Onomastics in Interaction With Other Branches of Science. Volume 2.

Motivations and Tendencies in Married Name Choice in Hungary

Annamária Ulla Szabó T.
Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)


The study presents a survey, carried out in 2017, concerning the motivations and tendencies of the choice of married names in Hungary. The informants were women between the age of twenty and forty who were married after the last regulation of married names passed in 2004. All the seven possible official name types are listed and studied: A) the three traditional name types (with the -né suffix); B) the two-surname versions based on compromise: hyphenated names with the two birth names; C) the two unusual or non-typical options: the first is the woman’s birth name, the second the woman’s given name combined with her husband’s family name. The paper illustrates how identity factors can influence the choice of a certain name type. The traditional name types, the two-name versions based on compromise, and untypical married names all have a different effect, because they express the individuality and the marital status of the married woman in different ways. The study presents the various opinions and interpretations of the married informants about the motivations of their name choice. This socio-onomastic research proves that the most popular married names contain the woman’s birth name in some form as an expression of their individuality while also reflecting their changed marital status.

Keywords: identity, married names, motivations, modernity, tradition

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