Experiences of Living With Your Name Thread ✨

Hey everyone!
I’m unsure if this has been done before, but today, I came up with an idea: a thread where people can describe their experiences of living with a certain name. :tulip:

People often worry if their name choice for their child is too unique, too common, too young, too nicknamey, too old, too long, or too short (along with a million other doubts), so I thought it could be an idea for anyone who wants to to say what it has been like for them living with their name to potentially alleviate the doubts of expecting parents, or even shine light on new considerations that they hadn’t even thought of (e.g. pronunciation issues, too many or too little nicknames, intuitive nickname to be aware of, popularity, etc.)

So, if anyone wants to talk about their experience of living with a certain name and potentially the good/bad and anything prospecting parents should consider, this is the place to do it! :blush:


Such a fun idea!!

I’ll talk about my experience of living with my name, and eventually deciding to go by my middle!

When I was born, my parents decided to give me a common name due to us having a fairly uncommon last name. I’m pretty sure my name was #5 in the overall rankings the year I was born, and is also not a name that has any easy intuitive nicknames.
I never had a problem with my name, although I knew quite a few: I was often MY NAME last initial, which made me kind of sad. It’s worth noting that my name also had a lot of the same popular sounds that other names had around the time, so I would often get confused if people were calling me, or calling someone else of a different name.
When I got to early high school, I had thought about it and decided that I didn’t know if I felt like my name, and decided to start going by my middle name, which was shorter, unisex, and much more uncommon. Going through the name change was a really weird process, it basically felt like I had no name for awhile, but once I got used to going by my middle name, I knew I had made the right decision.
One thing I say is that I never didn’t feel like my first name, but going by my middle name showed me what it was like to truly feel like your name. It was a freeing process for me, and I’m really glad that it was something I was able to do.
[name_f]My[/name_f] advice for parents to avoid a situation like this is to try and pick a name that can lend itself to multiple (or at least one) nicknames, so that your child has some option and individuality! If I could go back now and help my parents before they named me, I’d ask them to consider the fact that I was going to grow into my own person, and that a name should be able to grow with you and be flexible.



[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_m]Bryan[/name_m].

I was born in the 90s so it peaked a few decades before I was born, but was still in the top 100 when I was born. Most people I meet with my name are usually older than me, but I don’t mind that really. It’s not specifically tied to a certain generation I feel.

I mostly feel rather nondescript about my name, tbh. It’s a good name and I identify with it, but at the same time if I were to think of a [name_m]Bryan[/name_m], I wouldn’t think of myself. I think it’s not so popular to where I’m running into people left and right with my name and I have to go by a last initial, but not so rare that people have any trouble with it. I do wish I had a little bit more of an uncommon name sometimes (just because it would fit more with my personality), but I like my name well enough and it’s served me fine throughout life.

The main “issue” is that it’s misspelled about 70%+ of the time even when the name is right there in the email in front of you with the other common spelling variation. I literally do not mind this, though. People seem to be concerned on name sites that having a name misspelled is going to cause some sort of internal trauma but it literally does not affect me in any way, lol. If my name was spelled wildly or something, I could see how it would be a pain to live with, but a simple correction or just overlook it and take it as it is depending on the situation has never hurt me.

[name_f]My[/name_f] name is the inverse of my father’s (i.e. he is FN MN and I am MN FN) and we have a somewhat contentious relationship. I don’t really mind being named after someone, though. Because at least my first name is mine. Not sure how I’d feel if we shared a first name, but even though we literally have the same name just inverse, it still feels like my own name.

I don’t really have any nicknames for my name. It’s not a really intuitively nicknamed name, although sometimes my friends and family will call me Bry or Brybry as a term of endearment, but this isn’t really common. I’ve never felt the need or desire for a nickname.

I don’t know many people with my name which I like, but again it’s definitely a common and known name. I personally find it a tad boring, but at the same time… it’s my name and it’s who I am.


the name on my birth certificate is an alternative spelling of a name that ranked #18 the year I was born, and then rose into the top 10 for the next 20-ish years. I go by the most common nickname.


