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#1 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

Real name not username to be clear.

I have hated my name for my whole life. I hate saying,hate hearing it said, hate being associated with shitty pop singers. People love to make jokes about either my height or my name. It's really annoying.

When I was younger I was embarrassed by my middle name and didn't want people to know it. But now I'd kinda rather go by it than my first name.

But at this point in my life everyone knows me by my first and it seems like it would be really forced and awkward to try to switch to my middle name.

So has anyone here ever changed their name legally or just switched to their middle or switched from Robert to Bob or something like that?

Am I just stuck with this name for all time now?

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#2 Posted by BisonHero (11576 posts) -

I don't think I've known anyone who fully legally changed their name.

As for just calling yourself something different, give it a shot. It's tough in elementary and high school if people already know you, but elsewhere as you meet new people, I think you'd be surprised how many people feel kinda obligated to call you whatever you introduce yourself as. Even if they know your given name is something else, they come off like a real asshole if they insist on using that name instead of the name you've said you prefer. If you don't have a good middle name or something, you could always fall back on the name of a relative you like or other figure who maybe had a big inspiration to your life? Initially your parents might not be huge fans that you don't like your given name, but hey man, it's your life, and it sounds like it's an issue.

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#3 Edited by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

@bisonhero: useful info but I should mention I'm 28. So social interactions are mostly limited to coworkers,family,and people I've known for years.

I might start with eliminating my first name from my Twitter account.

It's less an issue and more just this little thing that's been bugging me forever.

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#4 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

I have a male friend named Galen (pronounced gay-len) who eventually decided to start going by his middle name. At first I told him that I was still going to call him by his original name, because I was used to it, and because I'd never made fun of him about it. He agreed that was okay, but eventually I had to start using his new name. New people he'd meet wouldn't know him by his legal name, or they'd know his name, but we'd be calling him different things in the same conversation. At that point, I just had to make the change.

His professional name--for example, what you get on his voice mail--is now his first initial, middle name, last name. For instance, if his name were Galen Robert Smith, he'd go by G. Robert Smith.

So yeah, If you want to make a change, go for it. It'll be especially easy with good friends, people you meet going forward, and your next place of employment.

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#5 Edited by Bam_Boozilled (300 posts) -

I've actually been thinking about this a lot over the past year. I have a very common first name/last name pair, to the point where I am sick of it. My middle name is quite a bit more unique, so I've been using it more and more. I'm basically where you are. Everyone I know has always called me by my first name (or a nickname of it) and it seems crazy to ask everyone to call me something else. I figure that once I finish my undergrad and move somewhere else I will only use my middle name.

Honestly I would like to just go full in on using my middle name and make my first name only a memory. Other than the fact that it would be a big change for people I know, I'm a bit torn about how I use it on documents (online or otherwise). If I want to completely move on from my first name I don't really want to keep using it for forms. But switching it out for my middle name would probably make issues for stuff like taxes, voter registration, school registration, etc.

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#6 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

@bam_boozilled: yeah I wouldn't mess with legal stuff and just use it socially.

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#7 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

Also I recently realized that my middle+ last name is very close to the name of my favorite fictional character. Though it's not surprising because my dad is even more a fan than I am.

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#8 Edited by BisonHero (11576 posts) -

@devil240z: My best guess so far is that your name is George Michael Myer. This is contingent upon you and your dad liking the Halloween movie series.

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#9 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

@bisonhero: close ish. We're big Evil Dead/Bruce Campbell fans.

