Talk:Double-barrelled name

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The Article Title[edit]

Isn't the term double-barrelled name slang? Shouldn't this article be moved to hyphenated name? Michael Hardy 17:44, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No, it's not slang, and not all double barrelled names are hyphenated (see article). Don't move. Zeimusu 14:20, 2004 Sep 4 (UTC)
(Why shouldn't i move? Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see that you've creeped me out? [wink])
--Jerzyt 16:42, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I saw this article's title two years ago, and immediately understood it, as did my usage expert just now. But neither of us remembers seeing it before, and i (an inveterate terminology collector and in particular a naming-convention buff) i have definitely not seen it elsewhere since became aware of it.
It has the virtue of being easily understood at least by Yanks, but the problem of being not widely known, and being a metaphor drawn from the lore of an unrelated field that is not necessarily well-understood outside the gun-crazy USA.
IMO we need verification that this is "not slang".
--Jerzyt 16:42, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, my dictionary (Readers' Digest Universal - not the OED but reliable enough as a first guide) describes the application of "double-barrelled" to surnames as a British usage, so you may be on the wrong track assuming it to be a US thing. More to the point, the question of how easily understood this term is only really arises if there is a reasonable alternative. I have never heard any other term that would cover double-barrelled surnames except for "hyphenated", which is just wrong, as explained above. Mattley (Chattley) 17:40, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
I finally did a search instead of just chattering, hoping to find out what genealogists call them. While IMO it still leaves the slang question in doubt, What's in a Name? : HULLAND says that
  1. The usage goes back at least to 1848 (at least with contemptuous intent).
  2. The practice only to about 1700.
  3. Curiously, double-barrelled firearms were so called starting about that time.
  4. It originated when potential heirs fulfilled the provision of wills whose creators intended to perpetuate their respective surnames, even if their male line of descent died out.
No indication though of what they were called in print before 1848, nor how old the author's term "doubled forms" is. I think all of this is ground the article should cover; it's a pretty casual source to be cited alone as verification, but justifies a search for other sources. (And BTW, i guess it stands proven that the double-barreled shotgun is well known to the gun-crazy British upper class, which i should have anticipated since it's a hunting weapon. [blush])
--Jerzyt 02:52, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Although I do find the word "barrelled" spelled as such outside of Wiki, I don't find it in Merriam-Webster's dictionary. According to Webster, the correct spelling is "barreled." Okietexan (talk) 18:20, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

That's a US dictionary. The UK spelling uses two Ls. Timrollpickering (talk) 19:13, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Associated circumstances[edit]

Particularly associated?[edit]

They are particularly associated with English-speaking countries.

Is this true? They certainly aren't exclusive to English-speaking countries, but are they even particularly associated with English-speaking countries? What countries do not have double-barrelled names, for example? —Gabbe 10:40, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)


I know many families who in recent years have adopted double-barrelled names from a concern with feminist issues. Would a paragraph on this usage be out of place? Philthecow 03:50, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

No, madam, I do not think that it would be, but it should not be overly emphasised. --Anglius 03:52, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
It's not a long term solution though: when we're all double-barrelled then the only way to give equal weight will be to go quadruple barrelled and so on!! (talk) 20:12, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Picking up on Philthecow's suggestion from ten years ago, this now seems extremely common (at least here in the UK) and needs to be reflected. I now also know couples who splice their names in to one, making a new name, eg 'Woodley' from Woodward and Handley. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:06, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

In French[edit]

Apparently arbritrary double-barelled names have been legalised in France recently. The practice is to use a double-hyphen "--" , (not just a long hyphen!!), to distinguish from the historic double-barelled names that were already in use. ! Morwen - Talk 11:35, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sir, (as for the aristocratic surnames) if both of the original surnames that one of them is comprised of begin with de, does the double-barrelled surname have both them(e.g. de Gaulle-de Noialles)? --Anglius 03:52, 16 November 2005 (UTC)


