuy said...
The guy who gave up his name because he didn't want the wife to change a thing will end up being miserable because he will give up everything else about himself and not expect her to change a bit. There will be no compromise in that relationship.

Assuming another person's name does not subserviate one to another nor does not assuming another's name destroy one's sense of self.


TosaGuy, how do you reconcile these two paragraphs? They don't agree with each other at all.

William said...

The world is filled with Kunkelpharts and Lipschitzes who jump at the chance of assigning their last name to oblvivion. That is why so many of their women marry young. Males of that line should be allowed the same privilege.....Some names are worth an extra 100 points on your credit score. If my wife were named Rockefeller, Astor, or Vanderbilt, I would rejoice at the chance of sheltering my identity under that shady patronymic. I would sit to pee upon an ermine covered toilet seat.

Skippy said...

I knew a man whose name was Goon; when he married, he changed his name to his wife's to escape the problems his name caused. Knew a woman named Wiener who was glad to give it up, too.

TosaGuy said...

southern,

Read my third paragraph.

Perhaps I should have added that I think its great if a woman wants to keep her name.

In the case of the "man" in this dicussion, he could change his name to JimmyCrackedCorn and it would not matter if he simply wanted to do it and had a reason that did not destroy his sense of self.

However as he will eventually learn, marriage is a partnership and grand compromise between two people. To be successful, both people must become one, yet also maintain a sense of their own being. The REASON behind his name change (doesn't want her to change ANYTHING) shows that he has no sense of himself and will allow her to run all over him.

I find the reason for his action far more interesting than the action of the name change.

NKVD said...

I used to work with a guy whose last name was Pecker. At least he never got ribbed about that.

pj (lowercase) said...
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Ralph L said...

I know a married woman named Kay Klutz Clapp. Two hundred years ago, they spelt it Klapp.

chickenlittle said...

In fact, iirc, she only relented at the very end to allowing co-authorship credits at all - giving him the recessive hyphen position.

Why didn't she just get an anonymous donor?

BigFire said...

In Asian culture, it's not unusual for a groom to adopt his wife's surname when marrying. This is usually done for continuing the family name of bride's family. The actual process goes like this, the Bride's father adopts the groom, and groom is essentially marrying into his wife's family. The bride's family is also usually more prominent than the groom's.

One of my ancestor did that, which is the reason I pray to two ancestor plaque.

campy said...

'Cause anonymous donors don't provide $.

pj (lowercase) said...
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campy said...

Of course you (@campy and @chickenlittle) realize that women almost always have never had their birth name on the kids as such... so ask yourself, if it is no big deal, why is it such a problem?

I can't make heads or tails of this sentence, so I'll just say this: I have no problem with what anyone chooses to name his or her kid; I just answered a simple question.

chickenlittle said...

@pj: I didn't say it wasn't a big deal, but I think George nailed the answer to the "problem". It's almost too simple.

@BigFire: Why are male children preferred in certain asian cultures?

jacksonianlawyer said...

Speaking of last names, I once knew a young lady with the last name of "Clitsey."

They also say that folks used to be given last names based on their trade - "Smith," "Taylor," etc. I knew a guy with the last name of "Fingerpointer." Come to think of it, he was a rather judgmental fellow.

Gina said...

In medieval England, a husband would take his wife's surname if she had the bigger land inheritance. You go where your bread is buttered.

kentuckyliz said...

How is everyone else (who doesn't know you're a famous blogger) supposed to figure out that Meade now owns you?

kentuckyliz said...
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NKVD said...
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