Names are important.
That’s why a name is the first gift we give to our children.
Of course, just like any gift, there’s always the chance that they won’t like it or that it will clash with some other aspect of their lives.
The trick is to pick a name, to select the gift, that we hope will match the child best and this can lead to contention among those choosing.
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) NeverlyLane when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for refusing to name my kid a ridiculous name?”
OP began with spectacular news.
“My (28m) wife (27f) is pregnant with our first baby, and I’m so thrilled to be a father!”
“We recently had some scans, and found out that it’s a girl.”
The name game.
“We had an agreement that we wouldn’t talk about names until we knew the gender, so of course on our way home from the gynecologist, we immediately started discussing.”
“We’ve talked about this a little before, and we agreed that we both have veto power. I suggested my all-time favorite name, Anna.”
“My wife suggested Caeleigh (pronounced Kailey, and yes she spelled it out).”
“I vetoed it.”
“She suggested another name, Ryleigh (Riley, and again she did spell it out). I vetoed it and suggested Riley spelled the normal way.”
“She then suggested Novalynn.”
“I vetoed, suggesting Nora as an alternative. She again refused.”
“This continued a few more times, until she snapped at me, calling me unreasonable for vetoing all her picks.”
“She said, ‘What’s the point in talking about it if you veto all my choices, you controlling a-hole!'”
“I responded, ‘Maybe if you picked something normal, we might get somewhere, but you won’t even try to compromise!'”
“She looked really hurt, and we drove the rest of the way home in silence.”
“Now I’m wondering if I’m in the wrong for vetoing her picks and for what I said to her.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
What’s in a name?
“I have a relatively common name with an odd spelling, and I hate it.”
“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Constantly having to explain it when I go to a new doctor’s office, the DMV, ordering a bloody coffee!”
“It’s a never-ending conversation starter from hell.”
“Not to mention that TSA and airport security have it out for me the second they see it on my passport.”
“Do not name your kid something weird because you’re setting them up for this life.”
“*Feel free to show this comment to your wife.” ~ munichbish
“I have a common surname that can be spelled two different ways (one letter different), and both are so common that there are multiple streets and businesses that use that name in my city.”
“I still have to spell my name out every time as my version is slightly less common, and it’s a pain in the arse.”
“My partner has a genuinely weird name, and when he orders coffees or takeaway, he just says ‘Jack’ as his name as he can’t be bothered repeating himself over and over as well as spelling it out.”
“Don’t do it!”
“But also calmly talk to your partner about why she wants a weird spelling of a name and the effects it’ll have on the kid” ~ DrPetradish
“This was the final test for our baby names!!”
“My husband would put our food order in under our boy name (and nicknames!) pick, and I would put in our girl name/nicknames pick at like Starbucks.”
“It was to make sure that we didn’t get any side eyes and to see if people would spell it the way we were planning on (AKA the normal ways lol). It worked really well!” ~ music-and-lyrics
Kids can be cruel.
“I’m a teacher.”
“The things some of these ‘creative’ parents name their kids.”
“Like I TOTALLY understand your parents’ baby name book had like five names in it and wanting something a bit different.”
“But like, normal.”
“Do you have ANY IDEA how badly some of them get teased for their names?!”
“You can have a totally normal name like Michael, and it’s still ‘lol, ask him if he likes it’ or ‘Michael Michael motorcycle”‘.
“This sh*t is compounded when you have to go through life named after a shape, and no, I’m not kidding.” ~ Flamesoutofmyears
“Seriously – doesn’t she realize this is a human child who will have to make it through relentless teasing? Who will have to learn to spell her own name? She’s having a kid not a teacup chihuahua.” ~ Strict-Ad-7099
My husbands niece is named everleigh spelt that way, and she haaatteeeess it. She’s been teased her entire life! ~ JackeeMLO
Communication and Compromise.
“NTA for wanting a normal name.”
“NAH for wanting a special name for your little one.”
“My cousin was named Caeleigh..it ended up just being Callie.”
“She was teased a lot at school. That is also how she eventually wrote it on her books and assignments and stuff. She doesn’t like Caeleigh one bit.”
“Although I personally quite like the Ryleigh.”
“As it is pronounced like normal Riley. She should then only have to correct the spelling thereof, which is better than being called different names for pronunciation issues.”
“Novalynn…I forsee her being called Nova as a tease/bully tactic. So maybe this one would also not be ok.”
“In general, there is nothing wrong with these names.”
“Maybe ask why she wants to give these specific names and spellings of them. I understand these kinds of names are becoming quite the trend now.”
“But that all being said…absolutely no point in giving fantastically spelt names when they not going to be spelt, or pronounced correctly.”
“It will become a bone of contention.”
“Maybe compromise and give two names….Caeleigh Anna….or Nora Ryleigh…and use the the easier one for daily use. Just a thought.”
“Good luck.” ~ Spyryt1970
“And OP made suggestions.”
“When we started discussing names, my partner was vetoing everything without suggesting any alternatives.”
“It’s frustrating for sure, but OP and wife will get through it. Super magical when a name clicks.”
“I think the problem here is that they are approaching this from two very different starting points, so it may make sense to go back to the drawing board, research more names, peruse the top 100 for your country and others.”
“Maybe compromise on a sensible first and silly middle name.”
“Perhaps try to find some research about the effects of names on children to read together.”
“And, of course, NTA. As long as OP is being kind about it. Pregnancy hormones can do a real number on you.”
“Edit. Wow! Gold! I’m humbled. May you have a beautiful cake day every day, generous stranger!” ~ Moulitov
“Sounds like you have fundamentally different visions on naming your daughter.”
“You want standard spelling.”
“Your girlfriend wants to individualize the name by using non-standard spelling.”
“Perhaps you can compromise by choosing an unusual or rare name but using standard spelling. You might look at names that are not in the top 200-300 names commonly used.” ~ RevolutionaryFun797
“You have lots of time, and there is a whole world of names between timeless classics that might not be as charismatic, and made-up collections of sounds and bastardized surnames.”
“(Sorry, but I also do not share your wife’s taste… and her choices are kind of dated… very early 2000s)”
“Since you both are obviously passionate about giving her a great name, I suggest you guys spend some time on naming forums collecting ideas and opinions.”
“(My favourite is behindthename.com.)”
“Once you’re more confident, you each make a list of names.”
“You both grade all the names on both lists out of 10.”
“The two or three highest collective scores get taken to the hospital to be decided on, and the final decision can be made when you see that sweet, scrunchy face.”
“You may also want to have a boy’s name handy too, just in case. The scans are usually interpreted accurately, but not always.” ~ Nemesis0408
OP did return for some closure.
“After some tough conversations, including showing my wife this thread and my comment in NNCJ, she admitted that her spellings were a little out there.”
“We decided to look for names that are uncommon but actually have history.”
“I used my TBI to convince her that we needed a name that is at least kinda spelled like it sounds (not entirely untrue, lol).”
“Anyway, we eventually decided on Reya Annaliese as our working first choice, with Mercy, Freya, and Eloise as our backups.”
The challenge is that a name is the only gift we ever choose without knowing a single thing about the person we’re giving it to.
Luckily, names, like all gifts, are customizable or exchangeable.
Choose wisely but give freely.