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#60907 - 10/12/04 07:17 AM Name changing.
Wile_E_Quixote Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 2493
The Name Game
By Denise Winterman
BBC News Online Magazine

Prince tried it and was laughed at, Muhammad Ali had more luck. Now footballer Paul Gascoigne wants to change his name in an effort to break from his past. But is moving on as easy as getting a new name?

Paul Gascoigne hopes to be a football manager

His patron saint succeeded in doing it in his 30s and Paul Gascoigne is keen to follow in his footsteps. St Paul successfully ditched Saul of Tarsus when he converted to Christianity and now the 37-year-old ex-Newcastle, Spurs and Lazio midfielder wants a new name.

Gascoigne says he is no longer the practical joker and boozer people associate with him and needs to make a break from that image.

"I'm a different person now. I'm not Paul Gascoigne and I'm not Gazza," he told the Sunday Times. "A new name will help. It'll stop people thinking about what I was then and think about what I am now.

"It's important because I have to get my reputation back up. I need to get respect again. That's why I think the Paul has to go."

Public sympathy

Anyone can change their name for as little as £25 on the internet, but is it that easy to move on emotionally?

"Our names are really important to us," says Professor Helen Petrie, who has studied the link between names and identity.

"When someone asks us who we are we rarely say 'a British person' or 'a female', we say our name. But a lot of people feel trapped by their name, even if there is nothing inherently wrong with it - like Paul."

Elle Macpherson - Eleanor Gow
Frank Skinner - Chris Collins
John Cleese - John Cheese
Woody Allen - Allen Konigsberg
Tom Cruise - Thomas Mapother IV
Demi Moore - Demetria Gene Guynes

Professor Petrie says changing your name can be a positive way of changing your life, but that's the easy part.

"It is a big thing to do, but can be very positive. However, for people like Paul Gascoigne, dealing with the demons that have prompted the decision is the hardest part. But marking the fact that he is trying to change his life by changing his name is a good start, it is like a rite of passage for him."

She says Gascoigne stands a good chance of getting the public to accept his new name.

"The public can get irritated by celebrity parents calling their children bizarre names, Gwyneth Paltrow calling her baby Apple being a recent example.

Trauma for family

"But when someone has a sensible reason, like Paul Gascoigne, they might get public sympathy."

While names are important they ultimately say more about the parent than the person, says Dr Martin Skinner, psychology lecturer at Warwick University.

"People do have relationships with their names, they are about as personal as you can get. But ultimately they say more about your parents as they are the ones who named you.

"Changing your name is about seeking a new identity. While that might be achievable for the average person, for a public figure it's harder.

Gascoigne says he is remembered for his drink binges
"You can't tell the public what to call you or what to think of you, it is up to them if they accept the change."

Gascoigne will decide on a new name after speaking to his family. It is a wise move as they are often the ones who are most traumatised when a person decides to take a new name, says Professor Petrie.

Her advice for selecting an alternative is not to go for anything too unusual or too common and to choose a name that can be shortened, so you can have a different version for different occasions - William being an example.

Whatever name Gascoigne comes up with, it could have unforeseen consequences.

Take football fan Kelvin Pratt, who changed his name to Paul Gascoigne in honour of his idol. At the time he said the decision was easy as it sounded a lot better than his original name, but he might face a tough choice about what to do when Gascoigne's new name is announced.

Have you ever considered changing your name? Have you ever actually gone through with it? Either way, was the idea a way of helping get past problems from the past or have you considered it simply as a Satanic indulgeance?

#60908 - 10/12/04 01:05 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10764
Loc: England
If he wants to gain respect I think he needs to change more than his name. He has consistantly proved that he is as thick as two short planks.

Somehow, I cannot see him being taken seriously as a football manager.

239025-gazza2.jpg (27 downloads)

Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

#60909 - 10/12/04 02:25 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
simasud666 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 959
Loc: New York, USA
I legally changed my first name. I had no problems with it since there were too many relatives with the same first name. However, I did keep that name because I loved and respected my Grandmother whose name was the same. I dropped my middle name, moved my first name there, and gave myself a new first name. Like all my relatives, I was named the same as someone in the Christian bible. Since I was never a Christian, I had no problem with changing it. I also hated the name because I was teased all through school because of it and my maiden name as well.

As far as respect goes that is something that you must earn. When I changed my name, I did ask my parents for their approval. Although they gave me it, they never respected me before the name change and they disrespected me worst after it was changed. You may have the same thing happen with your parents because it they were like mine they will say, “We gave you that name and we will call you that until we die”. My mom did just that and my dad still is doing it so we no longer speak except in passing. That is okay with me because if he cannot respect me for who I am and who I have become then I do not have to give him respect either.

As I said, respect has to be earned. If you still live in the town where you have lived your whole life you may want to make a change for the good as well. I moved away but before I left, I showed everyone that did not really know me. When they finally took the time to try to get to know me, I was married and moved away. However since my husband still works in the small town I am from I go back occasionally to see some of my old friends. Because they have read about my husbands and my good deeds (as I will call them) and my writings in politics in the newspapers their thoughts of me have changed. In the new Town I live in it was not hard to make new friends and gain their respect either. As we, all know if you give respect, you will get respect in return.

So do not worry about changing your name as long as you do it legally. Make sure that you will be happy with your new name and it fits you well. Then go out and make a name for yourself. Change your life style, which it sounds like you have. Do anything you can to make your life better. I know my friend went and got a new job with her name change and she is living life, as she always wanted to. For those people who do not respect you now well you may never be able to change their minds but if you do do not look gift horses in the mouth. You have to change as much about yourself as you do your name. With all of this, you should get respect back. Good luck.

