This happened to me: my parents, old-time lefties, named me “Karl Marx” — they apparently thought it would not be a problem, as society seemed to be moving into a groovy, understanding time (late 60s). They, uh, thought small-mindedness was a transient cultural trait, as opposed to an enduring human characteristic, particularly among junior-high kids.
Boy, were they ever wrong! It took a few years, particularly because we — duh! — moved to rural Idaho in the interim, but around 5th grade the other kids figured it out, and I was cooked. History class was always brutal, and there are probably hundreds of school yearbooks with a hand-drawn bushy beard obscuring my face.
It got easier in high school, as it was kind of an edgy name, but at age 17 I rushed over to the county court and changed my name. I made my father pay the court fees, for obvious reasons.
On every tax form, university application, and — most humiliating — job or credit application, I am required to put “Karl Marx” as a previous name, for background checks. Thanks Mom & Dad!
Other than that, it’s just a family joke these days, and even my high-school classmates have tired of it at reunions.
Yet another reason why I hang out at Reddit.