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#10 Posted by Dixavd (2895 posts) -

Just tell people you'd prefer it if they referred you by this other name. Start with close friends at first and then branch out from there. I know multiple people who've gone through a sex change and that's how it played out for them. I know it isn't as drastic, but it is ultimately about you taking hold of an identity you feel comfortable in. With my transgender friends, they started by asking close friends to refer to them by a nickname (usually an androgynous one) and then slowly moved on to a name they preferred. For you, simply saying that you prefer your middle name should be fine. Ask your close friends if they can use it (but don't get annoyed when they slip-up: it's not the easiest thing to remember all the time) and then introduce yourself to new people with the name you prefer. Eventually more people will refer to you by this other name than your official first name, and those that do will be corrected by not-only-you but also your friends. And those that never find out/get used to it are probably people you're not that good friends with anyway. Also, those that simply refuse to use it (even when you calmly point out how hurtful it is for them to not respect your preference) aren't your friends anyway

I should say that I also know someone who goes by their middle name, though I met them after they'd made most of the transition. Now only their non-close-relatives, and people they used to be friends with whom they sometimes see when they're in their home-town refer to them by their original first name (he's now officially swapped his first and second name).

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#11 Posted by BisonHero (11576 posts) -

Alright, well I'm guessing the middle and last name is some combination of Ash/Ashley and William/Williams, but now I'm pretty lost on who the shitty pop singer is.

If your middle name is Ash, can you start introducing yourself as Nash? What a fucking power move. "Nice to meet you, I'm Nash." "Yes, like the badass Street Fighter character."

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#12 Posted by BisonHero (11576 posts) -

Also, wait, I take it all back, I do know someone who legally changed their name. A friend of a friend is a lawyer. Her full name was Britney Lauren [last name I won't bother sharing]. As it was told to me, she felt that Britney Spears had poisoned the well for the name Britney so badly that she didn't think her colleagues/clients were taking her as seriously as they would if she had a more professional name. I think she had kinda resented the first name for a long time by the sounds of it. She legally changed her name to Lauren [last name] pretty shortly into her legal career. Not sure what her new middle name is; she either moved the Britney there or just chose a new one entirely. I do wonder if like, lawyers and realtors and whoever really need to go THAT far when dealing with their personal brand, but hey, I guess they'd know better than I would.

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#13 Posted by Radiance1990 (39 posts) -

I did when I was 14. The process was annoying as a thing can be.

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#14 Edited by davidh219 (904 posts) -

I kind of had the opposite. All through my childhood my family, teachers, and friends called me by my middle name, which is pretty unique. At some point in my late teens I just started going by my first name instead, which is a very common name, because I'm just more comfortable with it and it seemed more adult at the time. My family and super old friends still call me by my middle name, but most people call me by my first. No idea how to get my family to start using my first name, haven't cared enough to try and there are too many people with the same name in my family that it would probably create confusion. If it really means that much to you though, just ask them. I'm sure they'd understand.

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#15 Posted by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -

@bisonhero: I think Lawyers absolutely want to go as far as they can to destroy any bullshit judgments people could make on a first encounter. The job is so heavily reliant on trust, so anything that would make a client, judge or shitty jury trust you less could hinder you from just doing your freaking job.

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#16 Posted by liquiddragon (3327 posts) -

Yeah, when I became a US citizen couple years ago I had a chance to change my name so I made my American nickname my first name and my Chinese name my middle name.

1. I've used my American name for more than half of my life and

2. It just makes everything easier living here.

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#17 Edited by CaLe (4799 posts) -

Haha YEAH! But I pretty much paid for and got the document and then proceeded to never send it to the relevant authorities to formalize the change.

Hey, you wanna know what name I tried to switch to? This is how much of a cool dude I was, and largely still am of course. Get a load of this, it was: Dante Kitano.

DANTE ..F**KING.. KITANO. That's how cool I could have been.

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#18 Posted by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

@bisonhero: ha I identify with your friend Britney. My first name is Justin. I used to get Timberlake alot and now Bieber....fuck.

So yeah I would rather live with a girls name. Ash/Ashley.

Also for my whole life my aunt has called me Ash and it was just something that only she does but now it's grown on me after being teased for it as a kid.

Shit, I lost my train of thought...

But yeah as a kid I remember being teased for having a girls name/being some kind of Pokemon freak. But now it's flipped where Ash is kind of badass. Ash vs Evil Dead being a TV show and all. And Justin fucking Bieber fucked up my first name. Just last night someone at work called me Bieber and i wanted to slap the shit out of them...

