Does Anyone Out There Hate Their Name?

Updated on January 15, 2018
B.F. asks from Bear, DE
10 answers

I'm talking legal name here. And the name you've gone by since birth.

I have an unusual real name. I get compliments on my name from time to time, but I'm not really impressed. Other than that I get annoyed, sometimes more than others, when somebody asks me what it is, again, after I just told them. Or they really stumble with it so I have to spell it out. Then that annoys me because I have to do that when to me it's so simple. I figure either I didn't say it precisely or else it caught them by surprise by how unusual it is. It has gotten to the point where I don't like to give people my name because I don't want yet more misunderstandings or for it to draw attention to itself or especially to ME for having it.

I haven't liked my name, probably for most of my life, because I feel like it makes me different. I don't want to stand out or have people say things about it like "That's different" (no duh!) and a bunch of other questions that people ask all the time.

I have tried and tried to come up with something else, like a nickname for people to start calling me, and I've especially tried to use the same letters and/or combine my first with my middle name, but haven't been able to come up with anything I really like. I don't think there's a whole lot one can do with my names anyway. Both are very short and have some of the same letters in them. If I did come up with a nickname for people to call me it would be hard to get people who have called me by the one thing all my life to the nickname all of a sudden. I do know someone who now goes by her middle name and likely simply started telling people to call her by that now. That has been hard to do at times because people have always known her by the name she doesn't like. But I know how she feels!

And if one does come up with a nickname to go by, by which name do you fill out medical and other forms with? Plus, do you have to indicate what you want to be called so that the staff will call you by that name?
I know I could legally change my name even thought I don't know what all is involved, but how does one do that with a clean conscience when the parents who gave you that name are still alive? And if they are not still alive how do you do it in good conscience when you know they gave you your name for a reason? I wouldn't want to feel like that after they die I'm going to throw off the name they gave me. I mean, how would anybody do that without feeling like they are dishonoring their parents?!

I'm probably sounding pretty unappreciative and irritable about it, but I think people with really long last names that they have to spell out each and every time gets old, too. To tell you the truth, I have the same " unusual" problem with my last name too. Both maiden and married.

So I'm throwing it out there for ideas on how anybody has come up with a nickname for themselves, particularly if you couldn't do much with your first and middle names together AND you don't want to be called by your not-much-better middle name. Let me emphasize I don't like having a name that makes me feel "different" or one that sort of catches people. I want to sound like one of the crowd. This whole question thing is long, I know, but it has been a long time a-coming!

So, what have been some your experiences?

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So What Happened?

I've had a good number of responses so far. More wouldn't hurt either! Doesn't it feel good to know that so any can relate?!

Concerning changing my name, I think I would want something that starts with the same letter, so it would feel more natural, plus start with the same letter as my one and only sibling sister's does, as it's like a bonding thing for me. But if I changed my name to something that starts with the same letter, what could that be?! Back to where I started from!

Have any of you actually been able to come up with a nickname FOR YOUSELF? I've tried googling nicknames, and most sites about it are a joke! Ridiculous.

Anyone know of any books filled with ideas? Wouldn't that be nice!

Have any of you been reluctant or even refused to post a message on a message board because of a rule that you have to put your real name on with it? With that, anybody that know you will know if was from YOU, because YOU are the only one they know with that name.

If any of you have been lucky enough to come up with a nickname for yourself does it contain letters that are nowhere in your real name? That's something that would give me more to work with.

Funny how this becomes such a lifelong problem, namely because people have to call you something and you meet new people as life goes on.

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answers from Washington DC on

you are the exact reason i'm always a little perplexed by the chorus of voices crying 'i don't want to find my child's name on a trinket!'

most kids just love it. and most adults get tired of spelling and explaining.

my name is fairly mainstream. i hated it when i was young and made my family call me 'sue' because it felt more normal. as i grew up i liked 'suzanne' more, but then the internet came along and lazy me just signed off with 'S.' and it stuck.

