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Mom-To-Be Upsets In-Laws By Refusing To Give Baby Husband’s Sexual-Sounding Last Name

A woman holding a baby.
StefaNikolic/Getty Images

It was always the custom that when a woman was married, she and the children would end up taking their husband’s family name.

Of course, as times progressed, so did certain marital and familial customs.

These days, it’s not at all uncommon for women to keep their maiden names, or in some cases, spouses will hyphenate their surnames.

Some even chose to give their children the maternal family name.

Of course, some people stick with tradition, which they should feel no shame or guilt about doing.

Despite the fact that some highly traditional people often sneer at those who veer from long-standing traditions.

Redditor throwaway25627282 made a deliberate choice not to take her husband’s name owing to its unfortunate connotation.

So embarrassed was the original poster (OP) by her husband’s name, that she even convinced him to give their soon-to-be-born daughter her surname.

A decision that did not please the OP’s in-laws one bit.

Fearing that she might be being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for letting my husband’s family name die out by insisting our daughter takes mine?”

The OP explained why she chose to give her daughter her own surname and why this decision so angered her in-laws:

“So I (31 F[emale]) have been with my husband (30 M[ale]) for ten years, married for 3.”

“I kept my last name when we got married, and he has no plans to change his.”

“We have a baby girl due in August, but we’ve recently run into a problem with his parents about the naming of our child.”

“Now my husband’s family name is quite unfortunate.”

“I won’t say what it is for privacy reasons, but it’s a very slightly different spelling of a sexual word.”

“You also should know it’s a sexual word that is mostly used for or related to a female rather than a male.”

“Because of this, we agreed together that our children will take my family name to prevent bullying in school and throughout their youth.”

“I felt even stronger about this when I found out we were having a girl – growing up a girl is a pretty rough experience anyway, and myself and so many of my friends experienced harassment and sexual comments from young men growing up even without an unfortunate surname.”

“It sucks, but it’s reality, and I want to minimize my daughter’s experience of this as much as possible.”

“We have recently broken this news to my husband’s parents and they are very upset about it.”

“For context, he is their only child and they had to try for over ten years to have him.”

“They are a small family and his parents only have sisters who took their husbands’ names.”

“This means that my husband is the only chance to carry on their family name and they’re upset that we’re taking that chance away and effectively ending the family name.”

“Although it was a mutual decision between my husband and me, they are particularly upset with me because I have three younger brothers who could have kids and carry on my family name, and yet I ‘feel the need” to “take’ theirs away.”

“We’ve tried explaining the reasons but they think I’m being overdramatic.”

“They were insulted that I could compare their last name to a dirty word and they say my husband ‘never had any issues’ when he was young.”

“It’s true he didn’t experience that much harassment in school (aside from occasional mild bullying), but he is a male, and like I said, the word relates a lot more to a female, and also, girls are so much more likely to be sexually harassed by boys than vice versa.”

“I know that teenage boys can be cruel, so I just want to give my daughter and any future kids the best chance at minimizing harassment.”


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

The Reddit community firmly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for choosing to give her daughter her maiden name.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s concerns about her daughter being bullied were completely valid. Many pointed out that the OP’s in-laws seemed to miss the fact that if traditions were upheld, their family name would come to an end anyway with their granddaughter.


“You are the mother.”

“You do what is best for your child.”

“The in-laws need remedial lessons on being good in-laws.”- Irrasible

“NTA to your child, but the in-laws are going to think YTA.”

“Unfortunately, that’s just how it is sometimes.”

“Good on you and your husband for picking your kid over a name.”

“Your in-laws should care more about their bloodline continuing on than their name.”

“I’m very curious as to what this name is.”- HAND_HOOK_CAR_DOOR

NTA the current generation of K*ntz will have to be the last.”- Impossible_Relief786


“My mum knew a guy named Holden D*ck, and he hated everything about his name.”

“The ‘letting the family name die out’ argument is crazy.”

“Even royalty shakes it up every few generations, and unless they’re called ‘Your mMajesty’ nobody else is going to care.”- ShootFrameHang


“Bullying is something that can have very tangible circumstances in a person’s life, while whether other people share the same family name has 0 impact in one’s life.”

“Also given that your daughter is very likely to hate the name, she’s 100% giving her husband’s name to her children if she decides to have any, if she’s not changing her surname herself.”

“So realistically even if you caved, your husband’s family name would still die out, you’d just have a daughter who will have to deal with more crap than otherwise.”- Friendly-Buyer-9563


“I can see your in-laws’ POV, but if your daughter gets married and takes her husband’s name, it’ll die with her anyway.”

“They haven’t really thought this through.”

“You and your husband have made a decision, which was yours to make.”

“His folks might not like it, but they have to accept it.”

“Don’t let them bully you.”- ChazzyB31


“Is it Mulva?”- EpicSven7


“In the 1930s one of my great great aunts chose to stay single and wound up dying as a very happy ‘spinster’ rather than marry ‘Mike Shiddy’.”

“I think she made the right choice.”- Disastrous-Assist-90


“You’re going to be a good mom since ur already so considerate of your child.”

“I’m glad your husband is with you on this, and let’s be honest, that’s all that matters!”

“Convincing parents is hard and in-laws even harder.”

“Don’t sweat it too much, and it’s fine if they’re upset about it.”

“I’m sure they’ll come to terms with it soon enough, and if they don’t, oh well!”- cyb3rfarie


“So, because your husband didn’t get ‘that many’ comments 20 years ago, they can tell (promise?), that your daughter will have the same experience in 10/20 years?”

“Wow, this is either a rare talent (clairvoyance) or complete BS.”

“Good job minimizing the risk, and your husband should deal with his family, so you can concentrate on the pregnancy and your little girl.”- Bastet79


“It’s your child.”

“Not theirs.”

“The only two people who have any say in her name is you and your husband.”

“Husband’s family doesn’t have to like it, and frankly that’s not your problem.”

“They can adopt another male heir if carrying on their name is that important to them.”

“Furthermore, their precious family name was doomed to die anyways if your daughter gets married.”- R4eth

“Ancestral names only matter if you have, like, a peerage or are naming university library wings after you or something. I don’t know why an average middle-class family would care about their name ‘dying out’.”- roseofjuly


“I think I know the name, and you cannot saddle a girl with that name.”

“She’d know the connotation before she’s out of diapers, and that is a cruel and unfair burden.”-drunkbettie

“OP’s in-laws are hoping this daughter is only their son’s first kid, and the next one will be a boy who can carry on the name, right?”

“This granddaughter is just collateral damage to them.”- Stormtomcat

“I wouldn’t be surprised if OP’s husband got it worse than he’s letting on and just didn’t tell his parents.”

“Being a boy, he was probably able to let it wash over him easier than if he were a girl.”

“OP – NTA, name your daughter what you and hubby decide to, its your choice and no-one else’s.”-Ok-Meringue6107


“Now more than ever.”

“I can’t imagine saddling a girl with that sort of name.”

“Honestly why is it a given that the father gets to pass on his last name as opposed to the mother.”-boundaries4546

It’s understandable that the OP’s in-laws might be disappointed to see their “family name” come to an end.

However, a name is just a name, and family is family.

Hopefully, when their beautiful granddaughter arrives on this earth, they will see that the only thing that matters is giving her the love and support she needs.

Regardless of what her name is.

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'.