Article says: Notable persons with unhyphenated double-barrelled names include two former British Prime Ministers, David Lloyd George and Andrew Bonar Law, and the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill should be included! He is an agnatic Spencer, with Churchill added after a Spencer married the daughter of heirless Duke of Marlborough. --jamesdowallen at gmail

Well not really as for Winston's branch of the family (starting with his father) the given surname was just "Churchill". "Spencer Churchill" has appeared on some books but this was mainly Winston the Brit wishing to distinguish himself from "Winston Churchill the American". Really the person should be widely known by the double-barrelled name to be mentioned.
And was "Bonar Law" a double barrelled surname or not? His son, a middle ranking politician in later decades, appears to have always been called "Richard Law". Timrollpickering 15:58, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Forename Bonar, surname Law. DuncanHill (talk) 15:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

In Holland[edit]

Gentlemen, other than the Dutch Royal Family's surname, are there Dutch double-barrelled surnames that are hyphenated?--Anglius 21:06, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I have the impression the answer is yes, but i am unsure whether i am just thinking of Per Brinch Hansen (a Dane whom i had confused in my mind with the Dutchman Edsgar Dijkstra), or whether i had noticed a real Dutch example, which i put together with PBH making (supposedly) two Dutch examples.
--Jerzyt 14:45, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
When this query bears fruit, don't say "Holland", which is a region of the Netherlands.
--Jerzyt 16:42, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate your explanation and advice, hr.--Anglius

Going to Extremes[edit]

Are there any extremely long surnames anywhere in the world (for instance, van Oranje-Nassau-Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov en Mecklenburg-Schwerin aan Lippe-Biesterfeild van Pruisen)?--Anglius 04:31, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Holstein-Gottorp, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Lippe-Biesterfeld, etc, are properly territorial designations. The others are house names. As for surnames, I have only encountered up to triple-barrelled surnames, although there are names created for the sake of length. Charles 21:50, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I thank you, sir, but I added (and attempted to Dutchify) those house-names and designations together to bestow an example.--Anglius 00:19, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, Admiral Drax had 4 all hyphenated together. (Morcus (talk) 16:42, 30 December 2009 (UTC))

Scope of the term[edit]

_ _ While i said "double-barrelled name" is immediately understandable (at least to me and some others), the article's examples do not cover the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking convention that is part of the natural understanding of the term. I describe this convention as a single-generation-long version, where in every generation

  • the children have the first half of their father's d-b'd surname, followed by first half of their maternal grandfather's d-b'd surname, but
  • the husband's surname is not affected by marriage, and
  • (i assume) the wife either takes the husband's full surname or retains her own.

_ _ I also doubt the distinction is adequately made between these forms and the other forms of what i call (in LoPbN hdgs) a compound surname: multi-word surnames where some words (usually all but one) are prepositions, articles, or a few other modifying words including St. or Saint (in English) (and perhaps Mt., Mount, or Mont, as Montcalm, Mountbatten, and Montjoy hint at).
--Jerzyt 16:42, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Sources and accuracy of data[edit]

Well, the page is already flagged not citing sources, and that truth is rife. But I'm here to comment on a few instaces where I'm certain the infrmation is wrong. Sasha Baron Cohen isn't a Double Barrelled name, as far as I'm aware. I'm of the understanding his middle name is Baron, and I can't be certain, but i believe others included where it states "non-hyphenated names" are also middle names or pseudonyms, in which case, a pseudonym is either and alias or a language differentiated name. If the title is simply different due to a language barrier, then it may well be considered double barrel (unless, of course, it's an Eastern name, in hich case the matter may vary). The context does howwever differ if the name is a fictitious alias or a "user elected" alias, whereby a name was added as a result of simple personal prefererence. In these cases, the person may still be considered double barrelled, however it is to that person's own discretion and not to the discretion of people deliberating on the Internet.

In short, I think Cohen should be removed along with anyone else whose names are not accurately described as being "Double Barrelled".

