Thank you for reading's Culture articles.

What's in a Name?

 article about Names and their meanings
Not one to usually drone on about my personal problems and label it
journalism, this is one problem that affects a large amount of us at
sometime in our lives. Having been with my boyfriend for five years
this month, the idea that I may be with him for life seems to be
becoming ever more evident.

I don't mind this: being an independent, know-my-own-mind, even (gasp!
heaven forbid!) a feminist kind of gal, I still believe in marriage and
all that goes with it. Of course, as any self-respecting female knows,
the word obey will have to be omitted from the ceremony and replaced
with something more 21st century, and likewise husband and wife will
substitute man and wife. We will both wear wedding rings.

With English laws now stating you can get married virtually anywhere,
the church will probably not be involved either as neither of us is
religious (please note, boyfriend, in how much detail I have planned
this already). However, though Im a modern girl I still like to believe
in this traditional ceremony. Even without the religion, it is a great
way to show each other, and our family and friends, that were willing
and happy to commit to each other for life.

One thing
troubles me though, and I can't seem to come to any satisfactory
conclusion. Its the name thing. I want to keep my own surname. I have a
crap, boring, common-as-muck name, but I like it. It is my family name
and I also (against all odds) like my family. Plus, if I take my
boyfriends name, Ill be hence known as Gemma Jennings. Try saying that
on a rowdy hen night. Anyway, why should it be that us girls that have
to take their surname? I could, theoretically, force my surname onto
him, but then thats just hypocritical. Plus, it would guarantee his
family and friends would gossip about me for years afterwards: secretly
berating me as one of those pretentious hairy feminists and chortling
that he is most certainly under the thumb. Whats a girl to do?

know theres the double barrelled possibly which is becoming
increasingly popular, but this is just a short-term solution, surely?
If I have children and they want to do the same thing it will lead to a
triple-barrelled name, e.g., Coleman-Jennings-Smith and if they marry
another doubled-barrelled person, it will even be a quadruple-barrelled
name? E.g. Coleman-Jennings-Smith-Jones. Ridiculous. Then if they have
children It would go on and on until we all ended up with surnames as
long as a dictionary. Perhaps wed shorten the surnames to merely
initials and then wed sound like Daleks or Star Trek extras: E.g.,
Gemma CJSJ. Exterminate.

I have often thought perhaps a
merging of the two surnames would be a better solution and would
actually be good in reflecting the two lives merging into one
partnership. For example, if Jane Smith married John Jones, their
surnames would become either Smones or Jithor something not-as-crap
sounding. At least you would have a choice about what name to choose.
You could then courteously annihilate some dodgy passed-down family
name such as Bent or Focker (remember Meet the Parents?) Of course, you
would get to choose which merged name to take and happily forget about
certain iffy ones. For example, if a Mr. Wayne married a Ms. Conker,
Coyne would be the obvious preferred choice

jokes aside, I think I worry too much. Perhaps youre even wondering why
Im bothering to fret: I sound like a rambling, cat-owing maniac, whom
no one would be as stupid to choose to actually marry.

what surname you have doesn't really matter these days. As long as the
marriage is an equal partnership, what does it matter what moniker you
have? is it really worth the hassle just for the principle of...a word?
Which is all that it is really. As someone more literary than me once
said: 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So if I become
Jennings, Coleman-Jennings, Jenman, Collins (see, those mergers aren't
all that bad!), or even if I stay plain old Coleman until the day I do
change into that smelly old cat-lady, as least I'll know I'll always
pong this good.

have your say

Welcome to TheCheers! We've been around for a long time now, since 2004, publishing articles by people from all over the world. Roughly 300 people from 30 different countries have written for us over the years. Should you want to become a volunteer contributor, be sure to contact us!

Additional info

Some of our content may be related to gambling.

get in touch

You can contact us via the email you can find on our contact page, via telegram @thecheers, or through our The Cheers Facebook page. No real point in contacting us through The Cheers Twitter account.