My adopted sister is married and took her husband's name. She includes her former last name (my last name) in parentheses on her work email. In this case, née wouldn't be an accurate designation (although it would be practical).

Is there a term/word meaning 'name I had previously' that doesn't indicate 'I was born with this name'?

For clarity:

  • née Jane Yu
  • (grew up as) Jane Smith
  • (Current name) Jane Naik
  • Name as on office email: Jane Naik (_?_ Smith)

To be clear, I am not confused about the fact that née could be used correctly in this situation. I am asking whether there is an alternate term that doesn't literally mean "born" that could be used in short form, such as the email example I gave above.

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    Nov 30, 2015 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Consider, formerly.

in time past; in an earlier period or age; previously. Random House

Jane Miller formerly Smith WikiTree


Consider previously:

Debra Trent (previously Smith)


previously: at an earlier time or formerly


  • 1
    Interesting. Perfect example of evolution of meaning, that (since "née" literally means "born", at least in the original French). Nov 15, 2015 at 14:11

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