+
upworthy

baby names

Canva

Unique baby names are definitely trendy. But it can backfire.

There’s a fine line between a unique name and one that sets kids up for a lifetime of ridicule.

On the one hand, maybe it shouldn’t matter what other people think, and parents should pick a name that suits their preferences, consequences be damned. On the other hand, their kid might not appreciate that kind of bravery after enduring years of bullying during childhood, followed constant confusion at Starbucks and truly unenviable work emails once they’re adults.

And this chapter of parenting can be a little stressful—even more stressful if neither partner can agree on a name they both like.


This was the case for a husband who absolutely hated a name his wife so eagerly wished to give their unborn son. But rather than follow the popular “one no, two yeses” rule of baby-naming, where both parents must agree on the name chosen for a child, the wife instead went full steam ahead with her idea.

According to the husband’s account on Reddit, here’s what happened:

“Me (25m) and my wife (23f) are having our first child together. She is currently 9 months pregnant and could give birth anytime in the next couple of weeks. The only major fight we have had throughout her pregnancy happened a couple days ago, and it was about what we were going to name our kid.”

AITA for refusing to let my wife name our kid something stupid?
byu/Public-Praline-3691 inAmItheAsshole

“It all started when we found out the gender of the baby,” he continued. “After we found out we were having a boy we sat down together and made a list. Almost all of the names she suggested were normal, until the one that caused me to write this post. She suggested we name our son Mune.”

Mune. Like…dune an “m?” Or like “mun?” “Moon?” “Money?” “Mew-nay?” So many questions.

“She told me the name was from this movie she watched when she was younger and that it always stuck with her,” the husband explained, saying that when he told her it felt a “little out there” and was worried their son might get made fun of.

After a little back and forth, the couple agreed to take the name Mune off the list. Or so the dad-to-be thought.

“Later on in her pregnancy her mom decided to throw a baby shower as it was her first grandchild. It was fine for the most part until we started to open the gifts. Most of them were normal baby things like diapers and bottles, until we got to her mom’s gift. My wife opened the gift bag and pulled out a blue handmade blanket. It seemed normal enough at first until my wife unfolded it and low and behold there was the name Mune written on the blanket,” he wrote.

The man had tried to keep cool until after the party was over. However, when he confronted his wife about it, all hell seemed to break loose.

“She got defensive and told me that it was a good name and that I was overreacting about it,” he concluded. “I brought up the earlier points and told her it was a stupid name for a kid and if she wanted to name something Mune so bad she could use the name for a dog. She got upset and called her mom to come get her. After she left she called me and told me she wouldn’t be coming back for a while. Everyone I’ve talked to about this has said I’m not the asshole, but now that my wife has been gone and I've been thinking about it I feel like I could have handled the situation better.”

Yikes.

parenting, baby names, unique baby names

Parenting is nothing is full of compromises

Canva

While the husband might have regretted his actions, public opinion overwhelmingly sided with him.

One mom wrote, “Naming a baby is a 2 yes or 1 no situation. You do not name a child something your partner does not agree with. You find a compromise. This is the start of many necessary compromises in life and it is a total AH move to unilaterally decide on a child's name despite your partner's misgivings…She is absolutely not mature enough for motherhood if she can not find a reasonable compromise on this.”

Another added “this is a child, not a goldfish. There are consequences and repercussions to choosing a name that is very unusual to begin with.... To go behind the other parent's back and tell a grandparent what the name is going to be, that is unacceptable.”

Others noted how the wife and her mom “pulled a power play,” which “in itself is an a**hole move.” In addition, many pointed out that running away from the conflict (leaving to go to mom’s house) might have not been the best way to handle the situation.

“Leaving so she doesn’t have to face the argument is actually a form of abuse if it happens a lot,” one person commented. “She may just have baby brain and be overreacting due to hormones, but that is red flag behavior of it can’t be dismissed for reasons beyond her control.

baby names, parenting

What's ina name? A lot, apparently.

Canva

And if there’s any doubt as to just how damaging weird name can be, take it from this person:

“My name has prevented me from doing anything that would have my name called out in a crowd of people. Never tried sports. Military was a no go. I don't even want to apply for higher positions at work because I don't want to have meetings in closed rooms where people might call my name.

“…Being forced to grow up with a weird name discouraged me from a lot of things and I began resenting my parents for thinking they were being creative. I had to live with it through grade school and high school. The ridicule didn't end until the damage was already done.”

Raising a kid together is full of making compromises, prioritizing healthy communication, and honoring commitments, none of which are easy 100 percent of the time. But if couples can’t learn how to navigate these issues, then disagreeing on names is the least of their problems. We can all agree that parenting as true partners means men often need to step up their games. But it takes two for parenting to truly flourish and that includes respect your partner and making choices that are good for the entire family. Together.


This article originally appeared on 10.19.23

An influencer and a baby.

There is an arms race amongst parents these days to choose the most original name for their children possible. While it’s important to instill individuality into a child, studies show that people given unusual names at birth are more likely to suffer setbacks in their social and professional lives.

It can even make it harder for them to find a date.

Knowing that his daughter was setting her child up for a hard life by giving him a very unusual name, a dad staged an intervention—in person and online—to get her to realize what she was doing.

The father, known as MulledMarmite on Reddit, shared his dramatic story on the AITAH forum. He says this daughter’s interest in selecting such an unusual name comes from influencer culture.


