What’s in a name? Well, a whole lot of gendered expectations, it seems. Changing your name is hard, and some would even suggest that the institution of marriage isn’t actually worth the paperwork. However, with time, came the evolution of last-name exchanges. Gone are the days when women didn’t question sacrificing their last names and adopting their husbands’.
Thanks to the feminist movement, women have challenged the notion that they were expected to change their name when they walked down the aisle. In the last 10 years, many women turned their backs on taking on their spouse’s last name and simply kept their maiden names (a term that is surely outdated in itself, but I digress). It seems like that would be the logical conclusion there - keep your name, or change it; it’s all a-okay now! However, a new trend has entered the chatroom, and we are now seeing a lot of people wanting it all. That’s right; the double-barrelled last name is coming in thick and strong with modern-day nuptials.
The pandemic changed a lot of things, and it turns out our last names were included. According to specialist name change lawyers, the number of people who wanted to include their maiden name increased by 30% between 2020 and 2021, which is the biggest jump to date.
Whilst the double-barrel is enormously popular now, it isn’t the only non-traditional option people are choosing. With the delay on weddings, engaged couples had more time to talk about what they wanted their forever names to be. Some couples are making the maiden name their shared middle name - Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz are now formally Brooklyn Peltz Beckham and Nicola Peltz Beckham. Then we have some people who are morphing their last names into one. Television presenter Dawn Porter changed her name to Dawn O’Porter when she married actor Chris O’Dowd. O’Good for her.
So what is in a name, you ask? Turns out, if you’re willing to do the paperwork, anything you damn well want it to be.