Name Change

Hey all,

 I have wanted to change my name since I was eight years old and now years later. It's funny which names I wanted back then stayed ([name]Celeste[/name]) and left ([name]Chrystal[/name]). I have nothing against [name]Chrystal[/name], it's my cousin's name and I actually have two cousins with my name. My parents wanted to be surprised when I was born and I think they [name]Rock[/name] Paper Scissors for my name. [name]Laura[/name] on the left and [name]Jordan[/name] on the right and so the nurse told them we've had three [name]Megan[/name]'s born today. So that was the happy medium. I have nothing against [name]Megan[/name], I just never liked it. It was too popular and I want something original. Like I said I go to visit my family and there are three of us in the same room. It's a blast-"Hey [name]Megan[/name]!!! Blonde [name]Megan[/name] not red [name]Megan[/name]." We're all technically blonde. So I told my parents and they hated the idea and told me it sounded like I was a felon on the run. (Felons can't change their names, already knew that). I don't care what people think. I was just wanting input because my family and most friends don't help.

I had these picked out:

[name]Anastasia[/name] Noël

These were ones I was looking at. I was hoping somebody wouldn’t mind throwing in some ideas. I am cool with having two middle names etc. I would love your input on the ones I looked at and anything else you like.

   Thank you so much

My thinking on this subject tends to be on the conservative side, in that changing one’s name is usually only worthwhile to achieve a specific purpose - for example, witness protection. Or say your name is seriously hurting your career prospects for whatever reason, though this need not be a legal change in most instances. Or there’s a serial killer in the news who happens to have the exact same name as you – but that tends to blow over.

The reason I feel this way? There will inevitably be so much social backlash from changing one’s name that it’s simply not worthwhile. You dislike your name because it’s common or blasé, but you’d just be trading one issue (plain old name dislike) for another or multiple (social confusion, issues with records, judgment from others, etc.). You’ll have to push the issue for YEARS with friends, family and acquaintances who knew you before the change, and they may never come onboard. Introducing yourself to new people will not be without its problems, either, as they will eventually hear the story and feel conflict themselves: I know two people who I met post-name-change, and when it comes up around older friends they roll their eyes at the name changer AND at me for “playing along with it.” These people definitely have a case of split-identity, and while neither express regret, they do express frustration. It should be noted, though, that in both cases these name changers were just using other forms of their given legal names, one a middle name and the other a different nickname from the same root as their given name (eg. [name]Kathy[/name] instead of [name]Katie[/name] or [name]Margot[/name] instead of [name]Maggie[/name]) I can only imagine it would have been much more frustrating had they adopted an entirely new name.

I think the very easiest option, and the smoothest social transition, it to start going by a nickname derived from your given name, whether first or middle. Play with combinations, anagrams, etc. No legal change necessary. Wanting something completely different (like [name]Celeste[/name] all the way from [name]Megan[/name]) points more to boredom and a desire to reinvent oneself in general, not simply disliking your name… and you’ll find that your value, creativity and indivuality are tied up in a great many things – least of which being the verbal label assigned to you at birth.

On a related note, this is part of why I prefer (and encourage others) to consider names with the most nickname potential possible. Boredom can easily be vented by switching from [name]Megan[/name] to [name]Maggie[/name] to [name]Meg[/name] to [name]Margot[/name] to [name]Greta[/name] to [name]Margie[/name] and back again, but nickname-proof names mean the person is stuck.

I agree completely with yellow. Honestly, backlash is the right word. There are very few occasions that people find adult name changes acceptable, one being a) a famous, evil person has come to dominate your name, a la [name]Tony[/name] Soprano or [name]Adolf[/name] or [name]Lyle[/name] Menendez or something; b) your name is a disaster that no one can spell or pronounce (i.e [name]Jai[/name]-quar’shunious); c) your name is childish, sacrilegious, ridiculous, given when your parents were stoned, or is otherwise a complete social embarrassment (like [name]Tallula[/name] Does the Hula from [name]Hawaii[/name]). People will be genuinely sympathetic in these situations. Otherwise-- honestly-- it will be seen as pathetic, needy, and selfish.

It is indeed very frustrating, and rather unusual, to be one of three Megans in the same family. I understand the wish to individuate yourself. I think @yellow’s advice to search for variants, diminutives, combinations with your middle name, etc is very good. For example, if you’re [name]Megan[/name] [name]Elizabeth[/name], you can be [name]Bethan[/name] (another Welsh name like [name]Megan[/name], but much much rarer). If you’re [name]Megan[/name] [name]Renee[/name], you can be [name]Maren[/name] (a Scandinavian form of [name]Mary[/name]). You can be [name]Pearl[/name] / [name]Perla[/name], at a stretch (the meaning of [name]Margaret[/name]).