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#19 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4415 posts) -

Nah, I love my name. Ivan pronounced Yvonne because I'm from Bosnia. Like, it literally changes the way people think. A lot of my friends tell me they now read "Ivan," as "Yvonne," whenever they see it and that makes me grin.

Just tell people what you prefer to be called. It's really no big deal, even if they do think it's weird. If my friend James told me he wanted to be called Jay instead, I'd go with it without a second though. It's just not that important to other people... unless you asked to be called Red Dragon.... don't ask to be called Red Dragon.

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#20 Posted by Hunkulese (4225 posts) -

Stop worrying so much about other people. Jerks will be jerks no matter what your name is. If you like your name, keep it. If you don't, change it.

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#21 Posted by jacksukeru (6775 posts) -

I haven't but I knew a guy who changed his to Lusifer, which I thought was pretty dumb.

He also had a daughter whom he after a god in Hinduism...though I suspect his Final Fantasy fandom might have played a bigger role in picking it..

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#22 Edited by btrdeadthanred (379 posts) -

I changed my name to Max Power, and now I'm all about Thai food and monogrammed evening wear.

Can't complain.

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#23 Posted by Colony024 (189 posts) -

@devil240z said:

...hate being associated with shitty pop singers.

I can't help but be reminded of Michael Bolton from Office Space: "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks."

Jokes aside, I actually do know a guy whose legal first name is Bobo, who just goes by Bob most of the time. Don't think he ever bothered changing it officially though. I'll echo what's been said already; why not give it a shot socially, see if it sticks?

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#24 Posted by ajamafalous (13816 posts) -

I've always planned to but have never gotten around to it.

Mine's kinda the opposite. My name is AJ, and is what I've been called by everyone since before I was even born; my parents picked the initials AJ (named after AJ Foyt; my dad has worked on cars his entire life) and then picked a first and middle name that would initialize to AJ, so I've always been AJ except for on legal paperwork. It's something that bothers me a lot because I don't identify with the other two names in the slightest, to the point that I have to do a double take and realize that the doctor/dentist/bank teller/insurance salesman/etc. is talking to me and not somebody else in the room actually named my legal name every time it happens.

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#26 Posted by Immortal_Guy (203 posts) -
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#27 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

@bisonhero: ha I identify with your friend Britney. My first name is Justin. I used to get Timberlake alot and now Bieber....fuck.

So yeah I would rather live with a girls name. Ash/Ashley.

Also for my whole life my aunt has called me Ash and it was just something that only she does but now it's grown on me after being teased for it as a kid.

Shit, I lost my train of thought...

But yeah as a kid I remember being teased for having a girls name/being some kind of Pokemon freak. But now it's flipped where Ash is kind of badass. Ash vs Evil Dead being a TV show and all. And Justin fucking Bieber fucked up my first name. Just last night someone at work called me Bieber and i wanted to slap the shit out of them...

My suggestion would be don't change your name at work, then. Wait until you naturally end up at a new job. If someone's doing this already, and you change your name, you might as well come into work wearing a "please don't call me Justin" shirt. They're going to know that it bothers you, and there's a chance they'll be assholes about it, at least some of them. Then again, I don't work where you do, so maybe not. I'm sure you'd know better than any of us.

Also, don't underestimate the strength of character having a "bad" name can give you.

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#28 Edited by Ravelle (3305 posts) -

My name is Vincent which I'm fine with although I prefer if people call me Vince instead like most do.

I lucked out of tradition, I would have been called Simon like my uncle and grand father.

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#29 Posted by dudeglove (13736 posts) -

Real name not username to be clear.

I have hated my name for my whole life. I hate saying,hate hearing it said, hate being associated with shitty pop singers.

