Relative Name Angst

Are any of your relatives unhappy with their names? Why are they unhappy? [name]Do[/name] they use their middle names instead of their first names? Tell us what their middle and first names are. Have they legally changed their names? What are their new names? Have they chosen nicknames to replace the names they don’t like? [name]How[/name] did they get their nicknames and what are they?

Middle Name/First Name Switch:
relatives that have used middle names instead of first names:
me: middle name was [name]Sue[/name], now is [name]Susan[/name]. Use [name]Susan[/name] as my main name socially.
father: name was [name]Arthur[/name] [name]Kenneth[/name]. Family called him [name]Kenneth[/name] from the time he was born. He changed his name to [name]Kenneth[/name] [name]Arthur[/name].
grandmother: name was [name]Clara[/name] [name]May[/name]. Family and then everyone called her [name]May[/name]. Legally she was [name]Clara[/name] [name]May[/name].
aunt: born [name]Dorothy[/name] [name]Elaine[/name]. Was called [name]Elaine[/name]. Dropped the [name]Dorothy[/name] when she got married.
aunt: born [name]Edith[/name] [name]Grace[/name]. Became [name]Grace[/name].

Nicknames:
me: for a long time I was Chuka.
my brother: [name]Tim[/name] put all different names on his driver’s licenses including [name]Mohammed[/name] McChurch. But that was just for fun. He really wanted me to name my son [name]Mohammed[/name]. And my daughter [name]Conchita[/name]. I really like [name]Conchita[/name]. It means “little shell”. But I didn’t think either name went well with our last name.
When my father would go to Mexico (he went often), he would have everyone call him his middle name [name]Arturo[/name] because his first name [name]Ken[/name] sounds a lot like the Spanish word Quien which in English means “who”. If somebody asks you what your name is and you answer, who, it can lead to a lot of misunderstanding!

Didn’t like their names:
uncle: [name]Kirby[/name] [name]DeWit[/name]-didn’t like either name, lives with his names.
me: originally [name]Deborah[/name] nn [name]Debbie[/name]-didn’t like it. Changed it.
husband: [name]Kent[/name] [name]Andrew[/name]. Goes by [name]Kent[/name], doesn’t like it, wishes his name were [name]Andrew[/name], will never change his name. I don’t blame him. It would be hard at this point.
mother: [name]Helen[/name]. Never liked it but always has been [name]Helen[/name].
uncle: born [name]Benjamin[/name] [name]Franklin[/name] [name]Watkins[/name]. Changed his first name to his mother’s maiden name [name]Hilton[/name].
All this family name angst proves that it’s good to really think about what name you’re going to name your baby and hope that they like it! And that you like it so you don’t end up calling them by their middle name.

  • My grandma was [name]Mabel[/name] till she was 14, then changed her name to [name]Joyce[/name]. She didn’t like being called [name]May[/name] [name]Belle[/name] by her classmates.
  • Husband and I both changed our last names when we got married. Normal for me, not for him. (A lot easier for a woman to change her last name than a man. He had to go to court and pay $300 in fees.) We still love both families, just have a new name that’s only ours and has more meaning to us.
  • My Dad hates his middle name. It was his uncle’s nickname ([name]Kay[/name], nickname for [name]Kenneth[/name]) and he says it’s a woman’s name and only uses the initial. He’d never tell his mom, though.
  • Husband had no middle name till he was 3. Picked his Dad’s name.
  • Aunt goes by her legal middle name, [name]Robin[/name]. She was originally [name]Lynn[/name] [name]Robin[/name]. Her parents thought that [name]Robin[/name] wasn’t a woman’s name, but a child’s name and wanted her to have something more grown up. Aunt tried to change it to [name]Lynn[/name] around age 16, but it didn’t stick.
    (Everyone on my mom’s side of the family would never think of changing their names. It just isn’t done.)
  • My great aunt [name]Cleta[/name] [name]Faye[/name] goes by [name]Faye[/name]
  • My grandma [name]Frances[/name] [name]Norma[/name] [name]Jean[/name] was called [name]Norma[/name] [name]Jean[/name]

