Hate Your Name? Change It!
I’d always hated my name. When I was fourteen, I found a book in the library called “The History of Names.” I looked up my given name, Margaret, and was stunned by its derivations. Pages and pages of them, well over 100 versions, often three variations of it for a single country including nicknames like the one I got stuck with…Peggy.
I ran my finger down the endless list until one of them, Greta, stopped me cold. It was a perfect switch: it’s used in England, Sweden, and Germany (a nod to Dad); it was a natural nickname for Margaret (especially if spelled Margret); it ended in “a,” making it feel exotic; with my last name, Goss, it was alliteration and, as for personal stationery, this was a name with graphic sex appeal!
Cradling the book in my hands, leaning back in contentment, my attention strayed to the cover of the book at the top of that day’s heap: a smoldering photograph of Greta Garbo. That did it. I’d found the right answer to my name game. I’d tapped utopia.
Walking home, I thought about how I was going to tell my mother. We’re talking a woman who went wild over every Margaret or Peggy she’d ever met. We’re talking a woman with roots in Massachusetts, a state where they sing “Peg ‘O My Heart” by their first birthday. We’re talking a woman who graduated from college with a class composed entirely of Margarets nicknamed Peggy. This meant I grew up surrounded by a legion of women I called “Aunt Peggy” – which didn’t even include numerous blood relations named Margaret (also called Peggy). Not a Megan, Marge, Maggie or Margo in the bunch. The walk home was uphill. A steep one. I grew less confident with every step.
I strolled in the kitchen door, dropped my books, and as casually as I could announced my news. Without even turning from the pot she stirred, my mother’s answer was, “No.” “Why not?” I pleaded to her opaque reply, “It sounds too foreign.”
And that was the end of the issues, until I finished school, left home, and got my first real job. As my new boss explained it, being Jewish, the name Peggy sounded to him like the name Yentl would sound to me. The timing of his wave-of-the-hand-declaration, “I hate it. It goes.” was good. It was the permiso by proxy I needed to ponder all that I still wasn’t comfortable agreeing with, yet still didn’t feel entitled to change. By the end of the work day I was Margaret and Peggy had been tossed into the nearest trashcan never to be used by me again.
Fast forward and the Peggy plague has spread. I’ve now got a sister-in-law named Margaret (nicknamed Peggy) and a sister in-law-with a sister named Margaret (also a Peggy). On them, the name is lovely. On me (the fifth in a line of six siblings) it still felt like a title that was only a head turner at family reunions. I was the invisible woman with the too visible name.
Then one day, I ran out of business cards. As I waited my turn on line at the printer, it dawned on me that I could find no reason to reprint my misnomer. In an epiphany charged moment, I finally left the land of Peggy forever by changing the name on my order to Greta, the name I still coveted. (Note: I kept Margaret as my legal name because now that I’m called Greta, I’m able to revel in dual identities by seeing my statelier version, Margaret, on formal documents.) I boldly ordered stationery along with the cards, and when everything was complete, I mailed out hand written notes on the stationery to announce my tailored appellation. Then, I waited for the knives…
Some siblings, cousins and friends never missed a beat, being both positive and charmed by the evolution of my name. “I love it.” “It suits you.” and “Margaret is a beautiful name, but Greta is more you.” I even heard, “I never liked Peggy or Margaret. Neither one seemed you.” Other people weren’t so sure. Some, downright prickly. Apparently my not liking my name was no reason to change it. “After all,” as one unsolicited acquaintance said, “you’re not famous.”
When you change your name, I learned, you have to be prepared to put in some work to own the prize you fought so hard to win. If you want to be called something new, you’d better have the discipline to use it yourself or, what’s the point; no one else will. Perhaps you try and there are some stragglers who still don’t get it. Design some stationery with your name blazing a trail across the top and then use it to send flattering notes to the still conflicted and confused. If that doesn’t work, be patient. Some people have a reason for not getting certain things right that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Don’t hang by your thumbs waiting for their approval. You never needed it.
I’ve been Greta for years now, so it feels even better having aged a bit. When I sign my name, it’s with a flourish. When I extend my arm to introduce myself, a natural confidence flows through my handshake and it makes me smile.
Now, when I hear people blithely dismiss the pronunciation of their name by others with “Whatever. It doesn’t matter.” I think…You don’t know what you’re missing.
Greta Goss is an interior designer and writer found at gretagoss.com. She’s been seen or heard in The New York Times, More, Metropolitan Home, New York Spaces, NJ monthly and NJ Savvy among others. Her children’s names are Oliver Tennyson Conroy and Anastasia Scott Conroy (though she prefers her nickname “Anna”).
