in ,

Irish Person Stirs Drama By Telling American Sister-In-Law Her Baby’s Name Isn’t Actually Irish

Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

Redditor Top-Process4882 is an Irish person whose American sister-in-law is enamored of their heritage.

When the SIL enthusiastically informed them about the name she had in mind for her baby daughter, it wasn’t the turnout she had hoped.

After ensuing drama, the Redditor visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for telling my sister in-law her daughter’s name isn’t Irish?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m Irish. My husband is American.”

“We live in the US currently but met back in Ireland. His sister has always been obsessed with my accent, my name and the fact that her brother married a real Irish person.”

“She and her husband had a baby very recently, a little girl. My sister in-law excitedly told me ages ago that she was giving her daughter an Irish name and she couldn’t wait for me to hear it.”

“Around that same time her husband asked me if the name was actually Irish (he told me what it was) and I said no. I also pointed out that the Irish middle name they did use was the American spelling and not one used back home.”

“I didn’t say anything to her because she never asked and I wasn’t supposed to know the name.”

“Apparently they argued over the name a lot and he tried to convince her to stop saying it was Irish. Her daughter was born and she announced the name to us and the rest of their family.”

“She had the name printed on a banner so the spelling of the middle was clear too. She talked about wanting an Irish name for her because of me. Her husband told her to stop saying it was Irish.”

“She was so mad at him for claiming it wasn’t and I jumped in. I said the first name was Scottish, not Irish, and that the middle name is not the Irish spelling or anything close to it.”

“She went crazy and told me the name was Irish, that Irish and Scottish had the same stuff. I told her there was some overlap sure but we still had our own distinct names and the one she had chosen was clearly Scottish.”

“Then she told me she chose the least dumb spelling for the middle.”

“She is so pissed that I pointed this out to her. She’s pissed at her husband for disagreeing with her in the first place.”

“Drama has ensued and everybody is hearing about how sh*tty I am for trying to convince her that her daughter’s Irish name isn’t, in fact, Irish.”


Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.


“If she really wanted an Irish name, then why not check it with you, an Irish person.”

“Also, why argue with an Irish person about an Irish name and believing she knows more about Irish names than an actual Irish person.” – Fun-Two-1414″

“I’m German married to an American. We live in Germany and my husband constantly argues with people who think their English is better than his. It’s ridiculous. Idk why people do that.”

“Maybe it’s that ‘I always have to be right’ mentality. Might also be the reason why OP’s SIL doesn’t want to accept that her daughters name isn’t Irish.” – Bunnybun93

“Like that’s ever stopped an American from creating their own interpretation of another culture. It’s sort of what we do.” – PomegranateReal3620

“I have an Irish name, (one of the hard ones LOL) I gave my kids Irish names and spelled them correctly. My kid came home from school last week saying they ‘hate it when we have a substitute teacher and they can’t say my name and everyone in the class tries to correct them, but they can’t really say it right either.'”

“It takes grit to have to deal with a difficult name for others to pronounce everyday. Giving an American child with only a tenuous connection to the culture the full effect would be a bold choice.” – tinytyranttamer


“What an absurd hill for her to die on.”

“Hey you, person of the culture I am vehemently bastardizing, you’re wrong about your own culture! I’ll have you know that Paige Shavonn is the Irishest name to ever be Irished. And how dare you come into my country and tell me I’m wrong!”

“That about sum it up?” – BlottomanTurk


“If she was so adamant to get in on Irish culture and have a kid with an Irish name then surely the most sensible thing to do was….”

“Ask an actual Irish person aka her sister in law.”

“She’s just angry that her laziness has been called out so she’s flying off excuses like Scottish and Irish being close together (I am Scottish – Gaelic is so different in each country), then sh**ting on the genuine spelling by saying hers was the least dumb spelling.”

“Yeeesh. Well her husband tried. You tried.”

“She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do now.”

“But if she goes ahead, every Irish and Scottish person will know that her kid is one of those Americans who claims to be Irish and Scottish when it was really 50 generations ago or their grandpa lived in Edinburgh/Belfast for a wee while or their mom fancied a cool name and couldn’t be arsed to ask their Irish SIL 🙄” – wanesandwaves

“NTA. As a fellow Irish person abroad I can understand letting some things slide for the sake of peace but saying Scottish and Irish names are the same thing is a little insulting. If she really wanted the name to be Irish she should have chosen the Irish spelling.”

“Otherwise it’s not really an Irish name. There’s plenty of genuine names to choose from. You were right to step in if she was mad at her husband despite being the person in the wrong.”

“There’s also a pretty high chance of the child being told by an Irish person in the future that their name isn’t Irish if they say it is.” – ginger_basket

‘She talked about wanting an Irish name for her because of me.’

‘Then she told me she chose the least dumb spelling for the middle.’

“‘Least dumb spelling’ – because that attitude shows so much respect for the Erse language, and your Irish sister-in-law! Wow.”

“NTA. Her husband tried to tell her, and she could have asked you for advice at any point.”

“Mind you, I’m not surprised that people outside of these islands would assume that Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are a contiguous language rather two branched off languages with many shared features but also a bunch of names that don’t match up directly.” – Normal-Height-8577

“NTA and this is a perfect example of cultural appropriation rather than cultural appreciation. If she cared about the culture she’d care about the accuracy and wouldn’t say Scottish and Irish are basically the same.”

“She’s being rude and I have no idea why she’d insist on arguing with someone who’s actually from Ireland. She also insulted the Irish by saying their spelling of their own names are dumb. I can’t believe anyone else is backing her on this.” – Turbulent-Army2631

“Yeah. I’m English with an Irish mum. My name is an Irish spelling of a name that has a couple of Irish spellings a couple of Scottish spellings and an anglicised spelling that is more common here. Whilst I love the spelling of my name it can be a bit of a hassle.”

“The fact no one who reads it ever pronounces it correctly doesn’t bother me, but having to spell my email address out three times and still sometimes not getting the email when I’m on a work call, does get quite frustrating.”

“So I totally get why you might give a child a local spelling of a name. But the obsession with giving a child an Irish name when she has no Irish heritage and insisting a name is Irish whilst simultaneously calling Irish names dumb really doesn’t sit right.” – OddLittleSock

“Yeah, what she said about the spelling was really insulting and so unnecessary. She could’ve said ‘I know it isn’t spelt correctly as an Irish name but we know lots of Americans don’t get the spelling so we’re going with the Anglicised version to make it simpler to her’ which would maybe be irritating but certainly nowhere near as insulting.”

“Like, she wants an Irish name but thinks they’re spelt ‘dumb’ and refuses to understand that’s because…. They’re in/from another language?”

“NTA. I don’t understand, she must have Googled the name for it’s meaning and it should have listed the origin.”

“Unless it just said ‘Gaelic’ or something and she assumed that meant Irish, but she never once while her husband was telling her it wasn’t Irish looked it up to prove him wrong?” – SellQuick

Overall, Redditors thought the SIL was irrational for being upset over a heritage she knows nothing about other than having a deep admiration for.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo