Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Last names

I've recently become obsessed with last names. Well, in the sense of marriage, publications, and professional identities. My psychology professor never took her husband's name because she was too well known by her maiden name. I asked her if she took it personally, away from the professional realm. She said that some people did, but that complicated things too much. She immediately saw through my questioning, which I hadn't yet realized there was something driving that line of questions.

With my plans to get my doctorate, I've thought about my name. I never want to be known by my father's last name. Ideally, it'd be nice to be married before I get my title, then I wouldn't have to worry about it. But, I'm certainly not holding my breath or making any judgements based on that. I recently talked to my mom about changing my name to her maiden name. I wouldn't mind giving her family that honor. I mentioned it to my professor today and she thought it was a terrific idea. I'm worried about what kind of repercussions an action like that might have on my dad's side of the family...the few that still pretend to talk to me. I tried to find out information about it and found some statues and such, but nothing speaking of a process or costs. My professor suggested I should bring it up to my family and ask for donations so I could do it as a graduation present.

It's a big step. But, it is definitely something I need to think about. Anyway, I'm exhausted! Goodnight, all!


  1. My last name is 11 letters long. While it is a symbol of my heritage, I also don't have good relations with my father and his family. Before I married, I was always open to the idea of taking my wife's name.

    My wife, however, in some ways dislikes her name because it is 12 letters long. She always thought about marrying someone with a short last name so she could change it to that.

    Since we are both academics in the same field, we decided to keep our names. Truth be told, we were also too lazy to go to all the trouble to change our names, especially since mine would get longer and hers would only get shorter by one letter and be harder for people to spell.

    We joke around that we will eventually hyphenate them making a 23 letter last name. We have also played around with fusing them together, but it really ends up being too silly.

    BTW- my last name is from Spanish origins and hers is German.

    One last thing, someone I knew in college resented how she was used as a pawn in her parents' divorce that she made her middle name her last name. I guess she showed them!

  2. Wow ! I used to hate my last name and wanted to change it to my mum's maiden name too.

    Incidentally, that would have made me go from a 5 letter last name to a 12 letter last name. Then with Dave's last name, I'm back at 5 letters, except that QC law forces me to keep my maiden name anyways.

    In fact, here in Qc, the rule is you can only change your last name if it has been tainted with shame, or publically disclosed in an embarassing manner. So I'm pretty stuck with my original name...

    In FL, it seems to be much easier : check out this link !
    FL Name CHANGE

    Lucky you !

  3. I think its a good idea it embodies more of who you are. Love you chica. Ill donate to that fund:)

  4. Xolo- The length of my name was never the issue. It's a pretty normal 5 letter name (I think it's English) and I'd be changing it to a 5 letter name (Dutch). I'd never though about just dropping it all together....hmmm...

    Bev'ster- I'm not sure if I could make a case that my name is tainted with shame, but I am ashamed of it. If that makes sense. That link doesn't seem to want to work for me :*(

    Chickadee- take care of yourself, first, then we'll talk ;)

  5. I use my maiden name, but in the process of changing my name legally. I hated the name "Jones", it's like Smith, which was two of the biggest slave owners in America --- both from England.

  6. Sorry about that... Here's the link.


    Looks pretty affordable too !

    Good luck on this ! I think FL law is much more lenient then QC, so you may be able to proceed...

    By the way, my maiden name is a boring common french canadian name, my mum's is French and quite unusual, and Dave's is common FC as well... I really wish I could go with my mum's name...

  7. I have my mothers maiden name and love it. I can't even imagine having the same last name is my father, uhum, sperm donor! We don't speak and his family doesn't acknowldege me so I don't mind anymore. Good luck