Oh no she didn’t!

Your mouth popped open.

Your jaw dropped.

You simply could not believe what your mother, your spouse, your college roommate, that stranger on the message board said about your baby’s name….or your own.

What’s the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, ridiculous thing anyone has ever said to you about a name?

If you’ve been lucky enough not to be on the receiving end of a crazy name statement, what have you overheard someone else saying?

And how did you handle it, once you picked your jaw up off the floor?

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86 Responses to “Oh no she didn’t!”

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amyhope Says:

June 3rd, 2014 at 11:38 pm

We named our third child Milo. When we told my husband’s grandmother, she said “That sounds like a d*** dog.” My response- “Actually Milo was the cat’s name in that movie, but thanks grandma.” Wow.

Elvie23 Says:

June 3rd, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Milo is a lovely name! One of may favorites 🙂

My name is Elvie, and while I have gotten a lot of odd comments over the years the worst was when a new coworker of mine kept repeating “What were your parents thinking? Seriously, no offense, but what were your parents thinking?” every time he we crossed paths at work. Not only was it insulting because it was MY name, but because I’m named after my dad’s beloved grandmother and even after telling the man this he still didn’t stop.

AprilRobin Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 12:12 am

When I first met my husbands parents and I tokd them my name, Josephine, his mother looked at my husband who was at that time my boyfriend and said that Josephine was the name of a gold-digger and that no one with thay name was good enough for her little boy. (She called me Jo-the-Hoe from that night on till the day we were married)

My own mother when I told her that we were naming our third daughter Laura she said that every single Laura she had ever met was a plain boring little girl and that we should choose a better name until we told her the reason we chose that name than she was somewhat fine with it

Diana_banana Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:34 am

Wow, ‘Jo-the-ho’ is a TERRIBLE thing to say to someone! I cannot believe she did that, how awful for you and your boyfriend. I’m so sorry you had to put up with that.
My name is Diana, and the worst comment I’ve ever had is very mild in comparison to Josephine’s. In high school, there was one girl named Anna who insisted that my name was a bastardisation of hers, and hissed “die, Anna!” at me every time we passed in the halls for a few months. My friends and I found it so weird that she took it so seriously, it was actually pretty funny to us! Besides, it was balanced out by the constant comments of “Oh, like the princess!” that I still get when I tell people my name, so no harm done.

Nooshi Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:27 am

Not me, but my sister copped a lot of flack growing up for her name: Eden. Seriously, people couldn’t understand why my parents named her that. The responses ranged from: ‘Oh… That’s… Interesting.’ to ‘What the heck were you thinking?’ People thought she was named Edden, Beden, Beaver (yes, really), Even, Aiden, etc. The vast majority refused to accept that her name was Eden, as in Garden of Eden. One lady asked my mother why she didn’t name her Eve, and accused her of trying to be ‘different’. Certain family members and people we knew refused to call her Eden, referring to her as Eve (which, while it is a lovely name, is not my sisters name). This was before Eden became a popular name. The ironic thing is, a lot of school kids that my sister knew now have kids called Eden :).

Nooshi Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:29 am

EDIT: lots of school kids that my mother knew now have kids called Eden. Not sister, she’s still in school.

Caco2006 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:44 am

When we announced the name of our newest addition due in September, Harriet, my mother in law was extremely rude. She said “like Harry It?” My husband got irritated and got off of the phone with her, then the next day she texts him out of nowhere to inform us that Harriet was the name of someone she didn’t likes mother. I haven’t spoken to her much since then and am still thoroughly annoyed by it.

abkuroneko Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:52 am

After announcing my daughter’s name was Gwyneth Rylie , my less than intelligent cousin says “That sounds like an Al-Qaeda name!”
Most of the other people in my family got extremely angry at said cousin and set him straight. But to this day, that is probably the rudest and most ignorant thing I’ve heard about my daughter’s name.

nat108 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 5:46 am

My name is Tara. I often get people who simply refuse to pronounce my name correctly and some get annoyed when I correct them. One old lady flippantly responded, “Well why did your parents choose to pronounce it wrong?” I told her “T-A-R is ‘tar’. You don’t ‘tair’ a roof; you ‘tar’ it. Stick an A on the end and it’s ‘TAR-ah’. So who’s pronouncing it wrong?” She had no answer so I just walked away

doulajulie Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:21 am

Unfortunately, I was on the giving end of this 10 years ago. When my DIL announced they were going to name my first granddaughter Phyllis, I broke out in laughter thinking they were kidding. I said something like, “yah, right.” But then when I looked at her face I realized she was serious. I was on the bad list for a while! But now we all love 10 year old Phyllis and her name!

