Hi! So my name is Justin Danielle Chapman. And I’m a 25 year old mother of two boys, Henry McRae and Beckett Charles. As you can see my name is extremely manly and I want to change it. Since I was a little girl I’ve not liked it…. I have story after story of the issues I’ve had of having the name Justin as a girl. For a season I tried to go by Danielle but it just didn’t fit, and when people just glance at my full name they see Justin Daniel… My husbands name is Barnabas and sadly when we go places and have to sign things people think my name is Barnabas and he is Justin ( which is crazy ). I get things in the mail all the time Mr. Justin. I have to ALWAYS explain my name to people and even spell it to them over the phone cause they just can’t believe that it’s Justin. I get called Justine, Justice, Jessica, etc all the time and don’t like those for me. People have asked me quite often “what were your parents thinking”!
I am very feminine and just want a feminine name…
So my questions are:
Have you ever heard of a girl named Justin?
Should I change it and go through the hassle of it?
And what do I change it to?
My husband and I are big on the meaning of names and so by changing I’m changing the meaning, should I care about that?
Because of our last name I’ve named my boys old English heritage names. I love them. If they had been girls they would have been Ametta, Eliza, or Adelaide calling her Ada ( a-duh ).
I love very unique, more out of the normal names, but do I do something drastic or just simple?
Here is a list of what I’ve been thinking for me:
Jane Emmerson Chapman ( favorite so far ) still staying with a J so that its not to drastic.
But I like-
Your thoughts and advice on names and what to do would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so so much :)
I think for me the most important thing would be to choose a name that could reasonably have been mine. So I might start by talking to your parents if that’s an option, and asking what other names they considered for you, and seeing if any of those feel like they’d fit. Or is there a story behind your name, a story from which additional name options could be harvested?
Without knowing that information, my first suggestion is one you mentioned but not from your list: Justine. It’s a small and simple change, and anyone who saw the old version wouldn’t need an explanation because they’d assume it was a typo. And because it’s the feminine version of the name Justin, you wouldn’t be changing name meanings. The name Justine was in common-but-not-overly-common usage the year you were born, so it won’t cause the startle effect of using a name that’s currently fashionable but wasn’t used at all back then. (For example, the year you were born, the name Justin was used for girls far more often than the names Elle and Emerson were.)
Justina would also be pretty.
But I see you don’t like the name Justine for yourself, so my next choice would be Jane from your list. It’s simple enough, gives you the same initial, and makes for a quick and reasonable explanation: “My parents named me Justin; I’ve changed it to Jane.” I think if you go with something like Windsor, you’re going to get a lot of people reacting very similarly to the way they react to the name Justin—with the added issue of having to explain that it’s a name you chose for yourself. I think people can be a little eye-rolly about self-chosen names that seem too fancy. It seems like there’s a world of difference between “Yeah, my parents named me Windsor” and “I didn’t like my given name, so I changed it to Windsor.”
June would be another good choice. It was fairly unusual the year you were born, but is familiar enough in general, and similar enough to your given name, that I think it would work well.
Or Julia might be my favorite. Julia Chapman.
I also wonder about sort of mashing your first and middle together to get something like Joelle.
Or perhaps we should look for a match from the second half of the name: Kristin, Kerstin, Kierstin, Tina.
The most important thing, though, is that the name feel natural to you. Can you imagine your husband calling you the name? your friends? your family? Picture yourself calling to make an appointment and giving each name; which ones feel most comfortable? Picturing introducing yourself. Picture filling in a family tree, or filling in school forms for your kids, or putting the name on a wedding invitation or a resume. Does it feel like YOU?
It may be that you’ll decide to change it but that you’ll have to wait until the right name presents itself. When you think you have the right name, I’d suggest giving it a nice long trial period before legally changing it and telling everyone to use it. The worst, I think, would be to go through the hassle of changing it and then find that THAT name didn’t work either, and be right back to the list-making. One name change is about the maximum I can imagine asking family and friends to adjust to.
If you want a Windsor/Hollister type of name, I suggest looking in your family tree for good surnames. The explanation, “Oh, it was my grandmother’s maiden name” is much easier than getting into the whole story of the name change.
You could also look in your family tree for first names.
I’d also suggest looking at the Social Security Administration’s baby name site to see what names were being used the year you were born. A name will attract less attention if it seems reasonable for your age.
If meaning is important to you, I suggest looking for a meaning similar to the meaning of Justin (“just, fair”). Those are unfortunately in short supply (and hard to look up, since “fair” can also mean pale-faced/haired), but perhaps a meaning having to do with honor, trust, fidelity, etc., would feel similar enough.