Hyphenated Names?

My name is Avery, and my middle name‘s Grace. I go by my first name, Avery, at school and around distant family because going by two names seems to be very confusing to others. My mother calls me Avery Grace, and occasionally, Grace. I want to start going by my first and middle name at school. Should I go by Avery Grace or Avery-Grace?


August 4, 2018 11:41 PM

My experience is with a surname, not a pair of given names, but I would say that most people will not even notice a difference between Avery Grace and Avery-Grace; they will skip Grace regardless of how it's written. Averygrace comes closest to having a fighting chance at being treated as a unit, but even there, many people will assume it's a typo. Camel case (AveryGrace) has the same problem as writing it with a space or with a hyphen; people will see it as they expect to see it, with a space.

All that said, though, the traditional way to signal that two names are to be treated as a unit is to write them with a hyphen, so I would go with that, but expect annoyances regardless.

August 5, 2018 2:57 AM

I'd go with Avery-Grace,  so you have some sort of chance of people using both names

By EVie
August 5, 2018 9:48 AM

If you're not making any legal changes, go ahead and experiment with it different ways. Hyphens can cause bureaucratic problems with computer systems, but it doesn't sound like that will be an issue just yet, and I don't see any reason why you can't write it out however you feel like it. I agree that using the hyphen will probably make it more likely that people will use the full name, especially if you start doing it when school starts in the fall so your new teachers learn it that way from the beginning. Getting your friends to change what they call you will be harder. I know people who still resolutely call their high school friends by their silly high school nicknames, and we're in our mid-30s. 

August 5, 2018 4:31 PM

My first name is hyphenated. I long ago decided to go by the first part only, to make my life easier (in my case, it was complicated by being a foreign name which most people don't pronouce correctly, especially in its full hyphenated form). But a lot of people do still call me by my full name, so I'd say having a hyphen definitely works if that's what you want.

February 12, 2019 8:24 PM

My mom hyphenated my middle name. I was her 1st and she loved the name “Mackenzie Morgan” but she also wanted to carry on her middle name “Paij”(pr. Page) and was afraid if she didn’t use it she might not have another girl. So therefore my name became “Mackenzie Morgan-Paij”. Then my sister came along and my mom felt that she couldn’t just do it for one and not the other so my sister was named “Madison Taylor-Paij”.

February 18, 2019 3:03 AM

I think Avery Grace is more suitable.