Mr. Jensen takes the wife's name

More grooms than ever are taking their brides' surname - if it is fancy enough

Danish men are eager to give up their own surname in exchange of their wives' maiden name - as long as it is a good one, daily newspaper Urban reported on Thursday.

Marriage registrar's offices around the country report a stronger trend of men taking their wives' names.

'People would like to have a special name, and it has become more usual for men to take their wives' surname, if it sounds important,' said the head of the marriage registrar's office in Aalborg, Susanne Christiansen.

She, along with her colleagues in Århus and Copenhagen, says men are especially willing to rid themselves of traditional Danish surnames like Hansen, Jensen, and Nielsen. The offices have no statistics to back up their claim, but all agree that the trend is on the rise.

'But it depends entirely on the wife's name,' said Christian Nielsen, leader of the marriage registrar's office in Copenhagen. 'In contrast to women, men do not take the name Olsen out of love.'

Michael Lerche Nielsen, name researcher at the University of Copenhagen, has his own theory about their reasons.

'Split family patterns mean that Danish men are not as fixed on their family name as they used to be,' he said. 'Instead they now pick the name that fits their own self-image. Something with a symbolic value ... and you don't find a lot of that in Olsen.'

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