Do you like your name?

I hope this hasn't been posted before, but... do you like your first and middle names? Why, or why not? If you don't, what would you change them to if you could? My fiance's name is David, which I think is a fine name but he hates it and says it's too common, plain, and boring. There ARE a lot of Davids in our area and a few that we know personally. I like my name and wouldn't change it at all. What do you think of your name? We often think about namer's remorse, but what about the feelings of the named? 


March 24, 2014 8:37 PM

I didn't like it when I was a kid; I like it a lot now. I don't have a middle name; I wish I did. I now use my maiden name (fairly unusual and a bit long and unwieldy) as a sort of a middle. Actually the/a proper style for a divorced woman (which I am) is given name maiden name married surname, but I used that style when I was still married to make up for lack of a middle name/initial and to differentiate myself from all others having my same (very) common name.

March 28, 2014 7:09 PM

If you could have a middle name other than your maiden name, what would it be?

March 28, 2014 7:44 PM

Well, if I go back to the time of my birth, my grandmothers were both living, and the only deceased female relatives whose names I know were my great-grandmothers on my father's side.  My sister was named for one, so I guess I am looking at my grandfather's mother.  Her name was Nissel which means 'little nut', so  I am thinking Hazel.  Miriam Hazel--not too bad.  If I am looking at a name chosen now, both my grandmothers and my mother are deceased, so I think my mother's middle name Eleanor, So Miriam Eleanor.  My 'girl name' when my son was born was Eleanor, since my mother was no longer with us at the time.

March 28, 2014 9:16 PM

Both good options. I love Eleanor!

July 7, 2015 10:01 PM

I have always hated my first name--Brittany.  I was born before there were very many Brittany's, and when I was little, I hated that I couldn't find any personalized things with my name on in.  Then when I was in middle school and high school it started being associated with ditzy blondes, thanks to Ms. Spears, et. al.  When I went away to college, I was finally able to take control over my name, and started going by my middle name--Devan--and have never looked back.  Sure, people don't know how to spell it when they hear it, or say it when they see it, and people often ask where my parents came up with it (I have no idea and they've forgotten), but it definitely suits me.

March 24, 2014 10:28 PM

I've never been particularly fond of my name.  I've done kind of -- a lot of reclaiming it, working around my dislike, trying to come around to it.  It's been...complicated, in a lot of ways! 

March 25, 2014 6:05 PM

If you don't mind me asking, is your username your given first name?  If so you are making me nervous!  You are the second Laura on this board in recent months to say she kind of hates her name, and as you know from my post yesterday it's high on my list for a baby girl.  Is it the name itself you dislike, or something more personal and specific to your own history?

March 28, 2014 9:50 AM

Yes, Laura is my given first name.  I don't dislike the first name on its own (or any of my names on their own), but I don't like my full name all together at ALL.  I do rather like Firstname M Lastname, though, oddly enough.

And I didn't change it when I got married, which you'd think I would have.  But there you have it!

I also have the same first name as my mother, and that was just annoying -- both as a child, sharing a household, AND later, when our credit records ended up partially merged, which took years to disentangle and required extra paperwork every time I needed a loan to explain things on the credit report.  Could have done without that, for sure.

March 28, 2014 7:07 PM

If I say so myself, Laura is a great name. But all the minutiae about paperwork would annoy me, too, if I were in your sitation.

March 29, 2014 10:36 PM

My husband was pretty surprised when I flat-out refused to consider naming a child after either of us...PAPERWORK!  :)

March 25, 2014 11:25 AM

I've always loved my name. I like the family connection (I'm the 4th generation and 5th person with some version of it), I like the sound (in both English and Hungarian -- they're a bit different), I like the ease of spelling, I like that I can often (though not always) find personalized items with my name on them, I like the timelessness of the name. I was less fond of the fact that my full name was identical to my mother's (down to the lack of a middle name), but even in the midst of a rant about how you can't tell who a jury summons is *for* or how the bank had given my savings account to my mother (the latter was after I married, but nevermind), it never, ever even occurred to me to change my given name. I love it so much, I gave the longer version of it to my daughter!

March 28, 2014 7:05 PM

That's wonderful! I had never really thought about formal or professional documents in that way before. It must have been a hassle. Something else for parents to consider before naming their children after themselves.

