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Is it a good idea to change my rl name?

(41 Posts)
Smurfsalloveragain Sat 20-Jul-13 19:22:54

I am a regular but have name changed on MN for this topic as it could identify me.

My parents immigrated from one European country to another where I was born. I was given a name from my parents' country of origin and annoyingly nobody has ever been able to pronounce my name.

I moved to the UK 10 years ago and, apart from a few close friends, people can't pronounce my first name here either. Most people cannot remember my name because its so unfamiliar and my DCs friends just call me 'DC's mummy' grin hmm.

When I was growing up, I was always mortified when we had new teachers in school as they used to single me out when going through the name list and ask me where I was from and I had to explain myself in front of everybody.

Moreover, whenever I introduce myself to people they always look utterly confused and ask what kind of name this is so I feel obliged to tell them about my family background. This happens pretty much all the effing time, regardless of how brief or inignifant the interaction is sad.

It really hit home how impractical and irritating this is when i gave birth to DC2 recently; the midwives didn't feel comfortable saying my name or said it (understandably) wrong during what was one of the most intense experiences of my life. My name just seems to always get in the way of things...

I am so fed up with my name but wonder if it would be really weird to change it (i am in my mid thirties). Could I ever get used to and identify with a new name? DH says he loves my name but I don't!

Are there any people here who have name changed in rl?

Please help me make up my mind smile.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 21-Jul-13 08:27:41

I sympathise smurfs. I have an unusual first name, even though it's English, (and had an unusual foreign sounding maiden name) and everyone, especially medical staff and teachers had to comment. What they don't understand about the tediousness of it I really don't know. One got quite arsy once when after saying "ooh, that's an unusual name, where does that come from" (although actually often the underlying tone was ruder than that - that's odd, why did your parents call you that) when I responded my father - probably just like your name.

I just sort of grew into my name and eventually married DH (English but long and difficult and somehow doesn't attract the same level of comment - more an ooh rather than an ugh) don't know if I'd go as far as actually formally changing it though OP - the admin if you have children: passports, investments, banks, house deeds, agreements, etc., will be horrendous.

I know lots of people who use a different name to their real name though. DH's gran was actually called Maud but was always known as Bea; an old aunt was called Helena but known as Sally, I know a mum at school who's called Alison but her real name is Jenny (that's what her mum calls her).

I'd just chose a name and start using it and introducing yourself as it. Not a problem - just do it.

ZolaBuddleia Sun 21-Jul-13 08:32:07

Can you pick one or two syllables (assuming it's a long name) and just use that? Then you have a connection to your original name and it won't feel like you're coming up with something out of thin air.

After all, that's where NNs like Liv and Jules come from, isn't it?

My given name is long and clunky and have been known by a couple of different names over the course of my life.

Smurfsalloveragain Sun 21-Jul-13 10:13:52

Savoy, I can relate to your mum's story. I have been in that little girl's shoes all my life. To the point wherei feel really grateful when someone learns to say my name correctly as it appends quite rarely.

SavoyCabbage Sun 21-Jul-13 10:19:12

Just change it. My dh's name is nothing like his old name. It was easy enough to complete the change over and people got used to it.

After I posted that about my mum and the little girl, I thought, actually her name is Ev-ee-ar-na. Not spelt like that but I don't know how to spell it. And I just said it was Av-ee-ar-na. And it isn't. sad

Smurfsalloveragain Sun 21-Jul-13 10:30:58

Marriedinwhite, I am also much happier after taking on dh's last name. My maiden name used to be even weirder than my first name grin.

So, if I decided to be known by a new name but didn't officially change it, how would it work with job applications, starting a new job etc. could I just put my chosen name on the CV for example or would that be dodgy?

I am thinking about moving jobs in the near future and t would be nice not to have to explain this epic at every new work place etc.

FairyThunderthighs Sun 21-Jul-13 12:04:53

I am "X", known as "Y"(recognised but unusual nickname of X). I introduce myself to people as Y, most people who knew me before I changed refer to me as Y but some still call me X or another nickname. On official things like the bank I am X.

