Sophie Hunter officially dropped her maiden name, she’s now Sophie Cumberbatch

Rachel McAdams at Doctor Strange Premiere in Hollywood

I could take or leave most of the issues and debates within The Mommy Wars. Breastfeeding, prenatal diets, baby carriers? I cover these things because a lot of people have strong feelings about them. But I LOVE talking about women changing their names from their maiden name to their married name. For a while, it felt like fewer famous/celebrity women were completely dumping their maiden names. Like, if there was a name change at all, women were just adding a hyphen and their husband’s name. Courteney Cox-Arquette, Angelina Jolie-Pitt, etc. But it does feel like there’s a movement with celebrity women – or celebrity-adjacent-women – to just drop their maiden names completely. Jessica Biel is legally Jessica Timberlake, I’m pretty sure. Amal Alamuddin became Amal Clooney one hot minute after she got married. And now, two years after Benedict Cumberbatch married Sophie Hunter, we’re getting confirmation that Sophie has become Sophie Cumberbatch. That detail was folded into the People story about their new baby Hal Auden Cumberbatch.

Elementary, my dear — Benedict Cumberbatch is a dad again. The Sherlock star and his wife Sophie welcomed their second child together, Hal Auden Cumberbatch, on March 3, PEOPLE confirms.

PEOPLE can also confirm that Sophie has formally changed her name from Sophie Hunter to Sophie Cumberbatch.

Cumberbatch, 40, and theater director Hunter — also parents to son Christopher “Kit” Carlton, 20 months — confirmed the pregnancy in October, when Hunter debuted her baby bump at the Los Angeles premiere of Cumberbatch’s film Doctor Strange.

[From People]

I guess Sophie is in it for long haul? I always thought hyphenated names were quite popular with the posh set in Britain, and I am a little bit surprised she didn’t become Sophie Hunter-Cumberbatch, which is a mouthful but it also screams “I’M VERY BRITISH.” I guess the Hunter name doesn’t open as many doors as the Cumberbatch name. Or maybe she’s just old-school. I’ve been calling her Sophie Hunterbatch for a while, so I’m sad I have to retire that name for her now. From now on, she’ll be Sophie Batch? Sophie Cumber? Lord and Lady Cumberfancybritches? In any case, this really won’t matter – people will still call her Sophie Hunter, because that’s the name she had when she was introduced to us, and her maiden name is part of her “brand” as a celebrity now. Ask Kate Middleton!

Premiere Of Disney And Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange"

Premiere Of Disney And Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange"

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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109 Responses to “Sophie Hunter officially dropped her maiden name, she’s now Sophie Cumberbatch”

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  1. Lennox says:

    LOL, the combination of those two names could end up being unfortunately mispronounced, so I’m not surprised it’s not hyphenated.

  2. Alexandria says:

    No strong opinion about this as long as both spouses are willing. I do wonder though, with the popularity of double barrelled surnames, what happens when two people with these names marry. The options multiply.

    • dave says:

      Twisleton-Wyckham-Fiennes is Ralph Fiennes full name!

    • dave says:

      sorry -duplicated again.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I know a girl with double-barrelled first AND last names, who was engaged to my son’s friend with a double-barrelled last name. Luckily (?) they broke up before the wedding… Dave: I have a nice friend with a triple-shot-hat-trick last name – it’s so much fun introducing him to new people!

    • teacakes says:

      two double-barreled surnames marrying = basically the plot/character names of a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

      I mean, Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, anyone?

    • trillian says:

      Not in Germany. You choose a family name, which is either the wife’s or the husband’s last name. This is the name that the kids will get. Only the spouse whose name is not the family name may hyphenate her own last name.

  3. Sam says:

    See I was always under the impression that most celebrity women change their name legally when they get married but keep their maiden name for publicity purposes. Like Jennifer Garner stayed Jennifer Garner even though her legal name was Jennifer Affleck. Or like I know Blake Lively is actually Blake Reynolds legally but still goes by Blake Lively. I don’t know if I’m making sense haha I do find it interesting, which women decide to change their name publicly though. I wonder if that’s a publicist thing or if it’s personal because like I said typically the name is changed legally

    • Anonymous says:

      Really ? I didn’t know that

      • CL says:

        I remember seeing Gwyneth P carrying monogrammed tote with the initial set GPM on it (several years ago, of course), and at first I was confused. Then I realized that the M was for MARTIn. duh.