I’ve never heard of a couple both changing their surnames! What did you pick? (Obviously, you don’t have to say if you don’t want to, I’m just curious.)
I know a few people who always go by their nicknames, but the only other one I can think of is an uncle. He was named after his father, so went by his mn at home. When he went to university, people called him his real fn. My dad (his brother) didn’t find this out for a few years, and so the family kept calling him his mn name. My grandfather passed away some time ago, so now my uncle is the only one with that name, but he gets called different things by different people, depending on when they knew him.
We don’t see him much, and I’m not sure what it would be best to call him … so it’s always just “Uncle” or “Um … hey? Hey? Could you pass the salt? Yeah, thanks.”

My husband’s grandma was born [name]Elizabeth[/name]. She was the last child and came way after the most of them. (She had nieces/nephews older than her.) She now goes by [name]Alice[/name] (and got it legally changed) because everyone said that they had enough children [name]Alice[/name] (at last).

I also had a professor who’s name was originally [name]Melanie[/name] and her middle [name]Frances[/name]. Her whole family called her [name]Frances[/name] and she changed it legally when she got married.

My mom HATES her name. It is [name]Rhonda[/name] [name]Colleen[/name]. She has always wanted to change it to my grandmother’s second choice for her.
My uncle also legally changed his name from [name]Richard[/name] to [name]Rick[/name]. Not much difference.
My sister goes by her initals professionally. LA. Not because she dislikes her name, she just thinks it’s too common.
My grandfather’s first name was [name]Johnny[/name]. He went by his middle nn of [name]Eddie[/name].

This sounds like an interesting topic, so I’ll move it to the Talk About [name_u]Baby[/name_u] Names forum.

My dad was christened [name_m]Richard[/name_m] [name_m]John[/name_m], but has gone by [name_m]John[/name_m] since childhood. Why? Who knows. We tried asking his parents many times, but they always gave conflicting answers! The most likely response is that his cousin was [name_m]Robert[/name_m] (same surname) and there was confusion with them both being R. [name_m]Smith[/name_m] (not actual surname). Seems odd to me, but, nevertheless, my dad is [name_m]John[/name_m]!

Apart from that, none of my relatives go by anything apart from their actual first names. Some names are shortened (e.g. [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m] is called [name_m]Ben[/name_m] and [name_f]Debra[/name_f] is called [name_f]Deb[/name_f]), but that’s all.

My Gran wanted to call my mum [name_f]Sara[/name_f] [name_f]Alice[/name_f] until my uncle pointed out that her initials would be [name_u]SAM[/name_u] and as her wanted a little brother he would call her [name_u]Sam[/name_u], so Gean officially called her [name_f]Alice[/name_f] [name_f]Sara[/name_f]. Everyone calls her [name_f]Sara[/name_f] though.

On my mother’s side, my grandfather’s name is Enrod [name_m]Joseph[/name_m]. He hates Enrod and has gone by [name_m]Joe[/name_m] all his life. He named my uncle [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] [name_u]Michael[/name_u], and my uncle goes by [name_m]Mick[/name_m] to avoid confusion with his father.

As for the other side, I have an aunt whose name is [name_f]Celia[/name_f] [name_f]Jacqueline[/name_f] (with [name_f]Celia[/name_f] being pronounced “suh-lee-uh”, accent on the second syllable, rather than the traditional way). She goes by [name_u]Jackie[/name_u].

My grandfather has always gone by his middle name, but that’s because he and his father had the same first name. My grandmother (his wife) has always gone by [name_f]Jenny[/name_f] because she hates, hates, hates [name_f]Virginia[/name_f]. This is one of the reasons I cringe whenever I see [name_f]Virginia[/name_f] brought up on the forums. I don’t know a single [name_f]Virginia[/name_f] who likes her name. They all go by [name_f]Jenny[/name_f]/[name_f]Ginny[/name_f], [name_f]Ginger[/name_f], or their middle name.

