Have You Ever Changed Your Name For Reasons Besides Marriage?

Canada
June 17, 2009 1:23am CST
I have never cared for the tradition of a woman going from her father's name to her husband's name. I also wanted something that reflected my Danish heritage. I'm Danish-Canadian, but a Canadian Citizen, speak fluent English, have no accent, and had a very English-sounding last name. In 2001 I decided to "feed two birds with one crumb" and take care of a sexist tradition, while claiming a part of my Danish heritage. I took my mother's very Danish maiden name, and kept it after I got married. know that is my grandfather's name, but because of the nature of Western surnames, a totally random Danish name would be some man's last name, so i thought "why not just take one from the family?" Besides, my sister kept our original last name at marriage, so now each of my parents has a child with their birthname. Has anyone else changed their name for reasons other than marriage? Would anyone like to change their names for reasons besides marriage? If you have, and if you'd like to, I'd be interested in knowing why. I won't ask you to reveal any names, if you're not interested in doing so.
4 people like this
12 responses
@dpk262006 (56736)
• Delhi, India
18 Jun 09
Hi Danish! In India, in most of the places, it is a tradition to change atleast 'surname' after a girl's marriage. When a girl gets married, she adopts her husband's surname in place of her own surname (i.e. surname of her father). In some cases, her in-laws insists that her first name may also be changed and it is changed at the time of wedding ceremony. Also, in today's changing world, many girls/women do not change their surname even after their marriage, they continue with their father's surname, else they suffix their previous surname and their husband's surname to their first name. In my case, we did not change my better half's first name after marriage, however, her surname got changed to my surname after our marriage and in all records now she uses my surname (i.e. her previous identity has now changed).
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jun 09
Thank you for sharing a bit of the Indian culture. Who chooses the new first name for a woman? Why would in-laws want to re-name a woman? And better yet, why doesn't the man take the woman's name? Why is it always the woman who gives up her identity? I'd love to know.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56736)
• Delhi, India
19 Jun 09
When a girl is born, it is her parents who chooses her first name, after a formal ceremony, which is specially held for giving a new name to the new baby. There are no specific reasons, why in-laws want to re-name their daughter-in-law. May be they want her to give new identity, as after marriage, she becomes a part of in-laws family. Interestingly, there are some States in India, where man takes woman i.e. his wife's name. However, in most of the states and castes, it is the bride who takes/adds her husband's surname after marriage. It is a tradition, which is being followed for ages.
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
17 Jun 09
well, I've never married, but if I had I wasn't planning on changing my name - we're talking the only time I ever considered marriage in 1974 I might've been interested in changing to mom's maiden name, but... well, it can be taken several ways whereas my name now is obviously a family name
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jun 09
How is it obviously your family name to people who don't know your family? Or is a member of your family well-known to the world with a unique name, so everyone who hears your name wonders if you are related to that person?
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
19 Jun 09
no, but its obviously NOT a noun or a verb like Stout in Rex Stout see, that could be a drink, or a person's size Now, my last name has made a famous appearence in a poem, but I don't know if there's any chance of it really have happened.
@winterose (39893)
• Canada
17 Jun 09
I see your point but even your mother's maiden name was some guys last name, so you really don't get away from it. tradition anyway I was glad to get rid of my last name, the creep that disowned me made that possible, why should I keep his name for what for a laugh, he said I was not his kid so I was only two happy to get married and change that name. Now women in quebec have to keep their maiden names, there husband's name is not legal.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jun 09
That's what I said above. "know that is my grandfather's name, but because of the nature of Western surnames, a totally random Danish name would be some man's last name, so i thought "why not just take one from the family?" Besides, my sister kept our original last name at marriage, so now each of my parents has a child with their birthname. " Before changing my name to Mom's name, I thought of "I might be able to get married one day and take his" but that just reminded me of a knight in shining armour saving me from a somewhat distressful situation. I AM NOT A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS. I also felt that it was taking the "easy way out" and why would *I* (and you know me off of MyLot) want to do something acceptable to a society which I felt opressive?
1 person likes this
@winterose (39893)
• Canada
19 Jun 09
yep I know you lol
@psspurgeon1 (1109)
• United States
18 Jun 09
I had a few fathers over several years so I'm actually glad I got my mom's maiden name instead of any of my father's'.... I also gladly gave into tradition and took my husband's last name. It was like a new identity for me.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jun 09
Interesting how that worked for you, because the "new identity" thing is exactly why it didn't work for me.
• United States
17 Jun 09
I guess you could have an alias. I've never changed my name, I like it, I didn't at first but I got used to it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jun 09
Never changed your name... what would you do if you were female? Should it be different for the genders?
@stephcjh (32303)
• United States
28 Jun 09
I have. I have only changed my middle name though. I just did not like it at all. I dropped the name and kept the middle initial when I got married. I hope it did not hurt my mom's feelings. she never mentioned it.
• United States
20 Jun 09
I woulud love to change my name to my username. The name on the birth certificate I loathe but it is my mom's favorite girl name. I lost her in 2005 and I think it would be disrespectful to change it . so here I am Sarah, the name I wish I had.
@Hurray (64)
• Canada
18 Jun 09
Hello! I always kept my own name though I add my husband's in my passport. The primary reason has been that my first name is rather unusual and didn't go well at all with French Canadian or English last name. I do have nephews and nieces from the same parents and they have been baptized with alternate last names. I don't remember which one is which but one has their mother's last name, the other, their father's last name, and so forth through the four of them. They are all from the same father and mother, have been living together until adulthood but, two had their mother's surname and two had their father's. I don't know dear... Quite confusing and by the look of it, it created like one clique and the other one. Not a healthy scene. I would have rather give all of them the combined surnames even though they are from two different nationalities and languages. Actually, it doesn't sound bad. Hurray
• United States
17 Jun 09
I have never changed my name for anything at all, but I had a friend who did change his name because people kept calling him by another name, and so he adopted it as his own, and then he has his name legally changed to that name. It was a smart move on his part.
• United States
17 Jun 09
i haven't..but there's quite a few people in my family who've changed their first name.people in my family seem to name their kids something truly awful to live with,and as a result,when they hit 18,they change it.
@patgalca (16670)
• Orangeville, Ontario
17 Jun 09
Well, let's put it this way, after my EX left and I got pregnant by someone else, I didn't want that baby being born under HIS name so I asked the powers-that-be to put a rush on changing my name back to my maiden name and explained why. They did it. I have remarried and taken my husband's name. I wasn't crazy about my maiden name with my shortened first name "Pat Bird", but now that I am becoming a writer and my father has passed away, I am using my maiden name as my pen name and my FULL name. I don't refer to myself as Pat very often anymore. It's always Patricia even when people call me Pat. But I wouldn't totally change my name to something different unless I was a movie star! LOL!
@vanities (11409)
• Davao, Philippines
17 Jun 09
nope.. i did not..since it be a lot of trouble if i am going to change it..i mean problem in my school records and accreditation..and for me no use of changing my surnames( when i was still single)i love my surname!!