So, I just came across the lesson for 旧姓 maiden name. While it is still common in many places for the wife to take her husband’s family name, there are also multiple times when the partner taking the name is not a woman and thus not a “maiden”. It could just as likely be the husband. And at least where I live, this is increasingly becoming the case - either people keep their family name into the new union - creating double names or just keeping their own - or it’s the man taking on the wife’s name. Not to mention all same sex marriages with no women involved.
I wonder about the Japanese use of this word and Japanese culture. I know it’s a patriarchal society and quite conservative - so would it be alright to use 旧姓 for the husband’s former family name? Or would that cause confusion?
If it IS used for both men and women taking on their partner’s family name, I’d like to suggest to the @Mods that you add “former family name” or some such to the acceptable meanings or even as the primary meaning?
It can refer to both. But, seeing as a woman changing her name would be a lot more common it makes sense that it primarily means maiden name.
I’ll need to check with our content team but I’ll let you know what they say once they get back to me.
I was also initially mislead by this thanks to the wrestler Sakura Hirota, or 旧姓・広田さくら as she is frequently billed. Her gimmick is that she wrestles as sort of a copy as another wrestler, though she isn’t exactly a perfect replacement, haha (she’s a comedy wrestler, and this is usually the source of the comedy).
While she’s in character as someone else, the other wrestlers and commentary will refer to her by that person’s name. I once saw her ring name translated as “FKA Sakura Hirota”, which seems to be much better fit in this case than “maiden name” Sakura Hirota, since there’s no marriage connotation with her character at all (just that her name was originally Sakura Hirota and isn’t anymore, since she’s going by the name of whatever character she’s portraying at the moment).
The Japanese definition that Yomichan gives me doesn’t say anything about 旧姓 being used only for women (or for marriage, for that matter):
So even though “maiden name” is definitely included in that meaning, there are situations where that’s not really a great translation, and I agree that it would be better to change the primary meaning to something that encompasses more uses, like “former family name” as suggested.
Aye, Wikipedia uses a similar wording:
The article is, however, linked to “Maiden Name” on the English Wikipedia.
Though I do find it a little interesting that 姓 uses the 女 radical…
So 旧姓 can indeed be used for a man’s former family name too. We’ll make the necessary changes. Thanks for bringing this up!
Update: 旧姓 (36) - Changed the meaning mnemonic, added “former surname” as the primary meaning, made “maiden name” an alternative meaning, and added “former family name”, “birth name”, “née”, and “nee” to the allow list.
Thanks for checking this out! ^^
Some interesting discussion from everyone as well. So big thanks to everyone for that. TIL! ^>^