If you're thinking of changing, before you change job would be a great time. Do the application/write your CV as the name you want to be known as. Many application forms have a "known as name" section. The only people who will need to know your real name are payroll, considering your bank details will still be in that name. Everyone else need never know the real name unless you choose to tell them.

Alternatively you could look into changing it by deed poll, meaning you could use it officially for everything. I will eventually do this when I get round to it.

ZolaBuddleia Sun 21-Jul-13 12:12:57

I do this too, apply for jobs etc in the name I'm known as, and then make sure HR know my proper name for bank details, CRB checks etc.

It makes sense for me because the vast majority of people who know me don't know my real name.

How are you getting on thinking of your new name?

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 21-Jul-13 12:40:48

I'm HOUR - lots of people are known by a peferred name. It isn't a problem. Think about actors and actresses the name we know them by isn't usually the name on their passport.

Jins Sun 21-Jul-13 12:46:21

I changed my name years ago. I hated my original name. It's frighteningly popular now though but I still hate it grin

Best thing I ever did. I went for a bland boring top ten name of my era and I'm very happy with it.

miemohrs Sun 28-Jul-13 11:38:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eurozammo Sun 28-Jul-13 11:50:12

You can just tell people to call you X if you don't want the hassle of changing it via deed poll.

My gran worked in a factory during the war. Half the women were called Dorothy. They were asked to pick a name. My gran chose Jackie and people from that era still know her as Jackie (everyone else calls her Dot as she didn't change it completely). It was completely made up and started use when she was an adult but it caught on.

Just pick a name you like and say "call me X, Y is so difficult to pronounce".

I have an Irish forename and a dutch surname. Wherever I go at least one half of my name is strange and incomprehensible. I feel your pain smile

I use a shorted first name (just the initial sound) and will often use a fake name for unimportant stuff (takeaway deliveries, giving a name to collect an order, general hum drum interactions where I'll never have to see the person again)

Primrose123 Sun 28-Jul-13 12:47:00

Do you have to legally change it? Just tell people you've changed it - you can use your own name for forms and passports and things like that.

My grandmother was called Hilda. She absolutely hated it, so all her friends called her Hilary, which she liked.

DuchessFanny Sun 28-Jul-13 13:09:21

Both my Dad and Brother go by their middle names as they hate their first names, they've kept the first for legal documents, but they rarely have to use it other than that. Do you have a middle name you could use instead ?

LadyLech Sun 28-Jul-13 13:29:56

I'd just use a shortened version of your name, then there's no hassle.

I don't like my name, so decided on a shortened version of it, which I chose when I was 16, so 20 odd years ago now. It's not an obvious shortening though, I guess a bit like Margaret to Maggie, but less common.

With friends who already knew me, I just let them call me whatever, but whenever I met someone new I just introduced myself as "Maggie" and if an old friend was there, I'd say "my name is Margaret, but everyone calls me Maggie". Soon enough, most people got the hint, and now the overwhelming majority of people call me by my nickname. In fact, only my dad, my grandparents and a couple of relatives still call me by my old name, everyone else knows me by my shortened name. Now it sounds weird when people use my full name, and I never think they're talking about me grin.

I'm a teacher, and I teach a lot of students who have foreign names that they have chosen an anglicised nickname for. It really is quite common.

I'd had a play with your current name, and see if there's a nickname that you can generate from it. It doesn't have to be an obvious shortening, plenty of nick names aren't.

Fraxinus Wed 31-Jul-13 23:15:04

Friends have had name changes in The past, but how seriously I took it depends a little on the circumstances. So cathy changing to Kate, I still get it wrong. But an adopted friend who reverted to his original name, I take care to get it right, and a friend with an outlandish name who changed to a conventional one, I also try hard to get it right. If you were my friend and you changed your name, I woul drespect your decision, and make every effort to get it right.

I have a foreign and difficult surname. I have for many years felt uncomfortable with it for some of the reasons you have given. However I have much less mistakes with it, and feel better about it these days now that I say it with pride. I say it clearly, slowly, and spell it without being asked. Less people get it wrong, and I have actually started liking it now.

I hope you can find a way to say your name with pride.

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