101 Unique Double-Barrelled Or Hyphenated Baby Names

Parents often find it difficult to decide between two names for their babies. But how about picking both of them for your little one? Hyphenated baby names provide endless opportunities for parents to give their babies the best and most unique name. These names have been popular for quite a long time and are helpful for parents who have more than one name in their minds. Here we have come up with some beautiful hyphenated or double-barreled names that you can choose for your child.

In This Article

What Are Double Barrel Names?

If two names are joined with a hyphen, it’s called a double barrelled or hyphenated name.

Where Do Double Barrel Names Come From?

The double-barrelled or hyphenated names started as surnames. They were taken from the UK, where a double surname is heritable and taken to preserve the family name, which faces the risk of extinction.

Tradition And Rules Of How To Write Double Barrel Names In Different Countries

If you want to use double barrel names for your child, you must follow some rules and regulations, which vary from region to region. Below are a few:

UK:

The Britons started this tradition. Not everyone with hyphenated or multiple names belonged to royal families. These names were also created when one spouse had a hyphenated name and a single surname.

A few upper-class British families also have triple-barrelled Surnames like Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Cave-Browne-Cave, and Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby.

Some British surnames are quadruple-barrelled as well, like Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis. The surname of the now extinct family of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos was also quadruple-barrelled.

Hispanic:

In the Hispanic tradition, double surnames are not an indication of the social status, but a norm. A person takes the surname of his father followed by the first name of his mother. The double surname is not heritable, but patronymic. The Hispanic names are combined with a hyphen, but can also be combined using ‘y’. Apart from this, there are heritable surnames as well that are connected with a hyphen.

Germany:

With the Germans, double surnames are taken upon marriage and can be written with or without the hyphen. It usually combines the husband’s surname with the wife’s surname. These double surnames are also called ‘alliance names’ in Germany and are not heritable.

The double-barrelled names or surnames are joined with a single hyphen. The German government does not accept any other type of double surnames. But exceptions can be made in terms of immigrants or after marriage, where the double surname had been already the official name of a spouse before the wedding. A 1993 law also forbids using surnames with two or more components.

Switzerland:

In Switzerland, double barrelled names or surnames are written with a hyphen. They usually combine the surnames of married couples. The husband’s surname is given the first place, and the wife’s surname the second. This is called alliance name. The prominent Switzerland figures bearing double-barrelled surnames are – Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Federal Minister for Finance of Switzerland, Michelin Calmy-Rey, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and Johann Schneider-Ammann, the Federal Minister of Economy of Switzerland.

The Netherlands:

The Dutch also practices double barrelled surnames. A famous example of it would be Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Researchers suggest that his name was derived from the 17th century when the farming families living in Holland’s Enschede area intermarried. Both Hesselink and Vennegoor names carried equal weight. So rather than choosing between the two names, they chose both the names.

Denmark:

The tradition of double surnames in Denmark originated in the 19th century. It arose as a result of two naming acts allowing the commoners to adopt the heritable surnames. It was passed for the first time in the year 1771 by the Duchy of Schleswig. Most of the people chose their father’s name as their heritable surname, giving rise to an overwhelming dominance of a few surnames.

To avoid the possibility of mistaken identity, the Danes started using their mother’s maiden name as the middle name, just like the Hispanic System, which resulted in three Prime Ministers of Denmark sharing the last name.

Today, the Danes place the patronymic –sen at the end of the surname, regardless of whether the name was passed down from their father or mother.

Poland:

In Poland, a double surname is joined by a single hyphen. The Polish surnames are hereditary and patrilineal, which means they are passed from father to children. A married woman can adopt her husband’s name if she wants. She can also keep her maiden name or add her husband’s surname to her own, creating a second name, which is called ‘nazwisko ziozone.’

France:

In France, double-hyphenated and double-barrelled names are considered ungrammatical. A few years ago, the French States decreed that the new double-barrelled surnames must be spelt with two hyphens, rather than one. The decision generated a series of legal battles in which parents objected to the children being double-dashed.

Instead of the kids automatically taking their father’s surname, parents are given options. Kids could take their dad’s or their mother’s name, either a double-barrelled name with father’s name as a first name or the mother’s.

Old names that are passed down through the generations could be single hyphenated or non-hyphenated.

Iberia:

When a baby is born in Iberia, it’s customary for him to take the first surname of the father and then the first surname of his mother. Legally, Enrique Iglesias’ full name is Enrique Iglesias Preysler. Even double-barrelled names are quite famous in Iberia, examples being Pérez de Arce, Cruz-Coke or García-Huidobro.

Portugal:

In Portugal also, double barrelled names and surnames are very common. Parents can either combine the paternal and maternal surname to bestow upon their child, or they can use a double last name passed down through one of the parents. The last surname is considered the most significant. It’s also important to note that the use of double-barrelled names in public life is not very common, but not entirely unheard of as well.

Non-Western Countries:

In China, a double-barrelled name or surname is called a Chinese compound surname. Most of these surnames are derived from the official and noble titles, place names, professions, and other areas. Some of these names are originally non-Han while others are created by joining two one character family names. The baby name officials suggest that parents must be encouraged to give double barrelled or hyphenated surname for their kids by combining their parents’ one-syllable surnames. It would make the names unique and prevent the problem of recurring names. Several Koreans and Vietnamese have also adopted compound surnames.

In India also, double barrelled or hyphenated surnames are quite common, especially among the Bengali communities. The examples include Das Gupta, Roy Chaudhry, Dutta Roy, and more.

In the Philippines, the naming tradition is derived from the Hispanic system but is influenced by the American naming tradition because the Philippines was once a United States Colony. As per the tradition, a Filipino baby is required to carry the mother’s maiden name as the middle name and the father’s surname. When the woman marries, she has to keep her maiden name and then add her husband’s surname. She may or may not hyphenate the name. For example, when Maria Rose Aguan marries John Dean Castro, her name will become Maria Rose Aguan Castro and her children will carry the surname Aguan Castro.

Double Barrelled Names Without Hyphen

Some double barrelled names are also written without a hyphen, which often causes confusion as to whether the name is double barrelled or not. The notable people with unhyphenated double-barrelled names are:

David Lloyd George: The British statesman and liberal politician was born with Lloyd as the middle name, but he later converted his name into a double-barrelled surname.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The English composer

Sacha Baron Cohen: The English actor, screenwriter, and comedian

Helena Bonham Carter: The renowned, Academy Award nominated actress

Robert Hanbury Brown: The British astronomer, and Physicist

Unique Double Barrelled Baby Names

Double Barrel Baby Girl Names:

  1. Amelia-Leigh
  2. Amelia-Rose
  3. Amy-Louise
  4. Annie-May
  5. Autumn-Rose
  6. Ava-Mae
  7. Casey-Leigh
  8. Charlotte-Rose
  9. ChloeAnne
  10. Chloe-Louise
  11. Daisy-Mae
  12. Demi-Leigh
  13. Ella-Ann
  14. Ella-May
  15. Ella-Rose
  16. Ellie-May
  17. Eva-Maria
  18. Evie-Mae
  19. Flora-Ann
  20. Gracie-Mae
  21. Harper-Rose
  22. Isabella-Leigh
  23. Isla-Louise
  24. Ivy-Rose
  25. Jaime-Leigh
  26. Lacey-Mai
  27. Leah-Marie
  28. Lillie-Ann
  29. Lily-Grace
  30. Lily-May
  31. Lily-Rose
  32. Lily-Sue
  33. Lisa-Marie
  34. Lola-Rose
  35. Mia-Jane
  36. Mia-Louise
  37. Mia-Rose
  38. Millie-Rose
  39. Olive-May
  40. Olivia-Faye
  41. Rosie-May
  42. Ruby-Ann
  43. Ruby-Grace
  44. Ruby-Jo
  45. Ruby-May
  46. Sarah-Jane
  47. Sarah-Louise
  48. Scarlett-Rose
  49. Sophia-Grace
  50. Summer-Louise
  51. Willow-Mae

Double-Barrel Baby Boy Names:

  1. A-Jay
  2. AbdulMalik
  3. Abdul-Rahman
  4. Abdul-Razzak
  5. Al-Ameen
  6. Alfie-George
  7. Alfie-Jay
  8. Alfie-Ray
  9. Andrew-Greg
  10. Archie-Jack
  11. Bailey-James
  12. Bailey-Ray
  13. Billy-James
  14. Billy-Joe
  15. Bobby-James
  16. Bradley-John
  17. Carter-James
  18. Chris-Junior
  19. Cody-Jay
  20. Cody-Lee
  21. Corey-James
  22. Dalton-Gray
  23. Dylan-James
  24. Ethan-James
  25. Ethan-Lee
  26. Harvey-Lee
  27. Hunter-Lee
  28. Jack-Dean
  29. Jack-Thomas
  30. Jacob-James
  31. Jaiden-Lee
  32. James-Dean
  33. Jamie-Ray
  34. Jayden-George
  35. Jesse-James
  36. Jesse-Lee
  37. John-Paul
  38. John-Moss
  39. Joshua-Lee
  40. Logan-Lee
  41. Marley-Jay
  42. Mason-Lee
  43. Oliver-James
  44. Peter-Mark
  45. Riley-James
  46. Ronnie-Ray
  47. Ryan-James
  48. Theo-James
  49. Tommy-Joe
  50. Tyler-James

protip_icon Did you know?
Lily-Mae, Elsie-Rose, Ava-May, and Anna-Blair are some other popular double-barrelled name options that you can pick for your daughter.


protip_icon Did you know?
Aaron-Jay, Glendon-Dean, and Marley-Blake are some hyphenated baby names that you may opt for your little boy.

Celebrities With Hyphenated or Double Barrelled Names

1. Chien-Ming Wang

Chien-Ming Wang is a Taiwanese baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. He previously played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, and New York Yankees. He was signed as an amateur free agent in the year 2000 with the Yankees. After playing in Minor League Baseball, Wang made his MLB debut in the years 2005.

2. T-Pain

Faheem Rashad Najm, born as T-Pain is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter. The name T-Pain stands for Tallahassee pain’. His second album, “Epiphany” reached the number one spot on “Billboard 200”. T-Pain has also released a series of hit albums like “Can’t Believe It”, “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” and many more.

3. Cee-Lo Green

Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, better known as Cee-Lo Green is an American songwriter, actor, businessperson, and singer. He gained prominence as a member of Goodie Mob, the southern hip-hop group. Subsequently, Green embarked on a solo career, spurred by his popularity on YouTube. He is best known for his work “Crazy.’

4. Sian Adey-Jones

Sian Adey-Jones is a former beauty queen and glamor model. She won the title Miss Whales and was the second runner-up in Miss Universe in the same year. Currently, she lives in Ibiza with her husband Rocco, and children.

5. Yau-Man Chan

Yau-Man Chan is a Malaysian-American table tennis player and a reality show participant. He finished fourth on the reality television series, “Survivor: Fiji”. He even took part in the show Survivor: Micronesia, where he was the third contestant to be ousted out of the game. On the “Survivor” website, Chan was voted the favorite survivor.

6. John-Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke is the man born ahead of his time. This English performance poet became famous during the punk rock era during the 1970s. Unfortunately, he spent the golden years of his life in heroin addiction. Thankfully, fatherhood rescued him. He now lives with his family in Colchester.

7. Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick is an American actor, whose first role was as Damien Thorn in the movie “The Omen”. He began his career by acting in commercials for the Flintstone vitamins and Marriot. Seamus also appeared in the television series “Sex and the City”. This young and talented actor has acted in seven movies until now.

8. Jean-Robert Bellande

Jean-Robert Bellande is an American Poker player, a nightclub owner, and a reality television contestant. He gained his first exposure during a World Series of Poker event in the year 2016. He took the third position, behind Jennifer Harman and Dough Lee. Besides, Jean-Robert Bellande was also a contestant on Survivor: China.

9. John-Cougar Mellencamp

This pop star, belonging to Florida, was born just John Mellencamp. After leaving Snakepit Banana Barn, a teenage band, he released his first solo album, which his manager released under the name of John Cougar. He hit the number one spot three years later with the anthemic Jack and Diane.

10. Mary-Margaret Humes

Mary-Margaret Humes is an American star, best known for playing the role of Gail Leery in WB television series “Dawson’s Creek” and Vestal Virgin Miriam in “History of the World, Part 1”. Before becoming an actress, Mary-Margaret Humes won the Miss Florida USA pageant and was the third runner-up in Miss USA pageant.

11. Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison is an author and journalist famous for her work “The Keltiad” and “The Rock&Roll Murders: The Rennie Stride Mysteries”. Her works include a memoir, rock criticism, and series of fantasy and science fiction.

12. Bradley Wright-Phillips

Bradley Wright-Phillips is an English football player who plays a striker for the New York Red Bulls team. He began his career with the Manchester City and spent the remainder of his time in England, playing with Brentford, Southampton, and Plymouth Argyle.

13. Sarah Barrable-Tishauer

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer is a Canadian actress known for her role in “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Her other works include “The Red Sneakers” and “Degrassi Takes Manhattan”.

14. Sun Yat-Sen

Sun Yat-Sen was a Chinese revolutionary and the founding father of the Republic of China. He’s also referred to as the “Father of the Nation” in China.

15. Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot

Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot, the pin-up boy of 1980s, was the lead singer of the band, “Curiosity Killed the Cat”. His lineup includes two other double-barrelled members as well, including Nicholas Bernard Thorp and Julian Godfrey Brookhouse.

Tips To Make Double Barrelled Names Look Cool

1. Make Your First Name Your Kid’s Middle Name:

By making your maiden name your child’s nickname, you can avoid the hyphen. But if you want, you can use a regular middle name too!

2. Mash Up The Surnames To Create A New One:

This option may not please many of you, as it requires legal name changes for both the partners. But the result would be fantastic.

Why Double Barrelled Or Hyphenated Names Can Be A Good Thing?

1. A Way Of Keeping Your Identity Intact:

One of the biggest reasons women hyphenate their last name is to keep their own identity intact while keeping their husbands happy. Women spend their whole lives trying to build an identity under a particular name. This does not mean you will no longer be you after marriage. But your name is associated with an identity and hyphenation allows you to respect that.

2. It Keeps You Connected To Your Accomplishments:

The hyphenated or double barrelled names allow women to stay connected to their accomplishments even after marriage. Some women partially hyphenate their names because their educational degrees are under their maiden names.

3. The Name Is Inclusive To You (In Most Of The Cases):

This is the most remarkable thing about double barrelled or hyphenated names. Whether you are paying homage to your parents, or honoring your family, your name is exclusive to you.

Why Double Barrelled Or Hyphenated Names Can Be A Bad Thing?

1. Difficult For Computers To Handle:

Hyphenated names are difficult for even the computers to handle. While typing your personal information, the hyphen is not recognized by the computer. So you have to eliminate the hyphens, which can cause problems later.

2. People Find Hyphenated Names Annoying:

If you are one of those mothers who care about the outside opinions, we must let you know that people find hyphenated names annoying. Some people think that hyphenated or double barrelled names sound snobby while others just find it irritating to remember which name they are supposed to say first.

3. Confusing For The Child:

Yes, hyphenated names can also be confusing for children at a later stage in life.

The Trend

There has been an explosion in the use of double-barrelled or hyphenated names in the recent years, especially for girls. According to a report by UNICEF, the officers at the birth registration office have reported a four and a half times increase in double barrelled names since the turn of the century. As per the data published by the Office for National Statistics, given names of one in six girls is double-barrelled. The commentators are baffled whether it’s an outbreak of social climbing or a burst of creativity by parents who want to make their kid stand out from the crowd.

In the past, the doubled barrelled names were used only by the upper middle class or aristocratic families, but it seems that the practice has now shifted classes. Last year, more than 1,200 baby girls in Wales and England were given hyphenated names as compared to just 260 in 2000. Names like Billie-Jo, Amelia-Rose, and Lily-May were the most popular. In 2014, 328 baby boys were given different double barreled or hyphenated names, which is a tenfold increase since the mid-1990s.

Rose is one of the most used names in double-barrelled names. The number of variations involving this name has increased 14-fold in these years. In the year 2014, there were as many as 245 variations of this name, ranging from Amelia Rose, which was given to 225 girls to Summer-Rose, which was given to 59 girls. Esmae Rose was given to 16 girls. The other common Rose variations were Dakota-Rose, Destiny-Rose, and Dolly-Rose.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which name comes first in a hyphenated name?

The preference for the first surname might vary in each country. Most countries place the father’s surname first, followed by the mother’s surname. However, the preference for a name might change in each country.

2. Why do people hyphenate baby’s last names?

Parents use hyphenated surnames if they wish their child to inherit both the family names. The order of the surnames is dependent on the parents’ choice.

3. Are hyphenated first names good?

Hyphenated first names can be a matter of personal preference and cultural significance. Some individuals find them unique and meaningful, while others may consider them cumbersome or difficult to use. Ultimately, the decision of whether hyphenated first names are good or not depends on individual tastes and cultural considerations.

4. Which name is more important in a hyphenated name?

Both names hold equal importance in a hyphenated name.

5. How do I decide whether to use a hyphenated baby name or not?

When deciding whether to use a hyphenated baby name or not, consider personal preference, cultural significance, ease of pronunciation, and potential long-term implications. Reflect on the name’s uniqueness, its compatibility with the child’s last name, and the potential impact on future paperwork and identification. Ultimately, the decision should align with your values, resonate with you and your partner, and serve the child’s best interests.

6. Are there any rules or guidelines for creating a hyphenated baby name?

There are no strict rules or guidelines for creating a hyphenated baby name. However, it is advisable to ensure the names flow well together, consider pronunciation and spelling ease, and be mindful of cultural appropriateness or significance to create a balanced and meaningful hyphenated name.

Would you consider double barrelled or hyphenated names for your babies? Know of more such names? Fill us up with them below.

The trend has started to take off in the United States as well, especially in Hollywood. In fact, Hollywood has been using double barrelled and hyphenated baby names for quite some time now. Johnny Depp named his daughter Lily-Rose. Jamie Oliver named his daughters Petal Blossom, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, and Buddy Bear, and Kate Moss named her daughter Lila-Grace.

Infographic: What Effect Might A Hyphenated Name Have?

Several nations and societies frequently use hyphenated names. It might be a good idea to have a double-barreled or hyphenated name influenced by two families, but this naming system has its cons too. See the infographic below for more details on this naming system.

positives and negatives of hyphenated names (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Britishers first used double-barrelled or hyphenated names to help preserve rare family names.
  • In the UK, hyphenated names were common for upper-class people, while Hispanics used them for patronymics.
  • Celebrities with double-barrelled names have helped popularize this practice across the globe.
  • Double-barrelled names may be cool but also troublesome when filling official forms online.
  • The use of double-barrelled names has increased significantly in recent years, indicating the growing desire for unconventional names.

Hyphenated Baby Names_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


Learn how to choose the perfect hyphenated name for your baby girl! Get tips on combining names, avoiding awkward combinations, and more.

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Arshi Ahmed

Arshi AhmedMA (English)

Arshi Ahmed did her graduation from Shri Shikshayatan College, Kolkata, and post graduation in English from Lovely Professional University. With nearly four years of experience, she specializes in writing baby names articles as she loves to help new parents find a name for their child. Arshi understands how important it is for a parent to find the right name because...read full bio