--lincalinca 12:05, 4 November 2006 (UTC)!!?!? Confused-tpvgames.png

You need to read the WP bio, and if you don't trust your colleagues who wrote it, the second 'graph of one of its refs.
--Jerzyt 02:07, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

North American vs. British Usage[edit]

Would it be safe to state that there is a difference in the composition of double-barreled names? The Spencer Churchill usage mentioned here was quite accurate: Anne Churchill married a member of the Spencer family & so the line of Dukes of Marlborough could continue (reasonably) unbroken. The UK practice (and perhaps also among some older American families where the wife's heritage was thought "superior") is to have the mother's surname after the hyphen, both as a deference to superior family connections on the mother's side and to delineate "natural" children (not born within a marriage). In North America the application is most often an extension of the older social convention of listing a woman's surnames in the order in which she has taken them on (maiden, 1st married, 2nd married.) Hence, the oft-quoted mouthful of monikers of one Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton (Burton again in more humourous references) Warner Fortensky. Moreover, some more formal etiquette books (Emily Post is one, I believe) dictate that a woman's maiden name supplant her middle name in such uses as monograms or signatures in which she would provide initials. In Canada, while the American practice is more familiar to the general public, in certain more formal settings such as religious services the British practice is often followed. 06:36, 13 January 2007 (UTC)Kelly

Hmm. My own double-barrelled name is the reverse - it was created a generation after the two families came together (and isn't held by other branches of the family) and has the woman's (in this case the mother's) maiden name first. I'm not sure all modern double-barrelled names are created according to any strict style. Timrollpickering 12:48, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The "female-line name second" method (the "Spencer-Churchill system", I suppose) is very much the exception rather than the rule. Most double-barrelled surnames (at least in my experience) are the other way around. Sticking purely to the nobility (which is where the most examples can be found), the Gordon Lennoxes are patrilineally Lennoxes, the Montagu-Douglas-Scotts are Scotts, the Innes-Kers are Kers, the (Sutherland-)Leveson-Gowers are Gowers, the Child Villierses are Villierses, the Fiennes-Clintons are Clintons, the Chetwynd-Talbots are Talbots, the FitzAlan-Howards are Howards (and the Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenvilles were Grenvilles). (There are some counter-examples (the Mountbatten-Windsors being Mountbattens is the obvious example), but there tends to be a good reason for them, and the default placement tends to be the other way around.) In non-noble families, the reason can sometimes be a woman with a posh-sounding surname marrying a man with a very ordinary surname and not particularly wanting to sound ordinary, and so the couple adding the two together, almost always with hers first (hence the abundance of Something-Smiths and Something-Joneses (but hardly any Smith-Somethings (pace Lord Derby) or Jones-Somethings)). I've never heard of any connection between double-barrelled surnames and illegitimate children (and one can hardly imagine that the nobility would be so keen on them were that the case). And the American maiden-name-prefix custom doesn't create double-barrelled surnames, it creates different forenames (Jane Mary Smith becomes Jane Smith Jones, but her surname changes to "Jones", not "Smith Jones", with "Smith" simply replacing "Mary" as her second name — she'd now be called now "Mrs Jones", not "Mrs Smith Jones"), and so isn't comparable. Double-barrelled surnames, on the contrary, seem to be almost unheard of in the US (which is presumably one of the reasons the stereotypical Englishman (probably called Rupert or Jeremy) always seems to have one in American fiction). Proteus (Talk) 23:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure about the nobility but I have known a number of people who have double-barrelled surnames combining their unmarried parents' surnames - presumably though this is a modern convention in a society where illegitimacy doesn't carry a stigma (and also the name doesn't automatically scream "illegitimate").
There are also cases where the woman's family name was added because otherwise the name would die out (my own is one). At a guess there may well be a significantly higher proportion originating in the immediate post war years/generation. Timrollpickering 01:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Well this is often sort of the reason in the nobility, when property is inherited through the female line, sometimes with the name change forced by someone's will (Henry Smith, 15th and last Baron Smith, leaves the estate of the Barons Smith to John Jones, 9th Baron Jones (his eldest daughter's husband), on condition that he takes his surname, and so the latter becomes John Smith-Jones, 9th Baron Jones). And I'd imagine now that there are a great number of reasons for taking double-barrelled surnames (including illegitimacy) — I was simply taking issue with the original editor's implication that this was a well-known and longstanding feature of "UK practice". Proteus (Talk) 10:39, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I certainly stand corrected on this issue, then (sorry this is rather late in responding.) It would seem, then, that the UK practice is as confusing as the North American practice. By the way, it _is_ growing more common in North America to create a double-barrelled surname for a child, whether as an acknowledgment of both parents in a child born out of wedlock (to hedge between the old practice of giving such children their mother's surname and the more recent practice of acknowledging paternity by giving the child his or her father's name,) as a symbol of equality between marriage or life-partners, as a feminist gesture against a traditionally patriarchal naming convention, or as protection against the extinction of a family name in the absence of sons. kelly 10:07, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I know this all stopped along time ago but I was under the impression that standard British Practice for non titular names was (as is with my own name) Mother's first, especially if ones mother is of a higher station than ones father, though I could be wrong. With titular names they should be in order of importance from the perspective of the owner, thus the house in which you hold highest rank should be first or last. (Morcus (talk) 16:47, 30 December 2009 (UTC))

