Old fashioned name: Can you change it if you don't like it?

United States
March 6, 2013 4:43pm CST
I'm watching a show based in the Middle Ages called Cadfael. There are some people with names that today seem like very old names like Edwin, Edward, Ozwood (is that where Ozzie comes from?) and there are other names. So my discussion centers around old names we like or dislike and if some of the names nowadays were ever old? I had two aunts with the name Gladys. My mom's name was Adelma but everyone knew her as Della. She changed her name when she got her drivers license before she got married. She hated her name and just changed it. I have a friend whose name was spelled Vicky and she changed it after she married to Vikki. Have you ever known anyone who was given an old fashioned name and they changed it to suit their personality? Maybe it wasn't old fashioned so much but was just a name you hated. My daughter's name is Kimberly Lynn and she wants to change her name to Kimberlynn to join the two names as one. Can she do that legally? It seems that she can if others have done it, but her husband thinks it will require a lawyer. My grandfather was Charles Tabor H. If I were born a boy I would have had that name. Since I was born a girl I was given the feminine of Charles (Charlene) but my mother unofficially named me Sally. So I have been Sally all my life. But it's not legal. The other name is my legal name but it seems so foreign to me. Could I change my name without a lawyer if I wanted to? Your thoughts?
2 people like this
14 responses
@sid556 (31031)
• United States
7 Mar 13
Hi PQ, Here in the States, you can legally change your name. You have to change it on your birth Certificate and your social security, licence and all legal documents. They will hold records of your previous name. It is the same process as when you get married and legally change your last name. I have had friends that have done this and have not needed lawyers. I don't care for my name really and after having gone through the process when I got married and then again when I got divorced, I would not do it unless I really, really, really hated my name. not only do you have all the paper work to do but everyone around you and you also have to get used to using that new name.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
Hi Sid. I think I would not bother changing my name since everyone who knows me uses my nickname anyway. I only use my real name for legal stuff. My daughter wants to change her name but her hubby is against it. I did post on my Facebook an eHow article so she could see the process.
@sid556 (31031)
• United States
7 Mar 13
Gosh, she must really dislike her name to go through all the hassles of changing it. I think it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to just have a nickname and tell people that she prefers to be called by that.
@sid556 (31031)
• United States
7 Mar 13
I just went back and re-read your original post as I'd forgotten what her name was and what she wanted to change it to. Ok so she doesn't hate her name but just wants to change it up a bit. I like Kimberlyn as well as her original name. I bet she could just keep all her legal documents as are and just start using Kimberlyn as a nickname of sorts. I know a lot of people who use their middle names as if they are their first and the only way I know what their legal name is is if I see their license or a check or something. Seems like that would be the easier way to go.
1 person likes this
@kprofgames (2906)
• United States
6 Mar 13
When my daughter went through oral surgery they asked her name, Deardra, then asked what name does she go by. ...um, Deardra. But now reading this discussion I understand why they asked that. People might have their given names but they can choose their nicknames. I do know a person that changed their last name (not because of a divorce either). It did require an attorney and court appearance. I want to think it's because they want a legal document somewhere to track a person's history or purposes for SS# and or tax history. Can you imagine a person changing their name every year to bow out of income taxes? So to have your name appear on official documents and be legal, yes it would have to be your birth name or go through the legal process of changing it through court.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
I love my name Sally. I'm not so fond of my real name. Everyone who knows me knows I am Sally. Even when I worked, my nursing license was in my legal name but I was allowed to use my nickname. They said since that is the name I choose to go by they let me. My given name was so not me. I'm more used to it now since my pen name for writing is my real name.
@bunnybon7 (22913)
• Holiday, Florida
7 Mar 13
btw, last time i got married they informed me if i signed my last name any different, i didnt have to take my hubbys last name. so the last name could be whatever thats a law here. not sure about elsewhere.
@KrauseHome (28096)
• United States
8 Mar 13
Well, I work with people that have other names but prefer everyone to call them something else as their nickname. There are actually a couple of them that I would not know if someone was to actually call them by their real first name. I have known you for a while now here, etc and know you under both names. Personally I guess just keep the names you go by so everyone knows you, and if anyone asks you if their is a nickname you would rather use or be known by, you would tell them Sally.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 13
Yep. As for me, I keep myself as Sally. I write under my real name but everyone who is my friend knows both my names and which one I use.
@stealthy (7993)
• United States
7 Mar 13
It appears that you have to go to court and do some other things to legally change your; I think this is especially true if you are changing your last name. Check out what they say here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2053981_legally-change-name.html Changing only a first or first and middle name may be easier. Of course if you only want friends to call you by a different name, first name, and don't want to change it legally, then I guess all you have to do is ask them. I know my ex-wife went back to her maiden name after we divorced, but I don't know how hard that was. I went by a non legal nickname given to me by my older sister when I was born up until I graduated from high school. Then I figured I should use my legal name. My high school diploma has my legal name with my nickname in parenthesis following my legal first name; I got a huge laugh when they read it that way at graduation. I would think that since 9/11 and the higher concern about terrorism in the U. S. that changing ones name may be harder than it used to be but I could be wrong.
