Crowquine: why I changed my name

In 1996, I moved to California to join Apple. This was a huge upheaval. My then girlfriend, Helen and I had met five years before at Leeds University. We owned a house together in Britain. We were enjoying life. But the chance to move to the States was something we both embraced.

Helen and I got married in the months before our move. We both kept our family surnames, as neither of us felt a compelling need to adopt the other’s name.

For many years, this was a fine arrangement. I was Dan Crow, just as I always had been. We enjoyed an amazing decade living in San Francisco, then in 2006 we moved to New York where I joined Google.

Then our lives took a sharp right turn. We started a family. In late 2008, Helen was pregnant with our twin daughters and we had to decide on names. Their first names were easy, but what family name would they have?

We still didn’t want to make one of our existing names the dominant one. So we tried various combinations of our surnames, but none felt right. So we decided we would create a completely new surname, one that would belong to all four of us.

As Helen and I are both computer geeks, we of course created a shared Google spreadsheet and started suggesting names. Several were quickly vetoed, but a short list began to emerge. Eventually we decided that Quine was the right choice.

We liked Quine. It was short, we liked that it started with “Q” which is rather unusual. It has a very nice computer science backstory.

So, Quine it was. Our daughters, born in early 2009, have always had the surname Quine. Helen and I took a little longer. Changing your name legally is easy, updating all your documents is quite a lot harder, especially when you have dual citizenship.

Up to 2015, I retained Crow as my surname for work, as all my professional history has been in that name. But it is time, so I have switched over to Dan Quine everywhere.

My older publications and articles are under the name Dan Crow, but from now forward, I am and always will be, Dan Quine.