March 25, 2014 2:03 PM

While I was reading this post last night, my husband asked me what I was reading. I read him what you wrote and he said, "Well, I can certainly relate to that!" He changed his name in college because he never liked it. I pressed him on it last night and he said that when he was around 9 or 10 years old, the man for whom he was named came to visit. He said, "I'd never thought much about it but realized I didn't really like the sound of my name. And I realized I had no respect for the man I was named and didn't like him at all. I continued to put up with that name until I was in college, and then changed it." He changed his name to the name of his maternal grandfather, a man he greatly admired.

March 28, 2014 7:03 PM

There are definitely issues to consider when thinking about giving a namesake to a baby. No matter who or what of.

March 25, 2014 3:25 PM

I've had a love/hate relationship with my name. Up until about age 12, I desperately wanted a different name. At 12, I went by my full name for the first time, and was okay with it. For some reason the next year, I went back to the nickname, I think because I was tired of spelling it, tired of correcting all the Jr. High teachers, etc. 

In college and in marriage, I switched back to my full name. It feels more comfortable, and I've grown into it. Now, I can't imagine myself as anything else. 

March 28, 2014 7:02 PM

It is annoying having to clarfity your name all the time, but I am glad you've come to love your name. I had similar experiences with having to spell, correct, and clarify.

March 25, 2014 6:03 PM

Yes, I've always really liked my name.  I was Katie as a child (and through early adulthood, really), now Kate to most everyone and Katherine on my business cards.  By the time I was 12 or so I was already grateful to my parents for not choosing something really trendy.

March 28, 2014 7:01 PM

Katherine/Kate/Katie are all classy. Good name.

March 25, 2014 11:17 PM

I always wished my parents named me Katherine Josephine instead of Kathy jo. My dad insisted that kathy was a name for a girl the others were for old ladies (i guess i was never suppose to grow up) and jo was for a friend of his who passed young. It was just so short i went through a phase where I hyphenated them together like my then best friend Bobbie-jo. I still have ppl that call me kathy-jo. In my late teens I began going by Kat and that felt more me. I like my name fine now and continued the tradition of giving my children a middle name for a deceased loved one.

March 28, 2014 7:00 PM

Interesting. I am finding that a lot of people with shortened forms of a formal name as a given name are saying they wished for the formal name. But I'm glad you like your name. My mom's name is "just" Cathy, as well. Though obviously, with a "C."

March 26, 2014 4:51 PM

I always liked my name growing up. I was always the only one in my class with my name and I didn't meet another Alyssa until high school. Now it has soared in popularity and there are a lot of little Alyssa's running around. I know it's inevitable that it will become "date-stamped" as we talk about often on this forum. However, I still like the sound of it and love the way it looks written. So although it's going to date me eventually, I still like it. And I credit my parents to being a few years ahead of the trend.

March 28, 2014 6:58 PM

My best friend from college is an Alyssa. It's a good name. :)

March 28, 2014 1:34 PM

I don't like my legal name. I am going through the process of changing my name. I don't like my name because of personal associations I have with it and also because my name has an obvious religious connotation and I do not consider myself to be religious anymore. Also, I think that it is really empowering to choose a new name.

March 28, 2014 6:59 PM

It must be a strange experience/process to change your name. 

March 28, 2014 6:58 PM

Great answers, everyone. It's fascinating to read all the replies. 

March 29, 2014 3:34 AM

I'm a Jennifer. I love my name because I actually think it's a terrific name with a lot of great sounds and history, and I especially like the sprightly nickname Jenny, which fits me very well. I like that I can be Jennifer legally and Jenny in personal interactions, and that I can invite people to be more familiar by moving to the nickname. (My paperwork always says Jennifer, but I am called almost exclusively Jenny.) I also really deeply love my parents' very personal reasons for picking it for me (I was named after a favorite song they'd loved and wanted to name a daughter after for many years).

I don't love how ubiquitous it was after my family moved to the US. I don't love how firmly it dates me, and how hard it can be to distinguish myself from the many other Jennifers and Jennys in my social circles. That combination of factors tipped me towards dislike when I was growing up, but I have since have made my peace with the fact that many other parents had the same good taste as my parents, and can now appreciate my name more for the many things I love about it. But, I never really wanted to change my name, I just wanted change the names of the many other Jennifers living around me. :)

It is annoying that I am married to someone who has another 80s mega-popular middle name with a pronounced F sound and a similar rhythm, and people constantly mix up our names. Even friends we've known for decades. It is awful! But again, I'm just grateful that we're not both Jennifers. So, there is that!

