Millennial grooms take spouse’s name 千禧一代新郎選擇婚後隨妻姓

Grooms taking their bride’s name

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在英國,女性婚後隨夫姓這個傳統已延續了一千多年。然而,這一慣例究竟從何而來?時至今日,婚後從夫姓的現象仍然非常普遍嗎?近來,在千禧一代人中,有越來越多的男性選擇“夫隨婦姓”。本集《隨身英語》探討隨著時代發展而演變的命名慣例。

課文內容

Vocabulary: names 詞彙: 名字

No one knows how long humans have been giving themselves names, but one thing is sure: surnames are a much more recent idea than given names. In Europe, surnames were developed to distinguish between individuals who had the same moniker. They were brought to the UK by the French nobility following the Norman Conquest around the 12th century and became common around the 14th century.

Another tradition that the Normans introduced was that of coverture. This was a law which said that a woman became a man’s property when they got married. In those days, only a man could be the head of the family and allowed to own property. At this point the bride lost her maiden name. Over time, this has led to the tradition that upon marriage a woman relinquishes her maiden name and takes on her new husband’s family name.

Fast forward to the present. These days a woman choosing not to change her name to match her husband’s after marriage has long been a norm. The first recorded case is widely believed to be an American suffragette called Lucy Stone. When she got married in 1855, she refused to take her husband’s name. After that, other ideas such as merging and double-barrelling also became common.

However, it would seem that a new trend is arising. One in ten millennial males is now electing to replace their surname with their wife’s. That’s according to a recent study of 2000 UK adults by Opinium, a strategic insight agency. In a BBC article, Rory Dearlove née Cook, explained that for him it wasn’t important to keep his surname. He thought it would be nice for his wife and him to have the same last name. The bride, Lucy, had made it clear before getting married that she had no intention of changing hers, but thought that he would keep his too. “He’s entitled to keep his just as I am entitled to keep mine,” she commented.

Other men had different reasons. Charlie Shaw, dubbed ‘Morley’ at birth, explained that it was, “a gesture of allegiance and an opportunity to acknowledge the unseen patriarchal bias and sexism in our society.” It’s worth noting that, in the UK at least, only the fathers of the couple being married are on the marriage certificate. The mothers do not appear at all.

However, not everyone is in favour of altering tradition. Rachel Robnett, a researcher at the University of Nevada, surveyed a number of people in the US and UK and found that a man whose wife keeps her maiden name is viewed as ‘feminine’, while the woman was believed to ‘wear the trousers’. And when one family found out that their son was to take his wife’s name, they refused to attend the wedding. To them it was proof that he was totally under the thumb.

‘What’s in a name?’ Shakespeare asked in Romeo and Juliet. It would seem, depending on who you talk to, a great deal. Whether maintaining traditional naming conventions, keeping the surname, or swapping names, these days at least there is a choice to be made.

詞彙表

surname 姓,同“family name”
given name 名
moniker 人名、綽號
maiden name(女性婚前的)娘家姓
family name 姓,同“surname”
take her husband’s name 隨夫姓
merge 合並組成
to double barrel 雙方聯姓的
née(已婚女性的姓氏後標注的)原姓
keep one’s surname 保持某人的原姓
dub 稱…為,叫作
take his wife’s name 隨婦姓
naming convention 命名慣例
swap name 替換名字

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why were surnames first developed?

2. Apart from surnames, what other idea did the Normans introduce to the UK?

3. Why did Charlie Shaw decide to take his wife’s name?

4. What did the survey by Rachel Robnett suggest about how people viewed a man who allowed his wife to keep her maiden name?

5. Which word in the article means ‘has the right to do’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. After I married, I became Samantha Jones. I’m Samantha Jones ______ Johnson.

Née       moniker       maiden name       merge

2. He was awarded a knighthood in 2005 and was ______ Sir John Smith.

née       dubbed       given name       double-barrelled

3. I want to combine our names to make a ______ one. Should I be Smith-Parker, or Parker-Smith?

merged       given name       double-barrelled       kept

4. In some places, ______ are based on the female line. You follow the mother’s name.

keeping his surname       taking her husband’s name       moniker       naming conventions

5. I’m sorry. I’m Stephanie Jones now. Waters was my ______.

naming convention       maiden name       née       moniker              

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why were surnames first developed?
In Europe, surnames were developed to distinguish between individuals who had the same moniker.

2. Apart from surnames, what other idea did the Normans introduce to the UK?
Coverture, which was a law which said that a woman became a man’s property when they got married.

3. Why did Charlie Shaw decide to take his wife’s name?
He said it was “a gesture of allegiance and an opportunity to acknowledge the unseen patriarchal bias and sexism in our society.”

4. What did the survey by Rachel Robnett suggest about how people viewed a man who allowed his wife to keep her maiden name?
It suggested that a man who allows his wife to keep her maiden name is viewed as ‘feminine’, while the woman was believed to ‘wear the trousers’.

5. Which word in the article means ‘has the right to do’?
Entitled. (“He’s entitled to keep his just as I am entitled to keep mine,” she commented.)

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. After I married, I became Samantha Jones. I’m Samantha Jones née Johnson.

2. He was awarded a knighthood in 2005 and was dubbed Sir John Smith.

3. I want to combine our names to make a double-barrelled one. Should I be Smith-Parker, or Parker-Smith!  

4. In some places, naming conventions are based on the female line. You follow the mother’s name.

5. I’m sorry. I’m Stephanie Jones now. Waters was my maiden name.

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