Thinking about changing my name.

My name is Molly and I first thought about changing my name when I was a little girl. My name wasn't popular the year I was born nor where I was born, and I was the only Molly in my school. I have never met another Molly before, but I've heard of plenty of dogs with my name. I have a cousin who named her dog Molly, but as I've gotten older I've come to like my name... I just don't know how well it suits me or works in my favor. People always spell my name wrong and mistake me for an Emily, Polly and other names. And then I often hear things like "Good golly miss Molly" and worse references which don't really help. Someone even called me Ollie once.

I've wondered time and time again if it would be better having a different name. I realize the grass isn't always greener on the other side, but something that wouldn't be as easily mistaken as something else. Something that suits when and where I was born. I checked the top 100 names for the year and location of my birth, and Mary was on the list. I found out that Molly was traditionally a nickname for Mary. So perhaps I could be Mary and use Molly as a nickname. I've seen a lot of people saying that Molly doesn't sound professional or adult enough, but I am an adult Molly. I am wondering what others think about my situation. What would you do? What do you think? Thank you for taking the time to read my post and in advance for sharing your thoughts.




May 26, 2017 7:21 AM

Try it out in low-impact situations and see how it feels! The next time a stranger asks you your name, introduce yourself as Mary. The next time you are at a coffee shop, tell the barista you are Mary. How does it feel? Does it feel natural? 

If you plan on continue being Molly to those who know you, however, it might not be worth the effort of changing all your bills, credit cards, etc.

Good luck!

May 26, 2017 10:40 AM

Hmmm, the grass is always greener. My best friend growing up was Molly, and I always wished I had her name instead of my own. She's now in her 30s and runs her own business -- I do tend to think the "unprofessional" label gets tossed around quite a bit.

That said, Mary is a good choice and allows your family to continue using your name while giving you more flexibility. While I don't think it's necessary to change your name, I think Mary is a nice option if you decide to. A lot of Mary-related names could also work: Maria, Miriam, Marianne, and. so. on.

May 26, 2017 11:08 AM

I have a stepsister-in-law named Molly, and I know two six-year-olds with this name, so I wouldn't even blink at meeting another one of any age. (How on earth do people manage to misspell it?) I'm pretty sure that one of the young Mollys is either a birth-certificate Mary or named for a Mary, but the adult has Molly as her full name.

Before I got to your second paragraph, I was thinking of suggesting Mary for you. As you've found out, Molly originates as a nickname for Mary (as does Polly), so while the "directionality" is traditionally the other way, the association is long-standing and therefore natural.

The change doesn't need to be anything formal: you can leave Molly in all the official places, and continue to answer to it among family and friends -- who presumably will not misinterpret it or misspell it! -- but use Mary in new instances of the sorts of contexts where you've experienced trouble with Molly. As other commenters have suggested, start with "throw-away" situations like restaurants or coffee shops. If the change significantly reduces your name frustration, you can start using Mary among co-workers and other such casual acquaintances. Whether you then move it into even wider circulation is up to you -- there are many people who use different names in public versus private life.

May 26, 2017 11:41 AM

I'm with my sister on this: how on God's green earth does anyone go about misspelling Molly? I mean, yeah, you could approximate the sound with things like Mollie or Mali, but that's like having a hammer in your hand, but putting it down and getting a wrench to pound in a nail.

May 29, 2017 3:13 AM

People can mispell anything. I have had people spell my name Emally more than once. And in English speaking countries, so no excuses!

By mk
May 26, 2017 12:27 PM

I know more adult Mollys than young Mollys, including a former coworker and a physician. I never thought anything of it.

If you are going to mostly use Molly anyway, I don't see the point of legally changing it, to be honest. As for people misspelling/mishearing it, I believe it. That happens no matter how easy your name may seem.

By EVie
May 27, 2017 4:19 PM

I really like Molly, and I think your story is just proof that people will mess up any name, no matter how familiar, and that maybe we baby namers fuss too much about whether a name will be misspelled or mispronounced. It does sound very sweet and approachable, so if you want something more Serious and Imposing for professional reasons, I can understand a choice to use Mary or one of its many variants as a more formal version (I personally really like Mariel and Marian). But I don't think you need to go through the hassle of a formal name change, at least until after you've used it for awhile and are really satisfied with the choice.

If I could talk my husband into it, I would very likely be using Amalia nicknamed Molly for a future daughter.