For many people, names carry serious significance, so it’s no wonder that parents spend a great deal of time in choosing the names for their children.
Nicknames more often than not, however, are chosen organically rather than being planned ahead, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Intelligent_Beat_972 had used the same nickname for his daughter her entire life, and still at the age of 15, she enjoyed hearing it.
But when his sister demanded that he stop using it for his daughter, so she could use it for her newborn baby, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to stop calling my daughter a nickname?”
The OP had nicknamed his daughter ‘Princess’ her entire life.
“I (33 Male) have a daughter (15). I, like many parents, have different nicknames for my daughter, one being ‘Princess.'”
“I have called my daughter Princess since she was a baby and still call her that even as a teenager.”
The OP’s sister recently had an unusual request about the nickname.
“My sister (35 Female) has a three-month-old daughter. She was over at my apartment yesterday and said she needed to ask me something.”
“She said she would like for me to stop calling my daughter ‘Princess,’ because she and her husband want to call their daughter Princess.”
“I asked why they can’t both have the nickname.”
“She said it would be awkward if we were somewhere together and both girls got referred to as Princess.”
“I said I’m not going to stop calling my daughter a nickname I’ve always called her unless my daughter herself wants me to stop.”
The OP’s sister didn’t like that answer.
“My sister said my daughter is too old for the nickname Princess anyway and I have several other nicknames for her so it shouldn’t matter.”
“She said I’m just choosing to gatekeep and be an AH.”
“I don’t think I am, because I’m not stopping my sister from using it. I’m just refusing to stop calling my daughter that nickname.”
“My mom took my sister’s side, agreeing that my daughter is too old for the nickname.”
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 reassured the OP this was a non-issue and rated his decision as NTA.
“Tell your sister she got a big head and to shut the f**k up. She’s making a thing out of a non-thing.”
“And on top of that, she’s got the gall to tell you the name you’ve called your own daughter for 15 years is now to be used on her daughter; therefore, you have to be the only father in the world who doesn’t call his daughter Princess?”
“Nah. The entitlement is amazing and I can tell she has a big forehead. NTA.” – Tall_Economy_1438
“NTA. Hardcore not.”
“Your relationship with your daughter is so important. Especially when she is a teenager. You’re right that it’s one hundred percent your daughter’s decision.”
“We are calling our daughter Eva even though my sister’s kid is called Ava and it’s going to be mega confusing.”
“But what I don’t get is why on earth is social situations being slightly confusing THAT big a deal. Ava and Eva are super common names so they are going to have that experience at school, and my name is James and every class I was in had another James.”
“So if I can handle having someone with my name at school where I spend most of my time, why can’t I cope with it at the much smaller number of extended family situations?”
“Nah, this is stupid. So many people would agree with your sister and your mum and this is a situation where they are all hardcore wrong.” – yautja_cetanu
“Not gonna lie, based on the title, I thought your daughter had grown out of the nickname and you were adamant your baby girl wasn’t growing up. I was prepared to shame you so f**king hard.”
“But nah, NTA. Your sister is just entitled, and by the sounds of it, so will your niece.”
“Also, she should really learn what gatekeeping is. This reminds me when the older guy at work accused the younger guy of gaslighting him because he said another coworker voted Party A and not Party B.” – NorternVale
“NTA and this is a very silly request. ‘Princess’ is a super common nickname, so good luck to your sister if she thinks her daughter is going to be the only one who has it.”
“It’s also a bit weird to actively pick out a nickname for your small child. My kids each have a variety of nicknames, none of which were the product of careful thought or discussion; they just arose organically as we interacted with them.” – Allaboutbird
“NTA, specifically because you said you would stop calling your daughter princess if your daughter wanted you to stop. This is the only thing that matters in this scenario: what your daughter wants.” – nefertaraten
“NTA… My stepdaughter is going on 22 and I still call her Princess. My stepson is 18 and about to leave for college and I still call him by his nickname.”
“It doesn’t matter the age, it’s a term of endearment.”
