Hello, my name is…

I’ve decided on a name for myself. First I thought of using the male form of my given name, but where my name is fairly cool, the male form is just dorky and doesn’t feel right for me. There’s a difference between naming a baby and naming a grownup. When we were choosing a name for our baby, we didn’t want her to have the same name as any of our current students, friends or bad-behaving former students. We also wanted a second/third name that would connect to our family’s naming-traditions (both our families have the tradition to use one name as a base and then naming the children with varieties of that name. For example Jo: Johanna, Josephine, Marjorie etc.). The name should also reflect a kind of personality we want our child to grow into and not be a weird name. It’s a miracle we found a name at all with those criteria! When naming myself I use the same rules but in a slightly different way. I don’t care if any students have had my name, or how they behaved. But I want the name to be mine, so none of our current friends can share my name. I might want a second name that connects to my family, but I won’t follow the naming tradition from my fathers side since I want to differentiate myself from him (yes, I’m still mad at him). Sharing one name with him is enough (our last name is very unusual, so everyone knows that we are related…). I might use my grandfathers name as a second name though. My first name should reflect my own personality and a personality I want to continue to have. I don’t want the name to have a religious or war-connected meaning and it should be a fairly common name for guys my age. When I read through the naming-book we have at home I was looking for names that I could consider and planned to put them on a shortlist and choose one name from that list. But I only found one name that fell in to that category. On the other hand I knew right when I read it that that was my name. I imagine it went something like this: no, no, no, no, nope, no, what? No, no, no, no way, no, Yes! No, no, are you kidding me? No, no…

An open book

The book of names

Even my wife liked the name right away and she have started to use it at home together with calling me daddy more frequently. It’s not a small thing for her to change name and pronouns just like that (she accidentally called me by her ex’s name a couple of weeks back even though it’s been 15 years! Her mum is the same and I don’t take offense since I know they don’t mean to do it) and I’m truly grateful for her effort. She gets it right most of the time and I know that it will get harder and harder for her to switch back to my given name in public. When my mum visited the other day, she almost used my male name in front of her. I think the time when I have to come out to my family and friends are getting closer and closer. In the meantime I’m thinking of opportunities to use my chosen name – like with new acquaintances that won’t meet my current friends in the near future.
And what name did I choose then? Fredrik, which means peace ruler. Suits me perfectly!

6 thoughts on “Hello, my name is…

  1. My Dad’s name was Fred – so I am partial to it!
    I had a lot of trouble finding a name – and I preferred one that was masculine inflected for my age but also neutral. I tried out my name in a couple of places to make sure it felt right – and it did. Best thing I ever did was to change it legally and make everyone use it.


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