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:
NoncommittalToSparkleMotion · 22/07/2017 04:42

Totally do it. You have to like hearing your name; you'll be hearing it for the rest of your life!

I have grown to like my name but don't feel it suits me at all. I went by many pseudonyms as a child.

Italiangreyhound · 22/07/2017 05:28

Go for it. Charlotte is lovely. I'd be called Lottie for short.

Really a name is just a tag, to call you by. Like a peg to hand a coat on. If that peg is jagged, rips the coat, and at an odd angle so that your coat keeps falling on the floor, you'd replace that peg, wouldn't you? Go for it.

As far as the choices mentioned already.

Juliet - not my cup of tea
Rosalind - too unusual for me
Miranda - makes me think of that comedian
Olivia - lovely
Harriet - good
Elizabeth -classic
Caroline - not the best
Felicity - lovely and means happiness

How about

But still think Charlotte is best.

And I'd be tempted to book a few counselling sessions to work through the bullying (so sorry, that is so sad).

I would think how to announce the name.

Lastly, whether you want to do anything like name a tree, in your old or new name (in a wood etc) to help you move on.

Fixmylife · 22/07/2017 08:28

Would moving be better rather than changing your name?!

PurityOfChaos · 22/07/2017 10:24

YANBU. I wanted to change my surname after getting divorced, also didn't want my maiden name, so was looking for something brand new. I also didn't like my first name so decided to change everything. I looked up the meaning of my name and found a list of related names and picked one I liked.

MiraiDevant · 22/07/2017 10:48

Do it OP.
I knew two people who did it in their late teens early twenties - never looked back.

Ivory200 · 22/07/2017 11:20

I was given two very boring names at birth, but from day one my parents introduced me to the whole world as a completely different third name. It featured nowhere on my birth cert, I was called by it at school , and wasn't even aware of the original names until at 17 I needed my birth certificate for a passport application. I had a complete head fit. Parents told me that they gave me "official " names out of respect to ancient dead relatives, but as they didn't actually like the names, chose another one for everyday use. Hmm

Ivory200 · 22/07/2017 11:23

Posted too soon sorry! It has caused NO END of administrative nonsense throughout my life. If I had my time over, I would have changed it properly when I was younger, but at this stage in my professional life, it would be a mammoth task.
Just do it OP!!!! Make life simpler!!

CouldntMakeThisShitUp · 22/07/2017 20:28

my deed poll document came with a list of agencies to contact and update my details. From local council, hospitals, gp's, college,dentist,library and passport office.

took me a few years to get round to updating passport but when i held it - seeing my new 'me' was just simply awesome Grin

i don't have a birth certificate so my passport will have to do if i ever want to get married Grin

Please create an account

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