Amidst all of the excitement of inviting a baby into the family, parents-to-be have a lot of decisions to make.
When disagreements come up, sometimes it’s really hard to tell an excited spouse that you’re not as excited about their idea as they are, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Biliardas had known for a long time the names that their wife wanted to choose for their future children, but they had never spoken up about their disinterest in the choices.
Now with their first child to be born soon, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to say to their wife.
They asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I didn’t want to use my wife’s suggestion for our baby name, given its importance to her?”
The OP hadn’t spent much time thinking about names for their future baby.
“My wife and I can’t decide on the name for our baby.”
“Since the start of pregnancy, she had a name in mind and it means a lot to her in terms of the name’s meaning and its associations.”
“We’ve not really discussed the baby names seriously during the pregnancy due to focus on other life priorities during that time, and I haven’t put forward any name suggestions until after the baby was born.”
But the OP also wasn’t in love with the names their wife had chosen.
“So we’ve narrowed it down to two names, Upe (uh-peh), meaning River in our language, and Veja (veh-yah, pronounced similarly to Freyah), meaning Wind.”
“Upe is the name that my wife wants and I’m not strictly against it, but I’m not really excited about it.”
“Veja is the one that I proposed and my wife likes it but not as much as her option, and it doesn’t have the association with water, which is important to her.”
“We live in the UK, and we’re also a bit concerned about crude associations and name-calling if we used the name Veja (vajayjay, etc), but we’re not sure how substantiated this is. Any opinions from native speakers are appreciated!”
The OP was conflicted.
“I’d feel bad if my wife couldn’t use her name, especially since it means that much for her, but at the same time, that name doesn’t excite me at all, although with time I would probably get used to it.”
“I really like my suggestion and my wife quite likes it too, but I’m not sure if she won’t eventually regret not picking her option due to its meaning to her.”
“I should add that we only want to use one name, no middle names or double-barrelling.”
“WIBTA if we named our child using my suggestion, given the importance of my wife’s option to her and the time she had that name in her head?”
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 strongly suggested not going with the wife’s chosen names.
“I would highly suggest you don’t go with Veja. I’m not a crude person, and my mind IMMEDIATELY went to ‘vejayjay,’ which I can guarantee, is exactly what every middle school bully is going to call her.”
“I’m sure in another language, it’s beautiful, but in an English-speaking country, you’re putting a target on her back. Just saying.” – PettyLabelleOtheBell
“I’m going to be honest. I’m in America. When I saw Veja, the first thing I thought was ‘vajayjay.’ But then you said it started with an F so maybe that wouldn’t be a problem. I personally wouldn’t because I wouldn’t want my child made fun of.” – Wandering_aimlessly9
“An English speaker could pronounce ‘Upe’ as ‘you pee,’ which is not something either of you would want. It’s not as bad as ‘vajayjay’ but still not pleasant.”
“I’m sorry I don’t have any suggestions for your problem.” – Rodney_Copperbottom
“From the UK, while we all know people should take time to learn and pronounce names, and this is a common microaggression, both names will be roundly mispronounced and misunderstood here.”
“Vayja, vejja, or veeja would be how many Brits would read that one, and Uppy or oop would be the attempt at the other.”
“If you plan to bring these children up in the UK, it may be worth considering that when choosing from the wealth of glorious names your culture offers.”
“Source: child of an immigrant who anglicized his name to better fit in, except everyone here still couldn’t say it right. Sigh.” – EssexCatWoman
“When I was in elementary school, I had a massive gap between my front teeth, and they were disproportionately large compared to the rest of my teeth (that were still baby teeth).”
“In third grade, we went on a field trip to a natural history museum, and the guide had some pelts she was letting the kids try on. She pulled out a beaver skin and asked who wanted to try it on.”
“I did not raise my hand, I did not want to, but she saw me talking to and laughing with my friend and pointed me out and told me I should be the one to wear it because I had ‘perfect beaver teeth.'”
“You’ll never guess what I got called up until the end of middle school.”
“It’s not the same situation, but your child would be similarly set up for bullying with these names, OP.” – PoisonNote
“From Latvian, no, those are not common names. In fact, I don’t know anyone named like that in Latvia.”