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Charlotte Vera Said
on January 12th, 2010 at 2:00 am
Such a great post! I can see how it would take guts to change one’s name. Thankfully, I’m actually quite fond of my name (even though it’s growing in popularity), but I’ve had friends less keen on their given appellations. I’ll definitely refer them to this blog the next time they bring up the loathing they feel for their parents’ unfortunate decision.
on January 12th, 2010 at 8:46 am
My daughter is a Margaret, but we usually call her Maggie. I have always thought that when she gets older, she may want to change her nickname to Greta or even Margo. That is what I love about Margaret- it is a classic, formal name with so many great nickname options. FWIW I do not care for Peggy though!
HATE YOUR NAME? Change It! | Ondelet Said
on January 12th, 2010 at 9:19 am
[…] Continue reading here: HATE YOUR NAME? Change It! […]
on January 12th, 2010 at 9:25 am
Great blog and you’re lucky you had a name with a lot of variants to use.
on January 12th, 2010 at 10:11 am
My mother is Margaret, nicknamed Peggy. She was named after her mother, who was always called Margaret, though I believe she was called Marna, a Swedish nickname for Margaret, when she was a child. Her nickname came when her paternal grandmother, who was Irish-American, suggested it as a way to distinguish her from her mother. My first cousin is named Margaret after our grandmother and called Maggie. Mom said other people tried other nicknames on her, like Margie, which she hated. My dad usually just calls her Peg. I love my mother and I’ve come to rather like Peggy as a nickname and hope it comes back in style. I don’t like Greta or Gretchen. Sounds too harsh. Peggy sounds retro and spunky.
Pamela Satran Said
on January 12th, 2010 at 10:32 am
My mother was Peggy too, which I dislike, though I know some great Peggys. Mom desperately wanted me to name my daughter some variation of Margaret and, though I like the name, just couldn’t do it. If we’d had a second girl, though, we might have named her Margaret and called her Daisy.
on January 12th, 2010 at 10:42 am
Nice post 🙂 I mentioned not liking my name, a few months ago, and wanting to change it to my mom (I’m 18), and she wasn’t very happy. She didn’t wholly care, but my Dad said that if I changed the name they gave me, I might as well disown my surname, too! I wasn’t very happy with that, but they never liked THEIR names, either! I’m still looking for the name that is ME.
on January 12th, 2010 at 10:42 am
Such a great post! I’m glad you followed your heart. I’m a little envious though, that you had so many nickname possibilities. I don’t like my name, but to change it, I’d have to invent something completely new, and that would be really awkward.
on January 12th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
oh lordy but you & your post are a godsend!!!!
i’ve had nothing but grief from old highschool friends on facebook who are NOT into my new name!!!
my adoptive parents named me Alice…..hated it, ALWAYS!!! teen friends nn’d me “Al”, then at 20 a friend christened me “Ali”, i loved it. but after 2 decades of people mispronouncing it AH-lee, i’m done! same w/last name. dad’s been gone 11 yrs, god bless him, so sanders holds NO thrill for me whatsoever!!!
i searched long & hard to come up w/my name, which, it turns out is sooooo “me” it’s funny!!
i christen thee Jiinxsay-Lee Whild 🙂
it took me quite some time to find the right, unusual spelling. love the 2 “i’ idea. even though it’s pronounced Jinxy, the “say” at the end just gives it some sass 🙂
i will be making it LEGAL before my 47th bday this april 6th, soooo excited to shed my old ICK name!!!!!!!
had originally planned on using Lee as last name, but discovered Whild-Angel, am still debating whether that’s too “wise guy” to do.
in latin, jinx is actually a “goodluck charm”, & ev where else, it means bad luck! since i’ve had my share of THAT, i thought it was perfection, still do!
if you google MY name, there are 18 pages of MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, it’s currayzee, lol.
some may consider the entire name overkill & too immature, w/a hyphenated first name, hyphenated last name & 4-5 middle names, but for me it fits 🙂 chronologically i’m 46 but emotionally i’m stuck at 18. my entire room is PINK, including my walls 🙂 it’s very gurlish!!
thank you again sooooo much for your amazing post
on January 12th, 2010 at 1:30 pm
I loved this post! My mother decided to name me Peggy Sue after toying with the idea of naming me Delta Dawn. While I didn’t get the short end of the stick on that one, I still hate my name. Teachers sang to me in high school and friends were constantly teasing me about it. This post may have given me the courage to do what I’ve always wanted. Change my Name!!! Thank you Greta!!!!
on January 12th, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Life’s too short to go decades with a name you really don’t care for. I understand a parent’s reluctance to accept it but on the other hand. . .
