Are You Unhappy With Your Name? Change it!

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)


My Name Is…Something I’d Like To Change.

Hello, what’s your name? My Name Is…

The answer is important because who you are is often, either consciously or subconsciously, determined by the person hearing the first, middle, and last names your parents bestowed you with.

My parents bestowed me with the names Carolyn Virginia. In surfing the I-net’s name sites I discovered a couple of applicable traits for this name

  • Carolyn: (What’s in the Name Carolyn?) it’s far easier for you to express your deeper thoughts and feelings through writing than verbally .
  • Virginia: creates an independent, forthright, practical nature.

Is this how people see me when I tell them my name? To flip the question, did these names influence my character? I sometimes ponder this question when I have free time. Fortunately, that isn’t often.

Oftentimes a person prefers a different name than they were bestowed with. My grandfather a World War I veteran, took advantage of legislation permitting immigrants who fought to defend our country to become naturalized—and, if so desired, to change their name. He opted to change his name, I surmise, to shed his immigrant status.

I know two other persons who’ve changed their names because of their family dynamic. One changed his entire name, the other changed her last name.


Traditionally, women change their family name upon marriage. When I was wed I was a college student. The university staff suggested I maintain my maiden name as my middle name to reduce confusion in their records. This was fine with me, as I didn’t think a married lady should keep the name Virginia (the feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius or Virginius of unknown meaning, but long associated with Latin virgo “maid, virgin,” or “virginal, pure.”).

Why do people dislike their first name? It might be too

  • old fashioned Dollie
  • religious Jeremiah
  • non-descript Jane
  • way-far-afield Heavenly Dawn, Neveah
  • gender neutral   Riley
  • much of a reminder of their dysfunctional family

If you don’t like the implications of your first, middle, or last name February 13th, Get a Different Name Day, offers you a chance to make a major change in your life. It’s the day you rename yourself with a name more appropriate to who you believe yourself to be, to define who you want yourself to be.

Coincidently with Get a Different Name Day the WordPress writing prompt for February 8, 2016, is Say Your Name: Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something?…If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?


I asked a few people if they were inclined to change their name.

  • Sue: I don’t know, I never thought about it. I kinda like my name.
  • Joanne: Yes, I would, because Joanne isn’t my first name, It’s Lois, I’d drop the Lois because it’s confusing.
  • Joe: I think I might change my name because my dad, two uncles, and several cousins were all named Joe. We all had nicknames—I was called Sonny. My son is Lance Joseph and his son is Aiden Joseph.
  • Dwayne: My name is Dwayne. For years they knew me as Duke. I don’t know how I got it. Yeah, I’ d keep my name. Everyone knew my Dad Mike—no one knew his name was Josiah.


At one time in the far past I thought I’d like to be named Desiree, but I wouldn’t want that name today. I’ve kind of grown into my name, and because of my difficulty in choosing names I will keep it.


Our name is one of the many of life’s choices we cannot control. Unlike other things we cannot change, at some point in life we can choose to change our names.


What is the story behind your name? Would you change if you were given that option when you turned 18 or 21? Why or why not?

I invite you to place your answer in the comment box at the end of this article.

Meanwhile, take joy in your name. It’s was a gift bestowed upon you by your parents.


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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One Response to Are You Unhappy With Your Name? Change it!

  1. Mary Laudien says:

    This is an interesting spin on “Say your Name”. I had no idea that there is actually an official “GET A DIFFERENT NAME DAY” on Feb. 13th. If I’d known, I may have just done it. That was actually my take on the Say Your Name prompt. Thanks for the interesting perspective!


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