  • I suppose my name is pretty easy for people to remember
  • since my name is popular for people my age and younger, I don’t have issues with people assuming im a vastly different age than I am
  • im never mistaken for a different gender (although, I would like it if my name were more gender neutral)
  • if you google my first and last name, I don’t show up on the results at all because there are too many other people with my exact first and last name


  • 75% of the time I can’t find my name on keychains, souvenirs, etc. this is because they usually only have the full name, which isn’t how I spell my name
  • people like to tell me the “normal” way to spell my (nick)name. some are so set on spelling it a certain way that they won’t correct themselves even when I tell them how to correctly spell it
  • I go by my nickname 100% of the time so every first day of school, I spent my day correcting teachers. in college, I could tell which professors I had a close connection with if they didn’t still call me by my full name at the end of the semester
  • I switched school districts in the 6th grade and it took my new district 3 calls from my mom to spell my full name correctly. it’s 1 letter off of the most common spelling. until the day I graduated, it was still spelled wrong on my computer account but it was correct on my diploma so I guess that’s all that matters
  • there are so many people with my name. growing up, I often had to go by my last initial, hair color, color of my shirt, initials, etc. it’s also annoying because my name is never just associated with me. people have preconceptions about my name and treat me accordingly without getting to know me first
  • sometimes when people learn I have a full name, they try to call me by it instead of my preferred name, even if I correct them

I’m heading towards my sunset years, lol, but my name was probably in the top 200 when I was born and I rarely hear it now on anyone younger than 50. [name_f]My[/name_f] mother wanted to name me Deirdre; my father wanted a son. No one else liked [name_f]Deirdre[/name_f], so my mother chose [name_u]Leslie[/name_u] after [name_u]Leslie[/name_u] [name_u]Caron[/name_u]. (It’s a bit of a family tradition: my mother and her two sisters were also named after actresses because those names were American and my grandmother was Norwegian.) I had no middle name.

When I was a kid, the few people named [name_u]Leslie[/name_u] I knew were guys. I don’t think I had a problem with my name until third grade. Then I moved to a new state and a new school; my accent was weird, I wore glasses, and I did not fit in, plus I was not [name_u]Lisa[/name_u] or [name_f]Kathy[/name_f] or [name_u]Kim[/name_u]. [name_f]My[/name_f] elementary school was [name_f]Live[/name_f] [name_m]Oaks[/name_m] like my initials and that’s what I was called for a year: [name_f]Live[/name_f] [name_m]Oaks[/name_m]. I decided to choose a middle name for myself. [name_f]Every[/name_f] day I would write a different name on my work. The two ultimate choices were either [name_u]Leslie[/name_u] [name_f]Ellen[/name_f] or [name_u]Leslie[/name_u] [name_f]Elayne[/name_f] (Elaine is my mother’s name). I chose [name_f]Elayne[/name_f], but I didn’t go by it. That never occurred to me.

In high school I was all kinds of obnoxious homophobic names. By high school, I hated my name because it just wasn’t me, and there were no friendly nicknames that went with it. I’ve kept my name only because it became part of my business identity, but I use a pen name for much of my literary work.

I gave my kids names that had plenty of nicknames. [name_f]My[/name_f] daughter went from [name_f]Katie[/name_f] to [name_u]Kitty[/name_u] to Kate; my son goes by his full name, [name_m]Thomas[/name_m], although family calls him [name_m]Tom[/name_m].

I think I agree with the poster that kids should have names that are flexible. I wish I liked my name.


[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_f]Alyssa[/name_f].

I’ll have to ask my mother but I don’t think they had any real criteria for my name. It does end in the same letter as the rest of my sisters’ names but that was purely coincidental (esp. for me, as two sisters were younger). [name_f]My[/name_f] mom named me after an actress on a show she liked.