On Hyphens[edit]

The written form section suggest that whether or not the hypen is written is a choice by either the owner or auther yet stricktly speaking the Hyphen or lack there of is set by legal documentation (Ie birth certificate or wedding certificate) and needs to reflect this, also It needs something on the use of Hyphens as a signal of being lower class than those without hyphen (and multiple surnames).(Morcus (talk) 19:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC))

Well if it's set legally I'd like to know exactly how the hyphen got into my surname (including on my passport, driver's licence and everything produced in at least the last sixteen years) when I've never signed any formal documentation to change it and other members of my family don't have it.
As for the other bits, in my experience there's all manner of regional variation and preconceptions, to say nothing of foreign name conventions that don't easily adapt when a person is registered overseas (for instance the Spanish custom of giving children both parents' surnames, though only one is used in practice, can create a double-barrelled name for those not aware) that distort whether or not a hyphen is included (I added mine precisely because it was getting confusing without one) so I don't think it's possible to make clear statements about what one does or doesn't signifiy. Timrollpickering (talk) 19:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I know this reply is very late but I shall adress some of the above, this only Applies to the UK as I've no knowledge of other systems. The Hyphen in my name is in every legal document in my name, and unless your name has been changed by Deedpole or marriage, the same name should appear on all your ID as it should all be confirmed by the same documentation. Unfortunatly you sometimes get problems where someone processing the documents makes a mistake which could result in a hyphen being where it shouldn't (Or in worse cases a name missed off), in such case you should send the document back and complain as it will technically be void, someone I used to work for was arrested at Heathrow returning from holiday because his name was different on his Passport and driving license (Which he says they only checked because his passport was hyphenated and his name wasn't on the system) because they thought he was an illegal. He was told later that his passport was null and void because it wasn't in his name.(Morcus (talk) 16:58, 30 December 2009 (UTC))

French-Canadian custom[edit]

While it certainly is expressly forbidden in Quebec to change your name when you get married, is it really French Canadian custom? That is, was it customary before the law enforced it? (It's a fairly recent change in the law.) Or is that sentence merely meant to imply that people are honoring the spirit of the law by using their legal names rather than "married names" which have no legal standing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Until the early 70's, women almost always took their husband's name when they married. Then, at first, it was common for women to add their husband's name to their maiden name, hyphenated or not. Later the continued use of the maiden name alone after marriage was more and more common, until in 1981 it was made mandatory by a change in the civil code. It was a pretty drastic change, mostly influenced by feminism I would say, but it was well accepted and is now considered natural. However, because in the public services, all women (after 1981) were identified by their maiden name, it led to some culture shock. I remember my grandmother, when she was hospitalized in the 80's, saying: "I have been Mrs. (Husband's name) for 56 years, I don't know who they're talking about when they call me Mrs. (Maiden name)". Cortomaltais (talk) 21:49, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

