My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to change my name?

58 replies

Ithinkihatemyname · 21/07/2017 14:51

Changing my name is something I've considered for a long time and has quite a long history, so bear with me while I explain (sorry!) Grin

My mum wanted something unusual. My dad wanted to name me after our house (don't ask.) They realised those two names together with our surname spelled a mildly explicit word so changed them round. So rather than being Diana Arabella Marlock (not my real name, not even close) I am Arabella Diana Marlock but spend my life explaining to doctors, teachers, driving test instructors and bank managers my name is 'really' Diana.

With me so far?

The problem is, my 'real' name is difficult. It's similar to another name that is slightly more popular and people always say that one, no matter how many times I correct them. Or, they say the first part correctly but then mispronounce the second part as 'anna' - a bit like sienna being called See-Anna. It doesn't matter how many times I tell people: I can literally be sat there saying 'Sienna, sienna, sienna' and people just say 'See-Anna' back.

It led to a lot of bullying in school, because it marked me out as different and I'm sad to say even some teachers were a bit snide about it. I know people are generally more laid back about unusual names now but this was at a time where Claire's and Helens and Rebecca's reigned and I stood out like a sore thumb.

At any rate, last week I was doing some temp work somewhere (I am not committing to anything permanent at the moment) and spent the day being called my silly made-up first name, I vowed to change my name so I drop my ridiculous first name to solve that problem at least.

And yet again I am thinking of dropping my 'name' and being known as something else.

It would certainly solve problems on the introducing myself front, although I have to say that it is just my home town who seem to have a problem with the "Sienna/See-Anna/See-Eena/See-Anda" pronunciation.

It's also been a part of me for better or worse for thirty six years. But then I think, it's really not brought me any happiness, it has just made me feel self conscious and embarrassed and flustered.

So the problem is, what DO I call myself?

My parents are dead. From the little I know about what my mum thought about calling me, the names are all hideous Blush (I think I got off a bit lightly with mine actually!)

But after years of being a strange name, being an everyday one feels odd.

I would keep my name as a middle name.

So far I've thought of Charlotte, which seems nice and timeless somehow and also is the same name as a literary heroine. Plus, none of my friends are called Charlotte. I've also considered Rose, which is pretty but I feel may be a little abrupt with my surname, Eleanor, which would honour my dad in a way but also happens to be the name of a dear friends young daughte. Ellen, possibly.

Really, I need something timeless (that doesn't shriek out 'product of the 80s!') and unlikely to elicit any sort of attention.

Naming myself is harder than naming a child! Grin

OP posts:
WrittenandGrown · 21/07/2017 14:57

I think you should go for it. I wonder if you could get rid of the first name that you don't like Altogether and then change the name you currently use (that is frequently mispronounced) to make it obviously how to pronounce it by the spelling?

Ithinkihatemyname · 21/07/2017 15:00

It couldn't be any more obvious to be honest Written, it's just complicated by people being a bit difficult. I had a friend once who's surname was Johnston which is obviously said 'johns-ton' but people kept saying 'Johnson' because that was what they expected to see, if you see what I mean. It's similar with my name: the pronunciation is obvious but people pronounce it incorrectly because they decide it doesn't exist!

Rant over!

OP posts:
AgnesNitt1976 · 21/07/2017 15:00

I say do it. I changed my first name when I was 18 as I hated my original one. My original one is old fashioned although a shortened version is currently popular. I read through baby name books and narrowed it down to three. Two very traditional names and the one I choose which is unusual but I love it.

I do get called both names depending on the person which is fine, my parents were not pleased I changed but are used to it now.

Good luck

TheMogget · 21/07/2017 15:06

Is it the 'Diana' name that is mis-pronounced or the 'arabella' bit?
Can you drop the name you don't like and use the other one or do you now like either?
FWIW I think an entirely new name might be complicated to get used to. Would you consider changing it to the similar but more commonly used version of your current name?

Willowkins · 21/07/2017 15:07

Ooh naming yourself what a challenge!

I was planning to do this myself when I was growing up. I always got jokes about my name and was fed up with it. When I was old enough I realised I liked it because it was unusual. Now it's popular. Ultimately what puts me off now is the bureaucracy - itfs such a fact informing all the banks, utilities etc.

If you're looking for timeless, what about something from the Bible?

rizlett · 21/07/2017 15:09

I recently got rid of my first name and now only use my middle name.

You can do it for free op via this site.

I donated £50 to Samaritans because it felt good.

As for what you name should be.... perhaps we need to know a bit more about your character though I love Charlotte and Lottie as a nn. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes not having to explain it all every single time.

Justhadmyhaircut · 21/07/2017 15:10

I also hate my name. . I don't know anyone with this name. Nobody I know knows anyone with my name. . If ever my name is mentioned then it's me and no one else!! Always wished it was something nice and normal. Bit old at 46 to change it I suppose. . But you go for it op. . .

thefutureisfemale · 21/07/2017 15:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thefutureisfemale · 21/07/2017 15:12


MoosicalDaisy · 21/07/2017 15:15

If you actually like your name besides the annoyance of mispronunciation, could you change the second half of it?

