But now? We also have choices about our child’s last name.
For generations, when most American couples married, the groom’s name became the family surname. It was the default.
Then women started keeping their surnames. But the kids? They still (mostly) stuck with dad’s last name, becoming Jones, even though mom stayed Smith.
Or maybe, sometimes, both parents would hyphenate their surnames at marriage, and all of the kids would be Smith-Jones.
Except it turns out there are lots more options. And parents are considering them.
After all, not every couple is married. And same sex couples face a different set of decisions. The world, well … it’s changing.
It always changes, of course. But now we have the internet with which to dissect it.
Swistle talked about one possible alternative recently: what if the parents both kept their surnames, and then they gave one surname to their first child, and the other parent’s surname to the next child.
This story raised another perspective: does a less ethnic name shield your children? Or is it whitewashing? I keep wanting to say it is whitewashing, because, well, obviously that’s the point. Except that assumes that we’re not free to re-think surname traditions in the first place.
And I can think of a half dozen more possibilities, all rather complex when you really contemplate the details.
How did you go about choosing a surname – or surnames – for your family?
Speaking of change … did you read this tale of sixteenth century baby naming controversy? It’s all about Claude. Well, Claude … and whether parents’ preferences outweigh other considerations.
Did Taylor Swift reveal the name of Blake and Ryan’s third daughter? The couple has always been famously elusive about their girls’ names. But if all the speculation is right, she’s Betty – a little sister for James and Inez. If it’s true, it’s my runaway favorite of the trio.
Random fact: Taye Diggs is actually Scott Leo Diggs. The nickname came from “Scott-taye,” an exaggerated pronunciation of Scottie. How brilliant is that? Oh, and Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman? She’s Ann Marie. I love nickname stories like these two.
Hildegard, Rosamond, Leocadia! How amazing are these grande dame names?
We have winners in this month’s Summer Baby Names Showdown. The all-time champs are Theodore and Eliza. Love!
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading!