Middle Name: Dawn-Marie or Dawn Marie?

We know we want to use both names, as they both have important family ties, but we're unsure whether or not to hyphenate. I'm leaning slightly towards hyphenating, but again, only slightly. Opinions?


July 17, 2015 3:42 PM

This may vary from country to country, so this may be different where you live, but as far as I know hyphenating a name means your child will always have to use both names. Do you plan on calling her Dawn-Marie all the time and do you want friends and family to call her by her full name or do you plan to call her just Dawn most of the time?

If you plan on using just Dawn I definitely wouldn't hyphenate. If you do want to use both it may be easier when the name is hyphenated as people will automatically call her Dawn-Marie whereas you (or she) may have to correct people who read her name for the first time e.g. at school etc. So a hyphenated name would make that quite easy. On the other hand she would be "forced" to go by Dawn-Marie all the time. If one day she decided she wants to be called just Dawn it would be easier if her name wasn't hyphenated - for this reason I usually lean more towards non hyphenated names as it gives your child a bit more of a choice and it's easier on papers. But if you're 100% sure you want her to be called Dawn-Marie by everyone the hyphen might be a "safer" option.


July 17, 2015 4:00 PM

As a person living in the US, if I saw Dawn-Marie Surname, I'd assume that Dawn-Marie was a full first name, and use it as such. If I saw Dawn Marie Surname, I'd assume it was a first name and a middle name, and call that person Dawn. Either way is fine, it just depends on how you expect other people to use the name. :)

July 17, 2015 4:27 PM

If you're looking  to do firstname  dawn-Marie lastname,  I'd use the hyphen.  Otherwise the Marie will be left out often, as forms,  etc.  Don't of Enterprise have spaces for two separate middle names (and to me,  with no hyphen it looks like 2 middle names)  :)  

July 17, 2015 5:19 PM

I agree--if it's important to you that both parts be used as the middle name, hyphenating will get you closer. Even more effective is running it together, DawnMarie, as not all systems deal well with hyphens. It would probably be spelled Dawnmarie sometimes, but you're much less likely to have Marie dropped altogether.

If it's not as important to you to always use both middles, then I would avoid the hyphen, for the abovementioned issues with computer systems and such.

July 18, 2015 6:03 PM

Some weird autocorrect on that last comment but think you get my drift :-) 

July 18, 2015 11:10 PM

As a person with a hyphenated name, I am strongly against hyphenating. It's going to cause so many problems. Most databases, like for hospitals and schools, don't process the hyphen, so important paperwork gets lost all the time. A lot of ID cards or bank cards won't print the hyphen on the card, but the legal ID will, so you often can't buy things with a card because they don't match. It's just going to be a big hassle. I know from firsthand experience.

July 19, 2015 11:21 AM

Another hyphen hater here. Ours is in our surname, which does affect how various systems handle (or don't handle) the punctuation, but for a middle name, it's easy to avoid all potential hassle: just combine the names into Dawnmarie. You don't even need to do CamelCase on it, because it's easy to parse as a combination without it, and capitalization is another thing that computer systems tend to mess up.

If you don't hyphenate, I predict that 99% of the time, Marie would get dropped -- in the US, most computer systems are set up for one middle name, and one middle name only. If you do hyphenate, it'll "only" get dropped about half the time, but the other half of the time, she'll get told things like "your name is invalid". None of these things will happen if you use Dawnmarie.