:) khairete

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Santa Fe on

I don't like my name too much, but I don't really dwell on it. I guess it doesn't bother me like it does you. My name is quite boring...I wish it were more interesting! (the opposite of your problem). I have one friend who changed her name. She wanted something more interesting. I notice that her family all calls her by her original name. I think since it bothers you so much you should start going by a nickname. Your old friends will call you your original name most likely bc it's hard to change. But your new friends will all know you by your nickname. Some people go by their initials (JB) for example. I have to say I'm super curious about what your name is!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I had a nickname my whole life. When we moved 16 years ago I went back to my given name which was easy since we were new to the area. My family still calls me by my nickname however.

I worked with a woman who changed the pronunciation of her name...once she told me what she wanted to be called I never called her anything but that name. You first need to figure out how you would like people to address you then you can ask them to call you that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm sorry you don't like your name. I never liked mine for many years either, not that it's so unusual but just because there were no others in my class with my name. I sort of great out of that after being in enough organizations where all the Debbies, the Davids and the Marshas had to be differentiated by using a last initial too.

I think you can choose a nickname any time you want. People who've known you for a while won't use it, at least not right away, but going forward, everyone will. I know a Kathryn who started using "Kat" in high school, and while her parents and sister don't usually use it, everyone else finally caught on.

I think you have to lighten up a little with people who don't get it the first time. Yes, you say your name, but you say it's also unusual. So if the person is an auditory learner, they may get it the first time. If they're visual, seeing it written (or perhaps having it spelled) can be helpful.

I think there are so many interesting names now, as people embrace their ancestry and culture, along with the many people who have immigrated from other countries. I don't think there's nearly the stigma that there used to be about unusual names. I do sympathize with people who have very long names (one friend of my son's couldn't fit either her first or her last name in the letter blocks they allow on standardized tests - just not enough spaces) and I sympathize with those whose names are difficult to pronounce (think of actress Saoirse Ronan, in which Saorise is pronounced "ser-sha" and rhymes with "Inertia"). There are so many celebrities now who have resisted changing their names, and the public is coming along to deal with it. In addition to Ronan, think of David Oyelowo, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, and Uzo Aduba. Some of them have decided they like or are proud of their names.

There are tons of celebrities who have changed their names, for many reasons. Sometimes there is already someone with that name, for example. My husband is a writer but he has to use a different name for his published works because there is already a famous person with the same name.

I also think there's a level of rudeness sometimes among Americans who don't want to bother to learn unusual names, and it's rooted sometimes in laziness and other times in anti-immigrant or racist tendencies). So I think there's pressure you may have felt about being "different" that's rooted in some not-so-nice realities. For many years, a lot of people changed their names to get away from ethnic labels - Jews, Poles and many others changed their names to avoid discrimination. Fortunately much of that is changing. So there are many reasons why people can't (or won't) get the name, some understandable and some unreasonable.

Whether your change your name legally or just go to a different nickname is up to you. If you don't change it legally, then you have to use your legal name on your driver's license and medical forms, although most of the medical forms I see now for doctor/dentist offices ask what you want to be called. Same goes for employment situations - the name on your office door or your email address and so on.

I hope you find a solution that makes you happy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Of course there's alot of people out there, who dont like their names,,what would you say about my name,,,,,,(fanny) can you turn and let me look at your fanny.or you have a nice after that ,i changed it to FANIE .and i told them it's french and from a movie called FANIE.which is a true story..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Everyone in my family had very long names. By default, they were all shortened to nicknames when we were kids. It's how I identify (that may sound odd, but when I get called my 'real' name, say at a doctor's office, it takes me a sec to realize they mean me).

I only use my 'real' name when it asks for my given name - so on legal documents. Similarly, when I fill out a form a doctor's office for example, I write my given name, but in parentheses I write my nickname and underline it. I just ask they use it by saying "I go by ...".

