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Pregnant Couple At Odds After Husband Refuses To Name Their Baby ‘John Doe’

A couple is at odds, they sit on opposite sides of the bed, the woman is pregnant, the man holds his head in his hands

Picking a baby’s name can be very stressful.

Parents have to choose between special meanings and basic likes.

They have to worry about others who will be offended.

And they have to give a name that prepares a kid for life.

No problem.

No stress.

Until there is…

Case in point…

Redditor the_doeberman wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for not wanting my son to literally be named ‘John Doe?'”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“So my last name is Doe.”

“It hasn’t affected my life much apart from occasionally being called ‘Dodo’ while growing up or friends spelling it ‘D’Oh’ as a joke.”

“And I’m generally pretty neutral about it.”

“My wife is six months pregnant and wants to name our future son after her grandfather, who died of cancer in September.”

“His name was John.”

“I liked her grandfather, and I know he and my wife were very close.”

“But I won’t even consider it, not even for our son’s middle name.”

“I feel that’s just setting him up a world of problems, especially when he grows up and has to apply for jobs.”

“Nobody’s going to believe ‘John Doe’ is his real name.”

“My wife thinks I’m being an a**hole for vetoing a name with a strong family connection and says I’m exaggerating the issues he would face.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“As someone who had worked in a call center I can confirm that these kinds of names are treated with the utmost scrutiny.”

“Very often junior operators are hazed by having them make prank calls like: ‘Can you call <insert number of theme park> and ask for B B Wolf (big bad wolf).'”

“And in this case: ‘Call <insert number of any public service> and ask for J. Doe.'”

“Naming anyone such a common prank name is asking for problems.”

“I would like to hear though how public service operators treat these kinds of calls.”  ~ ChrisBreederveld

“Agree 100% on this front.”

“Since John Doe is used as a name for someone who cannot be identified, having this name could put his life and health in serious jeopardy due to confusion.”

“I understand why your wife would be upset, but the safety of your son should come first in this regard.”

“Maybe there’s another relative you can compromise with?”

“Or as the above suggested, something like John, but also something that doesn’t start with a ‘J?'”

“Perhaps there’s a nickname that her grandfather had that would work better? NTA.”  ~ Gyrick

“NTA, John Doe is what hospitals name unknown male patients.”

“It’s understandable you don’t like that name.”  ~ 3213skylar

“NTA. I think it’s pretty important that you don’t actually!”

“People will think it’s a faux/fake name.”

“It’s going to cause him major problems with passports and ID as well as job and college applications.”

“He may have issues with medical stuff etc as… well you know exactly what it’s used for.”

“This could seriously f**k up his life.”

“I think even a middle name or Jonathan would be problematic and I’d avoid all names that begin with a J.”

“Having worked in an official public sector job for a long time.”

“I’ve seen problems with people’s names like these cause major issues that would make your hair curl.”

“As an example only: Look for other languages version of John for example Eoin is the Irish way of spelling Owen.”

“Eoin in itself is the Irish version of John…”

“Guys this isn’t the perfect solution name wise but an idea to run with.” ~ shakeywasher

“NTA. Naming your kid John Doe is a stupid f**king idea.”

“He’d share a name with unidentified male corpses.”

“Maybe grandpa had a middle name?”  ~ KnowTheDifference

“NAH. That child will have that name for a lifetime.”

“Don’t make a baby’s life difficult from the start by naming him that.”

“Suggest that you name him after the grandfather’s middle name.”

“Here’s an article where someone is actually named John Doe and some of the issues he has (getting stopped and interviewed by airport security every time).”

“I get why your wife wants to recognize her grandfather but she has to know how much trouble this will cause in the future.”  ~ jasminel96

“NAH. I don’t think she’s an AH but she’s not thinking rationally.”

“God forbid, if when he’s older, he gets in an accident and needs to be identified and his name is literally John Doe.”

