Lucky last! Are mash-up surnames the next big baby name trend?

Posted in Baby Names.

Surnames have taken some interesting twists and turns over the last couple of decades, as couples grapple with their feelings about family structure, our patriarchal society, ease of use and the importance of valuing women and their legacy as equally as men.

Lucky last?

All this has led to some interesting shifts in the surnames of many babies:

  • Some parents are choosing to give their child BOTH parents’ surnames, with or without a hyphen. 
  • A few are opting for passing on the mother’s surname to their wee bub, instead of the father’s.
  • Some are sticking with dad’s name.
  • And now the surname mash-up is making its mark, with parents smooshing both their names into one all-new last name for their baby. This combo deal is officially called a portmanteau.

One such portmanteau-ing couple popped up in a piece in The Daily Telegraph, with Courtney Cassar and Laura Sheldon telling the paper that they’d combined both their surnames to create a new one for their daughter.

“I like the idea of our daughter having a part of both of us,” Courtney explained. “With hyphens I find a lot of kids end up choosing one name because it is easier.”

Thus the pair registered the name Lyla Casseldon for their little girl, using a pleasing mix of Cassar and Sheldon.

That’s totally an option legally, according to Births, Deaths and Marriages who told the ABC that the number of kids who have neither their mums’ or their dads’ surname has gone from 3.4 percent to 9.4 percent since 1980. (In fact, some parents are going a step further than the mash-up and making up completely new surnames for their babies.)

The mash-up aka portmanteau trend is shaking the baby-naming game up, and we predict it’s going to be on the increase.

Millennials love to critically look convention in the eye and make their own commonsense adjustments, and the naming convention which asserts that men’s names are the valuable ones that should be preserved from generation to generation is ripe for disruption.

This trend is coming to a playgroup near you. In fact, it’s probably there already!

Surnames of children born in Victoria 2005-2010

Here’s what’s really going on with surnames — in Victoria at least — according to those in the know:

  • Children with surname that matches both parents: 54.80 percent
  • Children with surname that matches dad/partner but not mum: 35.30 percent
  • Children with surname that matches mum but not dad/partner: 4.51 percent
  • Children with surname that matches mum and no dad listed: 1.35 percent
  • Children with hyphenated and double-barrelled name that are a combination of parents: 2.46 percent
  • Children with newly created surname: 2.92 percent

Source: Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages/Swinburne University via ABC News


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