Judge Jay-Jay delivers her verdict on changing your name

More FM radio diva Jay-Jay Feeney delivers her verdict on your biggest dilemmas

Name dropping

Hi Jay-Jay,

My seven-year-old niece has decided she no longer wants to be called by her birth name Mia and would like to be known as Penelope. I really struggle with this as we have only known her as Mia and it’s a very hard concept to take on. My sister and I do not have the best relationship, and I know this will cause a fight if I am to go against what the child wants. It seems to have been led by the child as she has never felt her birth name suited her. Help!

Confused, via email

Hi Confused,

If you want sympathy, you have come to the wrong place, I’m afraid. My birth name is Jacqulyn-Joanne Barbara Feeney. Mum always wanted to call me Jay-Jay, but Dad wanted it to be short for something. I was called Jay-Jay anyway, but when I went to high school, I didn’t like the name, so I asked everyone to call me Jacqui. For the next two years, I was known as Jacqui until, at 15, I decided Jay-Jay suited me better. In 2014, I changed my name by deed poll to Jay-Jay Feeney.

Your niece wants to change her name too and her mother supports it, so I don’t see what the problem is. Unfortunately, since you are the aunty, it’s actually not your business. I’m sorry to sound so harsh, but that’s the truth.

A recent study in Britain shows that 32% of people hate their birth name, so it’s not uncommon. I’m sure many of your friends go by a nickname or something not quite their birth name and you don’t have an issue with that, do you? When we introduce ourselves to people, we use the name we want to be known as. We have to respect what people want to be called – and that includes your niece.

Sorry, Jay-Jay

A problem shared is a problem halved! Send your sticky issues to Jay-Jay – email [email protected].

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