My birth middle names - I like that one was a hippie botanical name and the other a family middle name (a very popular middle name choice, too, which was very grounding). I didn't like that there was only one middle initial slot, because I really wanted to use BOTH. I didn't like that the namesake was one that I had mixed feelings about; having a living namesake can be hard sometimes, logistically. I did like that I shared the middle name with my mother, though.

(Past tense because I dropped my middle names to take my spouse's maiden name in the middle slot, which I really like having done, too, but I still feel like my birth middle names are a part of me.)

March 29, 2014 8:23 AM

I have a good friend name Michelle who just started dating a Michelle. They're taking a lot of ribbing! You're right, it could be even more confusing.

March 31, 2014 12:02 AM

I can see how the ribbing would be hard to resist! And Michelle isn't even one of those names with several distinctive nickname choices, as I've seen other same-named couples use to distinguish. 

At least they don't have the same surname... there was a news story a few years back about a male/female couple where both were Kelly Samesurname - they met on Facebook and then fell in love. Apparently, it did not work out for them: when googling to find the original story, I got this:

I love how the news story resorts to middle names and "male/female" designations to make it clear which Kelly Hildebrant is being referred to.

March 31, 2014 11:59 AM

Their parents sure liked alliteration! Kelly Katrina and Kelly Carl. What a made-for-Hollywood romance! Too bad it didn't work out for them.

March 18, 2017 9:00 AM

I know a couple named Aaron and Erin. Not as much confusion since they're opposite genders, but still funny.

April 4, 2014 10:29 AM

I'm Mary Katherine. When I was about 13 I tried briefly to go by  "Mary Kate" but it didn't stick, and it was a little too "Olson twin" for me anyway, at the time. Otherwise I have never minded being Mary. In first grade I went to St Mary's academy. I loved it! (Though I do remember asking a bunch of adults what "virgin" meant and being told "hmmm.... I don't know. ") And having the whole state of Maryland named after me! I liked Mary Tyler Moore and grew up on reruns of her shows. In all my Catholic school classes in the ' 80s and '90s, there was only one other Mary, though I remember a year with 5 Katie's. The Saturday Night Live character "Mary Katherine Gallagher" did hit a bit close to home, but I was able to laugh at the "funny because it's true" parts of those sketches enough to take the sting out of the caricature.

EDIT: The Secret Garden! That made me like "Mary" too.

July 1, 2015 11:10 AM

My name is Kiersten. I know that for the majority of my life I've really loved my name, though for a short time when I moved to a new country I wanted to go by my middle name, Lainey...because it was easier to pronounce. I ended up deciding against that, because there is/was just something about my name.

I've gone through what feels like a million mispronounciations of my name: Kristen, Christina, Kristiana, Christian, Kristy, Christine, Kirsty, Kirsten...etc. At first I hated the fact that I was constantly having to correct teachers, doctors, government workers, military friends...but once I hit about middle school age, it started to get a little funny with teachers...I would be a bit of an ass and not respond if they pronounced it wrong (of course I would tell them that there wasn't a Kristen, or what have you, in the class, but there was a Kiersten, after a while). When I turned eighteen, I realized that when people called and mispronounced my name it probably meant that they were people calling to get me to take surveys or try new items...or other such things. It also allowed me to realize who actually cared about me if they kept mispronouncing my name, even after being told.

My name feels like mine and I met more in Germany than I have in the states, which I really like...makes it easier for people to remember me...though harder to blend into the crowd. I don't know why my parents picked my name, though I wish I did...I feel like it blends well with my maiden name...though perhaps not so well with my new last name, haha.

July 2, 2015 3:39 AM

I feel much like Jennifer above about my name. I think it's a great name, I think it suits me, I think I'm the kind of person who should have my name.

There was one other Emily in my year in high school, which was fine, and one or two in the couple of years below. Throughout high school though, when I read the birth announcement roundups at the end of each year, I noticed that my name just exploded in popularity. I really hated that, especially when all of the creative spellings (Emma Leigh, Emilee) started to come into force.

I was once in a choir of 12 girls, of whom six were some form of Emily, Emilie, or Amelie. To make matters worse, my two sisters have very unusual Celtic names that have never ranked anywhere. I knew my parents hadn't done it on purpose, that they'd given me the name because they loved it and it wasn't common at the time, but I really hated the popularity explosion. Like Jennifer though, whenever I thought about changing my name, I realized I didn't want to. I just wanted everyone else to stop naming their kids that.