    • Fluff says:

      In Britain there is no such thing as changing your name “legally” on marriage: your legal name is whatever name you happen to be using. You are legally Mrs Husband from the minute you sign the wedding register, no other paperwork needed. (Obv you are legally Mrs Maiden Name or Ms Maiden Name if that’s your choice.)

      The only time you need to submit any paperwork to change your name is if you want a passport or other government ID in your new name, in which case you change your name by deed poll which takes two minutes and involves filling in a free online form.

      I could become Fluff Cumberbatch perfectly legally in literally less than five minutes. I could get a new passport under the name Fluff Cumberbatch just by paying the £80 and waiting a few weeks.

      BUT if you are married you don’t need to do that, because the marriage licence takes the place of the deed poll document.

    • Mia4s says:

      That was always my impression too. Jennifer Anniston was legally Jennifer Pitt during their marriage too. I really don’t have strong feelings about it all either way.

      Then you have the complication where a woman gets famous using her married name and then divorces….Awkward. Many people don’t realize Susan Sarandon is her married (long since divorced) name, not her birth name.

      • QueenB says:

        Mia4S: “Many people don’t realize Susan Sarandon is her married (long since divorced) name, not her birth name. ”

        Same for Angela Merkel. Its the name of her first husband.

      • Amy says:

        Demi Moore too – her first husband’s last name.

    • Amy says:

      Right and when you’re an actor, there are other things to consider if you were to professionally change your name. Like what if someone in the Screen Actors Guild is already Blake Reynolds?

    • argonaut says:

      cheryl tweedy-cole-versini-fernandez-now-just-cheryl is the worst offender. bet she changes again publically if she and liam marry.

  4. Lightpurple says:

    Comet Sophies to whatever she wants to call herself.

    • Sixer says:

      Same here. I mean, I get it that some see it as a patriarchal hangover. But I also get it that some see the creation of a new nuclear family unit as something that should have a universal surname but find all the double barrelling a bit de trop. I honestly couldn’t care less which road any particular woman takes.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        I never saw it as a patriarchal hangover for the simple reason that the father of a woman is still a man. It only changes from a man’s to another man’s surname.
        Considering that my father was a giant ars***le and a domestic abuser, my maiden surname got changed as soon as I was married lol

      • SusanneToo says:

        Keep it or change it, it’s fine with me when it’s the woman’s choice.

      • Babs says:

        Actually, I carry my mother’s name even though my father recognized me at birth and was very much with my mother until 17 years later. Feminist’s daughter here!

      • SilverUnicorn says:




        Because your mum could. In Italy, in the 1970s, only illegitimate children carried mothers’ surname. It wasn’t possible to assign mum’s surname by law if recognised by father.

      • Sixer says:

        When we got married, we did have a (rather halfhearted) debate about it. We both wanted the same name. Neither of us wanted a double-barrelled name, but that’s more to do with us both being either anti-classist or inverted snobs, depending on how you look at it, what with double-barrelling being associated with poshies in the UK. Mr Sixer, of Irish heritage and with an Irish surname, had an emotional attachment to his name. I had none to mine. His paperwork pile associated with a name change (pensions, medals) was much larger than mine. So I changed.

        But I can understand people making other decisions. Whatever floats the woman’s boat.

      • Babs says:

        Silverunicorn : 80’s kid here. Actually, my mum had to declare herself as a single mother and my dad had to wait three weeks before recognizing me. I never knew That so thank You for This conversation:)

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        What you might not know is that it is not just a posh issue (well for Benedict and wife probably is). Us in bi-national couples need the barrelled name to tie the British documents to birth country documents. For example, after Brexit I had officially to double barrel mine to create connection between maiden name (Italian law only accepts maiden names) and use of husband surname in UK. So despite I took up my husband’s surname upon marriage, I had to recently change it again for administrative reasons.


        Interesting conversation all around! 🙂

      • Sixer says:

        Silver – yet another hoop for EU citizens. Sigh. I hope you didn’t watch QT last night. I lasted 30 seconds, then switched channels in tears of impotent rage.

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        No I didn’t because BBC QT is now infamous for these things among us EU citizens.
        Basically watching it is like self harming. It’d make me very upset, I prefer not to know. Sometimes it’s better to live in a bubble for peace of mind.