And perhaps, if your new nickname really sticks, down the line you can change it legally and make a very organic transition.

The beauty of [name]Megan[/name]/[name]Margaret[/name] is that is has literally hundreds of variants. The ones starting with M will be easier for you.

[name]May[/name]** (probably the easiest)
[name]Mared[/name] / [name]Mairead[/name]

Thank you. I am personally not afraid of any of the backlash. My parents and family may call me [name]Megan[/name] or whatever they want. I just go with it. I am not bored, far from it I just have never liked my name. I want something original, something that is…me. I would love the love the [name]Margaret[/name] idea, thank you for it, had there not been a “female family names start with M.” thing I would love it more. I feel like my parents didn’t know what to name me had this wonderful nurse bring in a suggestion and lo and behold it fit the criteria for being in my family. I have a [name]Margery[/name], [name]Marge[/name],[name]Margie[/name], [name]Margarette[/name], [name]Margaret[/name], [name]Margene[/name], Magot, [name]Margo[/name], etc. so doing that for me in this case is like going through a photo album and picking which “great-” I want to be. I have nothing against this at all I am all for family names, I know I have one, my middle name is a biblical mistake from hundreds of years ago, (there were multiple women in the passage and they want the one that God favored and got the one He didn’t instead.) instead of correcting it they just kept it going.
I don’t mind social backlash nor do I care about the thoughts on the subject. People have changed their names for less. I know of multiple and I don’t mind. If the world was all the same it would be boring. :wink:

Hmm, now I am curious-- what is your middle name?

See I don’t really use my real name. I use my last name more. My full name is on my high school diploma, driver’s license, and medical records. My boss knows but I like my last name. And it is [name]Leah[/name], ([name]Lay[/name]-uh).

I honestly don’t see a problem with someone wanting to change their name. It’s your identity, and if you want to reinvent yourself, you do have that right. And since you’ve felt this way for a long while, it doesn’t seem like a spur-of-the-moment decision. I would caution you to remember, though, that other people are involved. Your parents chose your name, and they might be hurt that you’re rejecting it. Maybe you could try out a nickname or alternate name for a while before paying for a legal change.

Tupelohoney -
I love Saiorse…my favorite from your list. It is a favorite of mine as well. Seems you like French and Irish names? I love [name]Severine[/name] and [name]Justine[/name] (may be too 80s for you).

Of course there is nothing “wrong” with changing one’s own name, I just personally can’t see it being worth the trouble, expense or life complications. I’ve considered it myself, and though I outgrew the desire for a complete change, I came close to going through with a spelling change when I thought I could do so for free and without the whole legal process (in some states you can change your whole name when you marry, but where I live, it’s only the surname).

All right then. I don’t see the connection between changing one’s name and the “if the world was all the same” comment, but I think that may be an interpretation issue. Good for you for not being intimidated by the idea of a social backlash, though it seems a tiny bit naïve to think you will never feel bothered by others overtly judging and disparaging you for your decision. If you do personally know people who’ve changed, it would be in your interest to ask them about the experience. [name]Just[/name] because I know people who’ve really struggled with that problem doesn’t mean that you would as well, and likewise just because you don’t “mind” that the people you “know of” (what does this mean??) changed their names doesn’t mean they didn’t experience issues with it.

Spare the defensiveness for your own sanity, since (if I am any indication) no stranger on the internet gives a whip whether you keep your name or change it, and no one will know whether you actually go through with it or not. So there’s no need to “turn down” others’ opinions: if you really don’t care, just skip over those posts as they don’t pertain to your situation. I always wonder whether these threads are looking for a debate, because if I were looking at a name change I’d post it in the writer’s section and describe myself as a character. The only name change threads I’ve seen go well are the ones that don’t try to justify themselves up front and simply say, “I’m considering a name change. I want something that says X, Y and Z about the wearer’s personality. I’m thinking of _______, _______ or ______. Any thoughts?” Over-explaining tends to invite the reader to look more closely and wonder what is “really going on.”

If you have been serious about this potentiality for a good chunk of time, you already know that this will be (depending on your place of residence, for the sake of simplicity and due to the likelihood, I’ll assume the US) both pricey (between $150-500) and time-consuming (petitioning, more paperwork, court dates), and you will have to convince a judge of your reasoning. Some places that last bit isn’t difficult, others it is – it all depends on your judge.