“How tough would that make things?”  ~ not_cinderella

“NTA. I have a friend who’s name John Doe.”

“It’s caused him a world of trouble growing and even worse now as an adult.”

“He almost got arrested once when a police officer asked him for his name after a serious accident and he didn’t have identification on him.”

“He also mentioned that he doesn’t get interviews as often as his twin with a normal name.”  ~ Ladylochnessa

“NAH. I do think John Doe would be problematic but also get why she wants the name.”

“I assume she took your last name so the child can’t have hers or a hyphenated one?”

“I do think you could compromise on the middle name.”

“No one shortens those so Something Johnathan Doe wouldn’t raise a lot of flags.”  ~ ScienceNotKids

“Even as a middle name it can be a little problematic.”

“I live in a Portuguese speaking country and I use to have a friend at school called ‘Murilo Aquino Rego.'”

“Both ‘Aquino’ and ‘Rego’ alone are not necessarily embarrassing names (maybe ‘Rego’ is a little, you will see why).”

“But when you put them together, in Portuguese, it means something like ‘Murilo here in the a**.'”

“Plus this last name is used as a prank name and it is in a lot of jokes in my country.”

“Needless to say he was teased mercilessly during school (We were all 13 at the time, so not exactly the most mature crowd).”

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that as long you have the ‘John’ next to the ‘Doe,’ it can be enough to do the trick.”   ~ Aniram93

“NTA. This is something I’d stand my ground on.”

“My sons middle name, Ryan, is a name I’d never pick in a million years, but the person he took the name from meant a lot to my ex husband.”

“But it doesn’t set my son up for complications later in life.”  ~ REDDIT

“NTA. This will cause so many problems for him in life.”

“I work at a hospital in records and insurance.”

“That is literally the name we give to people we can’t identify.”

“Also I used to be in charge of picking resumes and setting up job interviews and I’d hate to say I might have just passed this resume over because it sounds fake.”

“Like the person was lazy and forgot to insert their own name on a job application.”  ~ ttots228

“NAH, but naming ur child john doe would definitely leave him to deal w a lifetime of issues and i would highly advise against it.”

“Maybe do Jonathan as a subtle nod to the grandfather?”  ~ jaeagrrl

“NTA. It’s going to be a lifetime of issues, not even counting kids giving him a little sh*t when they find out his name essentially means ‘anonymous.'”

“Different situation, but I have a unique name and not a week in the real world goes by where it doesn’t cause me at least a little bit of annoyance.”

“I don’t resent my folks but life has a way of reminding you that you are different.”

“I imagine your kid would have to explain to everyone he meets ‘Yes, this is really my name.'”

“Sucks to do that as an adult.”  ~ Burney1

“NAH. Please reconsider John as a middle name or suggest the grandfather’s middle name or last name as an alternative.”

You’re absolutely right that John as a first name is a huge problem; heck, Tony Hawk posted about getting a rental car reservation canceled because someone thought it was a joke.”

“Just imagine how many similar things would happen to your son.”

“And I get why you don’t want it as a middle name, either, but given how important it is to your wife, I’d urge you to reconsider.”  ~ tenpercentofnothing

“NTA. I have a strange name.”

“My parents thought they were doing me a favour by making me unique, but it sucks, I have to explain my name to everyone and repeat it all the time.”

“It’s a very posh name and I am very working class so it always alienate from my peers.”

“Names are important and if you name your son John Doe he will hear that joke a million times in his lifetime and every first meeting will likely involve laughter…. Not nice.”  ~ SuperEnthusiastic

“NTA. Please don’t do this to your child.”

“He’s going to face all sorts of legal problems and hassles as an adult.”

“Find another way to honor grandpa.”

“Any other way.”  ~ shelbyknits

Well OP, Reddit is with you.

A name is so important.

You hardly learn the consequences until much later in life.

Although your child could take care of it themselves when they’re older.

Good luck.