      • Sixer says:

        One of the QT audience recruiters was caught asking for participants on a Britain First Facebook page a couple of months back. I think that tells you all you need to know.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        Appalling. I cannot even understand why BBC veered so much to the right.
        Then… the presence of several UKIP people on all the QT panels has always been very suspicious to me. It speaks volumes about the direction the show has taken.

      • Becky says:

        I’ve never watched QT regularly but started after the vote. I think it may depend on the audience, but I think you’re right.

        There was someone bleating on the Guardian comments section last week, that QT panels were pro- Remain, so for some people to TS not right enough.

  5. shelley* says:

    Maybe it has taken her all this time to get the signature just right.

  6. Babs says:

    I hate the expression “maiden name”. My name is my name, end of. I kept it and only it after marrying my husband, no hyphen no nothing, and it’s an everyday war with every corporation and administration (I live in France). A woman keeps her name after marriage, it’s in the law, she can take her husband’s name or hyphen both names as she desires, but in reality you get your husband’s name even if you don’t want to. That drives me crazy.

    • arbelia says:

      Same here. Plus in France legally your name never change, you just have the right to use tour husband name. But people just don’t seem to understand it. Like when i was pregnant and tried to get a place at the hospital , like “why didn’t you write your marital name on the medical file?”

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        I am on the other side of the issue. On my italian documents I have my maiden name. In Italy you cannot change your maiden name in any case, even if your father raped you (a new law got passed recently that you can chose your mother’s at birth, but it is not retroactive).

        Both systems are wrong in my opinion and women should have a choice either way.

      • Babs says:

        The gag is, nobody ask them to understand. Just do as I say, is it that difficult? Well for some, apparently, yeah. I had to threaten numerous times to sue, isn’t it crazy?

  7. Nic919 says:

    In common law countries women don’t actually legally change to their married name unless their birth certificate is changed. A married name is assumed that’s all. A drivers licence doesn’t require a full legal name and a passport requires a marriage certificate to show which name you have assumed. Applies for men too.

  8. HeidiM says:

    They look like brother and sister. So much so, it always creeps me out. Like looking at a pic of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal or something. Creepy.

  9. bread says:

    There was a blind item published a few months back which said that she was going to take his name to prove to the world how great their marriage was.

    Curiouser and curiouser…

    • Luca76 says:

      I actually don’t give a fig about either one of these two but the obsession with the destruction of their marriage is just something that I find fascinating. The idea that a mother would change her name after giving birth is either something surprising, a juicy blind item, or a sign of trouble in a marriage is kind of deluded.

    • Fluff says:

      The CDAN blinds about the Cumberbatches come from two highly disturbed individuals on Tumblr who literally stalk them and spread hate about her 24/7 – they’re the ones inventing elaborate conspiracy theories involving fake babies, criminal masterminds and elaborate blackmail plots. Not a shred of truth to any of it.

      CDAN is infamous for posting anything received via the anonymous submissions form, and their main way of getting hits is by targeting the “fan conspiracy” contingent. According to CDAN (and Tumblr) every single male celeb is trapped in a fake relationship to a famewhore abuser.

      • bread says:

        But how did whoever wrote that blind item know that she was going to change her name to his?

        I’ll allow you to cling to your own conspiracy theory about the authorship of those blinds (I mean, you have no more proof than the fake-baby-brigade), but isn’t it very odd when they come true if they’re all from the tumblr nutters?

      • Spiderpig says:

        No she’s been using Cumberbatch as her surname for months.

        And it’s really not a “conspiracy theory” that obsessed stans who seemingly devote their entire lives to hating on this marriage would submit fake BIs, especially when CDAN is so infamous for being, well, the place to plant fake BIs against people you don’t like. Anyway one of those women pretty much brags about CDAN and how she “just knows” when/what they’re going to post about Sophie, and sometimes the BIs are pretty much word for word from the Tumblrs.

  10. Bettyrose says:

    What a headache to change it back after the divorce, though.

    • Cee says:

      Can’t she keep it, though?