Growing up, I only knew one other girl (a year older than me) with the same name. That made it a bit difficult…sure, I didn’t have the same issues as the Emma’s and Haley’s I grew up with, but my name standing out made me uncomfortable. A chubby church mouse of a kid, I just wanted to blend in. Not to hear how unique my name was and certainly not to have to spell it a billion times.

That was my biggest struggle with my name. I got almost every spelling variation you could think of. [name_f]Alysa[/name_f], [name_f]Elissa[/name_f], [name_f]Alysah[/name_f], etc.
[name_f]My[/name_f] second biggest issue with my name was the bullying. In middle school (the worst age…), classmates realized my name spelled backwards started as “ass”. Stupid and immature but that was a thorne in my side for years. That and it has shown up more than once on lists such as “bratty cheerleader names”.

Now that I’m older, I appreciate my name. I love how it looks and sounds. The standing in/out thing stopped mattering a very long time ago. Once I got into the “real world”, out of the same cluster of kids I grew up with for 12 years, I got my wish of blending in amongst people of all walks of life. Spelling…it just isn’t a big deal to me to have to spell it anymore. It takes very little time and just doesn’t bother me at all.

All that to say, I don’t think there’s a way to name a child that avoids any issues. A child with a rare name may wish they had a top 10 name, as I did. They may grow to like their name, as I did. [name_u]Or[/name_u] not. Who knows.

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a very cool idea for a thread!

my name is a word name. i love it a lot, and have for most of my life. when i was younger i went by my first + middle name because i thought it was prettier, but now i think i suit my first name quite well. i’ve met only three others with my name, in passing, and was the only one in my high school with my name which was surprising. it’s in the sweet spot of popularity- not common, not uncommon, at least in my experience where i live. i think it’s around #200 in popularity. it’s a lovely nod to my faith as a [name_u]Christian[/name_u], which i really love. i like that it’s a virtue name- it often acts as a beacon of light for me. it’s a short name which doesn’t lend any nicknames, though people will try :relieved: the lack of nicknames has never bothered me, though. it has a good bit of history behind it and it’s feminine but not frilly. because it’s a word name, it’s easy to spell, though i’ve found it’s not easy to remember and people will often get it confused with other word names or other names of the same initial, but it isn’t a big deal at all to me.

i will say i’m surprised how often people comment on it, either to say that they like it or are surprised by it, or to tell me i suit it well. i’m also surprised how often people will make jokes about my name. it used to not bother me so much (and still doesn’t if i know the person well) but it’s happened so many times when i’m meeting someone for the first time and they start joking about my name. :thinking: it’s also happened more times than i’d like where someone makes a very creepy comment using my name as a pun.

this happens to me as well!

overall, i love my name and have had a good experience with it. it suits my personality very well and i think my parents did a good job choosing my name!

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[name_f]My[/name_f] name is extremely common where I live, it was in the top 5 most popular names in the year I was born. It’s also one syllable which is not what bothers me, what bothers me is that I was never the only one with this name wherever I went and so not having many options of nicknames for my name led to me having to go with (my name) + first initial of my last name.

I don’t mind not having many options of nicknames, I love going by my name and I love that it’s short and it feels like me. The thing is that it’s so popular that I would’ve liked to have the option to go by a nickname to differentiate me from the others with the same name to make us feel more like actual individuals so that we are not described by the first letter of our last name, our hair color, clothes, etc. So if I had a more uncommon (still) one syllable name, I would have no problem not really having any options for nicknames.
(Oh and I should mention the fact that middle names aren’t common here so I don’t have one and no one does or if they do, it’s never mentioned anywhere (it’s literally only mentioned on the birth certificate and that’s it) so I didn’t have the option of going by my middle name either.)

So, to me at least, popularity of a name is a big factor. I think the nickname options are something to consider when naming a baby with a very popular name, if there are tons of nicknames for that name I guess it would be fine but if the name is super popular and there aren’t many (or one and maybe two in my case), I think you’d have to think about it more before going with that name.