Tara Wood Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:48 am

My Mom and I didn’t talk for two whole months after her reaction to the news that we were naming our daughter Bella (This was nearly 11 years ago- before all the Twilight hysteria). “We’ve decided on a name…Bella”, I said. Her face dropped and she said “You have GOT to be kidding me. Bella? Like I can smella Bella?” Choosing a name is so personal and her reaction really, really hurt my feelings. In fact, I asked her to leave my house (!). She finally called to apologize after realizing that it was our decision to make. Now she loves it and can’t imagine calling her by any other name. I still feel sad when I think about her initial reaction, though. The funny thing is, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have chosen “Bella”. It does fit her in that she’s a “beautiful” girl, but I think I was just being lazy and wasn’t nearly as passionate about names then as I am now.

Also, when I told my Dad that we were naming our son Ronan in honor of my Uncle Ronald who had recently passed away, he said “Huh? Is that a made up name? I don’t understand you guys.” He’s a man, though, so I didn’t expect him to “get it”.

Tara Wood Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:48 am

My Mom and I didn’t talk for two whole months after her reaction to the news that we were naming our daughter Bella (This was nearly 11 years ago- before all the Twilight hysteria). “We’ve decided on a name…Bella”, I said. Her face dropped and she said “You have GOT to be kidding me. Bella? Like I can smella Bella?” Choosing a name is so personal and her reaction really, really hurt my feelings. In fact, I asked her to leave my house (!). She finally called to apologize after realizing that it was our decision to make. Now she loves it and can’t imagine calling her by any other name. I still feel sad when I think about her initial reaction, though. The funny thing is, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have chosen “Bella”. It does fit her in that she’s a “beautiful” girl, but I think I was just being lazy and wasn’t nearly as passionate about names then as I am now.

Also, when I told my Dad that we were naming our son Ronan in honor of my Uncle Ronald who had recently passed away, he said “Huh? Is that a made up name? I don’t understand you guys.” He’s a man, though, so I didn’t expect him to “get it”.

crystaleyes85 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 7:50 am

It honestly bothers me when I see my own name, Crystal, in the Nameberry forums. I have read responses that it’s a stripper name, a redneck name, a name for trashy people, and lots more along those lines. I think sometimes when people respond they don’t realize that a lot of people actually live with these names. Some of us are even reading your rude comments. I try not to take it personally, but it’s hard. I actually like my name. I will admit it’s dated, but I was born in 1985 when it was really popular and went to school with 5 other girls with my name and know multiple others, so it doesn’t seem that bad to me. Also it’s easy to pronounce and spell. The most I ever get is “Do you spell that with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’?” as far as that goes. I think some people just get over excited when they want to make their point about why they like and dislike certain names and don’t realize that they are really crossing lines of decency with comments like that.

Ashleigh315 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:29 am

My name is Ashleigh (pronounced Ashley) and the rudest thing someone has ever said to me was that parents who are uneducated are more likely to misspell their child’s name – thanks jerk!

runila15 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:36 am

My name is Danielle and everyone thinks their so funny to call me things like Damnielle and a lot of the boys I know and my own Dad call me Daniel all the time.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:37 am

I’m shocked by some of these…

@AprilRobin – I love the name Josephine and am shocked that this woman would say it right in front of you! On your first meeting!

@Caco2006 – I think the name Harriet is very in style now. Classic revival name with the adorable nickname Hetty, if you wanted (which I, personally, know I would!)

@nat108 – The lady actually told you your parents pronounced the name wrong? That’s astounding.

I only have the story of a friend, who, when she got pregnant in high school named her son with the middle name Alizay, after the liquor… It has a nice sound to it but not really a connection I’d want. I didn’t have the heart (or bravery) to say anything, though.