I always loved the name Melanie and I named my daughter Melani. I always said if I named myself I would be Melanie Sinclair. One time I was in a small group at church and met a really nice woman and her name was. . .
you guessed it! Melanie Sinclair! I told her my story and she said she was in a group of actors many years before and everyone was changing their name so she changed hers to Melanie Sinclair. So I’m not the only one who likes it!
on January 12th, 2010 at 1:52 pm
As a now 30-year-old Katie (given name Katherine), I have always been less than thrilled with my name. It just seems too “young”, not to mention common. I was one of six Katies in my high school class. I had always secretly wished I had the courage to change my nickname to Kate, Kat, or even Kit, but I never dared. Now that I have lived 30 years with this name, it just feels like it’s stuck, and I don’t think I will ever dare to change it.
I have had a minor victory in moving to Germany (with my German husband), where people pronounce “Katherine” Katarina. It has been fun! But most people still call me Katie anyway.
Anyhow, good for you Greta for being brave enough to take the plunge!
on January 12th, 2010 at 2:44 pm
I changed my name, too! First I changed my name legally, and then I started using my middle name. Love my middle name so much! But I found when I changed to my middle name, people would call me Susan, and I wouldn’t even notice. After a month or so, I started noticing Susan.
Love Greta way more than Peggy. You are brave and wise to change your name. So lucky you had Margaret to work with. That’s why I think it’s great to give kids names that are versatile (lots of nicknames). Elizabeth is a real winner.
on January 12th, 2010 at 5:25 pm
We named our first daughter Catherine, but always called her Cathy. She says now that she never liked the nn, and when she grew up she started introducing herself to others as Catherine. I’m sorry to say I resisted the change at first, but with her husband and all his family calling her Catherine, I find myself calling her Catherine more too. (It’s hard to break old habits…) That’s one of the reasons I’m always in favor of naming a child the full name even if you plan to call him/her by another version of the formal name. We did that with all of our children: some go by their full given name as adults, while others still use the nn we had in mind. Either way they’ve got substantial names to use in formal situations. With our grandchild generation, most of the kids are called by their given name. Maybe they’ll turn things around and want the nicknames that go with those names when they’re adults!
on January 12th, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Congrats on getting people to accept the name change. Meanwhile I can’t get my relatives to stop calling me “Jenny” and I stopped using that in first grade 😛
on January 12th, 2010 at 6:23 pm
I don’t mind my first name, but I feel my middle name is so blah and not me. I intend to follow the family tradition of replacing my middle name with my maiden name once I get married.
What has gotten annoying is that my brother has given me a new nickname that is also the name his girlfriend goes by. How lazy! My mother doesn’t use my name either, she always calls me by her sister’s name (Melanie), which I now respond to just to cut her a break. My boyfriend doesn’t use my name either, we have nonsense names for each other instead!
The only good thing about the new economy is that you can change your nn every time you change your workplace!
on January 12th, 2010 at 6:28 pm
I grew up as the only Lucinda in a school full of girls named Jennifer, Stephanie, and Michelle. So, at age 13 I tried to get all of my friends to call me Tayler, yes, with an E. At age 18, I legally changed it Tayler and I have been a Tayler until quite recently. I got back into baby names about two years ago when adopting and naming my children, after 10 years of not really caring about them and another 25 years or so of liking baby names. I started to feel like being a late-30s Tayler was a bit unprofessional, as well as confusing because people would assume I’m a man. After months of deciding, I officially changed my name back to Lucinda Elisabeth, the name I was given. I now go by Lucy for short and I love it.
on January 12th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
I have ALWAYS disliked my given first name. It’s just Toni. I made a pathetic attempt to go by my middle name (Grace) in 7th grade, but I didn’t have the guts to correct my teachers when they called on Toni, so Toni stayed. When I got married, I toyed with the idea of legally changing my name to Antonia to give myself a “real” name, but I figured that would be more trouble than it was worth. So, here I sit, still Toni. When I finish school, my diploma will bear “Toni Gr@ce ….” I suppose I could start going by my middle name then (which I do answer to if it’s used), but I probably won’t.
on January 12th, 2010 at 8:12 pm
SUSAN…I have to beg you to explain why you love the name “Susan”, please please please! Susan is actually my first name, and I have hated it pretty much all my life. I am 30, and for me, it is a name from my parent’s generation (it’s the same to me as if I were to name my daughter Jessica). I use “Renee”, which is my middle name in places like this just for fun, but have never had the guts to actually try to use it in real life. Does anyone have a fabulous nn that could be used for Susan? I hate Sue, I think Suzy is okay, but I always resort to plain old Susan out of habit.
on January 12th, 2010 at 9:28 pm
Renee, I knew a girl named Susan (maybe she was Suzanne) that went by Zan. That’s a little quirky and fun.
on January 13th, 2010 at 12:46 am
My grandmother and my (now deceased) aunt are both named Peggy (one Margaret, one just Peggy). I have decided to use pearl, the meaning of Margaret, as a middle name for a future child. Another thing I love about Margaret, I guess.