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Some points about living with the name [name_f]Grace[/name_f]:

  • people seem to like your name
  • people will call you [name_f]Gracie[/name_f], even if you don’t like it
  • you will hear someone say ‘great’ and think people are talking about you
  • names it might get misheard for include: [name_u]Jess[/name_u], [name_u]Ash[/name_u], [name_f]Kate[/name_f]
  • most people will spell it and say it right in the UK
  • there are so many little Graces running around. there are a lot of teenaged ones too
  • it’s a solid name, I don’t hate that it’s mine, like it’s fine to have, kind of just not super attached to it - I find it a bit bland but it’s not bad or horrible to have
  • i know other Graces who really like it too

[name_f]My[/name_f] legal name is [name_u]Georgie[/name_u] (I’d much rather be referred to as [name_m]Jordi[/name_m] or Insolitus over here, hence the blurring)

I was named after my parents heard the name on Holby City, [name_f]British[/name_f] Medical [name_u]Drama[/name_u], as there was a minor teenage character with the name. They liked it so that’s that. As for names that were considered, here’s a few I can list off the top of my head:

  1. [name_f]Jocelyn[/name_f] (Joss [name_m]Stone[/name_m] was big at the time)
  2. [name_f]Nina[/name_f]
  3. [name_f]Davina[/name_f]
  4. [name_u]Dara[/name_u]
  5. [name_u]Florence[/name_u] (ok [name_f]My[/name_f] [name_f]Nanna[/name_f] mentioned that, as that was the name of an ancestor of my Granddad. [name_f]My[/name_f] sister’s named for that ancestor’s sister, so she’d thought it was nice, even tho these ancestors had died many decades before me)

It’s kinda annoying not seeing my name on personalised items in gift shops, but hey, at least I’m not the 7 billionth Isabelle/a (all different spellings too) or [name_f]Chloe[/name_f] in my school. [name_f]My[/name_f] pet peeve when it comes to people reading out my name and not reading properly. They replace the e with an a, which I can kinda understand given there’s at least 3 Georgia’s in my school, but the fact it usually comes from teachers who’ve taught me for at least many months and I’d say I’m pretty identifiable by my ear defenders (I’m autistic lol) , it just get’s annoying.I know it isn’t a big deal and all, but it can be frustrating sometimes.


my name is madeline, but i ALWAYS go by maddie. honestly, i prefer my full name in general, but i’m just such a maddie and so not a madeline!

between my full name and madison, i meet a lot of maddie’s in various spellings, which i find kind of annoying. i sometimes get called by my last initial, but most if the time i don’t. people try to spell it maddy, madi, etc, but they usually remember it after i tell them, which is good. i wish my name had a less common nickname, but other than that i like my name! it suits me, i think. and i can always find it on keychains and stuff!

i don’t think i would want to have a super complicated name that no one can spell or pronounce, but i do wish my name was a little less common.


my name is jemma. i’ll talk about what i do like first, and then what i don’t.

what i like:

  • the popularity. it reached the lower end of the top 100 here a few years before i was born, but aside from that is unranked (we only go down to 100). my name is distinctive; uncommon but not unheard of.
  • i’ve only met one other jemma, and while gemma is more common, the vast majority of the time, i’m the only jemma/gemma in a room/class/group. i have a relatively common surname, so having a more uncommon first name is a plus.
  • it peaked a couple years before i was born, so i don’t have problems with people assuming i’m a different age.

what i don’t like:

  • quite simply, i don’t like my name. i don’t like the sound, the way it sits in my mouth when i say it or the look.
  • it doesn’t feel like me. my parents also considered joanna and i would much, much rather be a jo.
  • there is only one intuitive nickname. i don’t mind it but it feels quite juvenile, so i usually only let a few people that i’m close with call me it. it also doesn’t really feel like me.
  • this may sound dramatic, but it is quite possibly the least distinctive name ever. it is constantly misspelled as gemma, even by teachers who have it on a roll or people emailing me when it’s in my email address and signature. it is often misread as jemima, or even jessica (that one is when i know people aren’t even trying). it’s often misheard as emma. when i’m telling people my name, especially in a loud or crowded space, the conversation will usually go: “my name’s jemma.” “emma?” “no, jemma.” “sorry, could you repeat/spell that?” “jemma. j-e-m-m-a.” and even then, it’s still a 50/50 chance that it will come out as gemma or jemima.

however, i don’t think i’d ever change my name. it doesn’t feel like me, but i feel like jemma, if that makes sense. it’s so ingrained as part of me, and while the issues are certainly annoying, it’s not a big enough deal personally to warrant a name change.


