One woman in Germany found out when she tried to triple-hyphenate her name, combining her own (single) last name with her husband’s hypenated name. The answer? No dice.
Germany’s highest court ruled on this case, which involved dentist Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim-Kunz-Hallstein. At least, that’s what she wanted to call herself. The court, however, said she couldn’t. According to the court, triple hyphenating a name “lessened the impact of a name to do what it was supposed to do, namely ‘to identify.’”
The court apparently also feared of setting a dangerous precedent, to which I say, gimme a break! Hyphenated surnames are hard enough. Who would want to bother with the complexities of having a triple-barrelled name? How would you fill out government forms? What would your coach call you (Jones-Murphy-Goldstein, give me 20, doesn’t quite carry the same authoritative snap)? And if combining hyphenated surnames became the norm, it wouldn’t be long until Mary Jones-Murphy-Goldstein married John Smith-Brown-Flynn, and then what would their poor children do?
Apparently there are very strict naming laws in Germany to prevent such travesties, which is why this case went to court in the first place. Parents must choose from a list of government-approved names, and if they desire a different name, they must appeal to authorities. German law allows married couples to take one of their existing surnames, combine the two with a hyphen, or keep their own names.
I haven’t heard of any multi-hyphenate names here in the states, though I suppose it’s bound to happen (if it hasn’t already). So what should happen when a hyphenate marries a hyphenate?
Photo: Maxim (click for more hilarious hyphenates)
- Can Autism Be Diagnosed in Infancy?
- More Stuff Hip, Urban Parents Like
- Graphic Video Aims to Scare Kids Out of Teen Pregnancy
- The Politics of Preschool Presents
- Mom Spends $20,000 to Look Like Daughter