A friend of a friend wanted to give her daughter the name Sobriety… Yes, as in “a state of being sober”. Now she had a reason (the pregnancy had made the baby’s father start to straighten up), but I practically had to beg her, if she absolutely wanted to name her child that, not to put it in the first name slot. It, like Alizay, has a nice sound to it, but out of all the word names that could pop up as names (Bay, Haven, Holly, Autumn, Wren, Mercy, Snow), I never saw this little girl being able to live down being named Sobriety… Thankfully, after lots of people finally talking her out of it, they decided to go with Serenity in place of Sobriety. A change that was well worth it.

MaryKathryn Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:59 am

Since I was a child I have like unusual baby name and every time I tell people what I want to name my children they say “oh your kids are going to get beat up.” I seriously doubt anyone would beat up my child if I named her Calliope or if I named my son Finch, and if they did there is something wrong with them and not my child.

ScarlettsMom Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:32 am

@Elvie23 – I love your name! Seriously, I love it. That coworker is incredibly rude and I hope you don’t have to deal with him anymore.

@AprilRobin – Wow. That is one of the worst MIL stories I’ve ever heard. My condolences.

The only thing I remember someone saying about my name (Megan) is a children’s librarian saw it and asked whether it was pronounced “MEG-ann” or “MEE-gan.” I told him it was “MEG-ann” and he said, “Oh, good, I’d DIE if it was MEE-gan” and proceeded to laugh to himself about it for the next ten or fifteen minutes. O-kay.

I have seen a lot of people say mean things about the name “Scarlett” (firstborn’s name) on the forums, mostly that it’s trashy or sounds like a stripper. It just makes me laugh.

iwillpraise Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:40 am

@ doulajulie – I was <> guilty of this myself when my brother and his wife were thinking of naming their first baby Ruby.. I understood that it was my late grandma’s name, but neither my brother or I were close to her, and he and his wife were always so stylish and cutting edge, I thought they must be joking! After a few months of keeping my mouth shut, I realized the name wasn’t going away and it actually was quite personal to them since both were born in the same month and shared the ruby birth-stone. My 7 yr old niece Ruby is ridiculously cute and my mom thinks it’s pretty cool to have a Ruby as a mom AND a granddaughter! I’m SOOOOOOO very glad I didn’t breathe a word of ridicule!!!!!!!

iwillpraise Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:40 am

* guilty

geeknamezyo Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:52 am

Once, while I was ordering a smoothie or something at an on-campus place, I handed the lady my student ID (which also works like a debit card at campus places) and she looked at my name and just burst out laughing. I was like…okay then. Guess you’ve never heard the name Gwendolyn before. Glad it amuses you so much. Jerk.

But I count myself lucky that that’s the worst reaction anyone’s ever had to my name. Most people have positive reactions.

chilly9296 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:27 am

We named our daughter Fiona in September and it took a really long time for us to agree on that name. It fits her pretty perfectly and we mostly get complements but the “best” one I’ve heard is “does she have a brother name Shrek?”

Pam Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:36 am

These are sooooooo outrageous! Even more than I expected….really.

sorciereblanche Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:47 am

I haven’t had anything mean said about my name (other than the fact that certain people assume my name is Madison and called me by that for a while,) and I don’t have children, but I have shared some of my favorite names I’d like to use on characters and gotten some negative reactions on them.

lawsonhaley Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:55 am

I had a placement for college in a kindergarten classroom this past September, until January. One day, we had a substitute teacher in the classroom, who wasn’t more than 7 years older than I am (so she would be 25), and, on our break, she was sitting with me, ranting about the ridiculous names people bestow upon their children nowadays. It went a bit like this:

Sylvia – “that’s a cat name, or an old person’s name, not a name for a 4 year old”
Kenneth – ‘is he 80?’ (Actually named after his dad, and his deceased grandfather, I know his family).
Emma – ‘boring as f***, why don’t you just choose Mary Jane? Or Elizabeth?”
Seranity – “can’t her parents spell? this is what happens when illiterate people have children. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce”
Blaze – “another one who’s parents shouldn’t have been allowed to reproduce”

She was a lovely woman 😉 But her name made me laugh the most. Her name, which she stated she loved very much, was…….Ashlea Danielle. She spelled it out for me, and….yeah.

The worst comment I’ve ever seen about my name, is that it’s a trashy, low class spelling of an ‘upper class’ name, and my name blends in with the likes of the Maury show and Jerry Springer (My sister, Mikayla, got the same response). I was looking at a forum, and thought it would be kind of cool to click on this thread about the name Haley, and saw that description with “low class spelling of an upper class name, like Mikayla’.

