Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Natasha Appleweis

Natasha’s last name Appleweis is a unique name created by her parents, who combined their own names (Applebaum and Weisberg) in order to avoid what they believed was a “contrived” and “outdated practice” of giving children solely their father’s last names. Other options that were discussed for Natasha’s surname included hyphenating, but it was decided that Applebaum-Weisberg was just too long and too much of a mouthful. They even discussed using a completely unrelated name—the example Natasha gave was “Rockefeller”—partially in jest, but also because they legitimately believed Natasha could benefit from an attachment (familial or not) to the name. Her parent’s also played around with other combinations such as Weisapple, though it was eventually decided that having a letter that started with “A” may give Natasha an advantage in the classroom, and in other activities.

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