I changed one of my names and haven't looked back since, it was something I wanted to do 100% and I went through a lot in my mind. I settled on something that popped into my head one day and felt right. Has a name not come to you in 30+ years?

Paperwork and the fee doesn't put off those people who are absolutely sincere about the need for a name change.

WrittenandGrown · 21/07/2017 15:18

IThink I have a bog standard name and people will still manage to mispronounce it. I have a very easy to pronounce last name and that's also mispronounced. I think (some) people will do that whatever name you choose.

I think Charlotte is a lovely name. Go for it.

Ithinkihatemyname · 21/07/2017 15:19

Mogget, I hate the more commonly used one. Words cannot describe how much I loathe it. It whines. It actually whines!

My first name isn't really a name - well, it is, it is a nature name but not something recognisable like Willow or Daisy.

My 'middle name that is actually a first name' is the one I'd keep as a middle name.

I know I'm being confusing.

Think Moonchild Ebonie Smith.

I'd drop Moonchild altogether, and keep Ebonie as a middle name and be Charlotte Ebonie Smith or Ellen Ebonie Smith.

I do feel a bit old at 36 to change it. I wish I'd done it at 18, really.

OP posts:
CathyTrask · 21/07/2017 15:25

I have a traditional name a still get called another similar traditional name with the same letter. People with the other name tell me they get called my name too. By all means change your name, but people might still get it wrong, it's just what some do and it's not always due to having an unusual or complicated name.

RelaxMax · 21/07/2017 15:31

I changed my name at 18 and have never regretted it.

It was hard for about a year with people forgetting and using the old name, but I am a stroppy caaah sometimes and made it very clear that annoyed me, so they stopped.

Your name is a huge part of your identity, the way you present yourself to the world. If you don't like it then change it!

I like Charlotte and Ellen.

Eleanor could still be spelt wrong (Elinor) so I wouldn't switch to that, it will just annoy you having to spell it out.

MikeUniformMike · 21/07/2017 15:32

I wouldn't mind changing my name but what to?

36 is young enough. You don't like it. Supposing you were a novelist and needed a nom de plume, what would you choose?

Agyness Dean allegedly had her name suggested by a numerologist. I'd be quite happy to be called something as normal sounding as Laura Hollins.

bridgetreilly · 21/07/2017 15:34

You're not too old to change it if you want to. It's your choice, OP, and it sounds like this is something you've been wanting to do for a while.

Charlotte is a lovely name, as is Eleanor.

Other suggestions:

elQuintoConyo · 21/07/2017 15:44

If i changed my name it would be Maribel Winterpark.

Feel free to steal (or not!).

I think YANBU to want to change your name. I wouldn't blink an eye if any of my friends did it.

Good luck.

BalloonDinosaur · 21/07/2017 15:48

As someone who is also known by their middle name, I can very much sympathise with how much of a ballache it is continually having to explain it.

I'd say definitely change it if you want to, but you'll still have to explain/correct people while they get their head around your new name. Which may take some time.

MumsOnCrack · 21/07/2017 15:52

If you like Charlotte then perhaps Catherine or Caroline might work too? You could always change for middle name to Rose if you like that. Have as many middle names as you like as people hardly ever see them or use them.

Ithinkihatemyname · 21/07/2017 15:52

I like all the above but they would all elicit comments and that's what's hard. Perhaps the problem is to do with conformity rather than my name in itself. I live somewhere where wearing the wrong pair of trainers was likely to get you beaten up Grin

OP posts:
GiBlues · 21/07/2017 15:56

Go for Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock!Grin

Seriously though If you've never really liked the name your parents gave you you should just go for it.

gluteustothemaximus · 21/07/2017 16:02

I changed my name. Best thing I ever did.

Mine was two fold. Firstly because my parents chose it, and as we are NC it felt right. Plus one day when we were talking, a new neighbour had moved in called x. My mother said, urgh, x is a horrible name. That was my middle name!

Also, so I could move on from an abusive relationship without being easily found.

Whatever your reasons, you only live once, go for it!


WaaWaaWaaa · 21/07/2017 16:24

I love your choices! Why don't you pretend you've done it for a day. Next time a stranger asks your name (one that you'll not see again) say your new name and see how it sounds. Write it down and practice your signatures! Very exciting but DO do it. You could like another 30-40 years so why not???

WhateverNameIsStillAvailable · 21/07/2017 16:32

Oh id love to know your made-up name 😊

I think Charlotte is a lovely name btw.

Lovestonap · 21/07/2017 16:39

When my mum got divorced from my (cheating) father she went the whole hog. She not only changed her surname to one she CHOSE (not her maiden name) but selected a new first name too. I remember we all sat round the fire together choosing it. (I was dead set on Catherine Earnshaw, also a Bronte fan, but she went for something else in the end)

It took a while but we all got used to it, and she found it incredibly empowering. Go for it!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.