Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Andrea Lucard

Andrea’s last name “Lucard” is a combination of her own natal name “Lucas” and that of her husband’s natal name “Howard.” In our interview, Andrea described a common theme in last-name discussions:

“I had a fairly strong feeling at the time of two things. The first was that we had decided we wanted to have children if that were possible in our marriage. And I had decided that I wanted my children to have the same last name as I did.”

This desire to create a family unit with a unifying and shared name is one that is present in many of our interviews, and may suggest how we emotionally connect with and identify individuals based on their name.

Andrea discussed another important theme in her interview—that of visibility (or lack thereof) within naming practices. She expressed concerns with the idea of taking her husband’s last name, and therefore in some ways becoming him. To avoid this by following the traditional patrilineal route, Andrea and her husband came up with alternative options including hyphenating, changing his name to hers, or coming up with a new name entirely. They finally decided to merge their own names to create a new one.

As a result of this decision, Andrea feels that her family does “have a family identity that’s related around [their] name, that has substance to it…names are very important in our family, actually.”  Her children have other portions of their name that are unique—“They are each named for a family member, they are named for a king or a hero, they are named for an artist, and then they have this family. So naming is in some way important.”

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