Part of the joy of inviting new children into the world is choosing a special name for them.
But some parents choose particularly interesting names, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Deadlybutterknife was shocked at the choice of names one of her coworkers chose for her children.
But when she was criticized for her response, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have kept her feelings to herself.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling a coworker that her choice(s) of name for her twins is idiotic?”
The OP was recently introduced to her coworker’s twins.
“A co-worker of mine (39 [Female]) recently had twin boys after a long battle with infertility. She has made her first appearance in the office with her new babies to introduce them to our team.”
“When asked what she had named the boys (as up until this appearance she was undecided), she told me that she was naming them ‘Sean.'”
“When I asked about the other baby, she said, ‘No, they are both Sean, one with an ‘A’ and one with an ‘E,’ so Sean and Seen.'”
“The names both pronounced ‘Sean’ like ‘Shawn.'”
The OP saw more and more issues with this.
“This co-worker’s last name is also ‘Sean.’ When I pointed this out, she said, ‘Yes, like Tom Tom or Jay Jay.'”
“No, they don’t have middle names, she wanted their names to be like ‘Tom Tom or Jay Jay.'”
“I immediately and without thinking said, ‘That is the most idiotic thing I’ve heard, and it’s going to be so confusing.'”
The OP was criticized for her response.
“A bunch of people laughed and a bunch immediately looked away.”
“We are on good terms, we have worked together across three companies over 12 years, and she just said, ‘It’ll grow on you.'”
“This is apparently not the first round of negative feedback she has had.”
“After she left, I got a few text messages saying it’s not my place to comment on people’s choice of name.”
“Am I the asshole for saying that that is a terrible naming idea?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP was right to stand up on the twins’ behalf.
“If they were normal stupid twin names like Harry and Potter or Spider and Man or something I’d say Y T A and mind your own business.”
“However, I have to say NTA because that really is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.” – scampwild
“NTA. Someone really should have told her they were stupid names before she used them. The names are dumb now and will age badly. She set these kids up for grief.”
“Maybe it’s rude to tell her the truth, but someone had to.” – JurassicParkFood
“Grief and bullying are in the future for these innocent twins. Other children will have no qualms or self-censoring when calling out the stupidity of the names.”
“OP, rudeness is nothing compared to what is coming. This is a case where honestly should trump politeness. NTA.” – duendepiecito
Others were appalled the mother ever thought this was okay.
“That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Those poor, poor boys.”
“In the UK, there are two famous footballers whose father’s name is Neville Neville. It is a well-known joke throughout the country, that this is his name and he is ridiculed for it.”
“So are his sons. I can’t IMAGINE also being a twin with the exact same name but one of them is spelled totally wrong.”
“This woman is inherently selfish for doing this to her children. I am shocked it was allowed when she registered the births!”
“Sweden has a law banning names which will cause offense or discomfort to the child, and Denmark has a law banning names that aren’t on a list of pre-approved names. And this nonsense is why!” – Accomplished-Cheek59
“It’s not even the bullying that would affect them the most. It’s the fact that these children share one single identity. They will not be independent beings from each other until they are eighteen and able to change their names.”
“Think about it; Shawn and Shawn? Every time one of their names is called, they’re both going to have to go. When one of them gets their first girlfriend and she calls ‘Shawn,’ the other twin will go and not realize anything is off until she kisses him.”
“An auntie calling one to give him something, only to say, ‘No, not you, this is Other Shawn’s present.'”
“A mother calls, ‘Shawn’ over and invites him to her son’s birthday sleepover, only to realize she invited the wrong Shawn and have to rescind the invite.”
“This woman did not deem her children worthy of being gifted independent personalities. There will be untold problems at school, registering for things, setting up bank accounts—banks get people’s identities mixed up when their names aren’t even the same, let alone when they’re only a single letter off, pronounced the same, and in the same family.”
“That, in my opinion, will affect them a lot more than the bullying will. Their mother, the one person in the world supposed to love them unconditionally, not deeming them worthy enough to view them as separate beings?”
“A child can leave the bullies at school—the family at home is where their safe place is meant to be. But in this circumstance, Sean and Seen will only come home to more of the same ‘Shawn! No, not you! OTHER Shawn! Oh, fine, you do this then. I know this is Shawn’s chore but you’re here now.'” – bakersd0z3n
“Maybe they won’t even bother. I’m imagining how this even plays out in their home in the first few weeks with their own parents, let alone later on in life with strangers.”
“‘Shawn is crying. When was the last time he was fed?'”
“‘I just fed Shawn with an E. That must be Shawn with an A.'”
“‘No Shawn with an A was fed. Shawn with an E had a diaper change.'”
“‘Did you say Shawn with an E had a dirty diaper? I thought he was constipated for the past 3 days while surprisingly Shawn with an A had double the amount of dirty diapers.'”
“There’s no way the parents can realistically keep this up without resorting to calling them ‘Shawn with an E’/’Shawn with an A’ or if they aren’t identical ‘Blue-eyed Sean’/’Brown-eyed Seen’ which is really dehumanizing and completely defeats the point of having names in the first place.”
“You might as well just call your kids Kid A and Kid B which is essentially what will happen unless they come up with something a bit more distinct.” – HiddenMaragon
Some pointed out long-term issues with these names.
“NTA. Good luck keeping their records apart for the next 80 years. I feel sorry for their teachers, friends, future spouses, creditors, and law enforcement.” – cassowary32
“NTA – it’s going to be massive problems for these kids once they are adults… imagine credit reporting, financial problems, or if one of them breaks a law… just a nightmare.” – DrugGirlMedCpht
“Peers are eventually going to distinguish them by their traits.”
“Handsome Sean, Smart Sean, Funny Sean. But if one of them becomes one of those, that leaves the other Sean being the opposite of that.”
“Can’t imagine how it would feel for a kid to grow up feeling like Ugly Sean, or Stupid Sean, or Boring Sean.” – Potato_times_potato
“Maybe I’m also an AH but if she can’t handle the backlash for her kids’ names, think about how her boys will feel growing up. Might as well start now because they’re in for a childhood of jabs and jokes!”
“Hopefully, she legally changes them after a good night’s sleep in a few months.” – BurritoOnTheBeach
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“My co-worker’s husband (who is also a co-worker) saw the post last night. They had a good chuckle and ended up agreeing with the replies that the naming process wasn’t ideal, and maybe the overwhelming process of having two newborns left them too tired to think straight.”
“Despite the fact they had already sent off the paperwork to birth deaths and marriages office (the place you lodge births for in Australia), they called up the Brisbane office and the paperwork had only been provisionally processed (due to Xmas time), and they have used this time to reassess.”
“They have withdrawn the paperwork (FOR SEEN ONLY) and will think of a new name, but they are keeping Sean Sean as they like it.”
“I have also been reported to HR for making this Reddit post (not by the parents, they think it’s hilarious) so well well, if it’s isn’t the consequences of my actions.”
“They also want everyone to know that ‘calling her an idiot isn’t the worst thing I’ve said to her this year, and while I’ll definitely an AH, that’s more of an in general thing than tied to this situation.'”
“Happy holidays to everyone.”
While the OP was being reprimanded for what she said to her coworker, the subReddit thought she did the right thing by speaking up.
Criticizing a parent for a name choice inherently would not be the right move, but in a situation like this where the twins’ identities and even legal futures are put into question, it seems justified.