Thinking about surname equality, the problem with giving a child both parents’ names is that they’ll get really long after a few generations. I mean, Buchanan-Widmann sounds nice, but if Anna’s children were to be called Buchanan-Widmann-Fernández-Marković or similar, things would get a bit silly.
So Phyllis and I discussed an alternative today: People could mix their surnames. If this had been introduced when our grandparents married, it would have worked as follows.
Großmutter (née Kohler) and Großvater (Widmann) could have called their kids either Wider or Kohlmann. Idith (née Jørgensen) and Otto (Nielsen) could have called their daughters Jørsen or Nielgensen. If my parents had turned out to be Kohlmann and Nielgensen, I could have been Kohlgensen or Nielmann.
Phyllis’s Gramps (Stirling) and Granny (née Henderson) would have called Ann either Stirson or Henderling, and her Granda (Buchanan) and grandmother Phyllis (née Crosbie) would have called Dougie either Buchie or Crosanan, so if they had chosen Henderling and Buchie, Phyllis would have been either Henderie or Buchling.
And so, if I had been Nielmann and Phyllis had been Buchling, Anna would have been either Buchmann or Nielling.
A cool solution, isn’t it?