on January 13th, 2010 at 12:46 am
I suggest using the lovely classsic Susannah.
on January 13th, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Great post. I was given the name Annicka (which I love) but was always called Annie while I was growing up. I think of myself as Annie, but once I reached my teenage years I had a very hard time introducing myself as Annie. It was always reminiscent to me of an orphan with red hair. When I reached Jr. High I went back to introducing myself as Annicka.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one that was able to reinvent my identity using my actual given name.
on January 13th, 2010 at 7:07 pm
Loved this post! I love the name Margaret and most of its derivatives as well (including Greta AND Peggy, which I think is quite retro-fashionable now). I love the name Marjorie/Margery which I believe is from the same root, and also love the Scottish Gaelic name for Marjorie which is Marsaili (pronounced MAR-sally). (or probably MARsully).
Thank you Greta
on January 13th, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Renee, I am 50 years old, so for me, the name Susan is contemporary. I can understand why you don’t want to be named Susan because for you, it’s dated. My favorite nn’s for Susan are Sukie and Zuzu. But if I didn’t like the name Susan, I would want to be called Susanna or Susannah nn Sanna. So pretty! Look Sanna up on “check out a name”.
My husband calls me Sukie. My sister, bro-in-law, and niece call me Susie. Everyone else calls me Susan.
on January 15th, 2010 at 4:20 am
This is so much fun. My first name is Erin middle name Lindsey and I have always been kind of bored with it. Erin doesn’t really have any fun nicknames…sometimes my parents call me Lindsey or Linds which is okay but totally 80’s(born in 1983). On things like this I post my name as Elle which is the sound my initials make E.L.
I have thought about going by this if we made some kind of big move (which we did 3 years ago) but my husband couldn’t get on board. LOL…oh well. Boring old Erin it is!
Boston Girl Said
on January 15th, 2010 at 8:00 pm
Good grief, what’s wrong with Susan? It’s always been one of my favorites. I don’t care if it’s “uncool” or “outdated”. I like what I like, and I couldn’t care less about being trendy or popular.
Anyway, this post hit a nerve with me. I’m not crazy about my first name, Kimberly. My middle name, Elizabeth, yields a lot more nicknames, but I don’t like any of them except Lisa and Beth (which I suppose are two more “outdated” and “uncool” names now). My parents reportedly thought they were being original when they named me, till I wound up going to school with a small legion of Kims (and one Kym). I remember wishing sometimes I could have gone by Beth, as I knew only one Beth throughout my entire school career.
I also much prefer “Greta” to “Peggy”. I’ve known one person by each name (well, Peg in the latter case). Greta always appealed much more to me. My grandmother’s name is Margaret as well, and as far as I know she was never given a nickname of any kind at all. Even my grandfather always called her Margaret. But she seems more like a Margaret than a Marge, Margie, Peg, Peggy, Meg, Maggie or even a Greta. I guess sometimes the name really fits the bearer!
on January 16th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
The year I was born, my name was the third most popular name for a girl…Jessica. Growing up, I was always one of two or three or sometimes four other Jessica’s in my classes. When my dad remarred in the 90s, I ended up having a stepsister named Jessica. Because she was older, she got to pick what she wanted to be called. She chose Jessica, while I got stuck with Jessie. It wasn’t as pretty as Jessica, but I was young and didn’t really have a choice anyway.
When I got older and moved to college, I took the opportunity to try on the name Jessa for size. I began introducing myself as Jessa in classes. My college boyfriend referred to me as Jessa. I kept it up for about a year, but I couldn’t keep it up any longer than that. It felt unnatural, and my family was still calling me Jessie out of habbit.
When I entered the real world after college, I went (and still go) by Jessica as it sounds more professional. My husband and friends call me Jess. My family still calls me Jessie *shudder*.
This is why I will never, ever, ever give my child a “Top 10” name! This is also partially why I am a name fanatic! 🙂
on January 17th, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Stockard Channing and Sigourney Weaver are two examples of Susans who changed their names. I read one time that when Stockard was on The West Wing, she and her TV husband Martin Sheen called each other by their birth names: Susan and Ramon.