Safe to say, my sister and I will not be going on Maury or Jerry Springer! :p

Violetta_Violetta Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:01 am

My now Mother-In-Law actually refused to let my husband introduce me to his family because she thought “Violetta” was much too posh a name for much too posh a person! I’m from a comfortable middle class family, and was actually named after my grandmothers, Violet and Loretta.
My husband was furious that his Mum had judged his girlfriend by her name- so we met the following week instead, which went perfectly. My mother in law is now living just around the corner and is a godsend when it comes to our kids.
Safe to say we never mention our first meeting.

lovewn Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:13 am

The worst comment I’ve gotten was when my mom asked what I might name a future daughter. When I told her I like Leona she said “That’s a name for a fat old lady who smokes too much.” I don’t know where that came from, but I don’t think she’ll say that if I get to use it.

pdxlibrarian Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:14 am

I told my mother the week before I gave birth that we were going to name our daughter Alice and she was very upset initially. She insisted that Alice would be compared to the maid on the Brady Bunch and teased about being a “lice.” She even said at first that she wouldn’t call her by her real name if we chose Alice. Thankfully, my Mom is a good person and after she said her piece and we made up, she hasn’t brought it up and doesn’t have any problem calling my daughter Alice now.

brannend Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:21 am

I get comments on my name (D’Erin, sounds like Derin… yes the ‘E’ is capitalized) all the time. The worst was recently when a stranger kept saying “that’s a boy’s name!” over and over again like he didn’t believe that was my name.

handsallover Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:21 am

I don’t ever get comments on my name because somehow, I always happen to have another girls named the same in kindergarten, in college, in Spanish club and so on. I guess I am lucky because it must be very upsetting to get some rude comments, but I wouldn’t mind if somebody said I have a pretty name.
I am actually surprised to see how rude people can be. I think it is even more nasty to say such things in the face because people don’t choose their own names, their parents do.

lua Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:25 am

My son’s name ends with an “a” which makes some people think it’s a girl’s name. My dad repeatedly brings up the “Boy Named Sue” song. I originally thought he was implying it would build character, but then I read the lyrics. The boy turns into a fighter who resents his dad for the name. I of course hope that doesn’t happen. So far the only teasing that my dad is so worried about has come from my dad. Most people just give me blank stares when I say his name.

modustee Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:36 am

Lua, he resents the name but then when he meets his dad, he tells him he gave him that name to make tough snd they reconcile so its a happy ending 🙂

anywsy, i go by lacie by my first name is modestie, (pronounced like modesty and not mo-DEST-ie like everyone thinks!) and half the people i tell love it but the ither half ask if my parents were hippies, which no gey werent, my mom got it from the modesty blaise tv show 🙂

csd267 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:37 am

I wanted to name my son Hank. Then, mother in law says, “Like Hankie the Christmas Poo?” From South Park. It ruined the new for me 🙁

Gingerbreadeddi Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:37 am

I remember at my first job, when I was sixteen, I was working as a cashier and one day, while I rang up a woman’s purchases, she looked at my nametag and said, “Miriam? Is that your real name? Sounds like a stripper name.” Needless to say, I was speechless as most comments I get on my name tend to be, “Miriam? Like the Moses bible story?” I was pretty surprised.

southern.maple Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:40 am

I can’t think of any personal stories right now, but I have a friend who’s one of ten children. Her parents named their tenth Griffin but they call him Finn. When Finn was introduced to the family, one of her uncles said (loudly in front of the entire family) “Is the kid a f****** fish or does this mean you’re finally /fin/ished popping out all these d*** kids?”

littlemissmariss Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I’ve never had anything truly awful said, people teased me that Archer wasn’t really a name, or my sister teased me saying nick name Archie was a “horrible, old mans name”. The worst comment was someone who misheard thinking his name was Arthur and just went on and on about how old and ugly Arthur is, and commented things like “Really, REALLY? Why would you name him Arthur?” Uhm, one we didn’t. And two Arthur isn’t a horrible name, though not my style.