“Your sister needs to get over herself if she thinks her kid is the only one who should be called that. And your mom should mind her own business… though I’m guessing your sister is the golden child, which is why your mom got involved.” – LFGM1977
“We named our son after his great-grandfather, whose nickname happened to be Buddy. He kept that nickname throughout college and even news articles about playing football referred to him as Buddy. So for us, it made sense to use Buddy, too.”
“Guess what we discovered was the most common nickname for a little boy once we started daycare?”
“Of course, he is still out little Buddy, but we certainly never would claim that name above anyone else.”
“OP is NTA.” – ceebs87
Others agreed and said the sister needed to double-check the definition of “gatekeeping.”
“NTA. Your sister’s being the gatekeeping AH. Why not let both girls have that nickname? If your girl still likes that nickname, you keep calling her it, because that’s part of your bond.”
“I’m 34 and you’d better believe my parents still call me the nickname they gave me as a baby.” – gillebro
“NTA. Your sister is a drama queen, which might explain the Princess thing. Hmmmmmm.”
“Either way, it’s a nickname. Getting this bent out of shape over a nickname, that’s the hill to die on?? People use Princess for their kids, pets, cars, boats, etc.”
“Seriously nuts. And then go running to Mommy?”
“I think I’d be too busy laughing my a** off to worry. And like you, I’d gatekeep the h**l out of a nickname.” – Expensive_Rhubarb_87
“NTA. I had twins and I called them both Princess! Your sister is out of her mind; it’s way too common of a nickname. She can’t gatekeep it.”
“Your daughter has been Princess for 15 years, so that’s a giant no. Why should your daughter have to change her nickname? The baby doesn’t even know its nickname yet. They can pick another name or they can call their baby princess, who cares?!?” – MissWinterseren
“NTA. The only one trying to gatekeep here is your sister. How you lovingly refer to your daughter is none of their business.” – No_Location_5565
“I love how she accuses you of ‘gatekeeping’ the nickname she is attempting to gatekeep. NTA.” – Public-Feedback-6954
“Your sister needs to learn the definition of gatekeeping, because this isn’t it. In fact, what you’re doing is the exact opposite. She’s actually the one trying to gatekeep by saying you shouldn’t be using it.”
“My entire family called all of our little kids peanut when they were little. My sister called her kids that. I called my kids that. My other sister called her kids that. Not once were any of us confused about which kid was ours and the kids weren’t confused either.”
“Your sister is making an issue out of nothing. This is entirely her problem.” – Disastrous-Nail-640
But others challenged people to stop calling girls and women “princesses.”
“This is so weird. No one should be calling anyone ‘Princess,’ in my opinion. Makes my skin crawl. ESH.” – reginafilangi123
“ESH. Princess is a horrible nickname for a girl. Neither of your daughters are princesses. Do you know what a princess does? She sits around and hopes for a prince to marry her one day. That’s it.”
“I have an idea. Why don’t you both give your daughters more empowering nicknames, like Superstar, Dragon Slayer, Smarty-pants, or absolutely anything other than Princess?” – Teacher_Investor
“ESH. Y’all need to stop referring to people as ‘Princess,’ because it is creepy and cringe!”
“Cheers!” – amb3rlamp5
“ESH. You, for having such a silly nickname which gives 80 percent chance of raising a person who thinks they are the main character in everyone’s life, and your sister for wanting to name her kid a name that gives 100 percent chance of raising a person who thinks they are the main character in everyone’s life.”
“I understand why you are calling your girl that, but make sure she is okay with it, and it’s not creating unhealthy expectations of how she should be treated by others.”
“I am sorry, but I think Princess, Duke, Lord, Lard, Duchess, is a ‘tragedeigh’ in all instances; a nickname, a name, a dog name. In my experience annoyingly barking dogs and annoyingly barking people have it.”
“The only exception is Queen and that’s only because they have awesome music and they are the only ones allowed to bear a classist name.” – Cross_examination
The subReddit could understand the importance of a name, especially after 15 years, but they were confused by the sister’s idea of picking out a nickname ahead of time, rather than allowing it to happen organically as her daughter grew.
That is, of course, excluding those who were against the idea of the nickname of Princess at all, stating that the implications of the name were far too heavy to even consider using it.