Marriage Meshing: Where Two Surnames Meet

​Is the portmanteau method the fairest solution to who takes whose name?

Much like Snapchat vs InstaStories? Corbyn vs Smith? Does Winona over egg it in Stranger Things? - the age old 'who takes whose name' debate is a contentious talking point.   

In the past the options were limited - A) Both of you took one of your names (in heterosexual couples often the man's) B) You joined your names into a double barrelled lengthy Game of Thrones-esque title. C) You kept your names exactly as they are - leaving a likely later contentious debate about whose name the kids get.

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Now, however, a new, much fairer, option is growing in popularity. 

The portmanteau method as we've named it at ELLE HQ, more commonly known at name-meshing, involves a pair joining together their existing surnames to come up with a new one, just for them, which they then change to at deed poll.

It's something me and my partner have chatted about often. Even despite choosing not to marry we'd still like a family name together. In large part as despite several coin tosses, a lot of games of Rock, Paper, Scissors, and a many heated arguments, we still can't decide whose name our children would get. 

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With surnames that are both already long and tongue twisting, me: De Casparis him: O'Donnell - the double barrel option would surely leave our child not being able to spell his or her own name until they were in their late teens. And taking either ones seems mighty unfair (even though, as I've often told him, I think he'd be a very handsome Mr De Casparis).

And so, as we've discussed - ok, normally after much wine - becoming a family of O'Casparis', or my preference the house of De Donnell - so catchy, right?

Why not? It's something celebs do the time - Kimye, Brangelina, Hiddleswift are just a few of the most clicked combined named couples of the moment. TV presenter Dawn Porter opted to have her name changed to O'Porter after marrying Bridesmaids actor Chris O'Dowd. 

And now there's even a handy site that helps you decide how your and your lovers names would combine: http://namecombiner.com.

In the end the choice is personal, it's your name after all. But anything that prevents me losing another round of pointless Rock, Paper, Scissors, is certainly worth considering. 

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