on January 17th, 2010 at 9:14 pm
I have never gone by anything other than Margaret, although my brother has recently begun calling me “Peg” sometimes when he’s being funny. 🙂 I love how classy my name sounds in its original form and I can’t imagine being called anything else…”Margaret” fits me! However, I have a friend who was born 3 days after me and whose parents, being good friends with my parents, named her after me. She’s always gone by Maggie, though, and it fits her well. 🙂
on January 26th, 2010 at 1:06 am
You all are speaking my language! I have a website devoted to people who change their names. I changed my name several years ago and have never regretted it. It’s very empowering to pick your own name for your life! Marly
on January 26th, 2010 at 10:52 am
I agree with the posters, I love this post. I will legally change my name. My given name is Marissa, which I absolutely dislike. Nearly everyone mispronounces it calling me Melissa, Narissa, Clarissa. I don’t like it because there aren’t any nicknames for it. I love Allison and will legally change it to Allison before my thirtieth birthday. Allison lends itself to nicknames like Allie. What do you think? I am a musician and will keep marissa as my stage name since I’m established as Marissa as my musician name. Thanks, Greta, for this post. Both my Grandma’s are Margaret which is my confirmation name. Have a great day.
on January 27th, 2010 at 10:31 pm
I love this post! Elizabeth comes with so many nicknames, I feel like I should be able to move from Liz to something I really love. I think I will switch to Libby in college next year since I have other Liz in my classes now all the time and have never met a Libby.
I wanted Ellie but like your mom’s response my friends casually dismissed it saying “that is not a normal nickname for Elizabeth”.
I think if I get the confidence I will fully switch to Libby soon enough. This was a great post, I really loved it. Congrats on your change, Greta is a great nickname.
on January 28th, 2010 at 12:21 am
I really like that idea. I have never met another Libby who was named Elizabeth. I only know one Libby and her real name is Luba. She used to be my neighbor and is from Russia. I like your new nickname, wish Marissa had nicknames that didn’t sound stupid. Have a great day.
on January 28th, 2010 at 4:52 pm
That’s funny you want to change your name to Allison, one of my friends legally changed her name from Allison. She goes by Aly still though because the new name still starts with “Al”. Allie is a nice nickname though.
Have you thought of Isa as a nickname for Marissa? It’s a slight stretch but it’s one of my favorite nicknames.
Thanks, glad you like the name Libby too!
on January 28th, 2010 at 8:14 pm
Hey Greta, Libby and all,
That’s so funny that your friend wants to change her name from Allison. Wow, I guess we don’t necessarily like our given names. Glad I’m not the only one. I had a conversation with a friend who totaly hates my name change. He says if I’m going to change my name to Allison, and keep Marissa as my stage name, it’s the dumbest idea he’s ever heard of. Lol, it’s iinteresting to note people’s reactions when I tell that i’m just thinking about it. Imagine really doing it. Have a great day. Never thought about Isa as a nickname for Marissa. Hmm, thanks.
on February 5th, 2010 at 11:24 pm
I did the same thing! My given name is Gabrielle, a name I adore, but what does everyone want to call me? Gabby… I went along with it for awhile, but I went a lil’ French and spelled it Gabi. After abhoring it long enough my mum and I sat down and figured out my nick, I was starting school at an Academy and didn’t want to be Gabi anymore. I have an old nn given to me by my friends- Gabriellabelle. We combined this and got Bella. It suits my to a T and no, I do not mind the Twilight implications because most people associate it to me, not her. In the words of my bestfriend, “Beauty suits you.” Yes, I do love her! 😉
on March 8th, 2010 at 1:20 pm
I legally changed my middle name when I was 18. Always hated it as a child and was told on several occaisions that it did not go with the rest of my name. When I left home for college that fall, it was easy to transition to the middle name. Now 10 years later only my childhood friends and my family call me by the first name.
yuki cross Said
on April 23rd, 2010 at 10:06 am
my parents named me anastasia
on April 23rd, 2010 at 9:11 pm
My legal first name is Tracy which I have always hated. My mother thought it sounded “cute”, back in the 60’s when nobody thought of how a name would sound as a serious professional name. And then I didn’t turn out to be a cutesy person. My middle name is my (now deceased) mother’s name, so I couldn’t go by that. I try to strongly discourage my friends from giving their babies real names ending in -y, -ie etc. If your legal name is a formal name, then you can choose a nickname which suits you. My husband calls me “Race” but that was a nickname my college roommate gave me which never “stuck” with other people.
I would suggest that Katherine in Germany try out Katja as a nickname (a common nickname for Katerina / Ekaterina in Germany, Finland, Russia etc.) I have loved that name ever since Ekaterina Gordeeva skated in the Olympics. I never had children so I had to use it for a sheep. She seems to like it. 🙂
on July 13th, 2010 at 10:38 am
oh wow, i’m sad that this thread is dying off 🙁
LET’S KEEP UP WITH IT! 🙂
i had so many comments to make to all of you fabulous ladies!!!!
