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  • Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.

  • I'm Dan and joining me today is Neil. Hi Neil.

  • Neil: Hi there, Dan.

  • Dan: You're a married man, Neil. When you were wed,

  • did your wife change her family name?

  • Neil: Yes she did.

  • Dan: Was that her choice?

  • Neil: Oh yes. She didn't like her old name,

  • so for her it was a win-win. How about you?

  • Dan: Well, my wife wanted to keep her surname,

  • but was forced to adopt mine

  • because that was the law where we got married.

  • Neil: Would you have thought about taking her name?

  • Dan: That's what we're talking about in this

  • 6 Minute English. A husband taking a wife's

  • name after marriage. All that,

  • six related words and our quiz question.

  • Neil: OK. Let's have the question.

  • Dan: In which country has it been forbidden

  • since 1789 for a citizen to change their name

  • legally, even after marriage?

  • Is it a) Japan, b) France or c) Turkey

  • Neil: I'm going to go for b) France

  • Dan: And we'll see if you're right later.

  • Now, traditionally in the UK,

  • when a man and a woman get married,

  • the woman takes the man's family name.

  • And this replaces her maiden name.

  • Neil: A maiden name is the surname a woman had

  • before she was married. This all dates

  • back to the Norman invasion of England, back in 1066.

  • They introduced the idea that when

  • a woman married a man, she became his property.

  • As a result of this, she took his name.

  • Dan: These days, many women elect to keep

  • their maiden name upon marriage or combine it

  • with their new husband's in some way, sometimes

  • by making the name double-barrelled.

  • Neil: A double-barrelled name is two names.

  • that are connected by a hyphen, such as Jones-Smith

  • Dan: However, a growing number of couples

  • in western culture are doing it differently.

  • When they get married,

  • the husband elects to take the wife's surname.

  • Neil: In a BBC article about surnames and marriage,

  • Rory Dearlove, formerly Rory Cook,

  • talks about why he decided to take his wife's surname.

  • He said that he wasn't really attached

  • to his name anyway.

  • To him it didn't make any difference.

  • Dan: Well, he's not alone.

  • A recent study of 2000 UK adults by Opinium,

  • a strategic insight agency, suggested that one in ten

  • millennial men, currently between 18 and 34 years old,

  • fall into this category.

  • Neil: Charlie Shaw, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation

  • instructor, who took his wife's name when they

  • married last year, said that it was an opportunity

  • to acknowledge the unseen patriarchal

  • bias and sexism in our society.

  • Dan: Patriarchal means 'controlled by men'

  • and a bias is the unfair support or opposition

  • to a person, thing or idea.

  • Neil: Many traditional societies were patriarchal.

  • But modern UK society is less like that.

  • Everyone is meant to be equal.

  • Dan: Ah yes, but that's the unseen part.

  • And there's the social view of things too.

  • Rachel Robnett, a researcher at the University of

  • Nevada surveyed a number of people

  • in the US and UK, and found that the husbands of

  • of women who keep their maiden names are viewed

  • as 'feminine', while the women are believed to

  • 'wear the trousers'.

  • Neil: If you 'wear the trousers' in a relationship,

  • it means you 'have the control

  • and make the decisions for both people'.

  • Dan: I wondered about that,

  • so I went out into London

  • and asked people what they thought

  • about a man who took his wife's name

  • when they got married. Here's what they said.

  • Woman: I don't think it's a bad idea at all.

  • My dad's 55 and he took my mother's surname.

  • If people want to do it,

  • then all the power to them.

  • Man: It's each to their own really.

  • It doesn't hurt anybody. And it's no different from

  • a woman taking a man's name.

  • Woman: The only reason I think that anybody

  • should take someone else's surname

  • if just for the creation of a family unit.

  • But if it's just out of principle, I don't agree.

  • Dan: It seems that the people I talked to

  • are comfortable with the idea.

  • Neil: Yes. Most said that people are free

  • to do what they want. One woman even mentioned

  • the creation of a family unit.

  • Dan: A unit is a group of people living

  • or working together. A typical family unit would be

  • two parents and some children.

  • Well, that answers that question.

  • People don't seem to mind who takes who's name.

  • Neil: Speaking of questions.

  • How about our quiz question?

  • Dan: I asked you in which country

  • it's been forbidden since 1789

  • for a citizen to change their name legally,

  • even after marriage?

  • a) Japan, b) France or c) Turkey

  • Neil: And I said b) France

  • Dan: And you were spot on as usual, Neil.

  • Neil: Let's take a look at the vocabulary, shall we?

  • Dan: First we had maiden name.

  • This is a woman's family name before she is married.

  • My mother refused to give up her maiden name

  • to my father when she got married.

  • Neil: Then we had double-barrelled.

  • A double-barrelled name is two names

  • that are joined by a hyphen.

  • Can you think of any famous examples?

  • Dan: Well, there's the Duchess of Cornwall

  • Camilla Parker-Bowles for one.

  • She's married to Prince Charles -

  • next in line to the English throne.

  • Then we had patriarchal.

  • If something is patriarchal,

  • it is controlled by men.

  • The feminine equivalent is matriarchal,

  • controlled by women.

  • Neil: Then we had bias. A bias is unfair support

  • or opposition to a person, thing or idea.

  • Dan: Many fans are biased in favour

  • of their football team.

  • Then we had wear the trousers.

  • If you wear the trousers, you have the control

  • and make the decisions for both people.

  • Do you wear the trousers in your marriage, Neil?

  • Neil: Oh, we both wear the trousers in my marriage,

  • thank you Dan. Then we had unit.

  • A unit is a group of people living or working

  • together. Like the BBC Learning English team... or unit!

  • Dan: And that's the end of this 6 Minute English.

  • Don't forget to check out our Facebook, Twitter,

  • Instagram and YouTube pages.

  • And we'll see you next time. Bye!

  • Neil: Bye!

Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.

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B1 UK dan married surname maiden patriarchal marriage

Learn to talk about names in 6 minutes!

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    Vvn Chen posted on 2018/09/20
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