“We have many native names that are from nature and sound way better, like Madara, Laima, Margrieta, Lilija, Ritma, Spulga, Spodra, Dzintra, Ilze, Ildze, Vālodze, Rota, Mirdza and many more.”
“I really can’t tell why she likes those two names, since whenever their kid would visit grandparents or just plain its heritage’s homeland, other kids would not take those names well, and she would get many questions.” – Culcircus
Others gave advice on how to meet in the middle of the baby naming.
“I’d be a bit nervous about Upe rhyming with poopy in primary school too, and other things when you get to high school.”
“I also wondered if it’s common to name kids ‘River’ or ‘Wind’ where OP comes from, or if it could open up the kid to bullying if they returned in the future.”
“There might be a nice spin on it, like Eva, Una, etc.?” – El_Scot
“Maybe change the spelling? Add an h at the end of ‘Upe’ to change it to ‘Upeh’ to emphasize how it should be pronounced. And for ‘Veja,’ change that j to a y for ‘Veya,’ which is obvious how to pronounce in English.”
“I have no idea how that will change its meaning in its original language. If a consensus on the name can be reached, go back and look for more names that you like and try those.” – ShaddiJ
“I’m not a fan of either name, to be honest. The important thing is that the wife has been talking about the one name since the beginning of the pregnancy, and OP never objected.”
“Now, AFTER the baby is and his wife has been thinking of the baby by that for so long, he decides he’s not ‘excited’ by it.”
“If he didn’t like the name, he should have said something a long, long time ago. Communication is key, OP.” – Barbarake
“‘River’ is a pretty common name in America, and it’s a lovely name that means ‘Upe.’ Why not name her River to honor the English-speaking country of her birth and make her life a little bit easier? When she is grown, she may opt to change her name to Upe or Veja, but that will be her choice.” – Electrical-Growth-85
“My partner is French-Russian and I am Australian, so for us planning any names means finding something that is pronounceable in all three languages/accents and doesn’t have inappropriate associations in any.”
“Yes, it means you lose some names, maybe some you loved and that meant a lot. But the kid has to live with it.”
“They’re a whole separate person who is going to (hopefully) outlive you by a fair amount, they should not be saddled with a name that will get them bullied or ostracised just because it means something to the parents.” – Officiallyanxious
One Redditor gave the OP advice about how to broach this subject with their wife.
“Not giving a verdict, just some input.”
“I told my partner that I had a name in mind early in my pregnancy, and he said he liked it.”
“I brought up choosing a name a number of times during the pregnancy, but he kept saying he hadn’t really had time to think about it, and hadn’t had any ideas.”
“Each time, I mentioned the name I had in mind and said that I liked it even more now. The name had a bunch of associations with our shared interests, and I fell in love with it.”
“I tried to keep the baby nameless in my head, as we hadn’t decided. But I couldn’t help thinking of the baby by that name.”
“When he was born, my partner told me he didn’t really like the name. He didn’t dislike it, just didn’t really want it. He started looking at names and pitching things he kinda liked.”
“There was nothing we could agree on. We fought about it a number of times due to being sleep-deprived and emotional.”
“In the end, he picked the middle name and we went with my choice, because he eventually realized that none of the names he kinda liked meant anything special, and that I had been calling the baby by the other name for over six months by that point, ever since he said he liked it, too.”
“There were a lot of arguments over nothing, given the outcome, but I legitimately considered leaving him at one point during the arguing. It felt like the name wasn’t important to him while I was pregnant, and it felt like the actual names he was picking weren’t important to him (or us).”
“And, given my attachments and associations with my choice, it felt like I wasn’t important to him. His “not 100% sure” feelings seemed to be more important to him than my deep attachment, which hurt a lot.”
“Get more communicative NOW, OP, and be prepared with suggestions, either from this thread or your own mind or a combination of the two.” – aphrahannah
While the subReddit could understand that choosing a name for a baby was important and potentially difficult to do, they urged the OP to get more communicative with their wife, immediately, and to deeply discuss their concerns about the names their wife wanted.
Because at the end of the day, no matter how much they liked the names they chose, they needed to put their kid’s needs first, including how much they might like the name and what they might have to put up with because of it.