Marly, starting with you! i LOVE your site, poured over it for hours last night!!!
secondly! to Allison and Elizabeth, loL 🙂
how funny, my legal adoptive name was Alice Elizabeth” or still is, uggh!
i am still in the midst of finding the right mn’s to go between Jiinxsay as first name, and Whild as last name.
as for Allison aka Marissa, i do think Isa is hot 🙂 and i consider myself an expert/connessuer(sp?) on namiiez! i’ve spent years downloading lists & creating names in my head 🙂
but change if you feel it!
it’s just so funny that you’re changing to something i’m “getting” away from. for 20 yrs i was “Ali”, got sick of hearing it pn; AHH-lee, so changed spelling to “Aly”, did NOT solve THAT prob!
i said forGET it.
i hope you enjoy your new name & keep us posted!!! especially when it becomes “legal”! we should DEF keep this thread going, dontchy’all think? <3 i'll certainly do my part & hopefully others will do the same 🙂 this is not the 1st time i've posted on this thread.
i knew a Libby in high school, yes, it was short for Elizabeth 🙂
i am unable to leave Elizabeth behind, even thought it is TOTALLY NOT me! i found a "WILD" replacement for it! these are the reasons Elizabeth is soooo important & irreplaceable for ME;
1. Elizabeth was my birth mn (middle name)
2. Elizabeth was my adoptive mn (they didnt knowmybirhthname)
3. Elizabeth was my Beloved birth mom's mn 🙂
4. Elizabeth is my Belved birthsister's first name 🙂
5. Elizabeth was my adoptive mom's aunt, who was like the "Matriarch" of the fam. i am named for her 🙂 (mn that is).
6. Elizabeth is my step-cousin's first name, we were close 🙂
7. randomly, i was born at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston :O
8. i have endless friends who's mn's are Elizabeth!
so! that being said, i MUST keep Elizabeth in my name. howEVER, i can't take the name or any of it's spin-offs. i found Elixia, & transformed it to Elixzya which LOOKS similar to Elizabeth. it means "elixir" something that makes you feel good, like; love, family, God, etc 🙂 perfect for me 😉
i am currently up to 9 mn's :O quite certain the judge will just throw me in the state hospital when i go to request the change!
i also have family members to honor. i also simply MUST have Beloved dad's initials, (since having any of his names in gurly form would be too painful). his name was J. Lyell Sanders (John). i found a Gaelic name that incorporates; John-dad's 1st name, Joan-birthmom's first name, Jane-adoptive mom's name is MaryJane, and Jeanne, my adoptive sister who hates me! so i can have them ALL 🙂 the name is Shivon 🙂
it took me forEVER to choose the spelling, Lordy! so! we begin w/
Jiinxsay Lee Shivon = JLS = J. Lyell Sanders 🙂 luvit! then we go on to honor my given name, at the moment i have Alleigh Elixzya.
it even sounds like my "real" name!
i am looking into ALL the AL names that mean; noble, kind, similar to Alice. the list is long so i won't bore you.
i've already taken up too much time&space here.
i wonder if anyone will even read this :O
my Love to all you name changers out there!!!!
ps~ i will announce my name change here when i finally get it right AND go to court for it 🙂 alas, time-consuming. thought i'd have it done by my bday april 6th, no such luck 🙁
getting closer though!
<3 Jiinxsay Lee Whild
Roscoe Piatkowski Said
on October 22nd, 2010 at 12:14 am
Thank you for publishing this, I found it to be extremely beneficial, and it clarified the majority of the questions I had.
on November 20th, 2010 at 10:24 pm
Allie, I have a character named, by someone else, Marissa Ann. Not much to work with, eh? So I looked into Marissa and according to BtN it’s a combo of Mary and Luisa, so I thought, hey, what’s a good nickname for Mary? I came up with Molly
on February 21st, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Jiinxsay, why not spell Shivon Siobhan, it is more unique and unusual =)
on February 28th, 2011 at 9:53 am
I didn’t change my name, I just changed the spelling. I love my name (Danae) but my mother spelled it Dann’ie, and I have never found it, so after manny, many years of being called Danny, this last year I started to spell it Danae amoung my family and friends. My friends love it!! My family has taken some time to get used to it, but my mother ignores it. I don’t know what she will do when I get it done legally, but I feel so much more a Danae than ever I did before!!!
on March 4th, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I hated my name growing up. When I told my mom she said, “Find a better one and we’ll go change it legally.” Unfortunately I could never find anything I liked better… haha
on April 21st, 2011 at 3:03 pm
This is so inspiring! Thanks, Greta. I have a really bad name. The first name is stupid sounding and very exotic, and my two last names are very hillbilly/hayseed/bumpkinish. I dislike all three. I just can’t bring myself to change it, so I am going to add a middle name instead. I really wish I could just get rid of all of it! Do you berries think Verona is a nice bridge between the contrasting styles in my name?
on April 23rd, 2011 at 8:13 am
What a lovely story!
