in ,

Mom Livid After Adult Daughter Considers Changing Name To The Unique One She Almost Had

arguing mother and daughter seated on couch
fizkes/Getty Images

My Mother chose my and my Sisters’ names with not only our legal first and middle names in mind, but also what she planned to call us. We’re all named after relatives and her plan was to always call us by a diminutive version of our birth names.

I ditched my nickname—Amy—as quickly as I could. I never cared for it and far prefer using my given names. My Mother never had an issue with what name I chose to use.

My family—other than my Sisters and nibling—still refer to me as Amy. I’d rather they didn’t, but it’s the only reference they’ve ever known for me.

My friends are divided by when or where we met. Pre-college friends are still using Amy or Mavis—my high school nickname. Post-college or anyone I met in a workplace only know me as Amelia.

Being called Amy, however, isn’t a hurtful or triggering experience for me. I’d prefer Amelia or Mavis, but I’ve never voiced a preference to anyone unless they ask.

But it’s important to like your name.

It’s part of your identity and how you introduce yourself to the world. Just because it’s not a major issue for me doesn’t negate the importance of people using the preferred name for others—plus how hard is it to just call someone the name they ask to be called?

In some cultures, names are not set things that people carry from birth until death. For some people, name changes traditionally occur as a child ages. As an adult, a person may seek a new name at a temple or shrine in the hope of better fortunes.

But in other cultures, some people get very territorial, offended and entitled about other people’s names—or pronouns—when it really doesn’t affect them. Some people claim it’s “disrespectful” to choose a name different than the one printed on a person’s birth certificate.

A young woman who isn’t a fan of her commonplace name upset her mother when she entertained the idea of changing it. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Correct-Ad-9767 asked:

“AITA for telling my parents I would have preferred the original name they planned to give me instead of the one they actually gave me?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My parents recently told me (22, female) that they had considered another name for me when mom was pregnant. Actually, it was the name they had decided to give me until mom changed her mind.”

“The original name was Dove Emberly, but my mom was worried it was too weird after a while and she wanted to change it. My dad never did.”

“But eventually it was decided I would be named Emily Katherine. I don’t think my dad really likes my name, but maybe he wouldn’t have liked anything other than the original choice.”

“The conversation about my original name came up between my parents first, when mom basically asked dad if he wasn’t glad they changed their minds and dad said ‘no’. So they asked me and told me the two names.”

“I told them I would have preferred the original and I was kinda sad I didn’t get Dove as my name, which would be way better than Emily in my opinion and the middle name Emberly I prefer too.”

“I like more uncommon names, I like names that are more modern and nature based or word names. I always found my names boring and I never liked either name. Like, neither would ever be considered as names for my own future daughter.”

“Mom mentioned Ocean or Océan had been a contender too and I said that would have been amazing. Mom really wasn’t happy.”

“Dad told me if I wanted to use the original name, he’d give me the money to change my name. Mom wasn’t happy with him.”

“I don’t think it was an ongoing fight, but I think the fact dad wasn’t on board with the change and never really seemed to like the name they actually gave me, it might have brought up certain feelings for her.”

“It would have been Dove Emberly, not Dove Ocean. Likely it would have been Ocean/Océan Emberly or maybe a whole other middle name.”

“But I still would have preferred one of those combos over the name I got. I’m probably going to take dad up on his offer.”

“Mom really wasn’t happy with me. She told me I didn’t even hesitate to say I preferred the original name.”

“She asked me why I liked it so much. She told me how sad it made her that the name she felt would suit me better throughout my life—instead of as just a little girl—was one I could discard so easily.”

“Especially because I reacted positively to dad saying he’d pay for me to change my name.”


The OP summed up their situation.

“I told my parents I would prefer the name they originally chose for me over the name I actually ended up with.”

“It was clear my mom had been thinking of my future when she changed the name and she was trying to do right by me, so maybe saying it so easily that I liked the original better might have been hurtful and thoughtless to her.”

“I don’t think my dad ever liked the name I ended up being given. I think he just settled because my mom was so certain the original name would be terrible.”

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 the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Your mom was given the gift of learning an age old life lesson.”

“Don’t ask questions if you aren’t prepared to hear an answer you won’t like. NTA.” ~ GothPenguin

“I don’t get mom’s mentality at all. The mom literally went out of her way to hurt her own feelings and then blamed dad and daughter? Over a name choice they didn’t use 22 years ago? NTA.” ~ bornbylightning

“NTA. She asked, you gave her an honest answer.”

“Parents choose names for newborns knowing nothing about what their personalities and preferences in the future will be. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t.”

“My parents gave me an uncommon but fairly ‘normal’ name, while my uncle wanted me to be named Rainbow. As it happens, I would have been more suited to be Rainbow than my given name.”

“But you just can’t know if the name you give a baby will suit them for their whole lives.” ~ InappropriateAccess

“Before my children started high school, I gave them the option of changing their names if they wanted. Mine both had unusual names.”

“I changed my own name at age 21.”

“I think the name you are given at birth reflects current cultural norms, whether it be to use cherished family names, traditional cultural names, or current popular names. But there is no way to know if the name you give a child will represent their personality or needs later in life.”

“My children chose to keep their names as given, but I wouldn’t have been the least bit upset if they wanted different names or went by nicknames.” ~ LompocianLady

“Apparently in my birth country, there is a tradition that young adults—late teens – late 20s—can change their names if they want to. Like a nickname/new name you want to be known as and if it sticks, you can officially change your name.”

“My mom didn’t like her birth name and when she was old enough opted to be called something completely different. I don’t think she ever legally changed it, but my dad always calls her that instead of her given name. NTA.” ~ Peskanov

“NTA. I feel like they were using you to settle a 22 year old argument.” ~ LowBalance4404

“NTA, it’s your opinion, you answered the question honestly, and its your name, change it if you want.”

“It’s a little funny… I think the more common complaint is a kid getting an unusual name like Ocean and asking if they’d be the AH for changing it to something like Emily before going to college/entering the workforce.” ~ truckthunderwood

“My family is Serbian, however my parents moved to America a couple years before i was born. My parents wanted to give me this really pretty Serbian name, however they were afraid people would mispronounce it and that i would hate it.”

“So they gave me the English equivalent. Growing up I felt the name didn’t suit me at all. When I turned 18—with the help of my parents—we changed my name to the Serbian version.”

“You aren’t alone in wanting to change your name to suit you better. You are most definitely NTA and your mom shouldn’t be mad—especially considering you are wanting to change to a name she considered as an option for you.” ~ AccomplishedDirt1688

In my preteen years I entertained the idea of changing my name.

I liked Amanda or Veronica only because I thought Mandy and Roni were better than Amy.

My Grandmother Amelia was still alive and we were very close. It felt odd to use her name as my name in our shared spaces.

Would you change your name if money wasn’t an issue?

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.