Family names

I always wondered what was the point in having a family name in the modern age. I sincerely cannot understand why family names survived the feudal ages where there was an actual point (having a known family name, meant being part of the noblesse).

But what is the reason today? It certainly does not act as a way to distinguish people and having the same family name with someone almost never means you are from the same family or even heard of them.
Not only that but family names do not mean almost anything for the real life as well. The was a time where your surname was “Smith” because you were one, and the same was true in many languages as well. Now it’s completely irrelevant.

I am thinking of at some point changing my name to something of my own choosing. My current name does not actually mean anything to me (Other than having the names of two dead people I never knew) and I’d like my call name to be something I actually enjoy and/or means something.

Unfortunately I just know that they are going to require me to give them a surname when I decide to do it. Can I, you know, not have one? I don’t really need it as I’m certain that my passport number is enough to identify me. I have no interest in passing it down to my children anyway as it won’t make a whiff of difference.

It all comes down to silly tradition. Things that people just hold on to without any real reason, just because they’re used to it. Like the woman getting her husband’s family name. What’s up with that? Does it actually mean anything else except submission? I really wish society would once wisen up and discard these obsolete relics from the medieval ages.

  • We do not need family names
  • We do not need to be given out life name by our parents, especially if they’re going to name us from their own parents (WTF is up with that as well? Is our name a reward?)
  • Names would be so much more interesting if they actually meant something that fitted our person.

We already have aliases and nicknames on the internet – nevermind that many sites require a ” real name” before you can register (That needs to include a surname of course). This means that we already have a mentality to choose something of our own online. Most of the time, if you exclude the no-imagination people who try choose an alias like “Giorgos”, you see exactly what I write about: Interesting names that actually mean something to the person choosing it.
Why can’t we expand that to the real life?

To tell you the truth, I like a system where names are chosen after people became of age (18 for modern society I guess). The parents cold give the child a temporary name until then. The final name could be earned (Rite of passage? Naming rite?) or chosen. But anything is better than what we have now

2 thoughts on “Family names”

  1. I know what you mean. When my parents got divorced, my mother thought about changing her name and take her birth name again. We as her children supported her (understanding she didn´t want to have anything in common with my father). Until today she didn´t although her phone book entry is her birth name (nobody knows her actual name, because she moved back to her birth place after fourty years). And why? She doesn´t want to own a name that is different from her childrens´. What logic is that?!
    From a transident friend of mine I learned, that it is an immense act to just change your first name – although it´s obvious that after changing operatively into a woman something like gerald does not fit anymore. It took five months from the first talk to a psychiatrist to the operation – and almost as long to change her name…

  2. I didn´t talk about your situation but about names. And her story came to my mind as I read your entry. It just was more difficult to do all the bureaucracy than the operation itself. So the story of name-changing seems to be more important to the people than to change a whole body…

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