      • detritus says:

        my partner has a very interesting and single word last name.
        His ex kept it after a green card marriage (he needed a green card, she wasn’t allowed to date and had to be married) and it drives his mom insane to this day.

        it’s an excellent last name, but I’ve been my name for over 30 years, I don’t see myself changing it, it feels too much like losing my identity. Not sure what the kids will be.

  11. Sixer says:

    Posh hyphenated names in the UK come from historical aristo mingling of houses. Nothing to do with modern marriage norms. In fact, it’s probably the opposite.

  12. Cee says:

    This will always be weird to me. In Argentina women keep their names. Their children usually get their father’s but that’s also changing to include BOTH. My own mother had the misfortuna of having a 3 barrelled surname and so decided her children would only have one.

    If she has just noe changed it then good for her if she took the time to think it through. I also agree her husband’s surname opens doors whereas hers doesn’t, not really. It’s not like she’s super famous on her own, or has a stellar career. If she can build on it then good for her.

  13. Kali says:

    To change your name at marriage is to accept the patriarchal notion that you are your husband’s chattel. This is a feminist issue!

    • Chinoiserie says:

      Or maybe you can make decisions on your own based on what you want. There has been patriarchal societies like ancient Rome where the women never changed their name but were owned by their fathers. Both ways have used in ways that people don’t
      mean today so you should be just free and do what you want. Unless you advocate that all men had to change their names just to make things up, which is silly, names are not not revenge weapons, men can change names too but if they want. And having both names can be difficult if they are long, and especially in the second generation if all the kids have two names there is
      again the question whose name you pick.

      • Kali says:

        I did not say that you cannot call yourself a feminist if you take your husband’s name. I said it is a feminist issue because it clearly is. When women understand the historical reasons why this practice arose in western culture (with the rise of private property) they will be better informed to make a decision. Understanding history is important in the fight against institutionalised sexism. Indeed knowledge of the history of feminism and the women’s rights movement might help more young women identify as feminists.

    • Meg says:

      Agreed! I think this is an area where “if I chose my choice then it’s a feminist choice” feminism gets the most problematic.

    • North of Boston says:

      Yeah, the “feminist” choice is whatever an individual woman wants to do. Having someone else dictate that a woman must NOT change her name upon marriage because of some ideology is not any better than someone/tradition dictating that she has to change it.

      Her name, Her choice. End of. Same as Her body, Her choice for other decisions (clothes, makeup, tattoos, medical treatment, birth control, etc, etc.)

  14. SilverUnicorn says:

    Can we please drop the association between maiden name and feminism??

    I am a staunch feminist and it meant nothing to me at all. In UK it’s a lot more convenient to adopt husband’s surname for a lot of reasons.

    Surely it has not forbidden me to be part of feminist events and initiatives, as well as supporting other causes.

    The whole concept around ‘married name against feminists’ should die a quick death.

    • QueenB says:

      Do you really think there is not association between the two? It is one of the more obvious sexist things.

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        If it’s a choice, no, it’s not sexist. Unless you mean I was being sexist against myself.

      • QueenB says:

        I was referring to the custom thats deeply sexist. Its literally about women as property. Hard to find many things that are as sexist, that was my point.

        Also choice feminism is really hard to take seriously. Not every choice a woman makes is feminist.

        “Why Saying ‘It’s My Choice’ Doesn’t Necessarily Make Your Choice Feminist”

      • Sixer says:

        I changed my name and I do agree the custom/historical basis is sexist. And seems more so now that marriage is only for life at best half of the time in Western societies. How we evolve nomenclatures in nuclear families to take account of this as individuals though, there’s nothing inherently sexist or inherently feminist in whatever choice is made.

      • inka says:

        @queenB that was a nice read. And very true.

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        I know a lot about internalized misogyny and have researched the topic in depth. As well as I know that the custom was born as sexist.

        Still, if I want to change my surname, most countries only allow from maiden to husband’s. I cannot call myself “Mrs Silver Unicorn” just because I want to.

        So please allow us ‘choice feminists’ to exist as well although less enlightened than you radicals. Deal? 😉
        I still consider myself a feminist and will continue to do so regardless of the fact that other women think I belong to second class.
        I am deeply sorry my change of surname is not in a higher spot in my list of priorities. I am currently trying to juggle my life between xenophobic attacks and sexist society rules, a lot on my plate already. Thanks.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        @QueenB: well said!