I’ve never been to bothered by my given name, Olivia. I think it’s both feminine and strong, and I was the only Olivia I knew whilst growing up. I went by Olive/Olivie by my parents (Boy, do I wish I’d kept them), until I reached middle school where I went by Liv (Which I’m not overly-keen on, but I don’t mind it) by my friends, and eventually my parents. I’m still a Liv today (Although I refuse to answer to Livi, which I detest).
I’m ahead of my time, I suppose, although Olivia isn’t actually *that* popular where I live, even with young children.
My middle name, however, I do not like. Sarah was my Great Grandmother’s name (Although she went by Bettie, which I much prefer). Being a family name, I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to change it. I’m planning on adding my mother’s maiden name after it when I get married though.
on April 28th, 2011 at 1:26 pm
I am in the process of legally changing my name (in BC Canada) and try to think of a name that suits me… This is so hard, because not every name you really love suits you. I am not an Isabella or an Olivia, but I could be a Liv.
I am so glad you all described your name changes… Makes me feel quite normal. My name is a scandinavian name that sounds strange to everyone here. I am thinking of keeping it as a middle name so it’s still there as a part of me, but I am glad to be called something different. It’s so uncomfortable to have to repeat your name over and over. I wish my parents had thought of that or had given me a middle name.
I do however have a problem… one of the names I’m thinking about (have been for years!) is the name of my grandmother who I dearly miss. However, I am planning on using a part of the name. My brother is having a baby and I know his wife loves the full name of my grandmother, although it’s not renaming my grandmother; she never met her and my brother hates renaming. I think she will hate it if I change my first name partly in to her baby’s possible middle name. What to do?
on May 5th, 2011 at 10:22 pm
So I’m Mandy. I’ve been Mandy forever, and never felt like an Amanda, so I’ve never used it. Recently my new friends in my new town told me what groups of friends throughout the years have told me: “we hope this doesn’t offend you, but you don’t seem like a Mandy. Would you consider something else?”
To college friends, I’m “Brad,” since my maiden name is Bradley. That’s not bad. To my mom, I’ve always been “Lou” for some reason. My middle name used to be “Lee” also, and both are nice and simple.
I have Russian and Irish heritage, and everyone leans to the Russian when trying to offer suggestions (Natasha, Anastasia, Veronika). I’m actually considering trying to make a more permanent change, but I’d prefer to pick something that is either a variation on my actual name or an easy jump.
I just wish I had an already-established, posh, waspy nickname that I could use…
Katie Ann Said
on June 27th, 2011 at 2:41 pm
I have always hated my name. At school I am one of about 20 Kate/Katie/Catie. Most of them are short for Caitlin/Katelynn/Katherine. I am just Katie. I wish my full name was Katherine because then I could have so many other nn’s. I guess my mom wanted to name us what she would call us because my brothers are Jake not Jacob and Sam not Samuel. I can’t use Kat/Cat because I have a close cousin named Catarina who goes by Cat. I have an aunt named Kate so that is also out. Any suggestions???
change your life Said
on July 28th, 2011 at 2:26 am
change your life…
Hate Your Name? Change It! – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry…
on August 5th, 2011 at 9:13 pm
Peggy is one of those names that I never understood how it came to be. How do you get Peggy from Margaret? If that were my name I would def. insist on being called Margaret or Greta, even Margie would be preferable to Peggy. Any name that close to sounding like a farm animal is just wrong.
I have always hated my name. Stacey…I have met more men than women with my name and with the women I usually see it as a surname. I tried for years to get people to call me by my middle name(Lynn) and was wanting to change it to Lynnet. But when I suggested changing it to my mother she was insulted that I wanted to change a name she thought so hard over for so long… my sisters have very girly names and I was stuck with the unisex name. I also hate my last name because of how often it is mispronounced and butchered, and its just clunky with too many syllables and catching consonants too closely together and have decided to spare my children that harrassment and giving them my first name as their surname.
on August 26th, 2011 at 7:58 am
Oh it is so nice to not be the only one who loathes her legal name. I haven’t used it in my day to day life in over a decade and have to consciously remind myself to answer to it from my mother (however as soon as the legal name change occurs I am going to put my foot down). I hate it. I hate the sound. I hate that it doesn’t sound feminine or multisyllabic and the two most famous actresses to bear the name BOTH are old enough to be my mother so it is also incredibly dated. I used to look forward to taking foreign language classes because we got to pick our own name for the class (I took French immersion, Spanish and German) so I would try names on for size. This coming year I will be making me true name my legal name. Catherine Elizabeth (my current mn is Elizabeth, as is my daughter’s mn and.. it’s my mom’s first name otherwise I’d use it in a heartbeat for a first name). Catherine what I finally settled on at 19/20. I like the medieval stateliness of it (three of Henry the VIII’s wives were Catherine/Katherines) for formal situations and the fact that it transforms into a variety of nicknames in private (Cat, kitcat, chatonne, kitty, kitten etc). And when I hear it, my ears perk up. I have to remind myself to answer to Susan from my mother, a literal “she’s talking to me DOH” reaction
on March 1st, 2012 at 2:06 pm
I agree with the other comments saying give your child a longer proper name legally even if you plan on using a shorter version.