List of notable people with unhyphenated double-barrel surnames[edit]

What we really need is such a list. This would be a very handy resource for people curious about whether David Lloyd George's surname was "Lloyd George" or simply "George", and loads of other examples. They would also discover things previously unsuspected. For example, if they always catalogued Gabriel García Márquez under M for "Márquez", they'd discover it needs to go under the Gs and not the Ms. Same for Federico Moreno Torroba, which good music dictionaries are finally starting to catalogue under "Morena Torroba" and not just "Torroba". And so on. It would be quite a long list, but not unmanageable. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:04, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

That's true, but in Latin America and Spain my understanding is that unhyphenated double-barrelled surnames are the custom, so maybe that should be highlighted. Ricardiana (talk) 21:27, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Merged Names?[edit]

I've checked the article and I can't see anything about this, but forgive me if it's already covered here or elsewhere. Today I saw what appeared to be a double-barrelled name whose two parts had simply been run together without space or hyphen but retaining the original capitalisation (this was on the BBC's Magazine website: [1]); so you get a structure like 'Elias SmithJones'. (I didn't want to replicate the real name here.)

Now I appreciate this may have been a mistype of some sort, except that I do recall seeing this once before, some years ago. It certainly doesn't seem a common formation, but I wondered if anyone had any knowledge of how and when it's used? I thought it might be worth mentioning in this article if so. - Laterensis (talk) 13:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Hyphenated Given names?[edit]

This article concerns Hyphenated family names. I wondered if anyone knows anything about hyphenated given names. I had a (Dutch) friend called Jan-Willem. Is this common or just an anomaly? Rajawali 22:11, 01 June 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rajawali (talkcontribs)

It's very common in some countries, and very uncommon in some others. —Tamfang (talk) 09:37, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


This article has been severely lacking in in references for a very long time, to the extent that much of it can be considered conjecture. An article of this kind especially needs accurate sourcing, without which it has little or no encyclopedic value. Unsourced material can be deleted; to do so would reduce the page to a stub.--Kudpung (talk) 18:51, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

barrel barrel barrel[edit]

The term double-barrelled still has a whiff of mockery about it, and it seems to me that the second word adds nothing to comprehension; furthermore, as someone backhandedly observed, it fails to convey that we're not talking about Jean-Claude. Why not double(d) surname, or, where context is unambiguous, double(d) name? —Tamfang (talk) 09:41, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Be that as it may that is the term commonly used for such names. We shouldn't go inventing alternatives. Timrollpickering (talk) 13:27, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Can we use descriptive phrases whose meaning is transparent? —Tamfang (talk) 19:00, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

What was the common term in 1848 when apparently the joke was first recorded? —Tamfang (talk) 18:50, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

No response in two years. Oh well. —Tamfang (talk) 09:31, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

noble name change[edit]

I don't think that the reason for changing names is inequality among nobility. Rather it happens when a nobleman marries an heiress. examples: Hapsburg-Lorraine, Douglas-Hamilton, and Bowes-Lyon. A nobleman may also add a surname when he is the heir to another title. Sometimes it is a legal requirement for inheritance, especially in Scotland. Tinynanorobots (talk) 04:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Family names in Quebec[edit]

I edited the section for Canada and especially Quebec to correct a few facts. First, I would put in the 70's rather than the 60's the beginning of the custom of double surnames. This is mostly out of personal observation. Also, I replaced "common" with "not rare", as the proportion of double surnames has never been higher than 22% according to this newspaper article: [2], and is in decline since the historic high of 1992. Cortomaltais (talk) 16:52, 23 October 2011 (UTC)


Is there some reason other than communal sloth that the section Practices by country is not broken into subheads, and perhaps alphabetized? I note that in at least a couple of places editors have attempted to make the text flow, (e.g., "Doubling of surnames is also practiced by the Dutch,") but on the whole I think the number of different national entries (currently in eleven paragraphs) militates towards a more conventional scheme of listing. Can I find a smidgen of consensus before I get too bold and subsequently discover my effort is vaporized in a rash of reverts? --Eliyahu S Talk 17:31, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Required age just to choose whether to change your name?[edit]

"In some cases, children whose parents divorce have both surnames, by parents' choice or their own choice if they are of the required age."