• United States
7 Mar 13
Thanks for that link. I'll check that out in depth in a few minutes. I already have most everyone in my life calling me by my nickname. I was born with it. I wish it was my legal name. I'll pass this link on to my daughter.
@peavey (13918)
• United States
6 Mar 13
You can change your name legally, which requires different things in different states, or you can just ask to be called by whatever, and you can sign checks, etc., with it (as long as you give that signature to your bank), just not official documents like tax returns and Social Security things. To use it on those documents, you'd have to change it legally.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
Thanks for the insight Peavy. I'll have my daughter look into it if she really wants to change it.
• Philippines
6 Mar 13
This reminds me of a friend. His name is Meynard, and he's working in a different country (I'm in the Philippines). His co-workers call him "Manyur". Sounds interesting, eh.. Anyway, I like my name. It's simple and only a few people has it. I also don't have any problems getting clearances because it's not common. Although I don't want to post my name here for privacy reasons (IRS, wifeys... JK)
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
I respect your wishes not to give your first name. I don't mind since its not my whole name online.
@doroffee (4238)
• Hungary
6 Mar 13
I don't know, because it depends on the country. I know for sure that in my country you can make your name changed. Under 14 you need your parents' approval, and if you're over 14, you could change your name to any name that is permitted by the government. I've only heard about 3 people so far who changed names. One wasd my dad's cousin, who got her mother's name as first name out of tradition, but it soon turned out that her middle name suits her better. The other ones... one changed his name to it's cooler, American-sounding equivalent, and one changed his ordinary name to another ordinary name, and I don't know about the reason.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
I wouldn't want to use my middle name. It's Mae. That was my aunt's name. To be named after my grandpa and aunt I didn't spend much time with them. It's not like they were close family. Back then children were seen and not heard. When I came to GA I lost all contact with my extended family.
• Canada
6 Mar 13
Hi PointlessQuestions I have an Aunt her real name is Gertrude I always called her Aunt Gert. Now years ago she said she wanted everyone to call her Trudy some call her Aunt Trudy I still call her Aunt Gert. I do not know the legal terms for this it will be interesting to see the responses on this discussion. I personally like your daughters name just the way it is Kimberly Lynn.
• United States
6 Mar 13
Her father and I loved that name. We named her after the little flower girl at our wedding. She saw an actress with the name Kimberlynn and she wanted that name ever since. I like the name Trudy. I went to school with a kid with that name.
@ifa225 (11104)
• Indonesia
9 Mar 13
you can ask anyone you know to call you Sally but in legal term, it is hard to change your real name since your ID will change too. when dealing with your ID, then your account bank should change too, and your insurance, and your license car it is difficult but if you are patience enough, it can be done
1 person likes this
@cupkitties (6284)
• United States
6 Mar 13
Looks like us folks in Georgia have to have a petition signed by others who agree to have our names changed. Well, ain't that some bs. . You could always choose a name for yourself and inform everyone that that is the name you'll be answering to. No need for petitions or court fees.
• Canada
6 Mar 13
Hi cupkitties, that seems to be the way my Aunt did it I do not remember her changing it legally.
• United States
6 Mar 13
It's a lot easier especially if most people you know would be reluctant to sign the papers.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 13
Would informing people include legal things like jobs, social security and creditors? My friend just changed her spelling to Vikki and she didn't get a lawyer. She was in NY at the time. Yeah I'm in GA.
@jenny1015 (13407)
• Philippines
7 Mar 13
I have two names. But my friends call me either Jen or Jenny. But back in high school I changed how Jen is spelled just to make it different. So from then on, close friends spell my name as DYEN.
• United States
7 Mar 13
That's an interesting name. The DY does have a J sound. Who would have thought of that? Not me! That is neat!
@jenny1015 (13407)
• Philippines
7 Mar 13
Thanks, Pointless! Actually, I couldn't recall how I came up with that idea. It has been about 28 years ago. Gosh, I am getting old!
@RitterSport (2452)
• Germany
9 Mar 13
hi dear PQ I dont know how things are in the US but here in Germany its very difficult to change your name. I only want to change one letter in mine and it will cost me a lot of money if its approved at all but when I am out of some other mess I am going through now I will take care of this as I have wanted to change that one letter for decades.......
@iluvusabado (2560)
• Philippines
9 Mar 13
i have a friend who's named after his father. i laughed when i heard his real name because i only know him by nickname. in the philippines, i think it's allowed to change someone's name but you have to have approval of the court.
@celticeagle (69326)
• Boise, Idaho
7 Mar 13
I like the old names. My great grandmother's name was Rachel and when I was having so many problems here online with hackers I started using Rachel. My grandmothers name was Ruby and I always thought it was cool that her parents names their 10 children names of gems, flowers and months like Opal, Rudy, June, Pearl, Daisy, Rose, etc. Our neighbor game my grandmother the nickname of Sally. Never knew why. I was reading the other day in Greek Mythology about the Amazon women. My daughters name is Camilla and I found that a warrior princess's name was Camilla. She was actually names after a movie star, Camilla Sparv. I find names and their meanings very interesting. I think you could change your name if it was some derivative of yours. Just change it at the bank and on your cards(and with Social Securtiy). But if it is too different you probably would have to have it legally changed.