If you've never gone by another name and want to now - I guess you just start. I guess it's just like a new habit - you'll have to ask people to keep correcting themselves. If you want to take that on (you might come across as quite high maintenance to some people) then all the power to you. I don't get called my name by friends and family that often anyhow. My friends all have their own pet names for me. No two call me the same thing (we have our own nicknames from over the years). Same for family members. My husband doesn't call me by my name. So figure out first how many people this will actually affect. Maybe not that many. If it's just strangers ... then is it worth doing kind of thing.

You could try embracing your name. You say you don't like to be different or to stand out. Maybe you could work on getting over that. Or maybe you could instead work on a funny way to deal with it. That's what my husband does. He has an interesting name (I'd never met one before him) and he uses humor. It works like a charm. Otherwise it does get old - he'd agree with you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Ugh, I have a very unusual name, which also has an unusual spelling. Hint to moms looking for baby names - don't pick a noun and THEN change the spelling of it. To make matters worse, there is no way to shorten it or create any kind of nickname out of it short of just picking a nickname out of thin air.

If I leave a message on a phone call, the return call always asks for the wrong name (as it seems like that couldn't possibly be someone's actual name). My name has been only spelled correctly probably 3 times in my entire life, even by people who know me as it feels like you are spelling a word wrong (since my name is a noun) when you write my name the right way. To add insult to injury, my brothers also had corresponding noun misspelled names and so people always knew growing up they were my brothers. They were always in terrible trouble with the law and at school, so I was often lumped in with them even though my life was probably less exciting than an Amish girl. Growing up, when people heard my name (after they snickered), it was always "oh yeah, your the sister of so and so, and so and so, aren't you?.

I did try to use my middle name for awhile (which oddly is a pretty normal, plain name), but honestly it just never stuck.

If I was born today, my name would probably seem more normal. However, it will never be normal in the age group I am in and even worse, in my opinion it hurts my credibility to some degree for the job that I do.

I can't offer any advice since I'm in the same boat and have found no way to make the change either. Perhaps we are just the cautionary tale to new moms looking for that really cool baby name to just stick with Jane or John!



answers from Cleveland on

I guess I don't meet new people that much...if I did I could u understand your frustration.

I'm thinking the easiest way to change a name ..say to a nickname is when you are totally out ofnyour going to college or starting a new job...times when hardly anyone knows you.

Otherwise, just pretend it be proud of it. And head people off...nice to meet you I'm sunshine mcshiney...people always ask me about my name and all I can say is my parents love the sun. --- then get back to whatever you are doing


I guess I don't meet new people that much...if I did I could u understand your frustration.

I'm thinking the easiest way to change a name ..say to a nickname is when you are totally out ofnyour going to college or starting a new job...times when hardly anyone knows you.

Otherwise, just pretend it be proud of it. And head people off...nice to meet you I'm sunshine mcshiney...people always ask me about my name and all I can say is my parents love the sun. --- then get back to whatever you are doing


answers from Springfield on

hate my name. Husband says it does not suit me. It's 4 letters long and I always get asked if it is short for something.
9x out of10 my last name is mis-pronounced. And for as simple as it is no one seems to know how to spell it. Despite the fact that it is similar to the word 'because'. (Nearly identical spelling.)



answers from Atlanta on

No, I can't say I hate my name. I get questions on HOW I was named, but I'm okay with my name.

Since I don't know what your real name is, I can't tell you if you weird or unusual. I know there are names that I don't "get" like "Neveah", I know it's Heaven spelled backwards, but really? I don't get it.

My nick names have been:
Vannah (yeah funny as i get asked if I'll flip a letter for them!)
Savy or Savvie (and yeah people will make quips if i'm "savy" enough).

Ask your parents how they will feel if you legally change your name.
I can't help you come up with a nick name since I don't know your real name.

Good luck!

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