bad baby names

Is it always best to be honest with friends?

A big parenting trend over the past few decades is people giving their children names that help them stand out instead of fit in. Social scientists say that a big reason for the change in America is the rise of individualism.

“As American culture has become more individualistic, parents have favored giving children names that help them stand out—and that means more unique names and fewer common names,” Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, told the BBC.

However, being an individualist comes with some risks. One can be an iconoclastic trendsetter or seen as desperate, inauthentic and cringeworthy.

The move towards unique names has caused controversy in families, especially among the parents-to-be and their in-laws. But, as you’ll see in this story, it can cause problems among friends, too.

A Reddit user who was once known as Shayleigh recently shared her conflict with a friend on the AITA forum to see whether she was in the right.

baby names, unique baby names, bad baby names

Friends fight over baby names.

via Liza Summer/Pexels

“One of my friends found out she was pregnant a few months ago, and she's really excited to be a mother. I'm happy for her and think she'd make a good mom, but there's one problem; she wants her baby's name to be unique and special, but the way she's going about it is terrible,” she wrote.

“What I mean is, the name she plans on using is godawful. If it's a boy, she's going to name him ‘Daynger’ (yes, spelled like that to be unique), and if it's a girl, she's going to name her ‘Tinkerbelle,’” she continued.

This woman not only wanted to be unique by naming her child after a Disney character, but she combined the names of two characters, Tinkerbell from “Peter Pan” and Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

The woman formerly known as Shayleigh leveled with her friend, saying her child would get bullied if they were named Daynger or Tinkerbelle. The former Shayleigh wasn’t just a wet blanket, she knew what it was like first-hand to have a unique name. After all, she was bullied for being named Shayleigh by being called “Gayleigh.” She was also the victim of her parents using the “leigh” for “ly” naming convention, which many see as cringeworthy. Her name caused her so much stress that at 19, she had it changed.

According to Stop Bullying, being targeted by bullies can cause anxiety and depression and the effects can lead into adulthood.

The honest remark led to a falling out among the friends.

“She got really upset and told me I was being unsupportive and I was a shi**y friend,” the woman formerly known as Shayleigh wrote. “She's been ignoring my texts ever since, and it's been more than a week. I'm starting to feel kind of guilty over what I said.”

The commenters on the post overwhelmingly supported the poster for being honest with her friend.

"A baby’s name should work for them from birth to school to career to retirement. She’s only thinking of how cute a baby Daynger/Tinkerbelle would be and not thinking of how much her tween will hate her for that name," Regular-Switch454 wrote. "She needs a reality check. She’s naming adults here. Those names won’t set her kids up for their best shot at life and she needs to accept that," Thoughtinspace added.

The good news was that the friends eventually reconciled and had a long talk about the woman’s baby name ideas.

‘“I carefully brought up some of your points, and suggested using the name "Belle’ for a girl, with ‘Tinkerbelle’ as a nickname; she thinks it's cute and liked the idea,” the woman formerly known as Shayleigh wrote. “She did decide to use ‘Daynger’ (still spelled like that) as a middle name, which isn't nearly as bad as using it for a first name. On the bright side, the kid can tell people, ‘Danger is my middle name.’”