Category: name changes
Mary long reigned as the Number One girls’ name throughout the English-speaking world. Some were Mary Ann or Mary Ellen, but others got far more creative in their quest to stand out from the crowd. So they traded in the ubiquitous Mary for names more glamorous, creative, cooler, or at least more distinctive. You may not even realize that many of these women started out life answering to the regal, saintly classic girl name. By Abby Sandel
By Rachel Lyon
I have long been interested in the origin and function of pen names. A pseudonym can be a mask to hide behind, or a tool by which to play a sort of game. It can be a political statement, an aesthetic declaration, or an alternate identity that is grown into over time. Pseudonyms can give writers the freedom to argue a position they don’t quite believe, or the courage to say the otherwise unspeakable. And they can carry hidden homages to other names of other notable men and women.
By Kara Cavazos @ The Art of Naming
Changing your name can be tough. It requires that you really know yourself and what you want.
You would need to browse through name lists and pick out the ones that jump at you. Maybe you’ll find something that instantly speaks to you, but most likely it’ll take a while and names will need to grow on you. You’ll need to try them on and wear them to see if they’re a fit.
You could go about it in many different ways but it would depend on if you want to keep a connection to your old name or abandon it completely. Here are a few of the many possible methods for choosing a different name for yourself:
There was a time when it was de rigueur for performers to change their names—to anglicize those that they felt sounded too ‘foreign’ or to up the cuteness factor of their name (e.g. Alicia ? Jodie). This doesn’t happen so much anymore (hat tip to you, Renee Zellweger and Zach Galifianakis)), unless you’re talking about rock stars and rappers—we have to admit 50 Cent sounds more intriguing than Curtis, Ginuwine than Elgin, and Foxy Brown foxier than Inga.
But looking back at some of the switches made in the past, and in light of changing fashions and trends, a lot of the abandoned names now sound cooler –and often more sophisticated (Julia over Julie) –than their replacements. Here some celebrity names before and after:
For many actors, taking on a stage name is a way to distinguish themselves. I never took a stage name: I just changed my name altogether every few years until I got it right…
For some reason my parents decided to name me Debra. (To all Debs, Deborahs, Debbies, and Debras, please do not take offense, but this name sucks!) The hilarious part is that my parents agree that this is an awful name, which begs the question: “Well, then, what the hell were you thinking?”
And so I went through life with this albatross around my neck, a name with no character, no euphony, no style. Then, lucky me, they made a whole porn series called Debbie Does Dallas. That really helped me through high school.