First thing that popped into my mind

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#30 Posted by Shindig (4912 posts) -

I see it all the time in my line of work. Turns out people with mental health issues and £35 to spare go nuts for deed poll. My personal favourite being King James Xclusive. As a guy with some schoolyard ridicule over my surname, I've never felt the need to change it. You live with something long enough and just deal with it.

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#31 Posted by Mike (17993 posts) -

I know a guy who changed his last name to Stone. Rick Stone. Now that is a bad ass name.

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#32 Posted by audioBusting (2558 posts) -

I came pretty close to changing my passport surname last year. It's using my Chinese surname (romanised), because of some previously mismanaged paperwork / racial shenanigans. I decided that it's more trouble than it's worth in the end, since I've used the name a lot.

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#33 Posted by Colt45 (91 posts) -

@devil240z: I don't know of anyone who has changed his or her name, but I have a couple friends who go by their middle names. You could always just tell people, "Actually, that's not really my name. I was just too polite to correct you." Then tell them to call you whatever you want. They'll feel awkward, and you get a new name. Probably won't work with the family, though : )

On a side note, one of college professors was named Michael Jackson. . . he went by his initials.

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#34 Posted by BisonHero (11576 posts) -

@colt45: I know you mean he went by something like "M.A. Jackson" or whatever his middle initial is, but instead I like to imagine that his solution was "Well, I can't very well go by the name Michael Jackson so how about just...MJ. Yeah, MJ, that should work. My problems are over." *dusts off hands*

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#35 Edited by KillEm_Dafoe (2634 posts) -

I used to think about wanting to go by my middle name, Scott, for the longest time. My first name is Randall, but I've gone by Randy my entire life. I used to hate being named Randy. I don't really know why, but I just don't like it as a name. I still don't really like it, but it doesn't bother me as much anymore. It seems like a go-to name for low-life/scumbag/perv characters on TV shows. My name was directly influenced by Nic Cage's character in his first movie, Valley Girl. That's right. I'm named after a Nicolas fucking Cage character. So I have that going for me, I guess.

@devil240z said:

@bisonhero: ha I identify with your friend Britney. My first name is Justin. I used to get Timberlake alot and now Bieber....fuck.

So yeah I would rather live with a girls name. Ash/Ashley.

Also for my whole life my aunt has called me Ash and it was just something that only she does but now it's grown on me after being teased for it as a kid.

Shit, I lost my train of thought...

But yeah as a kid I remember being teased for having a girls name/being some kind of Pokemon freak. But now it's flipped where Ash is kind of badass. Ash vs Evil Dead being a TV show and all. And Justin fucking Bieber fucked up my first name. Just last night someone at work called me Bieber and i wanted to slap the shit out of them...

Ash has always been a super fucking cool name. I wanted to name my kid Ash if I ever had a son, but my best friend had a kid years ago and named him Asher instead of Ashley. So oh well, he beat me to it. I still might just go with Bruce, since that's also historically a super fucking cool name. But yeah, man. Just stick with Ash. And be very proud of how groovy it is.

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#36 Posted by Ben_H (4187 posts) -

The only person I knew who legally changed their name was a Korean girl who legally changed her first name to be the English translation of her Korean name and then made her Korean name a middle name of sorts.

I used to hate my name and wanted to change it but now I'm totally fine with it. Somehow there's like a lot of different variations and nicknames that can come from it. I usually go by Ben but family and people at work call me Ben, Benjamin, Benny, Benji, Benjerman (emphasizing the "er", I don't get it either), Big Ben, Gentle Ben, Ben-Hur, Benjamin Franklin and the list goes on.

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#37 Edited by Hadoken101 (2081 posts) -

I feel whenever I introduce myself to someone new there's at least a 50/50 shot that they'll make a "Oh, like Wolverine" comment though I would never consider changing my name. Both because I enjoy having a relatively less common name and because I was named for my grandfather who passed the same year I was born.

I suppose if it really bothers you, you could try using a different name socially as other people in the thread have suggested.

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#38 Posted by ripelivejam (13163 posts) -

@cale: did william gibson create you?