I can see a few possibilities here:

  1. the parents force the name change upon the child
  2. the parents carry out the name change, after choosing to give the child a say in the matter or at the child's request
  3. the parents carry out the name change, but the child was legally required to agree to it
  4. the child carries out the name change, but the parents were required to agree to it
  5. the child carries out the name change without involving the parents in the legal process

Looking on the UK Deed Poll Service website, it would seem that 16 is the minimum age for 5, but either 1 or 2 could equally happen if the child is under 16. Of course, other jurisdictions might implement 3 or 4, or have a lower age limit below which 1 or 2 can be done, but above which any name change must be agreed between the person being renamed and that person's parents.

But "by parents' choice or their own choice if they are of the required age" gives the impression that some jurisdictions implement 1 and forbid 2 if the child is below a certain age. I can't believe this is the case. If a name change happens by method 2 then, while it was the parents who carried it out, it was the child's choice. — Smjg (talk) 18:14, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

What counts is who has legal power to prevent the change from taking effect. If the parent can prevent it and the child cannot, then legally it's #1, even if the parents listen to the child's preference. If both parent and child can prevent it, what's the difference between #3 and #4? —Tamfang (talk) 04:01, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
If the parent can prevent it and the child cannot, then the law makes no distinction between 1 and 2, unless said law explicitly forbids the parent to ask the child first. The basic distinction I was making in 3 vs 4 was
  1. the parent goes to the relevant authority, or the form is filled in from the parent's point of view, but it still requires the child's signature
  2. the child goes to the relevant authority, or the form is filled in from the child's point of view, but it still requires the signature of either or both parents
but I suppose it isn't really meaningful - 3 and 4 could be merged into one, which also covers the grey areas: the name change happens with the mutual legal consent of parent and child.
Anyway, we need to concern ourselves with the facts, not what some arbitrary law deems to be so. If a case of 2 has happened, the name change was the child's choice. This is a fact.
Here you go: "In some cases, a child whose parents have divorced may be given or choose to adopt a double-barrelled surname." This covers all the cases I've listed along with one or two others. — Smjg (talk) 21:33, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Adding 2 more types of double surname[edit]

Perhaps 10-14 days ago, I wrote a stub article, Double surname, and then stumbled across this article with the same topic. I "forked", I guess it's called. So now I've added my new content to this article instead, and will void the other article. If I could choose, I'd choose to have my stub article's complete Talk page brought here somehow, but I don't want to know how to do that. Trying to help WP and especially our readers, For7thGen (talk) 22:25, 22 July 2012 (UTC)


(Discussion moved from Talk:Double surname)

Double-barrelled name already exists. While I strongly prefer the title Double surname, consensus (or at least inertia) is against me; so this ought to be a redirect, not a separate article (WP:Content forking). —Tamfang (talk) 20:38, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, Tamfang, after I finished this Double surname article, I did stumble across the Double-barrelled name article and concluded the same as you do. I don't care about this newer article, and would gladly see it included in the older article somehow, with rewriting of both older and newer articles as needed. I only wrote it because the Peer Marriage article used "double surname" as a redirect link to Matriname. This clearly could confuse our readers, as I mentioned in my first Edit summary for this newer article.
  • What to do now? I suppose this newer article could be a subsection of the older article's 1st section. I cannot find the time to do much, for months more yet. But my heart IS in the right place, so I volunteer to take first crack at this rewriting of both articles, if you don't have a better suggestion. Can you suggest any better approach?
  • Also, in my opinion the editors who are responsible for the current version of Double-barrelled voted with their feet so to speak. They apparently got tired of writing out their own term by about the midpoint of the article, and then switched to "double surname" instead, except for one final use of "double-barrelled name". While I definitely would supporrt you or anyone else trying to get consensus to rename the article, I'm on WP to write, not to writhe, so I effectively don't care about the name of the article. For7thGen (talk) 05:27, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
One can't assume that the top of an article was written before the bottom, or that inconsistencies are due to anything but different hands. Ten out of twelve instances of double surname over there are mine. —Tamfang (talk) 05:37, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm very glad to see that much of the editing over there, thanks to your making it so easy for me, and glad to see that your editing has "stuck" at least from Feb2011 until now. I'll feel free to go ahead and rectify my accidentally creating this new article (as outlined above), as soon as I possibly can, maybe by the end of this weekend. I'll leave this new article empty, as a signal to others to delete it and whatever else needs to be done. Good luck to us all, For7thGen (talk) 17:33, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