I’m not gonna say my deadname, but all you need to know is that the nickname I went by more rhymed with eight and great, and in school I ALWAYS got picked to do the number eight, my assigned number with one teacher was eight, and all the teachers always complimented me by saying “Great, ___!”, and then laughing to themselves because it rhymed. I hated that my name rhymed with -ate words, but I did like the name a lot. That was just the worst downside


[name_f]My[/name_f] name was super common the year I was born (it’s one of the 2000’s names that slowly fizzled out). I know like, 10-12 people that are my age, that have the same name as me.

It’s super annoying because my name has a TON of spelling variants, so people always assume my name is spelled every possible way EXCEPT the way my parents spelled it. [name_m]Even[/name_m] people I’ve known for years still spell my name wrong.

It’s also annoying because of all the nicknames for it. The nickname my brother calls me is [name_f]Cat[/name_f], and he goes around calling me [name_f]Cat[/name_f] The [name_m]Bat[/name_m] (my nn here), [name_f]Cat[/name_f] the [name_f]Cat[/name_f], [name_f]Cat[/name_f] the Fat, [name_f]Cat[/name_f] the [name_f]Hat[/name_f], [name_f]Cat[/name_f] the [name_u]Mat[/name_u], [name_f]Cat[/name_f] the Rat, and so on.

[name_f]My[/name_f] middle name is a super common middle name, but despite that, I don’t actually know a person with my middle name except for my aunt (where I got it from).

I love my name, but I don’t exactly appreciate how it’s so common (especially for people my age), and how many dang spelling variants there are. However, I don’t think I’d ever change my name. It doesn’t feel like me, but at the same time, it does. People say my name fits my personality a lot, and I agree with them.


As a child I used to hate my name because I’d often get lumped with [name_f]Alice[/name_f] in Wonderland jokes and it would irritate me. As a teen, I got jokes from the song “Who The F*ck Is Alice?” which annoyed me too, but now, I’ve grown into my name and I don’t mind if so much. I still much prefer my middle name, but I don’t despise my first name as much now.

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Edited for privacy

I changed my name as a teenager, so I’ll write about both my birth name and my current name!

birth name

Apologies for how vague this is!

[name_f]My[/name_f] birth name was a traditionally feminine name in the top 100 for the year I was born. I had a classmate or two who shared my name, but I didn’t mind this—and I remember bonding with one over both of us disliking our name!

I liked the convenience of having a familiar name, but I didn’t love that it’s a little flash-in-the-pan and associated with my age group / the age group right before mine—it’s the kind of name that might be used for a millennial woman in the setup to a joke.

It’s easy to pronounce, but one of the vowel sounds has two possible pronounciations that sound somewhat similar (think [name_f]Lena[/name_f] as leh-na vs lay-na), and the difference is just subtle enough that I didn’t feel comfortable correcting someone who pronounced it the other way.

Mine was the most common out of a few established spellings, and it was spelled correctly most of the time. It was sometimes confused with a similar name.

I liked that it was traditionally feminine, although I thought it had an androgynous sound. It has a pleasant meaning, but I wouldn’t have minded otherwise (and the name I chose for myself has a meaning that doesn’t resonate with me at all).

It has a straightforward nickname, but I never used it and no one defaulted to it for me. I preferred that nickname over my birth name, but I still dislike it, and didn’t see the point in pushing to be called something that I only disliked a little less.

