What does deadname mean?

To call a person by a name they no longer use

Deadname is when a person calls someone by a name they no longer use since they have transitioned. For example, if an old friend called a transitioned woman "Kevin" (her birthname), they deadnamed her.

Often, people deadname others accidentally. For example, a dad may unintentionally deadname his son because he's used to calling him by his birth name.

However, people may also deadname others to reject the idea of them transitioning or as a way to taunt them and hurt their feelings. For example, a bully may deadname a transitioning student in high school.

People may also use deadname as a noun. For example, a woman may share, "I haven't been called by my deadname in 12 years."

Origin of deadname

The slang term "deadname" originated in the 2010s from trans activists. The name comes from the transitioning person adopting a new name and leaving their birth name behind, effectively killing it and leaving it dead.


Jessica is transitioning and adopted the name Jake
Whoa, I didn't know that
Yeah. It's been hard because I keep deadnaming her accidentally
Deadname tweet
Deadname tweet

Related Slang


Updated April 5, 2023

Deadname definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Deadname" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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