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Woman Called Out For Telling Pregnant Friend Her Baby Name Means ‘Nostril’ In Portuguese

A Newborn baby in incubator with a name tag.
Gary S Chapman/Getty Images

Finding a name for your child that you and your partner agree on is enough of a challenge to begin with.

Not helping matters is that just about everyone near and dear to you might have an opinion about what name your child should have as well.

All it can take is one little thing said by a friend or family member to potentially ruin the name you and your partner had finally settled on.

Sending you back to square one.

Redditor Alternative_Corgi301 had recently become friends with a fellow expectant mother.

When discussing names for their unborn children, the original poster (OP) was surprised to hear her friend’s choice of name.

As the name had a different meaning in one of the two languages the OP was fluent in.

Eventually sharing what her friend’s choice of name meant, the OP found herself being yelled at by her friend’s husband for complicating what he felt should have been a done deal.

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 ‘ruining’ a baby name?”

The OP explained why her friend felt the need to change her mind regarding her baby’s name after learning what it meant.

“I am Brazilian, but I’ve been living in the US for 3 years.”

“My first language is Brazilian Portuguese.”

“I have a 4yo son, and I’m pregnant with a girl due in May.”

“My son is friends with a girl whose mother (I’ll call her Becca) is also pregnant.”

“She’s due a couple weeks before me, and is also expecting a (3rd) girl.”

“Since we take our kids on playdates almost weekly, we frequently talk about our pregnancies.”

“Becca is into unique names.”

“Not ‘Yooneeks’ or ‘Tragedeighs’, but names that she and her husband create.”

“It’s not my style, but she managed to come up with genuinely nice names both her older daughters, so there was never really a reason for me to say anything.”

“This time, Becca and her husband had a lot of trouble coming up with a new name.”

“She first brought this up last December.”

“For months, they’d try to create something that sounded good, with no success.”

“We took our kids on a playdate at a park this weekend.”

“When we sat down for a snack, Becca excitedly told me they’d finally settled on a name.”

“I was really happy for her, and asked what they’d chosen.”


“To those who don’t know, that’s Portuguese for ‘nostril’.”

“I managed to control myself, and told her it sounded lovely.”

“But my son let out a giggle (my husband and I are raising him bilingual, so he speaks Portuguese), and Becca wanted to know why.”

“I tried to brush it off, but she kept insisting.”

“Eventually, I told her that while Narina could be a lovely name, it was also the Portuguese word for ‘nostril’.”

“Becca seemed really sad to hear that.”

“She said she’d think of something else, but had fallen in love with Narina.”

“After we went home, Becca’s husband called me.”

“He was furious at me for ruining the only name they had agreed on.”

“Apparently, he had a fight with Becca because she told him she wanted to think of something else.”

“He argued they’d ‘never visit Brazil anyway’, so they shouldn’t have to change the name, but Becca refused to use Narina.”

“My husband agrees that their fight is not my fault, but thinks I didn’t need to tell Becca anything, since Americans are unlikely to know what Narina means.”

“This was not my son’s fault.”

“He is 4 years old and had an honest reaction to hearing a baby would essentially be named ‘Nostril’.”

“I get that some people might think I was the AH, but don’t blame my child for this.”


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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for telling Becca what her name choice meant in Portuguese.

Everyone agreed it would have been much worse for the OP not to tell Becca why her son was laughing, with others pointing out that just about every name has a different meaning in a different language and agreeing Becca and her husband shouldn’t be so beholden to the opinion of others.


“I’m shocked they didn’t bother googling their name ideas as they came up with them.”

“I see Narina as nostril on the first page of search results.”- testmonkeyalpha


“It’s not ruined.”

“They’re not even Portuguese!”

“And FFS, they could always change the spelling if their panties are THIS twisted: Nerina, Nirina, Narina.”

“Do NOT tell me what awful things THOSE mean.”- StAlvis

“I googled it.”

“Narina is a type of bird.”

“And it means ‘fresh, pomegranate flower’ as a Persian name.”

“NTA but they way overreacted.”

“Many names and words mean something different in another language.”

“At least the word is innocuous.”

“The name Bill sounds like Bil in Dutch, which means buttocks correction, buttock.”