I think of it as a pretty good name on paper that just happened to not resonate with me. I hated my name, never identified with it, felt so dissonant when others used it for me, and dreamed about being called my current name since I was about eight years old. In retrospect, I’m so grateful for the experience of choosing my own name that I’m glad I got the name that I did, and I can appreciate how many of the practical concerns I hear people complain about with their names were never something I had to deal with.

current name

[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_f]Christine[/name_f], which I absolutely adore. It shares a lot of qualities with my birth name (familiar, traditionally feminine, most common spelling, tied to a specific generation—but my qualms about this didn’t seem to matter when I applied them to a name I already love, plus it feels different since it’s associated with a generation before mine).

[name_f]My[/name_f] name means “a Christian” which I am not, but I come from a Catholic background so it doesn’t feel too out of place on me.

I don’t use any of the short forms of my name, and no one defaults to them for me. Sometimes I get called [name_f]Cristina[/name_f], but on purpose. Sometimes it gets mistaken for [name_u]Christy[/name_u] etc, but this is my fault for pronouncing my name with emphasis on both syllables instead of just the second.

I love meeting other people named [name_f]Christine[/name_f].

I love when people call me by my name. It feels so much like me that when I changed it socially, the adjustment felt like the most natural thing in the world.

I get a lot of compliments on my name, which always surprises me because it isn’t particularly distinctive. I’ve had several people tell me I look like a [name_f]Christine[/name_f], which makes my heart so happy. Unfortunately I also get a lot of gross comments and Catholic schoolgirl jokes based on my name, which I definitely didn’t anticipate when choosing it!


[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_u]Julie[/name_u] and I don’t mind it, but I’m not sure it fully suits me.

The biggest experience I always have with my name is being called [name_f]Julia[/name_f]. I was born in the 90s and [name_f]Julia[/name_f] was much more popular than [name_u]Julie[/name_u]. It is a bit annoying. [name_m]Even[/name_m] when I correct people, they still sometimes use [name_f]Julia[/name_f] later. At that point, I usually give up. I also have a 10 letter Polish last name that no one can read/pronounce.

On the positive side, I meet older Julies semi-frequently and that is always a nice experience!

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[name_f]My[/name_f] name is [name_f]Megan[/name_f], and it seems like everyone finds it rather unremarkable. I never get any negative reactions, but I also don’t get any positive ones, unless the person has a sister named [name_f]Megan[/name_f] or something. I’ve surprisingly never had big spelling issues with my name. Some default to [name_f]Megan[/name_f] or [name_f]Meghan[/name_f], but most just ask.

All that said, I really like my name!



  • my name is consistent with my age
  • it is very easy to spell and the most common spelling of the name in English-speaking countries
  • it is also easy to pronounce
  • it is a classic, well-established name, which i like because my name will age well
  • it’s easy for people with my name to go by their full name, although in my country it is often intuitively shortened to the first syllable (which i don’t mind)
  • it’s not too long and not too short (5 letters, 3 syllables)
  • i can find my name on keychains/drink bottles etc. VERY easily
  • its popularity has sharply declined (but still in the top 50 where i live), so i am pleasantly surprised when i hear my name on a baby or young child


  • it is extremely popular: it was ranked #1 in my birth year where i currently live and #2 where i’m originally from
  • there’s often been at least 1 other person with my name in my cohort (class, year group, netball team, orchestra etc.)
  • because of this, i often have to go by both my first and last name to avoid confusion, which can be inconvenient but not a massive deal
  • i often hear my name out and about (e.g. when shopping) and i’m quite an anxious person so i freak out but usually it’s someone calling to someone else they know or their child
  • people often forget/miss off the last syllable of my name (the first two syllables make up another common name) which can sometimes be annoying as i get mistaken for people with that name
  • this is complicated by the fact that my best friend has the name described above
  • i can be easily found online; when i type in my full name into google, i am the only result
  • my first name does not culturally match my surname
  • this also applies to my middle name, which is an honour name that was anglicised by my parents. if the name had been left in its original form then it would culturally match my surname