    • bread says:

      Obviously, you can still be a feminist while taking your husband’s name. We all pick and choose which battles to fight. I mean, I call myself a feminist but I still shave my legs if I’m going bare-legged – just to fit in and please everyone else.

      But you have to admit that the woman taking the husband’s name upon marriage is a leftover from back when women were passed from their fathers to their husbands as a piece of chattel. Same thing with the father giving the bride away at weddings. If you want to do it for your own reasons, fine, but acknowledge that it symbolically reduces the woman to less than the man.

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        If it’s done by choice, it doesn’t mean anything. I find your reasoning very backwards and that sort of unimportant silly issue that usually turns away other women from committing to feminism and equality.

        Changing the surname (not by default, again by choice) has nothing to do with feminism. Anyone instinting on that point is wilfully ignoring about other connected issues (in some countries you cannot change your maiden name even if your father raped or abused you).

      • inka says:

        @silver husbands also rape and abuse wives. So your point is? can’t change father’s surname? of course you can. Who would stop you if you want to change your father’s surname?

      • SilverUnicorn says:


        Are you from Italy? Because if you are not, you should not assume you can do things you actually cannot. Names given at birth cannot be changed in Italy. The few exceptions include surnames that brings shame or issues (like your surname is ‘Arse’ or ‘fascist’) or mafia witnesses under protection.
        In any other case you can’t.

      • Cee says:

        So in Argentina I can legally change my surname (drop my father’s and take my mother’s) but I wouldn’t be able to do that in Italy? (as a dual citizen, that is). So I would basically have 2 legal identities LOL

        Many argentinians change their italian surnames because in spanish they mean something either vulgar, an insult, or just bully-bait.

    • Argirl says:

      I completely agree with you, Silver Unicorn. The notion that I’m not feminist enough because I choose to have the same name as my husband is ludicrous. This judgment (when it’s a woman’s choice) within the feminist movement is handing fuel to critics of feminism and serves to alienate would be allies. No wonder we have all these uninformed celebrities saying they’re not feminists.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      The custom began because women were property sold from father to son in law.

      It is most certainly a feminist issue.

  15. spidey says:

    One thing that bugs me is that technically in the UK if a woman marries and takes her husband’s surname she becomes be Mrs John Smith and only becomes Mrs Jane Smith on divorce or widowhood. Personally, if I write to a married woman I always put her first name not her husbands on the envelope.

    And I have no horse in this race as I’m single.

    • me says:

      What I really hate is during some wedding ceremonies they will say “I now pronounce you man and wife”. Ummm what? MAN and WIFE??? It should be husband and wife. Or when they say “you may now kiss the bride”. Why can’t they say “you may now kiss each other”? I just hate that olden day way of thinking and it should change.

      • Cee says:

        In Argentina it’s even worse. Sometimes wives as referred to as WOMEN, while men are husbands. So someone can say “Roberto y su mujer” which would translate to “Roberto and his woman” but this is never applied towards a woman’s husband, it’s always “Ana y su esposo” (Ana and her husband)

        Same with marriage declarations: “Los declaro marido y mujer” not “Los declaro marido y esposa”. It’s always HUSBAND and WOMAN. There’s never equal footing unless requested by the couple.

      • detritus says:

        i went to a catholic wedding recently, and there was a ton of honor, obey and serve your husband nonsense, nothing about honoring, obeying and serving your wife.

      • Argirl says:

        When I got married, I was super attentive to every vow. Everything was reciprocal. When they announced us at the end, it was both our first names and our new last name. The officiant was reluctant to do it this way but I insisted. (Why would this random dude have an opinion anyway?) Thank goodness I married a feminist who agreed and was just as insistent. Of course, if he wasn’t I wouldn’t have married him.

      • Lightpurple says:

        @detritus, the couple would have chosen that particular set of vows. There are Catholic wedding vows that do not include that language. All of my siblings married in the Church and not one used that particular set of vows.

  16. spidey says:

    Sometimes in the UK taking a spouse’s name and adding it to yours was a requirement for inheritance, so an old family name wouldn’t die out.

