Wearing a name badge as part of my uniform at work means that without fail, I’ll get asked daily ‘what an unusual name, what’s it short for?’, which are swiftly followed by ‘oh, just Lottie, really?’. I’m so used to it now, but as a lot of people have asked me about this recently, I just thought I’d shed some light on the deal with my name.
I have always only ever been referred to as Lottie. In fact, there’s a home video of me as a baby in the hospital on the day I was born where my mum calls me Charlotte, and I think that’s possibly the last time she ever did. But yes, my birth certificate does state my full name as Charlotte Louise Martin.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the name Charlotte. I know lots of them and I don’t dislike their name at all, its just never been my name. I have always been Lottie, have never identified as anything else. Throughout primary school, it was known that I was always Lottie, and it wasn’t until secondary school that the whole ‘full name’ thing started to really bother me.
For starters, there were two other Charlottes in my class. It was, in fact, the 4th most popular girls name in the year I was born, so that was always going to happen, but that didn’t bother me at all. What I didn’t like was having to explain to every teacher of every subject in every year why I never responded to my name when the register was called. MY NAME IS LOTTIE, MR GIBBS. Honestly, you could shout Charlotte in my directed a hundred times and I wouldn’t even realise you were talking to me; its like calling a dog by the wrong name – no response.
It just wasn’t my name. I always knew that I would eventually ditch it, although I think a lot of my friends never believed I would go through with it, but after turning 18, I decided it was time to bite the bullet.
Changing it was actually super straight forward, would you believe I actually bought it through Wowcher or Groupon or something?! It was done through UK Deed Poll, and was as simple as filling out a quick form online, then having the official document signed with a witness, and it was done. Lottie Louise Martin.
The hard part was changing everything else!
As well as the obvious things like passport, drivers licence and bank details, I also had to inform my employer, doctors surgery, dentist, opticians, Paypal, credit card companies etc. Some changes were easier to make than others; my passport and drivers licence required sending off my official document and including a return address envelope for it to be sent back, while my bank just took a photocopy of my document and checking it against my new driving licence. You can actually purchase official copies of the original document, should you need them for filing against lots of things, but I’ve managed to get by with just the original – although its a little worn now!
So that’s me. I still get asked on a daily basis what my name is short for, and I still get all sorts of comments for it, but that’s been my life for almost 22 years (except, y’know, when I was too young to realise or care) and its just something I’ve learnt to put up with. What’s in a name, and all that jazz..
I hope you found this post interesting, I’d love to hear from anyone who’s been through something similar so drop me a comment!