“Do you think people are going to stop using Bill as a name?”

“William has to be one of the most common names in existence.”

“Tod is the German word for death.”

“She needs to chill and just use the name she likes.”- Ok_Expression7723


“You want to know what I think?”

“I think that her jerk of a husband would have called you, livid, that you didn’t warn them when they inevitably meet someone who knows Portuguese and knows what that kid’s name means.”

“He’s rude.”- Hazel2468


“You weren’t really given any other choice other than to explain your son’s reaction.”

“Even if you had managed to brush it off, there is a high chance your son might have spilled the beans at a later time (like after her child is born).”

“Young kids rarely know how/when to filter things, and that goes double if they are a chatty child.”

“Knowing the name has an unflattering translation in another language obviously bothers your friend, if she had found out anyway after naming her child she might have been upset with you for not saying.”

“This is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don’t situations for you.”

“But definitely NTA for their argument.”

“All you did was give her the truth, it’s up to them how they use that information.”

“It’s not your fault they are disagreeing. That’s on them.”

“Friend’s husband is TA for confronting you.”- Doktor_Seagull

The OP later returned with an update, sharing a further conversation she had with Becca, and where things currently stood between her and Becca’s husband.

“Thank you for all your feedback and advice on my original post.”

“First of all, I want to clarify that I never told Becca not to name her daughter Narina.”

“I just told her what it meant in Portuguese, and only because my son laughed (again, this wasn’t his fault).”

“It was my translation that made her change the name, but that was still her decision.”

“I got a DM about how I ‘shouldn’t have involved my native language into Becca’s choice for her daughter’s name’, which was also not the case.”

“I found no joy in telling Becca what it meant.”

“There are plenty of ‘normal’ names in the English language I can ‘ruin’ with Portuguese (I’ve actually been listing some since my first post), but I wouldn’t translate them without being asked to.”

“Many of you came forward saying that ‘Narina’ was also a flower, the Finnish word for a creaking sound and an actual Persian name.”

“I didn’t know any of that, but it was interesting to find out.”

“I listed most of the meanings you guys gave me with the intention of showing them to Becca.”

“I also got plenty of comments suggesting similar names (Marina, Nara, Nerina, Nerine, etc.), and I wrote down some of them as well.”

“Becca and I met for another playdate with the kids, and I showed her my lists.”

“I also emphasized that she could still use the name Narina if she wanted to.”

“At first, she politely turned everything down, including that last part.”

“While Becca said she did like some of the names I told her about, her method consists solely of creating new names with her husband.”

“Apparently, they got to ‘Narina’ by mixing and matching syllables until they had something that sounded nice.”

“And finding out the name they’d created for their daughter also meant ‘nostril’ was enough for her to lose interest in it.”

“Becca did love the name Nerina, though.”

“She didn’t admit it until we were about to go our separate ways, but she said she’d mention it to her husband.”

“And speak of the Devil… her husband, as far as I know, is still pissed at me.”

“He didn’t try to contact me again, but Becca said he rolled his eyes when she mentioned the upcoming playdate.”

“Apparently, he’s the one who came up with the order of the syllables that resulted in ‘Narina’, and was upset I’d ruined it.”

“I told Becca I didn’t want to hear from her husband again.”

“She agreed his phone call was extremely inappropriate and promised to tell him not to contact me any further.”

“Look, I’m not gonna lie, I’m really f*cking glad they’re not naming their kid ‘nostril.”

“I’m also really proud of myself for holding in my laughter when I first heard that.”

“But I know that Becca is a great mother who is perfectly capable of naming her children, so I know her daughter’s name will be beautiful.”

“I think that’s all.”

“Becca’s baby might be named Nerina (that will depend on Nostril Sr., though).”

“Also, for justice’s sake: my daughter will be named Luciana.”

“Feel free to translate it.”

“But seriously, thank you guys!”

They say ignorance is bliss, and perhaps Becca would have been just fine not knowing what her Narina meant in Portuguese.

But honesty is always the best policy, and after Becca saw the OP’s son laugh at her name choice, she was somewhat obligated to tell her why.

Hopefully, Becca and her husband will come up with a unique name for their child that pleases both of them.

You know… one without a different meaning in another language.

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'.