#60910 - 10/12/04 04:05 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
CannibalSpirit Offline

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 363
Loc: Lima, Perú
The origins of my name come from "Fortress" and "Strenght".
Besides, it sounds pretty good in spanish. Masculine, strong, determined.
Would I change my name or any of my two last names?
Of course not. They may not only give a glimpse of who I am, but also give a clue of my origins, which I am truly proud of.
Then why do I use a nickname instead of my real name in this forum?
The question should be: Why Not?
Cannibal Spirit "I am my enemy"

#60911 - 10/12/04 05:14 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
killerbeef Offline

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 18
I havent wanted to change my name. I dont think its all that important, it certainly won't earn you respect (like the man in the article suggests)...

#60912 - 10/13/04 02:17 AM Re: Name changing. [Re: killerbeef]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10764
Loc: England

I havent wanted to change my name. I dont think its all that important, it certainly won't earn you respect (like the man in the article suggests)...

No, but it could help save you a lot of trouble when the wrong people know it.

I've changed mine twice in my life.
Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

#60913 - 10/13/04 03:42 AM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
slc Offline

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 16
i have never changed my name but i did change the way it was spelt, but for no other reason then as a kid playing around my friends as well as myself played a little game of swopping letters in our names and mine seemed to stick, by the time i was old enough to get an identity book it just seemed like registaring my new spelling was the logical thing to do so i did, i am very pround of it now, and wont respond to anything that has my name spelt incorrectly!

#60914 - 10/13/04 07:11 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
killerbeef Offline

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 18


I havent wanted to change my name. I dont think its all that important, it certainly won't earn you respect (like the man in the article suggests)...

No, but it could help save you a lot of trouble when the wrong people know it.

I've changed mine twice in my life.

Quite true! I havent't run into any such troubles but I know people who have..... I'm glad the option is available.

#60915 - 10/14/04 12:55 PM : Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
GloryS9 Offline

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 1736
Loc: Houston, Texas
One's given name in ancient times was bestowed on them according to their worth. In India, the Hindu people do not give their children names, but nick-names. The child names him/her self when they are adults.
As for me, I was given a slew of names at birth for many strange reasons, but I always hated my first name. It sounded like a sneeze to me, and was only given to me because my mother thought it was in vogue in 1947.
I personally, changed my name because my given name didnt suit me, at all. My new name suits me fine! I can tell you though, that when I play blackjack games, my present name comes in handy. It's surprising what a name can do for witch power! But...that's another topic!

AND! Let us not forget that Doktor LaVey also changed his name!!

Hail Glory!
Hail Satan!

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"
Mark Twain

#60916 - 10/15/04 12:25 AM Re: Name changing. [Re: simasud666]
Felstorm Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 1474
Loc: Minnesota.
Likewise, I was afflicted with a Christian name.

It's meaning being "Jehovah is God" when broken down to it's Hebrew origins. Something my Jehovah Witness parents thought was "cute".

I've long considered changing my name as it has been a sore spot with me for many years. But what to? I really don't have a clue, so I'll keep what I have until something strikes me. My middle and last names carry alot of history with them. One of my ancestors being a notorious Admiral in the British the Navy. And my last name belongs to a French family that predates Napoleon.

Perhaps I'll just scrap it all and make my own legacy.

Yes. I enjoy that idea very much.
"Many people would sooner die than think - in fact, they do so." ~ Bertrand Russell

"“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” ~ Nikola Tesla

Are You One of Us?

The Glorious Infernal Empire

#60917 - 10/16/04 05:08 AM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
Malice Offline

Registered: 07/15/01
Posts: 3133
I changed my surname twice, once through common usage and once through deed poll. The first change was not a full legal change, I just stopped using my father' surname and started using my mother's maiden name because I had no love for my father and did not wish to be associated with him in name.
When my mother's father died I concluded that I did not wish to be associated in name with the rest of his surviving family, and it's getting a little ridiculous to think about adopting my grandmother's maiden name.
I kept the name my mother gave me, I like it and she is not her family. I gave myself two middle names, because I'd never had one before, and I created my own surname, and I had a full legal change.
Maybe my choice of names was a little outlandish, but it suits my style.
No I am not going to tell everyone on LttD what it is.

#60918 - 10/17/04 05:02 PM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
Malin_Wolf Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 1712
Loc: A sleepy little hollow in Flor...
In the midst of doing so legally as we speak.

I have no delusions of what it is and what it is not. I know that the name change will not change who I am...I do know that I will be happy with my name when it is done. I most certainly did not enjoy my past did not suit me.
"There is less time than the space that confines it. Make it count." -- Me

#60919 - 10/18/04 01:24 AM Re: Name changing. [Re: Wile_E_Quixote]
Wendy Offline

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 83
Loc: Geelong, Australia
I am about to change my surname as I have been divorced and no longer feel comfortable using the old name, but I, myself am not going to change. I am still going to be who I am as a person.
Maybe for some people a name change does bring on a whole new personality, but I tend to think that the effect is totally psychological, and they were like this in the first place. I think it may be a confidence thing that encourages some people who change their names to believe in themselves and who they are.
Some names though that people are given by their thoughtless parents actually work for them later on in their working life. I once knew a man called Farmer who was a farmer, and in a town I used to live there was a plumber called Pugh. His grandfather started a plumbing business in the 1920s emptying night-cans around the district, so the name was very appropriate! There is also a Doctor somewhere whose surname is Doctor!
Hail Satan.


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