  17. Who ARE These People? says:

    I reached marriageable age at a time when women decided to retain their surnames, and then saw women younger than me change their names and challenge my choice. Things seemed to become more conservative among women who came of age in the 80s and 90s; I came of age in the 60s and 70s. It was disappointing. Some people said we would “confuse” our children, who apparently would not be able to figure out “who they are” without one common name and suffer all kinds of identity crises. Others rationalized it by telling me I was “keeping” my name for work purposes only, but that socially I was of course Mrs. _____. That seemed to help them feel better, but it wasn’t anything I told them. A few – even my age – persisted in using my husband’s surname to address formal correspondence, without cause. It’s been interesting.

    Three people it never bothered: Me, my husband, our child. Oh, my mother! I don’t think she ever said anything, and she adores my husband.

    The occasional clerk gets hung up on this, so I have to set her or him straight, but never with apology or embarrassment. It’s not like I’ve done something wrong.

    Oh, at the beginning, some people actually said, “And he let you keep your name?” I think that question reveals what this issue is really all about.

    I always answered, “Yes, and I let him keep his.”

  18. Bluesky says:

    I’m seriously asking this question because I don’t know that much about her: ” Did she have a career or something before all this?”

    • Cee says:

      Not really (and some people attack her for it. Like, she tried to have one but it did not amount to much)

    • Spiderpig says:

      Depends on your perspective.

      By industry standards she had an okay career in that she worked regularly on a decent if obscure level (considering in this industry more than 80% of Spotlighters do not have a single job in the average year). She does have really excellent and elite training/qualifications albeit courtesy of her massive privilege (grumble grumble). Within the industry I guess she was sort of vaguely known within her own very specific niche – I’d vaguely heard of her before due to some of my own career being in that same niche. She was in a play years ago with someone I know well at Hampstead Theatre which is a respectable credit for a “working actor”.

      But she certainly wasn’t famous or successful on any public level. It doesn’t necessarily appear that she was pursuing that type of success, given her choices, but she does get judged for not being a celeb in her own right. Admittedly the press/PR around her when they first took the relationship public was really stupid. And she’s done a lot of different things, which is fine and not uncommon, but it does the give the impression of a sort of artsy privileged girl which can trip into “family-funded dilettante” quite easily.

      • Sixer says:

        (Sorry to be OT, everyone.)

        Spiderpig – I really enjoyed Hamlet. Think the Horatio is an actor to watch. I concede it did go on a bit – possibly too long for Sixlet Minor, who is not so much a theatre buff as the rest of us.

  19. Spiderpig says:

    You don’t legally or officially change your name after getting married in this country, you just use whichever name you choose or some women use both. I know actresses who use both “legally” (two bank accounts under each name, passport under one name age other ID under another) so they can retain their stage name.

    Not sure what this article means by claiming Sophie has “officially” changed her name, but it’s probably that someone saw the birth paperwork with Sophie Cumberbatch on it and made an assumption.

  20. Pett says:

    After two years, hahaha. Is she big star, why announced change the name in People. Cumberbatch and his “wife” think that they are a royal family.

  21. inka says:

    ok I don’t get it. Why change the name? Where I am from women and man don’t change their name after marriage, so it is seems odd and seems disrespectful for the wife. I don’t know it just does. Why western women still do this? Is this tradition really necessary?

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      Tradition? Not really. In some countries you are automatically assigned to husband’s surname after marriage. In UK you can choose whatever name you like. I chose husband’s because I had always wanted to abandon my father’s surname. However I didn’t do it by default or tradition.

    • Graymatters says:

      It’s a choice American women can make at marriage. I gave it a lot of thought and took my husband’s name. I married young (22) and hadn’t accomplished anything yet so I didn’t feel that I was erasing anything with a name change. My husband was also in the military at the time and it’s a conservative organization, so I knew I’d be forever explaining things to various officials if I kept my name. And frankly, at my age, changing my name felt like I was telling my father that I was an adult and no longer his little girl.

      My father did not give me away at the wedding and I’ve never promised to obey anyone. It was considered a modern service at the time — 27 years ago.

      I figured my social security number was all the unique identification I needed.

    • LAK says:

      Inka: i’m with you there.

      And western women will defend their right to be thus diminished. Or claim that laws insist upon it as if the law is ironclad and can’t be changed.

      Yet in all these justifications that always include a discussion with new hubby, it’s more often the woman who compromises rather than new hubby. Whether the volume of paperwork excuse or singular family name. A point entirely lost to them.

