Asszonynévhasználat és asszonynév-változtatás a 20. század második felében

  • TAMÁS FARKAS ELTE Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem


Marital name use and marital name changes in the second half of the 20th century

The study examines changes in the use of marital names and their connections from a novel perspective based on new source material. Its broader subject matter is the changes in the use of official marital names in the second half of the 20th century, which brought about an expansion, and never before seen diversity in the name forms that could be chosen in marriage. (Considering an example of a husband called [examples given in Hungarian name order, with family names first] Hunyadi János and his wife Szilágyi Erzsébet, the wife could at first only be (i) Hunyadi Jánosné using the -né suffix, meaning ‘wife of’. From 1953 the wife could choose to be (ii) Hunyadi Jánosné Szilágyi Erzsébet or (iii) Szilágyi Erzsébet. 1974 brought even more choices with (iv) Hunyadiné Szilágyi Erzsébet or (v) Hunyadi Erzsébet. In 2004 the options (vi) Hunyadi-Szilágyi Erzsébet and (vii) Szilágyi-Hunyadi Erzsébet were added. Nevertheless, the study focuses not on the name forms chosen at the time of marriage but later changes that realised movement between the name forms available to women in a given period. The source material of the study is a selected subset of the request documents submitted to the responsible ministry. The study examines the change requests submitted by married women and those submitted by divorced or widowed women separately. The legal background of the phenomenon is explored, alongside the possible motivations for the changes based on written statements and factors that can be deduced from the processes. The proportion of changed and newly chosen name forms, temporal changes in these trends, and the social characteristics of those submitting requests are examined throughout the period that brought significant changes. The paper hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the factors that influence the use, change and connections of names used by women in the Modern Age with this study.