If you are sure that you want to legally change your name, you should be looking within for your choice. Choosing a name for a child, who is a big unknown, is one thing, but choosing one for yourself? If you wanted informed opinions on what name would “fit,” you’d have to give us a lot more information about yourself. If all you’re asking for is opinions on the names you have listed:

[name]Anastasia[/name] - Feels dated because of the [name]Stacy[/name] connection. If this were your pick, I would suggest choosing your nickname variant ([name]Ana[/name], [name]Anya[/name] or [name]Asta[/name] would be the freshest as opposed to [name]Stacy[/name]/[name]Stacie[/name], [name]Stasia[/name]) and introducing yourself as that.
Noël - I personally prefer [name]Noelle[/name] (one of my favorites that would likely be on my shortlist if I were [name]Christian[/name]), as Noël looks more masculine to me and is a ‘tough sell,’ as it feels overtly [name]Christmas[/name] more than a name.
Céleste - unless you are of concentrated French descent, I would advise against the accent. [name]Celeste[/name] is an easier sell, and you said it’s a long-time favorite.
[name]Ren[/name]ée - Feels dated, but perhaps in a good way depending on your age. An '80s-born [name]Ren[/name]ée would be an easy fit as that’s when it peaked.
[name]Anastasia[/name] Noël - see above, though since you have them both on here twice perhaps that means they are winning options for you.
[name]Selah[/name] - a lovely name, but a HUGE cultural departure from [name]Megan[/name], the most of any on your list. This may mean it would be tough to wear, but that depends on your cultural background.
[name]Aurora[/name] - while very pretty, it does exude an air of “trying,” which may only exacerbate the aforementioned “social backlash” issue.
[name]Amity[/name] - has a very “deep south” vibe.
[name]Saoirse[/name] - completely unpronounceable/unspellable for the majority of the non-Gaelic world. Also has an unpleasant grating sound to it.
[name]Abrielle[/name] - feels made-up or just a chopped-off form of [name]Gabrielle[/name]. Awkward to say.
[name]Tupelo[/name] - in your screen name so I assume it’s a favorite. While I appreciate the appeal, all I see is the place and perhaps a product name.
[name]Taliesin[/name] - sounds quite “fantasy novel.”

Some will be an easier sell ([name]Anastasia[/name] with accompanying nickname, [name]Noelle[/name], [name]Ren[/name]ée, [name]Amity[/name] if you live in the south US), others will invite criticism of the “are you kidding?” variety ([name]Aurora[/name], [name]Saoirse[/name], both [name]Tupelo[/name] and [name]Taliesin[/name] BIG TIME).

Here’s someone who posts a blog every [name]Monday[/name] here on Nameberry who changed her name (legally in fact):

[name]Blade[/name]: I don’t think that someone who changes their name is pathetic, needy, or selfish* (in fact some may see that comment as borderline offensive). There are all kinds of legitimate reasons why one might want a different name (too common as was the case for the blogger mentioned above, they don’t like having a name that they’re constantly being teased for, transgender people, etc.).

*The exception of course being when one changes their name for illegal reasons, like to try and erase a bad credit or criminal history.

I didn’t say she was needy, pathetic or selfish. nor did I say changing ones name was needy, pathetic or selfish. I said people will think she’s needy,pathetic and selfish for doing so, and she has to be prepared for the backlash.

Most of the time these name change threads all fit the same model: someone named an unobjectionable, top 20 name says they want someone that feels “more like them.” inevitably the suggested names are fanciful, flowery, rare, and very 2013 ( I.e. something a baby would be named now, not 16 years ago).

Like @yellow said, none of us are that invested if a random stranger changes her name or not. I’m offering a perspective she might not have thought of.

Thank you all. [name]Trust[/name] me I have thought of it all. I am a huge worrier. I was not getting defensive, I’m looking for input. I’m not here to get offended or offend anybody. I just want ideas. My parents have told me to do it, but they will not call me by anything other than my real name, (and if it’s by my full name it means I am in trouble :wink: It’s awesome on Chrismas, “[name]Megan[/name] [name]Leah[/name]!!!” I’ve been here five minutes how in the world did I already mess up [name]Christmas[/name]? Ha ha). I was just looking for thoughts on te names or suggestions really. Some people look at one and think good lord no, but I love…:slight_smile: I just wanted some input. Thank you all.

Thank you!!!

[name]Anastasia[/name] [name]Noel[/name] is gorgeous! I’m also a big big fan of [name]Aurora[/name] (it was on my own name change list at one point)

Thank you. What are some on your list???

My current list contains: [name]Aria[/name], [name]Lesley[/name], [name]Adriana[/name], [name]Gabriela[/name] and [name]Natalia[/name] as the top five. After those, [name]Elena[/name], [name]Alexandrie[/name], [name]Karina[/name], and potentially [name]Zara[/name] come in next.


I love [name]Natalia[/name] that is beautiful. In Italian [name]Natale[/name] (N-ahh tall-ee) means [name]Christmas[/name]. I love that name. I have a friend named [name]Zara[/name] she is so funny I love that name too!!!