I’ve been nick named “Remy” for a long time and a lot of people asked “Like Remy Martin?” lol. Not horrible, just kinda funny 🙂

BabyNameAholic Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

My name is Austyn. And I get a lot of rude comments saying “That’s a boys name.” and so on.
I told my nieces name on here, Lexxi. And people are rude with her name: saying it was a stripper name or shes going to grow up and hate her parents. Which really hurts me. But at least no one says it in real life….

tarynkay Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

My name is Taryn, which is not that unusual. I used to get a lot more unwelcome comments on it, mostly things like, “What were your parents smoking?” or “What kind of name is THAT?” I also had a few teachers who steadfastly refused to pronounce it correctly, which is not difficult at all. I had one teacher who said, “I am just going to call you Karen instead. That is a real name.” Now people mostly tell me that they have a new niece named Taryn or their friend just had a baby named Taryn.

My son’s name is Levin. I get a lot of weird looks I think b.c people aren’t hearing it correctly and think that I am saying Eleven, Lovin’, Leaden, or Lemon. When people do hear it right, they either love it or say, “Oh. That must be a family name, right?”

My brother and sister-in-law announced their son’s name pretty much the moment they found out she was pregnant. They said they were going to name him Rebel, and we really all thought they were joking. Everyone laughed and said things like, “ha! That is so funny, we will call him Ol’ Reb and he can sleep under the porch!” And “If you have another one, you can just name him Felon!” But they were totally serious. Then we all felt bad.

smismar Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

My name is Toni. I have hated it for as long as I’ve realized it’s a “boy’s name” and that it couldn’t possibly be my “real/full name.” Thanks, jerks. I’m still stuck with it. My husband (then boyfriend) had to explain to a few ignorant folks in the beginning that, no, he wasn’t gay.

My daughter’s name is Sylvia. Both sets of parents disliked it. My mother just said, “Well, I wouldn’t have picked it.” My FIL went so far as to suggest about 10 names he deemed “better.”

My son’s name is Linus and, OMG, you would have thought I’d named him Zaphod Beeblebrox with the reactions I got. My mother said he’s “DOOMED!” and my IL’s just thought we’d lost our minds and spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out what they could call him. (Um, how about Linus? You know, his name?)

dragonflynv Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

I named my daughter Phoebe and at her baby shower I overheard my mom saying to some guests “I don’t know. I just tell people it’s from Catcher in the Rye and leave it at that….. *shrug & sigh*” and a friend said “I can’t believe you named your kid that. It’s just so ‘Friends!'” But many other people compliment me on reviving a classic name.

When my sister gave her daughter Gracie the middle name Isabel my mom said “Isn’t that kind of Southern? Gracie Is-A-Bell?” So we had to explain to her that Isabel is the Spanish form of Elizabeth.

I make sure to always compliment a baby name even if it’s directly counter to every quality I deem important in a name. If I have a different opinion I keep it to myself until I’m behind closed doors. Most of the time once you attach the name to a beautiful little face you grow to love the name anyways!

DracoDrake Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

My name is Karhma Harmony. I’ve gotten all the jokes all my life. I’ll be 40 this yr &people still think they’re super clever to sing Karm Chameleon or Instant Karma at me. Skeezy guys ask me if I’m good or bad karma… People will say, oh Karma’s a bitch..and then look at me & say, “Not you.” Yeah, thanks, I figured that out 30 yrs ago..

Worst thing I can think of for my kids’ names is my mother’s reaction to our 3 yr old’s name- Felix Malcolm. She was convinced everyone would think of Felix Unger from the Odd Couple or they’d call him Malcolm in the Middle, both of which are completely outdated references. Now she helps me find cute Felix the Cat memorabilia for him, but on the day we announced his name- he was 2 days old & still in hospital. She texted my cousin and called her- several states away begging her to try to convince me what an awful name it was. My cousin set her straight. She also blasted facebook & texted all our relatives and told them we had given birth to baby Solomon. (her choice after I let slip it was one of our top 3.)

DracoDrake Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I forgot..she also wouldn’t call him Felix for weeks. She made up the nickname Cricket for him and called him that over and over ..like Hi Cricket? How are you Cricket? I love you Cricket. at the end.of.every.sentence. I finally put a stop to it when I blew up at her.

