Sunday, November 16, 2008


My surname is McQueen-Rowe. Pretty long, isn't it? And it does not not exactly trip off the tongue. It is what is referred to as a "double barrel" name and is therefore a combination of my maiden name and my married name. Why did I choose to keep my maiden name upon marrying? First, my father asked me to. In fact, on my wedding day after the signing of the certificates, he surreptitiously took me aside and whispered, "Did you do it?" and seemed very satisfied when I replied, "yes".

Later I learned that he had made the same request of my sister.

The second reason was that I had no intention of replacing my stately, uncommon family name for a boring sounding one such as ROWE. I was quite proud of my uncommon and unusual last name MCQUEEN and had got quite used to people always commenting on how nice and unusual it sounded, and will you please spell it? Is it Mcqueen as in Steve McQueen, the very famous movie star?

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is, I think that I do have a somewhat rare/uncommon maiden name (at least by Jamaican Standards). There are very few McQueens listed in our telephone directory and when I used to use it people were always asking me to spell it or telling me how lovely and stately it sounds, especially when I was required to write my entire name - JANET DAFFODIL MCQUEEN.

I am so in love with my surname that When I had my first son I briefly flirted with the idea of using my hyphenated surname as my child's surname. Guess who that would not go down well with?

1 comment:

  1. What about surnames like Don Banks - a banker, Madeoff - arrested for making off with other peoples money and Usain Bolt the fastest man on earth ever? How were surnames arrived at and did all the countries of the world used the same method, adn are new surnmaes being formed now anywhere on earth?Another thing is how does Johnson etc., related (if at all) to John in earlier days of name formation? Patrick Dean


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