Full disclosure: My given name at birth was Thomas Dick. I was the oldest of five (4 boys, 1 girl), all of whom were born with this last name. Not only was I given shit because my last name was Dick, but also because my name was Tom Dick. You know the saying, "every Tom, Dick, and Harry". Well, many people, upon hearing my name, would ask, "Where's Harry?" Hilarious, innit? I would also frequently hear, "What's your sister's name, Anita?" (everybody in grade school was basically a comedian). I got used to it, however, and didn't think much of it after a time. My mother said she named me Tom because she liked the name (it also belonged to her older brother).
I grew up, went to college, and decided that I wanted to change my name I could've changed it to anything, but wanted it to be something similar to what I had. One Sunday afternoon, while watching the Minnesota Vikings play a football game, I noticed a guy on the Vikings whose jersey said Dixon (he was gigantic, his first name being David). Wheels started turning. So a few months later, I went to the government center and changed my last name from Dick to Dixon. It was the end of an age. .
But that's not the end of the story.
What would my siblings do? Well, my sister, Carrie, married about 6 years before me and took her husband's name (shocker). One of my brothers was married just a few weeks before me and also changed his name in part due to pressure from his betrothed. He changed his to Dickson. The next brother to get married (in 1999), Matt, took the unorthodox (but progressive) strategy of taking his wife's name. (Note: Matt's wife is actually the sister of Carrie's husband, so both Carrie and Matt have the same last name).
During this time, there were many whispers and murmurings that my dad was getting pretty P.O.'d as one by one, we abandoned the family name. Thankfully for him, the youngest, Mike, opted to keep the name, warts and all, when he got married in 2000. His last name may be Dick, but to stick with that name for a lifetime...that takes balls!