It gives that child more options through out life.
My mom named me Stacey but I really wish I could have the full name of Anastasia.
I don’t hate Stacey, and will probably never go to the hastle of changing it, but I wish I had other options. With the middle name of Jayne I don’t even have that to fall back on.
on April 26th, 2012 at 9:36 pm
That’s been my plan for awhile now, to have a little Margaret and call her Greta. Cool story!
on June 15th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
I love this post! I have wanted to change my name my whole life but sadly I have ABSOLUTELY no nicknames for my name. My name is Ashley middle name Madison and I hate both of them. I know three Ashleys one Ashleigh and one Ashlynn. Madison doesn’t help my cause either as I have a close friend that goes by Madison and know three more Maddies/Maddys. I don’t mind Madden, though its a bit boyish. I’m not sure my family would go for the whole “name change concept” either so it looks as if I’m stuck with plain old Ashley. 🙁
on July 10th, 2012 at 11:47 pm
I have always hated my name- and as a teenager that may seem like a “phase of rebellion” and I’ve had many people tell me that “everyone hates their name at one point or another” but for me it has always been more than that. My name, “Ashley” has always seemed too common and cutesy for me. I will be leaving for a summer college program soon and thought it would be the perfect time for me to try out a new name- my name of choice? Right now I’m thinking of Hollyn.
on September 28th, 2012 at 8:42 am
I don’t know … I was not given the family (female) middle name traditionally given to firstborn girls, and I don’t like that. It’s one of my favorite names and has always been so. Amber Paige is what went on my birth cert, yet I don’t feel like it’s “me”. I always wanted the Rose middle name, but mom adores the “Paige” part. She and I are really close, so I wouldn’t dare upset her by suggesting I don’t like the biggest part of my identity she gave me.
If I had the option, I’d change my name entirely … Evanie Rose or Evanie Grace.
on October 7th, 2012 at 3:27 pm
I am in the beginning process of changing my name from Lynn to Noellynn. I have never liked my name Lynn very much, I am adopted and originally it was my middle name, my first name at birth was Shelba, which I’m pretty sure is in the top 10 most atrocious names known to man, so when I was adopted I changed it legally to Lynn since that was the lesser of two evils. Still though, I never really cared for Lynn. It was only recently while talking to my husband Brian that I realized that I wanted to change my name again to something that I could at last be happy with. I had asked Brian what he would change his name to if he could change it to anything he wanted and he said that he wouldn’t change it, he really likes his name. I was struck by this idea, what must it be like to feel so satisfied with one’s name that you wouldn’t change it? For years I had thought that if I ever had a daughter I’d consider naming her Noellynn (pronounced like a combination of Noelle Lynn) and that night I realized that I wanted the name for myself.
on October 15th, 2012 at 11:12 am
I have always hated my name, Bridget. No one spells it properly. My mother specifically chose names that can’t be nicknames for her kids because she’s Deborah and HATED being Debbie. But guess what? Everyone still shortens it to “Bridge” I corrected people for years but just grew weary of it. So now people of their own laziness call me a bad hack job of the name I already hate. When I was in my early 20’s I asked everyone to call me Brie instead if they insisted on a nickname, and they did, and that was ok.
But now? Being a name nerd is something my mother and I share. When I think of choosing a name for my own daughter, I know she may not love it. I spend hours a day agonizing over it and have since I was probably 6, 7, 8 years old, partly because of my hatred of Bridget. my mother did the same thing, because of her hatred of Debbie. I would never change my name, not because I love my name, but because I love my mother. It’s a gift given with love, and like every handmade gift, it might not be exactly what you had in mind, but it’s just polite to take it and wear it and make it work the best you can because you love the person who gave it to you.
on March 25th, 2013 at 11:41 am
My name is Abbigail, the plainest of all names. I could go by Abbey, but that sounds unintelligent, childish, and way too bubbly. Gail is just… Gail. Nothing more, nothing less. What’s more, my middle name is Marie, the same as the 10 other girls in my class. There is no possible way to change my name at all to anything I like without completely changing it. Let’s see… Drop Abbigail. Left with Marie. Marie Antoinette…. Drop Marie. Antoinette. Yeah… I’m hopeless.
on June 14th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
I added a middle name last year (it’s my aunt’s name) and while many people love my now long and elegant name, some family members are too stuck to tradition. It’s my name and my mother LOVED the idea. It is her sister after all!
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