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Grandparenting

11 Year Old Has Changed Her Name

(122 Posts)
hellymart Fri 01-Mar-19 14:10:07

My friend's 11 year old grandaughter decided to change her name (let's say from Frances to Molly - not really names for obvious reasons) and use her middle name rather than her first name, when she started secondary school last September. I've only just found out when I saw a post on Facebook and it's come as a surprise! Nothing to do with me of course and I wouldn't comment on it to anyone involved, but I'm interested to know what others think. Did you - or your children - change first names at some point in your life? (and if so, why!?)

hellymart Fri 01-Mar-19 14:11:13

Should say 'not real names'... sorry, typing too fast!

Neti Fri 01-Mar-19 14:14:20

Hi,
Yes my older son changed his given first name as a 30th birthday present to himself.

I really couldn't care less, he's still the same wonderful human being that he was before he chose to change his name and it took me a week or two to get used to using this new name.

It's his life and his choice

Ilovecheese Fri 01-Mar-19 14:15:29

My friend did this when we started secondary school. Her first name was very old fashioned.

Gonegirl Fri 01-Mar-19 14:17:13

Do you mean she is now using her second name rather than the first? I think that is fine. They are both her given names.

hellymart Fri 01-Mar-19 14:22:35

Yes, she's using her middle/second name instead of her first.

Scribbles Fri 01-Mar-19 14:25:18

I have a friend with three forenames, let's call her Alice Samantha Clare to protect her anonymity. To her mother, uncles and anyone who knew her as a small child, she's Alice. To those who got to know her in her teens and early 20s, she's Samantha and, to her OH and anyone who met her after she was 25 or so, she's Clare.

I don't understand why you'd give a child more than one name unless you want him/her to have a choice.

Gonegirl Fri 01-Mar-19 14:25:32

I think that's fine. My son uses his second name.

Gonegirl Fri 01-Mar-19 14:26:56

Wish I'd have had a choice. hmm

paddyann Fri 01-Mar-19 14:31:55

My son uses his middle name ,his daughter has a very unusual name and she says she's changing it when she's 18 (she's 9) because she's the only one in the country and everyone instantly knows its her when the name is mentioned.Not sure she's the only one but I dont know of any other or know anyone who has heard of another .It has scandinavian roots I believe.It will be her choice

hellymart Fri 01-Mar-19 14:34:07

Yes, I agree, it's lovely to have a choice but it must be a little strange for her parents, who've called her Frances all her life, from the day she was born, to suddenly have to use Molly! That's all I was thinking. I do remember now, meeting a girl I was at school with, several years after we'd both left and she'd changed her name from Maxine to something else. I suppose it must happen quite often!

hellymart Fri 01-Mar-19 14:35:23

Ah but does she have to wait until she's 18? She could do as my friend's granddaughter has done and start using her middle name (assuming she has one, that she likes?) when she starts secondary school, at 11. Must be horrible to hate your name that much!

grannyactivist Fri 01-Mar-19 14:41:54

Yes, I did it at the first opportunity I could, the day I started in my first job when I was fifteen. I wanted to re-invent myself and distance myself from my childhood, but also my first name is rather ladylike and elegant and I was not. My middle name couldn't be any shorter, or plainer and suits me well.
My sister began to use her middle name when she was about forty. My husband has always been known by his middle name, as has his father.

MissAdventure Fri 01-Mar-19 14:52:17

Working with the very elderly, years ago, I found a lot of them had changed their name.
One of the ladies was called Eliza, but she decided to call herself Lil because she thought it sounded more racy. smile

NanKate Fri 01-Mar-19 14:58:53

Anyone who knew me from 0 called me Kathleen, then as a teenager I became Kathy (into the Everly Bros), then from about 22 I became Kate. On occasions now even my middle name, Helen. Happy with either of the last 2.

Hated it when boyfriends used to sing ‘I’ll take you home again Kathleen’ or whatever that dreadful song was 😝

Anja Fri 01-Mar-19 15:27:33

What are second names for if you can’t use them?,

notanan2 Fri 01-Mar-19 15:42:44

Lots of people go by their middle names theres really nothing unusual about it, in fact in my grandparents generation it seemed like if you went by your first given name you were in the minority!

Susan56 Fri 01-Mar-19 15:44:00

Years ago I was working on an elderly ward in a psychiatric hospital.A lady was admitted and said her name was Mary,she had lots of visitors and as she was always sitting in the living area when they arrived nobody had cause to ask for her by name.Some weeks later when her son arrived,she was in her bedroom,he asked could someone fetch Dora.Bit her name is Mary we said,no it’s Dora.When we asked her she said yes,it’s Dora but i’ve never liked it,I always wanted to be Mary!

Nannarose Fri 01-Mar-19 15:44:45

This seems to have been very common in the past - when I was young a lot of older women ( more than men) would use an entirely different name, as MissA says. A woman in our village who I didn't know very well just celebrated her 100th birthday - and a lot of us then found out her 'real' name. I also see in a lot of obituaries 'known as' (something entirely different)
My s-i-l did this when she was about 13. In some cultures it is very common to be given a name by your parents for your childhood, then choose one for yourself to mark coming of age. I think it is done rather less often in the modern world because of record keeping.
I think your DGD must be confident to do this - I would ask her what she would like you to call her. My grandmother always called me by a particular version of my name, and it felt quite special to me.

Nannarose Fri 01-Mar-19 15:45:26

Sorry, just remembered it is your friend's DGD, not yours!

nanasam Fri 01-Mar-19 15:48:08

My dear Dad was Francis Albert James A***. For the whole of his life he was called Jim!

leyla Fri 01-Mar-19 15:54:07

We deliberately chose an interesting and flexible middle name for DD should she wish to use it instead of her first name. Isn’t that the main point of a second name?

MissAdventure Fri 01-Mar-19 15:56:15

I haven't got a middle name.
I always feel a bit cheated.

Baggs Fri 01-Mar-19 16:00:33

Middle initials (therefore, names) are useful for distinguishing two people who have the same first and last names.

They are also useful for parents to express annoyance: it,s terribly solemn when your dad calls you by your first, middle and surnames all together 😬😜

We called Minibaggs by a nickname she acquired in utero until she was five and a half, at which point she said she wanted her actual name to be used at school. She went through a few variations (shortenings) of that name over the years but one seems to have stuck for the present.

If all three of my daughters are at home together, they all get called by each others' names.

Baggs Fri 01-Mar-19 16:01:15

each other's

Apostrophes don't usually defeat me but I think this one has!