We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t ask the question you don’t want the answer to,” and it’s popular for a reason.
That phrase might be especially true between siblings and best friends, who are particularly likely to give an honest answer, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).
When her sister asked her opinion on a few names she had picked out for her soon-to-be-born baby, Redditor Unlikely_Repair_8941 decided to be honest about all of her sister’s naming choices.
But when her entire family called her out on her response, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had been too harsh.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my SIL (Sister-in-Law) her kids are going to hate their names?”
The OP had observed her sister-in-law’s “crunchy” mothering style.
“I am (27 Female), and my SIL (34 Female) has 4 kids and a baby on the way.”
“She is the definition of a ‘crunchy mom,’ in my opinion. Her family is vegan, there are no electronics in the house, they have all-natural toys and clothes for the kids, and they’re homeschooling, etc.”
The OP was critical of her SIL’s choices of baby names.
“She also wanted her kids to have unique names and not ‘basic’ names.”
“All her kids have ridiculous names. There’s Baryleen (4 Female) pronounced ‘Bryalin’; Falkin (3 Male) pronounced ‘Falcon’; Rorai (3 Female) pronounced ‘Rory’; and Kelvin (1 Male) pronounced ‘Calvin.'”
“My SIL asked me what my opinion was on her naming her next baby Astra, Inky, or Lore.”
“She also went on a rant about how my husband and I’s baby is going to have a basic name and not be memorable (I’m 6 months pregnant, and my husband and I plan to name our son James).”
The OP decided to be honest with her sister-in-law.
“I told her she was naming kids, not dogs, and her kids are going to hate their names once they get older.”
“She got really mad and began screaming at me that I was rude, and she pointed out that kids’ names are more than just a name.”
“She stormed out of my house after this.”
The OP started having second thoughts later that day.
“All day, I’ve been getting calls from my MIL and BIL (Mother-in-Law and Brother-in-Law) about how I’m being evil and rude and need to apologize to her.”
“My husband agrees with me that someone needed to tell her she’s giving these kids ridiculous names.”
“I feel bad like maybe I should apologize. It wasn’t really my place to say anything, but I’m so sick of her mom-shaming me.”
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 said the SIL shouldn’t have asked if she didn’t want an honest answer.
“NTA. She asked your opinion, and you delivered. This is the epitome of ‘f**k around and find out.'” – RayOfSunshine_27
“She didn’t want an opinion, she wanted validation. And she got p**sed off because she didn’t get it.” – DrWhoop87
“I’d hear a difference between Falcon and Falkin. It’s very close, but if I heard him called, ‘Falcon,’ I’d want to spell it with the o.”
“Baryleen’s the one I feel sorry for. Looks like a cleaning product, and even if you say, ‘Bryalin,’ it’s not much better. That sounds like a medication, like, ‘Have you got hay fever? Try Bryalin today!’ Poor kid.”
“I really hope OP’s using made-up names for this post and the real ones aren’t so bad.” – zellieh
“This might be an accent thing, but I think I pronounce both of these exactly the same. Maybe a slight variance, but not really noticeable. I also know a Kelvin and it’s never occurred to me it was an overly weird spelling.”
“The rest of the names are a nightmare and I feel for those kids spending their lives correcting everyone.” – MeowBourneMuffin
“NTA. She asks your opinion while insulting what you’re going to name your child. She is the AH. She sounds like a person who likes to be the focus and will use falsities and drama to get it. Her poor family.”
“Also, I was one of 5 kids and there’s already plenty of drama without creating it. Hopefully, SIL mellows as time goes on.” – JeezumCro
Others pointed out unique names were not all they were cracked up to be.
“I have a misspelling AND mispronunciation of a well-known name.”
“Think Kylie, but spelled Kyllie and pronounced ‘Killy.'”
“Everyone calls me Kylie. They spell it Kylie, pronounce it Kylie, and more often than not, they try to fucking correct me when I explain that they’re wrong.”
“It’s infuriating enough that I just go by ‘Sarah’ in everyday life, because no one can f**k up the name Sarah and I can just lie and say that it’s my middle name if anyone questions me.”
“Giving your kids edgy, misspelled name is all fun and games, right up until the point where the kid has to start bloody using it.” – CrazySnekGirl
“My brother’s middle name is Brinn, and my dad’s middle name is Brian. My brother’s second-grade teacher INSISTED to my brother that his middle name was Brian and he was spelling his own middle name wrong.”
“She went so far as to call my dad about it… Wooo boy, did he give her a piece of his mind.” – BishPlease70
“I think that’s what the function of a middle name is.”
“The most basic name the parents like is the first name, something more ‘out there’ is the middle name. The kid can choose which to go with. Or make sure the first name is one that has several nicknames.”
“James is great for this: Jim, Jack, Jamie, Jay. Or it can be the J along with the middle initial to be something like ‘JT.'” – Tulipsarered
“Where it gets stupid is when the parents make a conscious choice to spell the name that makes it impossible to figure out how to pronounce it. I have a very unusual first name, but it’s also very straightforward.”
“I like my name. I never get confused with other people, and no one has to worry about whether they’re saying my name correctly. Poor Baryleen pronounced Bryalin is going to have to invest time her whole life in helping people say her name correctly.” – beneaththeseracs
“Kelvin is a perfectly normal name, she doesn’t need to make up a different pronunciation for it. She’s TA for that alone.” – 5ushi_Kitty
“The people who name their kids after their fandom or take the route of nonsense like OP’s SIL are a**holes to their kids every single time they utter the name.”
“I’m hearing more and more people naming their kids after the main cast of ‘Game of Thrones.’ My friend’s cousin is one of those people and named her daughter ‘Aria.'”
“Another person I know is going to name his unborn son ‘Strider,’ which is Aragorn’s nickname, given by the people of Eriador, in ‘Lord of The Rings.'” – leftclicksq2
Some pointed out that the sisters were clearly mom-shaming each other.
“My sister picks semi-out-there names. But she’s never once asked my opinion or criticized my kids’ names.”
“And predicting the child’s reaction is always silly. My sister and BIL pick unique names because they each had super common ones and hated it. Some people love their basic, common names.”
“You cannot tell ahead of time. Do your best and roll with it if they want a change later and don’t ask for input if you’re not prepared for a negative response.” – Suspiciouscupcake23
“I was about to say OP should have kept her thoughts to herself though she’s right about the names being ridiculous. But once SIL criticized her for her choice of a boring name, it was fair game. NTA.” – EmeraldBlueZen
“Besides the fact that she insulted OP’s choice of name. Who the f**k asks for an opinion from someone when you already know you disagree?”
“If you even begin to think that Baryleen pronounced Bryalin is a good kid’s name, why ask someone planning to name their own kid James for an opinion?”
“NTA. She asked OP a question she already knew the answer to.” – AlexandrinaIsHere
“NTA. Once she started giving you shit about naming your son something ‘basic,’ she opened the door wide for you to express your opinion on the ridiculous names she’s chosen for her own children.” – NUT-me-SHELL
“NTA. She opened the door when she started criticizing your baby names. And it’s not the uniqueness of the name, but the spelling.”
“They are going to have to correct/clarify every time someone reads their name, like on the first day of school, or at the doctor’s office, or anytime they have to give their name for verification. Like, ‘Yes pickup for Braylin, it spelled Baryleen… No, L-E-E.'” – Lo-And-Disregard
While the subReddit could understand answering the sister-in-law’s question as carefully as possible, they also agreed that the OP was only answering a question that her sister-in-law had asked. Especially since she was honest about her opinion of ‘basic’ baby names, it seemed like the right time to have an open conversation.