“She is obsessed with this influencing thing, everything being about the numbers. Her husband has been evicted to the attic, because he ‘ruins her aesthetic’ that is for the videos. He isn't allowed to bring his items or clothes outside of it, and whenever he as much as forgets a cup on the table, she will scream,” the father wrote.

influencer, influencer baby, fathers

An influencer takes a selfie on the couch.

via Laura Chouette/Unsplash

“And now she is pregnant, which means it isn't just her and my son in law's problem, it is also a problem for my grandson,” he continued. “She wants no toys in the house for similar reasons, and has banned us from buying any. She doesn't want colourful baby clothes, because the baby will stand out on her videos too much. And then... Then there is the name. Rawbhynne Marveigh Lynter.”

He later explained that Rawbhynne is pronounced “robin,” like the bird and the two middle names were composed of the names of both grandparents. He didn’t disclose the surname. She added that she wanted the non-traditional spelling for Robin because he won’t be a “sidekick” like the Boy Wonder in the Batman comics.

In another post, the father admitted that if his daughter was having a girl, she’d be named Jewleighaynnah, pronounced like “Juliana.”

"She doesn't care that he will get bullied, that his name will be mispronounced, misspelled, and a nightmare on any official capacity. That he will grow to be an adult with the name, instead of staying as a baby," the father added.

The daughter’s reluctance to change her son’s name and obsessive commitment to being an influencer caused the dad to stage an intervention involving “everyone we both know.” He also showed her his Reddit posts to let her know what the general public thinks about the name.

The commenters on Reddit were explicit that Rawbhynne Marveigh Lynter was a lousy choice for a name.

"Her kids are PEOPLE. They’re going to apply for college and jobs and official documentation with those names. She’s treating them like props or dolls for her amusement," biwaterbender wrote. "It’s not about the NAME being unique, it’s about the PERSON. If she cares about how easily her kids navigate through life, then she should at least try to spell it more normally, even if it’s a weird bastard amalgamation name."

The good news is that the father’s online and in-person interventions were successful and the daughter decided to choose a name from her husband’s culture. “One of my sons suggested the name Adler, as well as Arne, Arvid and Ari from my SIL's culture. And she agreed to one of them,” the dad wrote.

The daughter and her husband also had a special Valentine’s Day ceremony where they recommitted to one another and she decided to return to therapy. She has also chosen to put her influencer career on the sidelines and focus on creating art.

A family fights over a baby name.

When it comes to parenting, the second most important decision—after whether to have a child or not—is choosing a name for the kid. Even though we live in times where parents are getting more and more creative about picking a name for their children, those with a more common name have a greater chance of being socially accepted than those without.

According to Psychology Today, grade-school kids with highly unusual names or names with negative associations tend to be “less popular” than those with more “desirable” names. Later in life, people with “unpopular or unattractive” names have more difficulty finding romantic partners.

A 23-year-old mother-to-be wanted to name her son Gaylord and had her family's full, passionate support, but her husband, 24, and his side of the family were firmly against the idea. The woman was looking for validation and posted about the dilemma on Reddit's AITA forum.


“In my family, our genealogy is extremely important. The firstborn son since the 1800's has been given this name. I'm well aware it's a stigmatized name today, so that's why I have agreed to using a short form,” the woman wrote.

Understanding that her son would be bullied for being called Gaylord, she decided that it would be his legal first name, but could go by Gail. Her family believed that it was acceptable for him to be known as Gail initially, but as society grows more tolerant, will be called Gaylord when he gets older.

“They see the backlash over the name today as a fad that will eventually disappear, and I agree seeing how accepting each generation tends to become,” she continued. “When society stops being so immature about it, he can start using the full name.”

The father wouldn’t even consider naming his son Gaylord, or Gail, for that matter. His family went a step further and said that naming him Gaylord or Gail would be “abusive.”

"My in-laws are telling me that even Gail isn't an acceptable boy's name and that I need to 'get with the times' and choose something more appropriate," she continued. “What happened to respecting our elders and traditions? His family doesn't have any naming traditions, so it should fall to my family that does. How could I be expected to break a centuries-old family tradition?”

The commenters were overwhelmingly against the mother’s decision.

"Use your imagination. A boy named Gaylord goes to his first day of school. The teacher does the roll call. ‘GAYLORD SMITH?’ Class breaks into giggles. Embarrassed boy says, ‘It's Gail.’ Class giggles some more, since Gail is usually a girl's name. Boy has no chance of fitting in with his classmates. His fate is sealed. He is a social pariah for life. Don't do this to him. Please,” one user wrote.

"Your name is the first thing people know about you. It’s the cover page of how people perceive you. Even if you think Gaylord will just appear on the birth certificate, you’re wrong. His legal name will have to be used on official documents, at school, on his license and passport. It will appear at the top of every resume he hands out. It’s not as simple as putting a name on paper. It’s how he is going to appear to the whole world. Gaylord is totally stigmatized and has been for decades. It’s not going away, sorry." Elinbeth added.

“Some traditions reach the point where they are no longer suitable for modern times. This is 100% that time. Pick another name," CashieBashie wrote.

After the post went viral, the mother shared that both sides of the family have tentatively agreed on a name.

“We managed to work out that Gale Gaylord would be a reasonable compromise, with Gale being the complete first name, and Gaylord being the middle name,” the woman wrote. “My husband can then add a second middle name after Gaylord if he wants. Grandpa is especially not impressed that it's being demoted to a middle name, but he did say he understands the pressure I'm facing here.”

Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.

@rubyyvillarreal

TikTok · R U B Y V I L L A R R E A L

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”

@rubyyvillarreal

Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”


This article originally appeared on 4.26.23