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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:
UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 21/07/2017 16:57

Do it. Sure it's a short term ball ache changing all your ID and correcting people, but very worth it in the long run. I changed my name via statutory declaration. Easy to do and not too expensive.

UsernameDeclined · 21/07/2017 17:02

You’re not too old, I’m ancient and I’m changing my whole name.
I’ll be brand new. Grin
The logistics are the thing holding me back. A solicitor wants £250
to do the paperwork inc putting an official announcement in the
London gazette.
How were you thinking of doing it, OP?

RelaxMax · 21/07/2017 17:13

You don't need a solicitor at all! Use the free deed poll website linked to above, then just send copies of the form to the bank, passport office etc.

Never had any trouble.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 21/07/2017 17:16

"A solicitor wants £250
to do the paperwork inc putting an official announcement in the
London gazette."

In what way are you changing your name (curious)?

MikeUniformMike · 21/07/2017 17:27

Off to Baby names to find a name - Tyga-Rae JayCubs perhaps.

UsernameDeclined · 21/07/2017 17:32

Changing it usual way via deed poll but I’ve read of people having
probs with officialdom e.g. driving licence, bank etc and easiest,
most hassle free way is posting in London gazette.
I know it can be done diy ( I bought the forms from Deedpoll website mentioned) but I have health issues and anxiety so
really need a hassle free as poss way of doing it.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 21/07/2017 17:37

I know what you mean, that's why I went for the statutory declaration. If you get it done via solicitor it's all legit and I never had any problems with ID, passports etc. I changed my name several years ago and it cost about £80. You do have to recite a deed awkwardly with just you and the solicitor in the room though lol

If it helps in any way, I got married a few years ago and my marriage certificate states my name as "UserThenLotsOfNumbers" formerly known as "My previous name" (not literally of course!). I was told going forward that also counted as legal "official" proof of name change and I could show my marriage certificate as proof of name change as well as or together with the deed.

MissDuke · 21/07/2017 17:44

I am so confused by the Sienna thing, sorry! Couldn't you just tell us the actual name given that you seem to have name changed for this anyway and can do so again after? Might make it easier for silly people like me!

Anyway, I love the name Charlotte personally!

pissedglitter · 21/07/2017 17:50

I have always wanted to change my name as I hate it
So I say go for it

UsernameDeclined · 21/07/2017 17:58

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thankyou for the info that is really
mind settling.

Sorry for diverging OP.

ADishBestEatenCold · 21/07/2017 18:08

Have you thought of how you would encourage others to use your new name?

At the very least, I think you should have some sort of plan and (unless you have a very small and transient circle of friends, family and acquaintances) it might be an idea to anticipate problems and how you will deal with them, ahead of time.

NataliaOsipova · 21/07/2017 18:13

Another suggestion - if you don't want the hassle of changing your name and then explaining that you have changed it - is there a diminutive of either of your names that you could adapt? Even if it's not an obvious one? For example, I know a Margaret who is Peggy, an Ellie who is actually Isabella and a VJ who is Veronica Jane. So - with your Moonchild Ebonie example, you could get Bonnie. Or Mimi (ME-ME). Or Em. Etc etc.

Beeziekn33ze · 21/07/2017 18:14

Gluteus - had your 'D'M forgotten that x was your middle name?😲
MikeUniform - according to one theory your pen name is a grandparent's first name and the name of your first school for last name. I wonder whether I'll ever write that best seller by Alice Farnborough!!

CouldntMakeThisShitUp · 21/07/2017 18:16

Do it if it makes you feel better and more 'you'.

i changed my name in my 20's - it never felt like 'me'.

Got rid of my surname altogether, kept my middle name as my surname instead. i also completely changed my first name to a nickname i'd been using since my teens.

i can't tell you how much a difference that has made in my life, emotionally and mentally.

Family doesn't agree with it but there's bugger all they can do.

GreenTulips · 21/07/2017 18:21

I so want to change my name - good luck!

I'd like to be Sally or Polly or Zoe

BicBac · 21/07/2017 19:03

I did it after i had reached all the important milestones in my life at the tender age of 40. My first name is foreign and has always been mispronounced. What a pain. My first name needed explaining each time I introduced myself, even in bloody shops when ordering something or at the GP. At 40, married and knowing all the most important people in my life I felt changing my name was no longer pretentious as in pretending to be something I'm not, but a mere matter of practicality. I am now known by a softened version of my middle name so didn't do the deed poll thing.

Every now and again I wonder whether to change my name officially but I have so many qualifications I need to show when starting a new jobs or getting dbs checked for volunteering that I wonder what people would think if they see that I have changed my first name by deed poll. I wonder f they'd think I have something to hide, which I don't, of course.

BTW, all my friends reacted positively to my changing my name and were supportive. My parents also happily call me by my chosen name and dh too. I'm sure some people thought it was weird, and it is certainly unusual, but then they haven't had to put up a lifetime of having hassle because of a silly name.

To those who have changed their name by deed poll later in life do people eve ask you why or respond suspiciously?

BicBac · 21/07/2017 19:04

OP Charlotte is lovely, go for it, live it and become it. Life's too short to put up with negative stuff that you can change.

Thebluedog · 21/07/2017 19:07

I love Charlotte

I changed my surname because I hated it. I changed it when I moved jobs so everyone at my new work simply knows me by my new name and it saved a load of hassle having to explain to everyone.

MikeUniformMike · 21/07/2017 19:15

Hmm. First School is not really a surname.
Grandparent's first names all very dull. OK For pen name.
It would be something like Edward St. Mary's.
I could turn it around to Mary Edwards but it's still dull.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 21/07/2017 20:11

To those who have changed their name by deed poll later in life do people eve ask you why or respond suspiciously?

Yes people do ask why because they are curious, and I tell them my reasons why. People tend to think name changing is a much bigger deal in practical terms than it really is. But no one has reacted with suspicion so far so think I got away with it Wink

JennyLane · 21/07/2017 20:20

Starbucks is the perfect place to try out new names and see them be mispronounced!
I love Harriet as a classic name. It's SO underused but is not out of the ordinary. Good luck OP.

Ps my son is called by his middle name and I'm throughly anticipating this backlash in the future. Thankfully they're two very ordinary names so unlikely to be mispronounced but we shall see

tenpoletudor · 21/07/2017 20:43

I changed my Christian name 25 years ago.
Bad family connections.
I think I paid a lawyer £50.
All of my family still refuse to use my 'new' name, still. Prats.
Funnily enough, I have 2 FB pages, one in my old name for my old life.
And one in my new name for my new one.
Once, late at night when tired (I dont drink) I sent a msg to a friend from the wrong part of my life under the wrong name.
Caused mucho confusion :)
I married, but am now separated.
Might change it again to something entirely new.

Can you DO that if you are on a mortgage etc???

SamoyedSam · 22/07/2017 03:24

Diana Arabella Marlock, eh? Hmmm...but was the "mildly explicit word" your parents were trying to avoid actually DAM(N)...or is it more along the lines of Diana Isabella Cuthbert-Kelly?? Grin

Stupid jokes aside, all the name choices you mentioned are lovely. if it was me, from your list I'd choose Eleanor and as a nickname call myself "Elen" (quirky spelling intended). Whatever you choose, enjoy the experience - it sounds like a great idea Smile.

lalalalyra · 22/07/2017 04:33

Do it. Don't underestimate how long it will take you to get used too though!

I changed to my middle name at 14 and it took ages to get used to it.

If people ask I just tell them what my name was (Starlight... shouldn't be legal to inflict something like that in a kid who has to go to school imo!) and they instantly understand.

Only the library people have ever been difficult about it.

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