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What to do when your surname is horrible?!!

(55 Posts)
WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:20:18

Ok, me and DH have a horrible surname. Its a well known travelling-Irish-Gypsy surname. In our area, its the sort of surname that immediately leads to raised eyebrows and judgement. (Just imagine having the surname 'Kray' if you lived in the East End in the 50's, and you can imagine my pain!! grin )

I can forsee some problems our child will have with school applications, applying for jobs in the future etc, so in order to minimise this, I want a very 'posh' sounding first name to counter-act our surname!

So, we are so far thinking of the following names as possibilities:

Cordelia / Tabitha / Felicity / Harriet

Sebastian / Oscar / Benedict / William.

Do they sound a bit too poncey, especially since we are a working class family?

I want it to be as clear as possible that we're not pikeys, but I don't want to sound snobbish and up-myself!! Advice or name suggestions greatly appreciated!

Can you double barrel your surname?

MmeLindt Thu 15-Apr-10 14:23:02

Oh dear.

I can see that you are going to get flamed for this one.

Particularly the use of 'pikeys' is rather offensive.

As to your question, chose the name that you like and that goes with your (unloved) surname.

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:26:12

I thought I might get flamed (I even namechanged!) so im prepared for it, dont worry!

Even a few helpful suggestions would make the flaming worthwhile!

Apologies if the use of pikeys was offensive, it wasn't meant to be, I just know that my surname is not looked on favourably in my area, and I don't want my DC to be disadvantaged in anyway!

Can't double barrell, married DH and took on his surname willingly (oh the things you do for love!)

scurryfunge Thu 15-Apr-10 14:27:04

I'm sorry but the tone of your post sounds snobbish and up yourself,so the child's name is going to be the least of the worries.

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:28:49

and yes, I appreciate your advice to just choose a name we like best and that goes with our unloved surname, but names we would initially like are Tom/Martin type names, which would just re-inforce traveller-irish sounding surname, which I'm desperate to avoid.

CuppaTeaJanice Thu 15-Apr-10 14:28:59

Does your DH hate the name too? If so why don't you all change to your maiden name?

MmeLindt Thu 15-Apr-10 14:30:04

Thing is, the whole problem is only one if you make it one.

I mean, it is not as if your surname is Hitler or Himmler.

If you and your family stay in the area just ignore any comments or raised eyebrows. And if you or your DC move away from that area, then it is not a problem. I am sure that I would not know a Irish-Gypsy name if I came across it.

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:31:01

I don't mean it to sound snobbish and up myself, but every family in my area has been burgled/ mugged by those children of my surname, I want to avoid associations of it as much as possible with my own DC. I can just forsee the teacher on the first day of primary school dreading the fact that my child will be in their class, and want to try and pre-empt this.


Never meant to offend... I'll ask people in RL instead who understand the situation more and could relate. Thanks anyway.

SusieCarmichael Thu 15-Apr-10 14:31:22

the names definitely don't sound too poncey for you if that helps!

Kbear Thu 15-Apr-10 14:35:20

Just change your surname - easy

CuppaTeaJanice Thu 15-Apr-10 14:35:54

If it's going to be a problem, change your name! No point all having a horrible socially-limiting name just because it's traditional to take the man's name.

Much like the Bogg family did at my school.

MmeLindt Thu 15-Apr-10 14:45:06

Would your DH agree to changing your name?

If it so extreme, and the way you describe it makes me think it is, why don't you change your name?

MmeLindt Thu 15-Apr-10 14:46:41

btw, the names you have chose are all lovely. I particularly like Cordelia and Benedict.

And not too poncey at all.

ChickensHaveSinisterMotives Thu 15-Apr-10 14:48:22

I like the names you've mentioned, and I would still change my surname if its that much of a problem. Can it be lengthened? Add 'son' or 'man' to the end of it? Or shortened?

arsesandoldlace Thu 15-Apr-10 14:49:05

yy Deed Poll is only £10 online. And it's a legal document. My DH's family had a really stupid sounding surname originally and they changed to a normal one when he was small. Not unusual to do so.

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:49:50

Thanks for your kind suggestions, but I don't think its as easy as changing our surname. I think DH's parents would be very offended by it, and I also think it sort of gives the impression "I'm too good for your surname" - and despite the tone of my previous posts, I don't think that for a second. And my husband is a wonderful man, and although he also is aware of the problem his surname brings, its HIS surname, and I don't think he'd ever take kindly to changing it.

I just don't want my PFB to be judged every time his/her name appears on a form, and thought an upper class surname might counter-act this.

Really love the name Thomas for a boy, and Marie for a girl (grandparents names), and think maybe I should just suck up the traveller connotations these names might have when put together with our surname, and just raise my child with such impeccable manners that people's stereotypes will be challenged upon meeting my perfectly-behaved child?! I have a month or two left to decide anyway, so will give it further thought I suppose.

You've all given me food for thought anyway, so its very appreciated!

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:51:26

*sorry, meant to say I thought an upper-class FIRST name would counter-act the surname!

MmeLindt Thu 15-Apr-10 14:52:49

Thomas and Marie are beautiful names. (but I am biased on Thomas)

Go for it.

Once your DC are older, anyone who meets them will recognise immediately that they are lovely well brought up children. Never mind what their surnames are.

WatchingWaiting Thu 15-Apr-10 14:54:40

Thanks very much for advice.

And apologies once again for tone of initial post and any offense caused, I meant it to come across as jokey and light hearted, and it didn't.

MadamDeathstare Thu 15-Apr-10 14:59:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scurryfunge Thu 15-Apr-10 14:59:28

No worries -it was only me that got mumpy anyway.My favourites are Sebastian and Felicity from your list.

TrillianAstra Thu 15-Apr-10 15:00:08

A friend of a friend (someone I don't actually know) got married to a Mr Glasscock. Or possibly Glascock. Either way, it was pronounced Glass-cock.

When they got married they both changed their names (to a family name that was less of a playground-teasing magnet).

mathanxiety Thu 15-Apr-10 15:06:27

Cordelia / Tabitha / Felicity / Harriet

Of these, I love Tabitha and Cordelia.

Sebastian / Oscar / Benedict / William.

Torn between Oscar and Benedict here.

However, I love Thomas and Marie too.

You know, there are hardly any Traveller surnames that aren't common in the rest of the Irish population. Saying you have a well-known Traveller surname is like saying you have an Irish surname, in other words.

A hoity-toity first name (whatever that is) wouldn't necessarily counterbalance an Irish surname; it would emphasise whatever difference you perceive to be there.

ChickensHaveSinisterMotives Thu 15-Apr-10 15:12:51

I'm dying to know the surname now <nosey bag emoticon>

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