What about forenames?[edit]

The article title is "Double-barrelled name" not "Double-barrelled surname". Nonetheless, it focuses exclusively on double-barrelled surnames, making almost no mention of given names that are in this format. Anne-Marie, Jean-Paul and Sarah-Jane seem to be fairly common ones. I guess that to some extent people combine names as they like to form a double-barrelled name for their child. Is there anyone here who knows enough about this practice and its origins and motives to write about it? — Smjg (talk) 19:58, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I see your point, that "Double-barrelled name" could have a new section on double-barrelled forenames. And I liked your userpage, Smjg, and your background (which is similar to mine). But with a new section, I would vote for dropping the term double-barrelled, and for making a separate new article for the double forename material, as follows:
Namely, I think plain and simple English is better for an online encyclopedia with its many and diverse readers, and both you and I want to help the readers, I'm sure. The term double-barrelled is more fun (but is not plain and simple), so I'm willing to continue with its use for this article as it now stands, but if the article gets further complicated by a new section on forenames, I would then be in favor of a new article instead, called either "Double forename" or "Double-barrelled forename", both terms being acceptable (I'd vote for the simpler "Double forename", however). Good luck to us all, For7thGen (talk) 18:46, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Here in England, "double-barrelled" is the more usual term. I can imagine some being confused by "double surname" or "double forename" - on the other hand, everybody knows what a double-barrelled name is.
And what's happened to the "as follows"?
Note also that there's an article Double name, but it seems to be about a colloquial name for a person being formed from the person's first and middle names, which is quite different from somebody actually being named Mary-Kate or whatever in the first place. — Smjg (talk) 16:04, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Your question to me, Smjg, needs an answer (otherwise I'll just let your statements and my statement stand, unless you start a new Talk section about the term double-barrelled). Your question concerns my phrase "as follows", by which I meant "per the following paragraph", or "see the following paragraph". I thought my use of "as follows" more briefly conveyed exactly that expanded content. Hoping this answers your question, For7thGen (talk) 19:29, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Woman marries, widowed, later remarries....[edit]

With regards to the section titled "Formation" of double barrelled surnames, it appears that Wiki has missed out the formation of a double barrelled surname through a married woman becoming a widow and then later in life remarrying. As in the case of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. This is by far the most usual case for double barrelling in recent generations but has now been superseded by those double barrelling their surname by any means they see fit. Detailed very well in the rest of the "Formation" section on Wiki.

As a double barrel myself acquired exactly as I've previously stated, my mother was widowed and remarried later in life. The use of the hyphen in this case appears to be optional, however in my case I do have a hyphen and have found that in 40 years this is most helpful for others understanding double barrelled surnames and denoting that the two names were from separate marriages. Michael Wilson-Roberts — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Names more common than their inverses[edit]

I assume it is a known phenomenon that in England and Wales some double-barrelled surnames are much more common than their inverses, for example: Lloyd-Wright appears much more common than Wright-Lloyd (whether hyphenated or not). Further, it appears to be more common that the first of these names is single-syllabic whereas the second is more frequently multi-syllabic, and for the first (at least) being surprisingly often of Welsh origin (Lloyd in the above example was originally Llwyd). The obvious explanations such as the wife’s surname becoming attached as the first of the names, or one name being more intrinsically common than the other, or one name being ‘posher’ than the other seem not to apply.

