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Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

baby names, reddit namenerds, marriage fight

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"


The posters on the forum overwhelmingly supported her.

"I can see hubby being a bit of a stickler because he wants to keep the family name, but I find it a bit baffling that he doesn’t get why it would be a concern,” Babelight wrote. “If you have to club him over the head with it, indicate that for children/young persons hearing the name, they would equate it to someone’s last name being ‘Pooh,’ ‘Vaginah’ or ‘Peenis/Peniss.’”

Other posters noted that her opinion is just as valid as her husband’s when naming their child.

"You are absolutely not being unreasonable. Your husband's last name is objectively pretty awful, and of course, you don't want your child to have it. Also, even if it wasn't that bad, you would be still entitled to at least suggest that your child takes your last name since you are also going to be their parent,” SwordfishBrilliant 40 wrote. “Also, he needs to think about his child, let's be honest, their life is going to be a lot easier with a ‘normal’/not bad’ last name."

Having a last name like Butt opens a child up to being bullied, which can lead to feelings of rejection, exclusion, isolation, diminished self-esteem and long-term mental health struggles, including depression and anxiety.

"I knew a kid named Zack Butt. Teased relentlessly. At every age," Kwam26 confirmed.

There is also the practical problem of living in a digital world where algorithms often filter out names deemed offensive. This issue is known as the “Scunthorpe problem.” Back in the late ‘90s, people from the town of Scunthorpe in the UK couldn’t sign up on AOL because a filter blocked out the name due to the offensive term that sits in the middle of it.

The husband is proud of his family heritage and, possibly, of having learned to live with a name that would make most people chuckle. But it’s also understandable that his wife has a real problem bringing a child up in this world with a name that will make them the butt of jokes throughout their lives.

One wonders why this wasn’t discussed before the couple got married.


This article originally appeared on 9.5.23

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