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View Full Version : Hey! Do I HAVE to have a LAST name?


GeorgeAECF
06-02-2002, 09:49 PM
I mean.. lets just say my name is John Smith and I want to chaneg it to just: John

Is this legal/possible? I know you can change your name.. but, to just only a FIRST name?

Hmmm? Hmmm? Hmmm?

Thanks!

Qadgop the Mercotan
06-02-2002, 10:17 PM
I don't know the law, but here in the US I did have a patient from the south pacific who went by only one name, Kenakone, or Kenakahone, if I remember correctly. Played hell with medical records, and lab ordering, but we accomodated him.

Walloon
06-02-2002, 11:29 PM
Some of the names I found in the Social Security Death Index:

M NLN (1908-1991)

NONE TURNER (1879-1966)
NONE O'CONNOR (1894-1966)
NONE TAYLOR (1905-1984)
NONE BLUEBIRD (1900-1981)

NFN KULWANTI (1930-2001)
NFN RAJPOUL (1921-2001)

D O (1954-1988)
S H O (1967-2000)
M S O (1956-1992)
Y O (1911-1992)
N T O (1953-1991)

Walloon
06-02-2002, 11:35 PM
More from the Social Security Death Index:

KRISTINA NO SURNAME (1971-1998)

GeorgeAECF
06-03-2002, 12:00 AM
Excellent.. my primary reason is to defeat record keeping agencies.. since most will delete a partial name entry..

hee hee

filmyak
06-03-2002, 12:39 AM
From the Penn and Teller website (www.pennandteller.com) FAQ section:

What is Teller's real name?
Teller's full legal name is just Teller. He has one of the few US passports that has been issued with a single name.

Lockfist
06-03-2002, 01:11 AM
I remember recently there was an immigrant from an Asian country whose last name was simply "O". The newspaper story said that he was forced to change his last name to "Oh" because the DMV could not issue a license for an "intial". Sorry that there is a serious lack of supporting documentation for this story... you try doing a google search for "last name o" !

Big Kahuna Burger
06-03-2002, 01:15 AM
you try doing a google search for "last name o" !

Did you put in "last name o" or last name +o" Google ignores single letters unless they have a plus sign in front of them.

Walloon
06-03-2002, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by Lockfist
Sorry that there is a serious lack of supporting documentation for this story... you try doing a google search for "last name o" !

A young Asian-American man with the same last name "O" problem was profiled in People magazine a few years ago. Their photo had him posing inside a giant tire, a cute visual joke.

Flymaster
06-03-2002, 01:58 AM
A student at my school:

Student Directory (http://www.rpi.edu/cgi-bin/hphf?Qname=channakeshav&Jserver=phserver.rpi.edu)

Homepage (http://www.rpi.edu/~chann)

Note: User id's are usually first 5 letters of last name, first letter of first name. So John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt would be Jinglj.

This guy is merely chann.

Seems pretty cool to me.

muttrox
06-03-2002, 09:25 AM
Prince, Edge, Madonna, Bono, Sting... I would imagine some of the many musical folx (sorry, I'm not up on my rap) have actually changed their legal name. Prince in particular, AFAIK, really did legally change his name to that heiroglyphic.

hajario
06-03-2002, 10:02 AM
I had a friend in college who had her name legally changed to Tashina. When she went to the Registrar to change her name for her official school records she told them that her first name was Tashina and that she didn't have a last name. When informed that she had to have a last name she said that Tashina could just as well be her last name and she didn't have a first name. She was officially listed as NFN Tashina.

Haj

Walloon
06-03-2002, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by muttrox
Prince, Edge, Madonna, Bono, Sting... I would imagine some of the many musical folx (sorry, I'm not up on my rap) have actually changed their legal name. Prince in particular, AFAIK, really did legally change his name to that heiroglyphic.

Madonna, no. Sting, no. Prince, yes he was a hieroglyph for a while, but he's back with Prince Rogers Nelson, legally. The Edge, no.

One easy way to tell is to check out the copyright registrations for their songs, in the U.S. Copyright Office online databases.

Jimbrowski
06-03-2002, 10:37 AM
Purely anecdotal, but true:

At SUNY-Potsdam there was a student named Harold Brown, he went by "Hal". He was there about 1986-1988, may have graduated '87 or '88 but I'm not sure.

Hal was quite a character, artistic, and a little flashy. In fact, Hal only went by his first name, to the point he decided to legally change it to HAL.

I professed disbelief, so he showed me his NY drivers license. I saw it with my own two eyes. It said "HAL".

Acsenray
06-03-2002, 10:39 AM
To change your name legally in most U.S. states, you have to plead in court. It's usually not a difficult process, but you do have to go before a judge and give a reason.

You won't be allowed to change your name legally if your purpose is fraudulent. I would think that most judges would consider that a "primary reason is to defeat record keeping agencies" would be fraudulent and wouldn't let you go through with the change.