Anyway, it's made picking a more-unusual name for my kids priority number 1 for me!

By kj77
July 2, 2015 6:51 AM

I am Katherine Jacqueline. I wouldn't say I hate the name. I like that it's very sophisticated and intelligent looking, and it's very professional-sounding (my surname is quite common, so that helps too)-the kind of image you'd want to give off when applying for jobs and such. However, I hate it when it's used by family and friends. I prefer to be called Kat, and sometimes close friends (the ones I've had since my younger days) even call me Kitty. My mother insists on calling me Kate, which is okay too. So to answer your original question, I don't hate the name, but I don't love it either.

July 21, 2015 3:55 PM

Since a few other people resurrected this old post, I'll chime in too. I'm not a big fan of my first name. I've gone from really disliking it to passively disliking it, which is progress. The meaning is okay (honeybee). It's just so stinking popular and date stamped for my age group. I'm 35, and I've never really been in a group of similarly aged women where there weren't several other Melissas. The name itself doesn't really invoke any particular feeling other than 'female born in the late 70s or early 80s). I also absolutely hated the fact that my maiden name also started with M. The alliteration took a not-so-great first name and made it sound incredibly stupid. I was very glad to shed the M for an O when I got married.

I like my middle name, Joanne. It's my aunt's name. It's pretty, and far less overused than my first name. 


August 13, 2015 2:02 AM

I really dont like my name. It too common. It's Michael but I'd love to change it. Maybe, I'll change it in the future. I want a name not so common. Help me!!!

August 28, 2015 11:58 AM

I hated my name when I was a little kid. I think it was because my parents wished they'd given me a more unique name and they talked about it as they were naming my sibling. I wanted to go by my middle name. now I'm ambivalent about my name. The name doesn't define you, you define the name! 


I was sad to read on a blog somewhere, maybe here, that my middle name is out of fashion. But it's true. When DH wanted to name a child after my middle name I said no because it made me think of a 50 year old lady. But I was happy to have it as part of the name. I still love my middle name. 

August 28, 2015 12:31 PM

Carrick, if you're wanting ideas about changing your name, you may want to start a new thread, either under Personal Experiences or the Name Ideas and Dilemmas sub-forum (I know the latter says "Baby Names" but it's actually often used for this kind of question, too).

By Lrun
August 29, 2015 1:44 AM

I don't like my name at all, I don't have english name,but my chinese name is Lu Wei=reed, it is a grass... in addition i am a boy, now i am 30 years old man,it don't situate to me more and more.....

August 30, 2015 9:57 AM

I also didn't like mine as a kid, I thought Caroline was 'boring' and I always wanted my name to be Holly - I don't even know why. Today I really like my name, but don't like Holly as much anymore. I think it's classic and pretty. My middle name is Grace and I think it's pretty, but unfortunately overused in the middle name spot. If I changed my name I would probably keep Caroline and change only Grace... maybe I'd go for something along the lines of Caroline Beatrix or Caroline Sophia.
If I had to change my first name too I think I'd go for Victoria and use Caroline as a middle... Victoria Caroline - I think that would make a beautiful name.

By dayj
September 15, 2015 4:01 PM

my name is Dajana (pronounced da-YAH-na) and I hated my name growing up. It's a very unique name in Germany, I've only ever met one other girl with my name. Now I like it. I like that it's uncommon and I actually started to think it's pretty. The only annoying part about it is that I have to spell it ALL. THE. TIME. When people hear my name they intuitively spell it Diana. The name Diana is not very rare here, but also not THAT common, but we pronounce it DEE-ah-na. So when people here my name da-YAH-na, they think my name's the English Diana and not the German DEE-ah-na. But I've also gotten other creative spellings like Dijana or Dayana (which is funny, because the German J is pronounced like the Y in English. So Dajana would be the intuitive spelling for a German - it's really written the exact same way it is pronounced and yet people mess it up and add letters that would be used in different languages but not German). But I've gotten used to it and actually the name Jana (Yah-na) is very common here, so I always just say "like Jana with Da in front of it"

November 7, 2015 1:25 PM

My name is okay. I think it's girly and beautiful--and isn't for me. It's a lovely name but doesn't fit me as a person, so I go by a shorter, more fun nickname. As a child I was called by both my first and middle names and grew to dislike it a lot. They flow well and sound so pretty together, and I hated it. Still do. I'm not completely sure why. Maybe I'll go by my given name again in the future, but for now I'm happy with a nickname.

November 18, 2015 11:05 PM

They're names I would like (or wouldn't mind) on other people, but they don't fit me (particularly the middle), which is why I go by my nickname. That said, my mother and I share similar tastes when it comes to names (we like the traditional ones, for one thing), though she generally likes girlier names than I do. But I wouldn't change my name because I get by fine with my nickname and have grown used to it (plus, there's all the paperwork).

March 24, 2016 12:10 PM

It took me a while to appreciate my name.  I'm a male named Jamie. People used to thnk it was just a girls name while I was ggrowing up. It didn't help that the most popular girl in my class crom 3rd grade to 12th grade was also named Jamie. Every time a girl in class would shout "Hey, Jamie" I'd look over and say "Yes?"  Then they would say "Ugh, no not you." And I was deflated. But later in life by college I liked my name because there were not many of them out there.  

April 21, 2016 11:32 AM

I wonder if you would've have had a better relationship with your name if your parents had put James on the birth certificate and merely used Jamie as a nickname. It certainly would've given you more flexibility; whether that would have been appreciated by 3rd-grader-you is a different question. :)

June 19, 2016 1:43 PM

I'm a Katherine Aurora. My mother and her family call me Kate, and it drives me crazy. My siblings call me Kate as well as some of my old friends from elementary school. In fourth grade, my nametag said Kate, and mid-semester, I had my teacher change it to Katherine. People got used to the change rather quickly, so I was happy. The annoying thing about my name is that there are 6 spellings for it. Now I'm in middle school, and when people ask my name I say "I'm Katherine, but please, call me Kat." And they do. I don't tell my teachers now, but when school begins again in August, I'll tell them. When I meet new friends, I'll introduce myself with my middle name, Aurora. It may get out of hand, though. It is the name of a Disney princess, after all.

July 3, 2016 6:08 PM

My real name is not Georgina. It is a rare name and I don't know anyone else with the name nor do I have any cultural references attached to it so my feeling about my name are largely influenced by how I feel about how other people see me. As a child I wanted to be a Jennifer because in my mind somehow the name would impart popularity, many of the popular girls were Jennifers. It never crossed my mind to change it even though I didn't like it but that could have been because I was an overly accommodating child. i wouldn't have wanted to upset my mother who loves the name and how unique it was. I grew out of my desire to be common as a teenager but I still wanted to be cool, I would have likely picked a romantic name but I didn't really think about changing my name. Now I feel pretty neutral about my name, its not necessarily the name I'd choose for the image I'd like to project. I'd rather have a classic but unusual name but I don't feel strongly enough to do anything about it and I'd feel weird being called anything else. As an adult I realize changing my name won't change who I am and the thrill of the name would wear off anyway, since my very unusual name feels very ordinary to me. I do get compliments on my name sounding pretty so that's nice although it would fit right in with the bell tone trend so it probably seems very youthfull to others and explains the compliments.

August 17, 2016 6:37 AM

I have always hated my first name so I changed it. The name I use now is Agnetha.

December 15, 2016 4:48 PM

My name is Alicia. I used to hate my name because people always commented on how they'd never met someone with it before. But as I grew, I came to actually adore it. I've always like my middle name because it was after my great grandmother Elizabeth. I don't know what else to say haha :)

March 15, 2017 2:10 PM

I have always hated my first and middle names (and my last name too).  My real name is Amanda Lynn and I hate how popular and trendy Amanda was when I was a kid.  It was like every other girl at school had that name so I never had a chance to stand out.  When someone would call my name out, several girls would turn their heads.  My middle name Lynn is boring, ugly, and not feminine at all.  It doesn't have that beautiful, feminine sound to it that I like.  Paired with my common first and last names. it's even more horrible and trendy.  Trendy names will always be seen as evil to me.  I wish my name was something classic, but not common, or an international variation of a classic name.

I also associate Amanda as a bully cheerleader name because all the other Amanda's I met were cheerleaders and always bullied and abused me at school.

If I could rename myself, I'd probably be Helena, nn Laney since I already go by Laney anyway and Helena reflects my Latvian heritage and also honors my late grandmom whose middle name was Helen.  I'm not sure of a middle name yet.  I don't know if any name suits me.