Very few things are as joyous or stressful as having a child.
Questions about schooling and where to raise the kid come flooding in as soon as the test reads positive and the joy and stress and fear all mingle together into a very interesting time for the new parents.
One of the most difficult early questions, of course, is what do you name this new living thing you know nothing about?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) cantnameakidtedbundy when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside judgments.
“AITA for telling my husband his name suggestion for our unborn baby is idiotic at best?”
After a brief introduction, she went into the history.
“This has caused quite a stir on both sides of the family, and my niece suggested I post this here so as to garner unbiased opinions.”
“Unfortunately, as it is relevant to the story, I will have to keep much personal information uncensored in this story. As such, this is a throwaway account.”
“My (35 Female) husband (37 Male) and I are pregnant with our first child.”
“We are overjoyed, as we have struggled with perceived infertility and miscarriages for the last decade.”
“We want the gender to be a surprise, but may have to find out to settle this; I’m currently at the tail end of my second trimester.”
Then she moved to the start of the issue.
“Now, my husband absolutely idolized his grandpa, who, unfortunately, passed away last week.”
“My husband is devastated, especially about the notion that his children will never meet their great grandpa who their father adored so much.”
“As such, my husband has suggested that we name the baby after grandpa; Theodore if it’s a boy, Theodora if it’s a girl. Either way, we will either call them Teddy, or Theo/Thea respectively.”
Which would have been fine, except…
“It’s not that I mind the name, the issue is that our last name is Bounde; pronounced bun-dee.”
“I asked my husband, do you really see no issue in naming our kid Teddy Bounde?”
“You don’t think that would raise any questions? He says no, he’s just honoring his grandpa; I told him he needs to think about how we will be perceived, how our child will be treated, and the implications that that name inherently carries.”
“I literally had to spell out why that would be a horrible idea, and he still thinks I just hate his grandpa.”
“I told him no, grandpa was named in 1930 when the name Teddy Bounde wouldn’t have been a problem.”
“However, since certain events in the 70s & 80s, there’s no feasible way we can give this name to our kid and not cause issues.”
“He kept pushing and pushing until I blew up and told him to stop with the idiotic suggestion, and that’s what it is; idiotic at best, sociopathic at worst.”
“He got extremely upset and told his family and my parents, who are divided.”
“His family is obviously on his side and wants to honor grandpa via naming the baby after him.”
“My parents are torn but on my side, as they understand the social pariah we would make our child by giving them such a similar name to the person who did such abhorrent and downright evil things to so many women.”
“I mean, personally I don’t think anyone is just going to assume that we are honoring a passed loved one; they’re just going to think of Ted Bundy.”
OP was left to wonder…
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for outside opinions.
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
Some responses were quite direct.
“NTA please do not name your kid, in effect, Ted Bundy. Literally, ignore everybody encouraging you to name your kid Ted Bundy.” ~ rocksthosesocks
“Even Jeffery Dahmer’s brother changed his last name.” ~ annswertwin
Commenters shared personal experiences.
“My brother has the same name as a very famous (retired) NBA player.”
“My brother was born many years before this player and worked for an airline for decades.”
“Anytime he flew into the town where this guy played, he got GREAT restaurant reservations for the flight crew, calling saying he needed a table for <insert NBA legend name here.>”
“Imagine the disappointment at the restaurant when a middle-aged white guy and a bunch of German folks showed up.” ~ Merujo
“My last name is similar to a last name from a very popular Christmas movie that came out in the 90s, and I can’t even tell you how annoying it is when I introduce myself and they say ‘like the movie’.”
“Well, no, the movie came out years after I was born. And that’s a popular movie character. I can’t even imagine an infamous name like Ted Bundy.” ~ VelocityGrrl39
“I have a friend who has a very similar name to a well-known serial killer.”
“He has to wind up basically apologizing for his name wherever he goes, even though he has absolutely no relation to the guy. It’s pretty sad.”
“There are many ways you can honour your husband’s grandfather without giving the baby such an unfortunate name.” ~ MrsMaiselsBrisket
Commenters encouraged the art of compromise.
“Even if the name wasn’t ‘bad’ in this way, it takes TWO yes’s for a baby’s name. Two. Even if you simply didn’t like the name, your NO means NO.”
“How many people did it take to make the baby? Two.”
“How many people will it take to raise this baby? Two.”
“How many people get to decide on the name? TWO.”
“One no = NO.” ~ RissaRay113
“This is good time to implement the ‘two yes one no’ rule.”
“Big decisions, both parents need to agree. If one doesn’t agree? It vetoes the decision.”
“The middle name suggestion is a great idea.”
“This should be between you and your husband and everyone else can pound sand.”
“Also- your husband’s desire to honor his grandpa, as well-intentioned as it may be, is not more important than your child’s social well-being.”
“You can honor grandpa lots of ways that don’t involve taking on his name at the risk/cost of your kid getting teased.” ~ AnalysisParalysis907
Others looked to the child’s future.
“It’s not just the kid getting teased. let’s not act like this just a childhood problem.”
“Ted Bundy makes people uncomfortable.”
“Let’s think about job applications are relationships – Does anyone seriously think Ted Bundy (and this is what people will read) will not have a harder stand compared to John Doe?” ~ Ascentori
“The name would set up the poor kid for endless, endless, endless, endless people asking, YOU KNOW WHO ELSE WAS NAMED THAT and google searches turning up articles and so forth”
“– He’d have to go to therapy. He’d change his name when he turned 18.”
“No, me, that would be me. I would be a wreck, I would beg my parents to change it change it change it or send me into the woods forever to live alone so I can please please get some PEACE.”
“I had one of those negative attention childhoods for other reasons, it was absolute misery.”
“My last name was easily mangled into a euphemism for ‘toilet.’ So much misery and pain about it.”
“I’m nearly hyperventilating just thinking about how much worse it would be to be named after someone that infamous.”
“Kids are merciless and awful when younger, and a lot of them don’t improve with age. Your husband needs to come down out of the clouds and pay attention.” ~ SociallyAwkardTurtle
“OMG! I spit out my water and woke up my fiancée I laughed so hard at this! 😂”
“NTA OP – as a fan of true crime, and person with a degree in criminal psychology, I, instantly, cringed reading this.”
“Your child will be bullied and ridiculed their entire life with that name.”
“Parents need to agree on a name for their child, one parent does not get a unilateral decision.”
“However, if your husband insists on using this name I, highly, recommend you fill out the birth certificate yourself with a different name.”
“Please, do NOT name your child, male or female, any form of Ted Bundy!” ~ bookworm1421
OP did return to offer some final clarifications.
“Edit just to say that you guys are all proving my point that Ted Bundy is clearly still an infamous name.”
“There has not been one comment that didn’t immediately make the correlation upon hearing my last name. That is exactly what I don’t want to have happen to my child.”
“Kids are dicks, and they’re gonna find a way to be mean. Let’s not just hand them the material.”
“Bundy’s full name was Theodore Bundy. That’s where this problem is ultimately stemming from.”
“When a teacher reads the name from the roll, be it Theodore or Theodora, they aren’t going to assume a nickname; it’s just gonna be the full thing.”
Names can be powerful.
The words we use to identify each other instantly call images to our minds.
Names like Karen or Chad are heavily weighted while a name like Dax might get odd looks because it’s so uncommon.
Remember that as important as the decision is, names can always be changed.