Name Change



I really want to change my name, but I’ve a hard time finding the perfect name. Even though I am of Norwegian flesh and skin, I’d prefer a name more used in England/America, since I'll move there when that time comes anyway (Norway’s not a good place for a dance career).  The reason behind my temptation for changing name is because of a horrible childhood (I don’t feel like going in detail), which I still suffer with, and I feel that if I want to start a new life, my name has to change as well before I move out in one year. I have already decided on last name, which I take from my mother; Olsen. It has the same pronunciation as Olson, but it is the more Norwegian way of writing.

For the first and middle name, I’ve considered Louise Emilie/Emilee, but I do not feel stratified with it. I want a unique, beautiful and fresh name that maybe gives off an aura of difference. However, names like Medith, Judith, Ruth, etc. doesn’t suite me (no offense towards you who’re named that, it just doesn’t suite me).


Please help me with some ideas; I’d love to hear from you!


May 22, 2012 9:33 AM

Would you perhaps like the name Renee? The name's meaning is "reborn." It's a bit older-style in America; its peak was in the 1960s. However, it is still a well-known name. Other names with similar meanings include Phoenix (after the mythical bird that would rise from its own ashes; a rare but distinctive name that pairs well with Olsen) or Nova (meaning "new," also a reference to a star's final explosion... but probably pairs less well with Olsen).

If you're looking for a unique, beautiful, fresh name that gives off an aura of difference, I'm going to suggest Phoenix Olsen.

But others around here know I'm big into the very rare names. Let's explore what styles you like a bit more.

You like Louise and Emily, and you want to avoid "th" sounds. Do any of the following names attract you?

Amelia, Genevieve, Adelie, Lucille, Grace, Josephine, Leonie, Cecile, Camille

Those should all have similar sounds and cadences. Do you have any other names you like, maybe not for yourself, but for others?

May 22, 2012 4:44 PM

Honestly, I really think both, Phoenix and Nova, are pretty names, but I don’t think either my mother of the name law will agree to them. Maybe Nova, but it has the same pronunciation as my little brother’s name, I am afraid. But they really are my taste, it’s not that.

Speaking of the other names, I really liked the pronunciation for Leonie – so pure.  Amelia, Grace, Josephine, Cecile and Camille are already in use by friends and family.

Talking about names I like on other are many, like: Eleanor/Ellinor, Isobel, Indiana, Roxanne, Marilyn, Antonia, Jocelyn, Mai, Temperance, Florence, Kaylin, and Maori. That’s everyone I can think of right now.

I don’t know where I wrote that about the “th” sound. I mean, if there are any suitable names with “th” sound, I would love to have one.


Thank you for helping me!

May 22, 2012 5:17 PM

I'm glad I can help.

Pity about the name law, I definitely think Phoenix would be both dramatic and appropriate. It is, however, rare and unisex, so the name law might look poorly on it (America's lack of a name law makes these things much easier).

Regarding the "th", you never said to avoid it, but that you don't think a name like Medith (Meredith?), Judith, or Ruth suits you, and the ending -th is the common theme there. There are more such names like Edith or Ardith, but they probably wouldn't suit you either.

Based on your list, if you would like a name with a "th" that would fit, I suggest Theodora or Athena.

Your list is very interesting and I like it! I do not normally see names like Temperance and Florence in the same list as Isobel and Indiana, or Mai and Maori. A few other names that the list makes me think of: Felicity, Anastasia, Constance, Eileen, Clarice. On your list so far, my favorites are Temperance (very rare virtue name, but can also suggest abstention from alcohol in the USA), and Antonia. I would avoid Maori (the Polynesian people of New Zealand), Eleanor and Isobel (not precisely popular, but enough on trend that you may find yourself in a pocket of other Eleanor and Isobel children). Roxanne, Marilyn, and Jocelyn are rather well-pegged to women born in the 1960s in the USA, so it might not carry the same message you might want for your career.

I hope this all helps!

May 22, 2012 7:07 PM

I don’t really see the reason for having name law, well; it’s understandable in some situations. For example when I was reading about the name law I found something about a person getting the name “Værsågod” (lit. be so kind. It’s the same as saying, “here you go,” in a formal manner). And if there is 200 or fewer who has the name I want, I have to ask them if I can take that name, since it is “protected”. Oh, boy…

First, Athena is too similar to my current name, Lena, so that won’t work. But I find Theodora on the other hand really cute. I have always loved Theodore or Theon for a boy, but I have never heard a feminine version of it before. Anyways, what I meant about the “th” ending was just that I don’t think I suite “dith” endings, or Ruth. It just isn’t me.

It’s funny to hear you liked it! I’m very, what should I call it; ambivalent? That’s what my mother calls me at least. Anyway, I already know my mother won’t approve to Temperance (which is my absolute favorite), but Antonia may work. If I find a middle name that can push it up and prove what a beautiful and unique name it is.


Hm, Let me see… I am blank, really. This is frustrating. Don’t you too think that I’m too young to be so into names?



You have helped a lot! Thanks!

May 22, 2012 11:58 PM

"Theodora" in the US would be unusual, but not so unusual as to excite comment, and it's quite pretty. 

May 23, 2012 9:28 AM

You can never be too young to be into names.

I looked over the Norwegian name law, and it looks like you can take middle names without being in the way of the name law. So names like Temperance and Phoenix could easily be in the middle spot without issue.

So, you could have a name like Leonie Temperance Olsen or Antonia Phoenix Olsen without getting in the way of the name law. Also, you could then use the name Leonie or Antonia as your everyday name, but your professional name could include whatever middle name you wish.

Leonie, Antonia, and Theodora all hit a nice spot of being immediately recognized as names, but are rare enough that you may very well be the only Leonie, Antonia, or Theodora they have met. Temperance and Phoenix are more daring, still clearly names, but will be conversation starters--they will want to know where you got the name from.

Of course, I can't help you convince your mother. But what sort of name is she looking for you?

November 17, 2012 7:38 AM

I don't believe Nova is an ideal option, unless you don't mind the nickname "Nova-Scotia."

By Guest (not verified)
May 22, 2012 4:32 PM

What about choosing a name after a famous dancer?  I'd suggest Isadora, after Isadora Duncan.  It flows beautifully with Olsen, and it's quite rare in the US.

May 22, 2012 4:47 PM

I don’t want to take someone else’s name or something similar just because they’re dancers, since I want to make my name famous (though it’s not realistic that I can make my name more famous than Isadora Duncan).

Thanks for your help anyway!

January 28, 2013 11:16 PM


I hate my given name too. I like my middle name and my last name, I like my initials. But I absolutely loath my given name.


I'm on this site looking for a new name. I think I might have found it (!!) but I don't know if my liking for it will last. It's Elke. What do you think of it? It's a little different, but so am I, and I think it might suit me.


My best advice is just to look down long list of name until one jumps out at you.

January 31, 2013 12:22 PM

Hi. I never heard the name Elke before. What country do you live in? What are your criteria for picking a name?  My name is unique, difficult to prounouce and spell.  It has been a pain all my life.  I am picking a more common name that is easy to spell and pronounce and that sounds fine to my ear and wont raise a bunch of questions when I introduce myself.

February 4, 2013 11:20 PM

I have a friend who goes by Elke. It's a lovely name, IMHO. 

January 31, 2013 12:23 PM


Did you decide on a name?