9 Reasons Why People Change Their Names and You Can Too

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Shakespeare famously said ‘What’s in a name?’ Well, if we’re honest, a lot resides on your name. Being a representation of your identity, it should be something you feel connected to. And what if you don’t? In that case, you have options to change your name. 

You might think that legal name change is a winding process that is mainly for adopting your spouse’s name after marriage or for people in the witness protection program. But changing your name isn’t a complicated process. You can get the process started online immediately and use a deed poll as evidence.

People change their name for a variety of reasons. We’ve shared some common cases when people legally choose a new name. Take a look.

When You Simply Dislike Your Current Name

Whether you were named after someone you aren’t fond of or you simply dislike your first name, it’s a reason enough to change your name. Your name is something that will stay with you forever. So there is no point in calling yourself a name that you despise.

When No One Actually Uses Your First Name

Were you always called by a nickname by your friends and family? Does everyone use your middle name instead of first name? You’re not alone, actors like Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher go by their middle names! You can legally change your middle name to be your first name.

When You Want a Unique Name

Often parents pick a popular name for their children. But as you grow up, you’ll realise that several other kids in your class have the same name. A unique name can help you stand out from the crowd, especially if you’re pursuing an artistic career. So go ahead and fill out the application form.

When You’re Transitioning

Transgender people often pick a new name. For most, shedding their old name is symbolic of transitioning into a new identity and preventing misgendering in the future. For others, it could be for aesthetic purposes. 

When You Want to Take Your Spouse’s Last Name

We all have heard of a woman taking her husband’s name after marriage. But it’s applicable the other way round as well! Famously, John Lenon became John Ono Lenon after marrying Yoko Ono. Whether you identify as male or female, you have the right to adopt your spouse’s last name legally.

When Couples Hyphenate Surnames

Did you know Jay-Z and Beyonce hyphenated their surnames to Knowles-Carter? Instead of letting go of your maiden name after marriage, you and your spouse can combine your last names with a hyphen.

When You’re Going Through a Divorce

Unfortunately, not all marriages have a happy ending; some end up in a divorce. If you took your spouse’s last name and now you’re getting divorced, you have the option to change your name back legally. For instance, after divorcing Brad Pitt, Jennifer Pitt legally changed to her original name, Jennifer Aniston.

When You’re Converting to a New Religion

While it’s not necessary, some people choose to change their name when converting to a new religion. In some cases, their name might be considered offensive according to religious teachings. But for the most part, people do it to match their new identity and gain a sense of belongingness. At times, people also change their name when they marry someone from a different religion.

When You Have a Difficult-To-Pronounce First Name

Having a distinctive name is great. But sometimes it can create confusion and unnecessary hassle. Are you tired of people misspelling or mispronouncing your name? This is a valid reason for changing your name to something that’s easier to pronounce.

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