Are hyphenated baby names 'common'? Mum kicks off debate online about double-barrelled monikers

Who are you calling common? [Photo: Getty]
Who are you calling common? [Photo: Getty]

A mum has kickstarted a parenting debate online about whether hyphenated baby names are ‘common.’

Giving your newborn a moniker is a tricky business. Choose something popular and you risk your child being one of six Olivias on the nursery register, but pick something unusual and you run the risk of it not going down well with other parents.

A dad-to-be is keen to give his unborn child a double-barrelled name so they stand out from the baby crowd, but his wife has seen some negative reactions to them in the past so went online to gauge opinions.

“I frequently see the majority on here post how they dislike hyphenated names… is there any particular reason,” she wrote on parenting site Netmums.

“My OH is insisting on it and I’ve always liked them so just wondering the feelings on it.”

And it wasn’t long before other parents chipped in to offer their own views on the subject.

Many users were of the opinion that hyphenated-names with many saying having two first names was ‘chavvy’ or ‘lower class’.

“Not my cup of tea,” one parent wrote. “I think it depending on the names used it either looks pretentious or common but never good. I’ve yet to see one I haven’t cringed about.”

“They’re considered chavvy in my area too, sorry,” another mum added.

Others thought it depended on the actual names chosen.

“I really dislike the modern trend for hyphenating what seems like anything with Rae or Mae or Mai or Leigh,” one user wrote.

“Seems every other name is hyphenated these days, even if it doesn’t suit the first name! Even worse, is hyphenating two names with similar syllables such as Olivia-Georgia or Natalia-Francesca (actual names I know of!)… such a mouthful for a little one and never intended to be hyphenated together.”

“I think it just depends on the names chosen tbh,” another added. “Some hyphenated names sound *really* chavvy while others sound perfectly acceptable. I personally don’t like hyphenated names as it seems a bit of a fashion trend in names.”

Are hyphenated baby names common? [Photo: Getty]
Are hyphenated baby names common? [Photo: Getty]

But other parents were quick to step in and defend double-barrelled names.

“Lower class? Wow,” one woman wrote. “My name is double barrelled – Carol-Ann. I have a mortgage on quite a large house, which I have owned since I was 23 years old and a career in a job that pays well. A ‘symbol in the middle of a name’ doesn’t define a person.”

“I don’t think you can pin a name on class, that is very judgemental and the same goes for where people live,” agreed another parent.

“My daughter has a hyphenated name and it really does suit her,” another mum added. “She was named after her family and I wouldn’t change her name for the world.”

Others simply shared their reasons for liking hyphenated names, and encouraged parents-to-be to choose a name that suited them.

“I regret not double barrelling my daughters name,” one mum wrote. “I might look into it in future if she likes it. It’s for the love of the name. We are not on a council estate either.”

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