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Teen Won’t Change First Name To Something ‘Classic’ To Appease Grandparents After Moving In

A young girl standing in front of a red door with her arms crossed.
Sergio Mendoza Hochmann/Getty Images

Even though we may have grown up with a set idea of what we planned on naming our children, we know that our chosen name might not end up becoming a reality.

As your co-parent might not feel as excited about that name as you do.

Making matters more complicated is the fact that everyone you know will likely have an opinion on what you plan on naming and/or what you should name your child.

Even though this is absolutely none of their business, they have no trouble sharing those opinions.

Owing to some unfortunate circumstances in her home life, Redditor Historical-Pain-3395 found herself needing to live with her grandparents.

Much to her surprise and annoyance, the original poster (OP)’s grandparents told her they did not plan on addressing her by her given name, despite her protests.

Having finally had enough, the OP felt there was only one solution to put an end to this bizarre decision by her grandparents.

A decision her grandparents felt was “rude”.

Wondering if she was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to answer to my grandparents ‘nickname’ for me?”

The OP explained why her grandparents refused to address her by her given name and how she chose to handle it:

“I (15 F[emale]) started living with my grandparents last year because my mom ended up needing to be taken care of and couldn’t take care of me.”

“So my grandparents took me.”

“Ever since I moved in they have tried calling me ‘Elizabeth’.”

“That is not my name. That’s not even my middle name.”

“I have always used my first name ‘Astraea,’ or my cutesy version of my middle name, which sometimes gets used for a nickname but is not connected to Elizabeth at all.”

“My grandparents never liked my name.”

“They admitted that to me when I moved in with them.”

“They asked me if I would be okay with a nicer, more classic name, and I told them no, because I love my name.”

“They asked me if I would like Emily because that was their unused girl name when they finished having kids and my answer was no.”

“So when I rejected Emily, they decided Elizabeth was the way to go.”

“They call me Elizabeth and not my name or my middle name or even the cutesy version of the middle name.”

“It annoys me so freaking much.”

“I have asked them to use my name, but they told me the name is weird, and they have no idea what my mom was thinking of when she named me.”

“They told me they tried to get her to pick a normal name but she was set on that and she was 19 so at that stage where listening to your parents is seen in a negative light.”

“I reached the point where I refuse to answer to or respond to them when they call me Elizabeth.”

“I will totally ignore them.”

“My grandparents told me I’m being rude and I would want to start thinking of my future and how a name like Elizabeth or Emily would be better received by future employers and other adults in society.”

“They told me even without that it’s rude to ignore people and to refuse to engage with them.”


In a later comment, the OP shared a few more details on her mother’s situation:

“My mom is going to die from the illness she has.”

“I’ll never get to have my mom back in the same way again.”

“Which is already super hard.”

“I don’t have other family who would take me.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for refusing to answer to anything other than her given name.

Everyone agreed that if anyone was being rude, it was the OP’s grandparents, who were not only being petty and childish but also highly insensitive knowing how fragile the OP might be having to leave her mother’s care.


“There’s a level of absolute insanity to this that I can’t even express.”

“Pick a random name every time you speak to them until you find one they really hate.”

“If they object, tell them that you like X name better, and so they should change their name for you.”

“Poindexter? Hubert? Martha? Prudence? Brunhilda?”

“Make sure they’re actual names that are used, just ones they don’t like.”

“Since the only people being immature here are your grandparents, giving them some personal experience with this nonsense is justified.”

“That said, I’d consider this abusive, and you could talk to your school counselor about it.”

“They might be willing to step in and explain how trying to force you to use a name just because they ‘like’ it, can cause identity issues and trauma.”

“Peoples names are non-negotiable.”- savinathewhite

“NTA – it’s… your name.”

“It’s time to sit them down and kindly explain some boundaries, knowing that while you can’t control their behavior, you can control how you respond to it.”

“Tell them you love your name, that you find it hurtful and troubling that they would choose to try and change your identity.”

“Let them know that when they say the wrong name, you will correct them.”

“And then do. Ignoring them will only add fuel to the fire (that they started).”

“So when they say, ‘Elizabeth ’ just repeat, ‘that’s not my name, I’ve told you it’s hurtful, please call me Astraea’.”

“Rinse and repeat.”

“They will get pissy about it for a while because they are not getting their way, but should get the gist in time.”

“I’m sorry about your Ma.”- Gold_Seaweed3130


“Not even close to being TA here.”

“What choice have they left you?”

“It’s utterly disrespectful to you.”- Zagriel55


“It is your name.”

“Explain that popular names come and go, and that ‘weird’ names are just new to them.”

“Names like Wilma and Wilbur might seem weird to current generations.”

“What’s old is new again.”

“Astraea is an old Latin/Greek name.”

“Aster means ‘Star’, and this gives us lots of names like Esther, Estrella, Estelle, Etoile, Svetlana, Stella, and Astrid.”

“‘In classical mythology Astraea, the goddess of justice, chastity, and truth, was the last of the immortals to leave Earth with the decline of the ages’.”

“‘Her return was to signal the dawn of a new Golden Age’.”- Shawaii


“Start calling them by different names as well and when confronted say how the names you’ve picked out would look so much better on their tombstones.”- Cleantech2020


“Calling you by your preferred name is the very basic level of respect and you can’t even get that.”

“Your grandparents suck.”- ThrowAway-MR0


“Astraea is a classic name – it’s literally from Classical Greek mythology – the goddess of innocence and justice.”

“More importantly, it’s your name, you love it, and you’re old enough to express your own personhood and expect people to respect that.”

“Further, it sounds like your mom is some sort of unwell right now – it’s incredibly rude to ignore both your wishes and hers.”

“She is your mother and she was perfectly within her rights to give you whatever name she wanted.”

“Her current illness doesn’t negate that.”

“Your grandparents don’t get to rename you like an adopted baby or a rescue pet.”

“It’s even ruder to misname people deliberately and to badmouth their parents constantly.”

“And anyway, there’ll be plenty of time to address issues with employers if and when it happens (key word being ‘if’ because I don’t believe your sort of mythological name is going to be an issue, but if it is, you can always use initials or a middle name).”

“There’s absolutely no need for them to borrow trouble now by forcing the issue with emotional abuse.”- Normal-Height-8577

“Hmm… sounds an awful lot like grandparents IGNORING their grandchild’s wishes and REFUSING TO ENGAGE with your chosen name.”


“Just in case it needed to be said, NTA.”- yeetmethehoney


“You are not rude at all. There are 3 options you gave people to call you, and they can’t even do one of them.”

“Honestly you have gone through enough being separated from your mother, the least they can do is call you your name.”- GlumPie8709

It’s hard to imagine how the only thing that appears to be on the minds of the OP’s grandparents after the OP had to leave her home knowing that her mother was dying, was how much they dislike her name.

One would think that anyone else in this situation would show the OP nothing but kindness and compassion.

It is truly tragic that the OP doesn’t have any other family who can take her in, as she needs a place where she feels loved and supported.

Here’s hoping she finds such a place soon.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.