I have the initials D S-K as I have a double-barrelled surname, and this has always been how I have written them. I was recently reading through The Lord of the Rings, and realised that a character's double-barrelled name (being Sackville-Baggins) was said to have had the initials S.-B. which made me think about abbreviations. Is it right nowadays to use both dots and a hyphon in a double surname? Even Tolkien himself uses dots to show abbreviation in J. R. R. Tolkien, but I have never used them for my name before let alone a hyphonated name.

So should my name be abbreviated as D. S.-K., D.S.K. or should I even use the dots at all? I never really see them being used in names now and never have used them myself, are they even used anymore?

Even then, I am not even quite sure if it would be JRR, J. R. R. (with spaces) or J.R.R. (without) or if they are all acceptable?


  • 3
    There has been a tendency away from periods/full stops in abbreviations for a long time now, and indeed their meaning has changed somewhat in the language. Without going into all that, I'd just say that S.-K. looks old-fashioned to many eyes. For reference, consider another dotted abbreviation that is now old-fashioned: No. for number. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 1:04
  • I didn't know No. was comsidered old fashioned, I still use that sometimes. I think for my name I'll stick with D S-K though. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 1:09
  • See english.stackexchange.com/questions/45718/…
    – Mamta D
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 4:37
  • @Ambidextroid It's not archaic, it just isn't used very much anymore. Most people will use the # sign. In some markets I think it has survived better than others, such as in New York City that has a rich tradition of advertising street numbers and the like. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 6:28

1 Answer 1


Everyone in my family just writes four letters: EJFH for Ernest Joseph Friedman-Hill . It strikes me that this is fairly common.

  • 1
    So it's just a personal choice without set rules then? Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 0:31
  • No one has ever told me I'm wrong! Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 0:34

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