When a Pugh and a Griffin marry to become a Puffin, have nuptial trends jumped the shark?
British marrieds have started blending their surnames, according to a piece in The Telegraph that documents the practice, known as “meshing.”
It seems newlyweds in their twenties and thirties love jerry-rigging their last names together as much as they do posing for unintentionally awkward engagement photo shoots.
Eight hundred British couples have meshed their surnames so far this year, according to Deed Poll, a British service that issues the legal document required for name changes. (Shockingly, they’re in favour of the trend.)
Deed Poll’s Claudia Duncan told The Telegraph that some Britons prefer their made-up names to double-barrelling a surname, while others do it to avoid squabbling over which name will come first in the hyphenated scenario.
“Meshing has allowed couples the freedom of reinvention – meshing their names as a symbolic reflection of their union with a completely new start without any history being tied to their surname,” Duncan explained.
Historically, women gave up their surnames; fewer are doing so today as they establish themselves professionally, The Telegraph’s Emma Barnett wrote. Now, it seems some men are willing to forego their family names – for Puffin and the like.
The story sparked mostly ribaldry, with readers concocting fused names not fit for print in a family newspaper. The Telegraph ran this editorial with the story: “Spliced as wan and mife: The trend for couples to blend their names when they marry carries hidden dangers.”
Still, some commenters suggested meshing is a good alternative to hyphenated surnames for the kids of common law parents: “Double-barrelling seems more and more to apply to the children of unmarried parents. ... Perhaps meshing the child’s surname would be a good idea in these circumstances. Then again, nobody seems to worry about these things nowadays,” wrote one.
Others wondered if meshing spells ruin for genealogists.
Would you ever homogenize your surname with that of your spouse’s?