Some ways to combine names include Hispanic naming customs and double-barrelled naming customs common to British and German naming traditions. Individuals generally take on combination names upon marriage, often to preserve social status.
In the Hispanic tradition, each individual takes on the surname of his father and the surname of his mother. Often, these names are combined without a hyphen, although in some cases they can be. In many cases, individuals with combined names adopt hyphens to make their names suitable for implementation in software systems that do not allow for the use of a space when entering names.
In the British tradition, hyphens are commonly used to combine two separate names upon marriage, especially in the case of a woman who marries below her social class. To preserve her name while adopting the name of her husband, the woman adopts a double-barrelled name that consists of both family names separated by a hyphen. Some individuals do this to preserve names that would otherwise be made extinct by the lack of a male heir.
In the German tradition, married couples take on double surnames. Unlike the British tradition, the resulting names are not heritable and can be separated by a hyphen or combined into a single word.