  22. Lindy79 says:

    Each to their own, so long as it’s the woman’s choice. Same as anything really.

    I’m married to Mr Lindy 5 years in August (f’knin hell!!) and I’m still my name on most things as I can’t be arsed changing them. Not paying €80 for a new passport until it’s due for renewal, stuff that lark.
    He doesn’t care, my choice what I want to do.

  23. Elysium1973 says:

    The whole name change thing was a big deal among my friends at a east coast university. Literally NONE of my friends changed their names after they got married. We’re all in our 40’s now (so we were in college from 1990-1996ish). I’ve never been married, so it doesn’t apply to me, but if I ever did, I will retain my present name.

    • me says:

      I agree with you. I mean it’s so archaic isn’t it? You get married and take your husband’s name because you’re his property now. If a woman wants to change her name that’s fine, as long as she’s not being forced to.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        The thing is, it seems like 98% of the time the women are the ones “choosing” to take the man’s family name and not the other way around. It always seems to be less “convenient” for men to change names than for women to change names. As a result the man’s family name gets carried down (because then it seems to be default for the kids), not the woman’s family name – giving the strong impression it carries greater social importance.

        If we had greater equality in selecting one common name for a married couple, then we could say it was more about choice and less about gender stereotypes or convention. In same-sex marriages, aren’t spouses more likely to retain their names – and we don’t think anything of it – and their kids are doing fine?

  24. Caitiecait says:

    I think it’s weird that so many people are commenting about keeping their maiden names as a feminist act when a lot of those names are from their fathers whose last name was passed down…

    I know not all kids get their father’s last name, but a majority do.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden gave their son Tom’s mother’s maiden name – Troy Garrity.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      But both male and female children traditionally take the father’s name.

      Husbands don’t traditionally take their wives’ last names upon marriage. That is the issue. And that is because marriage was once a property transfer.

  25. Mac says:

    Benedict was completely single just over 2 years ago. He wanted a family and was in a newfound position to start making it happen quickly and on his terms. They have followed what looks like a pretty decent contract:

    First she gets pregnant. Once she passes the first trimester, she gets the engagement and to walk a red carpet. Once the pregnancy is considered viable (>24wks), he marries her. Once the first is 12 months old, conception begins on the 2nd. If #2 sticks, once his big movie comes out, she gets a public appearance, pregnancy announcement and red carpet. Once the 2nd is born, she can take his name (and probably gets a raise in her allowance). I bet they’re still ironing out terms of the 3rd but I’m guessing it will involve a new property.

    • Fluff says:


    • North of Boston says:

      *Someone’s * a bit cynical!

    • tiepin says:

      Pretty much. There’s been nothing organic about any of this thus far.

    • Spiderpig says:

      He definitely wasn’t single two years ago, and in my 15+ years of working in theatre I’ve never seen a “contract” relationship go past maybe six months, and I’ve seen a few.

      Are you one of those women who camp out in his front garden and blog photos of his recycling bin?

  26. MyrtleMartha says:

    My mother’s family solved the problem of women passing along a name all their own, by passing down a given name rather being concerned about what the surname is. We’re now on the sixth generation of women with one particular given name included among whatever other names each one has. I hope it continues for many more generations.

  27. Shirleygail says:

    I always thought it would be fun to choose an entirely new name, together. Eg: Jaime Delequant and June Evanimers become Jaime and June Whomever. Or, if you don’t like your name, since you’re changing your surname with the marriage, then why not your first name, also?

    As a trainer, I often tell people “new life, new name” when they adopt a rescue. Same for marriage. When two people join together in formal committment they start a new life, a ‘together’ life. I like the idea of acknowledging that with a name change to something entirely new to the both of them.

    There was a time I might have vehemently disagreed with myself, though, and suggested that a woman changing her name to her husband’s was archaic, outdated misogyny.
    Age opens perspective because there’s been a chance for experience and opportunities for wisdom, kindness and love to grow.

  28. maryquitecontrary says:

    I LOVE my last name. That’s why I’ve always kept it. My son has my last name. He is also the last of my line. Like I was the last before I had HIM.
    My husband…with a different last name…is good with it.
    Damn, I have me some AMAZING in my household. 🙂

    • maryquitecontrary says:

      Plus…we have an unusual set of first names…of which my boy is the fifth generation. 🙂