I heard this idiom in a movie and looked it up in the web in vain. Here's the phrase:

She's a lawyer, she's keeping her name.

Throwing a light on this would be greatly appreciated.

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    Happy to be part of this fabulous community . thanks
    – Rehme
    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:51
  • 1
    When Harry Met Sally...? Dec 20, 2013 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


in some English speaking countries, when a woman gets married, her last name (her surname) is changed to match that of her husband.

Professionals have more and more frequently been leaving this custom behind, thus the phrase/idiom keeping her name.

I saw this in a wedding announcement in the New York Times: The bride, 37, is keeping her name. She is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center and is on the staff of ...

  • I'm much grateful
    – Rehme
    Dec 20, 2013 at 1:56
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    It might be worth pointing out why a professional might leave this custom behind. There could be an element of independence, but oftentimes it's because the woman already has an established reputation that she doesn't want to interrupt. Perhaps she's already published several well-known papers under her maiden name. In the case of a lawyer whose last name is already in the name of a law firm (such as Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, e.g.), Ms. Howe might be very reluctant to change her name.
    – J.R.
    Dec 20, 2013 at 10:26
  • I thought of this, too, but since it is occurring increasingly among non-professionals as well, I didn't go into that line of reasoning. The reasons are varied; some are the last of a family name (my DIL), some just based on feminism (why I kept mine), and in my profession, Medicine, it's exceedingly common regardless of what stage in one's career one is (even among those marrying before receiving their MD.) We're seeing less of the burdensome hyphenation and just dispensing with the custom altogether. Dec 20, 2013 at 19:09

This probably means that she is marrying but keeping her maiden name, the surname she has had since birth, and by which she is already known in her profession, rather than using her husband's surname.


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