My grandmother has about ten sisters (I think, I can never get the number right) and the majority of them go by nicknames.
[name_f]Cecilia[/name_f]- [name_f]Celia[/name_f]
[name_f]Genevieve[/name_f]- [name_f]Genny[/name_f]
[name_f]Virginia[/name_f]- [name_f]Ginny[/name_f]
[name_f]Dorothy[/name_f]- [name_f]Dottie[/name_f]
[name_f]Matilda[/name_f]- [name_f]Tilly[/name_f]
[name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f]- [name_f]Lizzy[/name_f] (though now that she’s gone, we refer to her as Aunt [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f])

but my college boyfriend, [name_u]Reid[/name_u] (born '58), went through such name angst (it was the 60’s and early 70’s remember, not now) at being named [name_u]Reid[/name_u] that from 10-15, he told EVERYONE in a tense voice, “MY NAME IS [name_m]STEVE[/name_m]!”

[name_f]Glad[/name_f] to know that a [name_u]Reid[/name_u] today would not have to suffer for his lack of Steveness!

Several of my relatives have gone by different names from their birth names, but mainly due to language.

Dad: [name_m]Born[/name_m] [name_u]Jean[/name_u]-[name_u]Michel[/name_u], but started going by [name_u]Michael[/name_u] when he moved to an English-speaking area. He is the only relative that legally changed his name (to [name_m]John[/name_m] [name_u]Michael[/name_u]), but that was just due to paperwork needing to match when he got American citizenship.
Uncle: [name_m]Born[/name_m] [name_m]Pierre[/name_m] [name_m]Philippe[/name_m], now goes by [name_m]Peter[/name_m]/[name_m]Pete[/name_m]
(My other uncle lives in the US and goes by his birth name, Francois, despite pronunciation issues.)
Maternal grandpa: [name_m]Born[/name_m] [name_u]Campbell[/name_u] [name_u]Neil[/name_u], always went by [name_u]Neil[/name_u]. His father also had [name_u]Campbell[/name_u] as a first name.
Step-grandmother: [name_m]Born[/name_m] [name_f]Pearl[/name_f], switched to [name_u]Peri[/name_u] as a teenager, though she’s never legally changed it. I think it’s funny because now [name_u]Peri[/name_u] has a mom-vibe and [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] is back in style. :slight_smile:
We also have a distant cousin who is named [name_f]Joanna[/name_f] but has always gone by [name_u]Jodie[/name_u]. I didn’t even know her name was [name_f]Joanna[/name_f] until recently.

My cousin is [name_m]William[/name_m] [name_m]Clark[/name_m] [name_m]Hardin[/name_m] V. Yep the fifth and my coincidence my sister was named [name_f]Willa[/name_f], idk if to honor them all (uncle, grandpa, great grandpa, etc) or just because my mom liked it. The 5th (cousin) goes by [name_m]Will[/name_m], 4th (uncle) goes by [name_m]Buddy[/name_m], and the 3rd (grandpa) goes by [name_m]Bill[/name_m]. Ugh. My 76 year old grandma is [name_f]Irene[/name_f] [name_f]Ella[/name_f] and for years she hated her middle name. I don’t see how she hated it, it’s beautiful! I have the “strangest” name in the family, [name_f]Emmylou[/name_f]. Everyone else in the family has classic names, excluding my sisters [name_f]Willa[/name_f] and [name_u]Ruby[/name_u]. I usually go by [name_f]Emmy[/name_f] and yep there’s my name rant :slight_smile:

Why is this revived its from 08?
My uncle goes by a nickname but thats because he’s a junior. Everyone in my family goes by their actual names