Other than that, you have to refer to the law of a specific state, although I doubt that any state would have a law explicitly requiring you to have two names.

In the 1985 documentary "Bring on the Night," Sting rebukes a reporter for addressing him as "Gordon," and says that he uses that name only on his legal documents. So, as of the mid-1980s, at least, Sting's real name was still Gordon Matthew Sumner.

I am almost positive that there is no way Prince Rogers Nelson could have legally changed his name in the United States to that stupid symbol thingy.

As far as I know, Madonna's legal name is still Madonna Ciccone.

erislover
06-03-2002, 08:00 PM
Madonna's real name is "goddess". ;)

friedo
06-03-2002, 08:45 PM
I thought goddesses were supposed to be attractive.

regnad kcin
06-03-2002, 09:15 PM
I teach ESL to adults.

There is a group of Vietnamese called the Montagnards. There are many different groups and a bunch of mutually unintelligible languages. Each group has different name rules.

Some of them have no last name, some just single letters. I had a student last semester named Niuh K. I have also had students named Kser Kser and Nem Nem. One assumes with those last two that they had no last name and just doubled their first names to make the immigration people happy.

RK

Big Kahuna Burger
06-03-2002, 09:23 PM
There was a candidate for school board in my town who loved to tell the story of how she got her last name. She was originally fro Inner Mongolia (the part of China bordering Mongolia) and her ethnic group there didn't have last names. She came to America in 1980 and got married and in 1985 she gave birth to the daughter. Until then she hadn't taken her husband's name, but apparentlly she decided on the birth records she'd finally take his last name. She still had no idea about education, though, so she wasn't elected.

GeorgeAECF
06-03-2002, 11:08 PM
acsenray,

Why would not wanting people to take my name and put it in their databse be fraudulant? I do not see the logical connection here. The purpose would not to be to avoid any debts, avoid any crimes, or anything illegal or fraudulant of any sorts. Just to keep my name off of some telephone solicitor's database or DMA (Direct Marketing Agency). If anything, its insuring my privacy from these people.

And, yes, I would be willing to go this far to not be on a DMA database. And have them sell MY information willy-nilly.

Markxxx
06-04-2002, 12:32 AM
Prince didn't change his name to a symbol. You have to be able to spell it. If you are Russian you need to put it in a Roman Alphabet. How you do that is up to you though.

Numbers are not usable. You can be named FIVE but not 5. You can be called Six and Three Eighths but not 6 3/8.

Achernar
06-04-2002, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by acsenray
To change your name legally in most U.S. states, you have to plead in court. It's usually not a difficult process, but you do have to go before a judge and give a reason.I have a friend who recently changed her name back to her maiden name. Her son saw how easy it was—you give the judge a form and $10—so he changed his to something ridiculous just for the heck of it. I heard that they ask for a reason after you change your name like three times.

Telemark
06-04-2002, 01:23 AM
A guy I worked with recently had his name legally changed to Megazone.

I went to school with a brother and sister whose middle names were 7 and 9, respectively, the numerals, not the spelled version.

ianzin
06-04-2002, 03:07 PM
I've met Teller (of Penn & T) and yes, his full name is Teller. It used to be something else, which I won't reveal here, but he managed to change it legally. His passport says Teller. His American Express card says Teller, and when he books hotel rooms or theatre tickets they are booked under the name 'Teller'.

So it can be done.

Walloon
06-04-2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Markxxx
Prince didn't change his name to a symbol. You have to be able to spell it. If you are Russian you need to put it in a Roman Alphabet. How you do that is up to you though.

Numbers are not usable. You can be named FIVE but not 5. You can be called Six and Three Eighths but not 6 3/8.

Wait a minute -- by whose rules? Most name changes are done by state courts, and each state has its own statutes and case law regarding name changes. Beyond that, federal agencies such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Selective Service each have their own policies about what is acceptable.

RickJay
06-04-2002, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by Walloon
A young Asian-American man with the same last name "O" problem was profiled in People magazine a few years ago. Their photo had him posing inside a giant tire, a cute visual joke.

I did basic training with a recruit whose last name was simply "E." Her name tag looked hilarious.

It should be noted that, legally, you can CALL yourself anything you want to. My name is Richard Jones - I don't mind saying that because there's a million of us - but I could call myself Ozzy Ramone if I wanted to, sign contracts under that name, reserve hotel rooms and whatever, provided I'm not doing so to defraud anyone. You could, at least in Ontario, almost certainly finagle a driver's license with Ozzy Ramone with enough effort and legwork without actually legally changing it. Getting your legally recognized name (e.g. birth certificate) changed is a different matter, but if you can't be bothered and want to sign your name "Porkchop D. McGillicuddy," have at it.

With respect to Gordon "Sting" Sumner and Madonna Louise Ciccone, then, there's not a huge, pressing reason for them to change their names, anyway.