Whats in a name?

  CatTrading 16:17 15 Jan 2008

Mouth O'Mighty, HMP Holloway, Jet Black and Daddy Fantastic.

They may sound like amateur wrestlers, but they are actually among thousands of new names legally adopted as Britons welcome in the New Year with a new identity.

The UK Deed Poll Service is one of several companies preparing for a record number of name-changing requests this year.

"We've seen applications up by around 20% year-on-year, and 2008 already looks like it could set a new record. We had nearly 40,000 people last year who changed their names with us," said a spokeperson.

Mouth O'Mighty, formerly Chris Gray from Bingley in Yorkshire, was one of them. He even changed his middle names too.

"I just thought it would be funny if the police stopped me and asked me for my middle name, I could answer truthfully 'Who Wants To Know'," he told Sky News Online.

"I've not changed my passport just in case, but I've got no holidays booked. I'm going to Center Parcs in February, but you don't need a passport to go there. Going into the bank was fun. The cashier just looked at me and said 'Is this some sort of joke?'"

Despite the revelry, he admitted he won't be O'Mighty for long.

"I'm changing it back in the summer. It's just a once in a lifetime; a bit of fun."

There are lots of reasons why someone might reasonably want to change their name. Perhaps to revert to their maiden name after a divorce, or to add a surname following marriage. Others simply look to dump a birth name they don't like.

London-based glamour model Natalie Springer said she changed her name to Jet Black for professional reasons - and the swap makes her feels like a different person.

"I believe that since changing my name I behave in a different manner, I'll behave more like a star.

"Before, if I was trying to book a table at a restaurant, they might not have given me a table, but I get a table a lot more quickly now, people treat me like a star. I feel a lot more important."

David Annal, from the National Archives at Kew, said there is actually no legal need to use deed poll for name changes.

"If you want to call yourself Fred Bloggs, all you need to do is start calling yourself that," he told Sky News Online.

"Provided you're not doing it to escape some debt or some other criminal reason, that's enough. Admittedly though, these days it might be quite advantageous to have a legal record of it too, particularly for the UK Passport Office."

But sometimes even a legal document isn't enough.

Samantha Holloway from London decided to change her name to HMP to match the famous women's prison.

"The bank was alright with it, but the Passport Office wouldn't do it because they said HMP wasn't a real name. Instead, there's a bit at the back of my passport saying 'also known as HMP'. I was really annoyed about that."

  lisa02 16:48 15 Jan 2008

Jet is a very cool first name, much better than Lisa. LOL.

  sunny staines 16:57 15 Jan 2008

I met a wet indian with the surname "Blackman" and a oriental i think malayan called "Fuk yoo Man" and a lady with surname "Balls"

  Bingalau 17:09 15 Jan 2008

lisa02. Is your husband's name White by any chance? You could then be known as "The Minstrels".

  Bingalau 17:20 15 Jan 2008

sunny staines. I suppose he was known as "Soggy Blackman" ?

  SB23 17:25 15 Jan 2008

Just thought I'd mention my surname is "Blackman".
I wonder if Honour Blackman is related to me somewhere down the line? I've always wanted to know since a boy.

  cream. 17:44 15 Jan 2008

That is so funny.

"I met a wet indian"

  SANTOS7 17:56 15 Jan 2008

sunny staines

That is so funny.

"I met a wet indian" Wasn't "Billy Two Rivers" per chance...

  sunny staines 18:28 15 Jan 2008

it was a keyboard on a lappy that did not register the "s" i must check before sending.

another amusing name most phone books contain the name Pratt and the initial "A"

  Forum Editor 18:45 15 Jan 2008

at a restaurant, they might not have given me a table, but I get a table a lot more quickly now, people treat me like a star. I feel a lot more important."

Oh dear. There really are some truly sad people out there.

  georgemac © 19:15 15 Jan 2008

she may be able to get a table in a restuarant, but I googled both Jet Black and Natalie Springer and know which result I preferred!

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