Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Peggy Feldmann Firinne

Peggy and her partner are both actually named Margaret. They wanted to have a shared family name but didn’t want to both have the exact same first and last names, so they decided to keep their maiden names and create a new family name to attach on.

We went through a lot of different ideas of what that last name would be, we thought about other family names, and finally we decided on the name Firinne, which means truth in Gailic, and so both of us have either Scottish or Irish in our background, so just through research we came up with that word.

They weren’t able to get married in Massachusetts at the time, so had to legally change their names in court. Peggy decided to have two separate last names, and often just introduces herself as Peggy Firinne because she isn’t very attached to the name Feldmann, whereas her partner decided to hyphenate them. When they had children, they decided to give them the last name Firinne. Their first daughter was given Peggy’s mother’s maiden name as a first name. Their other two children also have the last name Firinne, and since Firinne is part of all their names they feel unified and don’t encounter any problems.


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