Staying with the example of Lloyd, I can think of numerous double-barrels: some illustrious such as Lloyd-Mostyn (both Welsh) and Lloyd-Baker (second is a trade name); some well-known such as Lloyd Wright; and some just ‘ordinary’ such as Lloyd-Hughes (both Welsh) and Lloyd-Jones (both Welsh). But Mostyn-Lloyd, Baker-Lloyd etc are very unusual.

DAK why? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Actaeon (talkcontribs) 19:06, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the unhyphenated double surname is more of a Welsh tradition. I have two surnames, the first of which is Lloyd (earlier in my ancestry is was Llwyd, as someone mentions above). On my birth certificate Lloyd is down as a middle name, I believe this was to prevent it being hyphenated as this is not the Welsh tradition, and was felt to be pretentious (by my parents, I make no such judgement!). In day to day use, it acts as an unhyphenated double barrelled name. As I understand it, this came in as the older patronymic system (where ap/ferch - 'son of/daughter of' was used in a longer chain of ancestral names) fell out of use, as a way of maintaining a connection with a particular family line, or place. Incidentally, Lloyd was my Mother's middle/family name, my other surname came from my father and my Mother's second surname was dropped. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Children of parents with double-barrelled surnames[edit]

What are the customs (if any) when one or both parents has a double-barrelled name? The simple thing would be to give the children the father's double-barrelled surname, but what if the wife doesn't want to? What are the alternatives to this? What about same-sex partners with children, where one or both parents have a double-barrelled name?

If anyone can source any customs, please add them to the article. Thanks, cagliost (talk) 11:37, 20 November 2014 (UTC)


When the context is "Anglo-Saxon", especially British, "double-barreled" is used to refer to the "pretentious" semi-aristocratic names. In fact the term "double-barreled" appears to have originated in the Victorian-era as a mildly sarcastic reference to the perceived snobbery of such names. But it seems that now "double-barreled" is used very freely of any double surname (German, Spanish, Danish). This may call for disambiguation, and the "British" section could be built into a separate treatment of the specifically British tradition of "snobbish" double surnames "such as Huntington-Whiteley and Taylor-Johnson" (the Taylor-Johnson example seems like an excellent example illustrating the snobbery of the hyphen itself, as it isn't immediately clear how hyphenating two commoners' names is supposed to make you look more aristocratic, and yet it apperently does). --dab (𒁳) 11:30, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Four years later, but I'm not sure you realise how common having a double-barrelled surname is in the UK. I know a Smith-Smith. It's a quirk, but it's normal. Kingsif (talk) 04:17, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

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Spousal Names (Mrs...?)[edit]

When referring to a spouse of a barrel-named person who has taken the partner's name, what is the proper surname form? What should the wife of Sir Somebody Someone be named: Mrs Someone or Mrs Somebody Someone? Does it differ between the Somebody Someone family and the Somebody-Someone (hyphenated barrel) family? Does it change with titled persons (Lady Someone v Lady Somebody-Someone)? To avoid flames for being a chauvinist or depersonalising spouses of one gender or another, I am most interested in historical persons where the spouse's given name may be disputed or even unknown. Last1in (talk) 19:27, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

It's pretty much up to the woman what surname she uses after marriage (in England at least). Traditionally the wide of Sir Somebody Someone would be Lady Somebody Someone, and they would be introduced at the ball as "Sir Hildebrand and Lady Somebody Someone". DuncanHill (talk) 12:09, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
That would be the wife of Sir Foo Somebody Someone! Given "Sir" comes before the given name, not the surname (as per the example). -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:23, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

Requested move 12 February 2020[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Not moved (non-admin closure) BegbertBiggs (talk) 13:15, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Double-barrelled nameDouble surname – as in article lead fgnievinski (talk) 04:55, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

This is a contested technical request (permalink). Anthony Appleyard (talk) 08:23, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.