NiamhEthna Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Growing up with the name Niamh was not always easy, i love my name and i love that it’s getting a bit more popular now. however i’ve had some wonderful mis-spellings in the past. Birthday card written ‘To Neev, Nievh Nemph (yep.) I never took offence because they where friends and just didnt know the name. However silly boys in high school would come up with lovely inventive teasing names like Nevel Knievel, Nammy ham???? And oddly enough, one they came up with ended up sticking as a nickname that i’m actually fond of, Nim. which lead to Nimmy.
I truly love my name though and i don’t think i’ve ever been worse off having an usual name, more likely it’s helped me out. I know people sometimes don’t want to name their kids ‘weird’ names for sake of being teased, but if you’re sending your kid to school then it’s likely they’d get teased at some point, regardless of name.

AmberHanks Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

When it told my brother that my husband and i were gonna name our daughter Eligant , he said it was stupid .. cuz what if shes nothing close to being elegant .. i was like .. because i luv the meaning behind it .. we name people michael .. michael is one of gods warrior angels .. and i know plently michaels that are not angels… or my name is amber and its the color of a stone… im not a stone… so whats the big deal… he said nothing after that…

smismar Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Draco, Felix and Malcolm were both names on my short short list for my son! Love it!

catcher5 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

My second son’s name is Ivan. When we announced it a few weeks before he was born, both sets of grandparents, and mostly everyone else we told, hated it. We heard all sorts of Ivan the Terrible jokes, but once we explained why we liked the name (because it’s the Russian version of John, and means God is gracious), most everyone settled down about it, I think because they could see we’d put a lot of thought into it, and hadn’t just grabbed it from somewhere on a whim. Then he was born and was darling. And still at age 5 it fits him perfectly. And as far as I know every one is good with it, except my MIL. But she keeps her comments mostly to “Well it’s not a name I would have picked, but I still love him.”

Caritas Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

When I say my name, the first thing most people say is, “Oh, like from Shrek?” It drives me crazy, but it isn’t as bad as the stories on here! And I was not named after the princess from Shrek, or after any fictional character. It’s an Irish name that honors my family’s heritage.

Caritas Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

When I say my name, the first thing most people say is, “Oh, like from Shrek?” It drives me crazy, but it isn’t as bad as the stories on here! And I was not named after the princess from Shrek, or after any fictional character. It’s an Irish name that honors my family’s heritage.

froggie_luvah Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

We plan to name our first son Elliott. My dad asked me why I would do such a thing to a child, and added that he’d call him Ellie for short. When we told my MIL the name she said practically the exact same thing…but added on that she’d love him no matter what he’s called.

I know someone who was told by the grandmother of another child at the park that her child’s name was meant for a man, not a boy. Her response was, “well, we’re expecting him to be an adult for most of his life, so thank you.”

chellemma1 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I’ve never had any bad comments on my name in person, but it does annoy me when I read comments on forums saying Rachel is dated or boring or ugly.

Tylerwyler Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

My name is Tyler, and I’m a girl. People are always saying it’s a boy’s name although I know four other Tyler’s that are girls besides me! I get a lot of rude comments like “are you Tyler? I was expecting a boy!” One women even said “why did your parents name you THAT? That’s my son’s name!”

anniebee Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

My mom named me Anne and wanted me to be called only that, but when I got older I decided I liked the way that Annie sounded better – it sounded more feminine and friendly to me – so I changed when I moved states. She hated the name and told me it sounded like a “fat black woman’s name”. Lovely, mother. Racist and hateful. Needless to say, I don’t share any of my favorite names with her for fear of her being as harsh with them as she was with me.

daninurse Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

I know a girl and her children are named Journee, Justice and Freedom. I was a little baffled, thought I do like the name Journey a bit haha

daninurse Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Oh and when my sister told me she had Shaelyn picked out for her second daughter I was like ….errr…okay not going to say anything as she loved it but it sounds so made up to me. She already goes mostly by just Shae, which I think is much cuter.

rainierloner Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

My name (Erin) seems like it would be easy to have, but not at all. I will never forget that my fifth grade teacher thought I was a boy, even though the boys spelling of my name is Aaron. He told me that I was in the wrong class, that a BOY Erin was supposed to be in my spot, even though there wasn’t. Sigh.

My middle name (Lorraine) has also caused some issues too. When I tell people what my middle name is, I have gotten a wide variety of responses: Some people don’t understand what I’m saying. One person told me that Lorraine wasn’t even a name and that my parents had made it up! I know that some people haven’t ever heard of Lorraine before, but really – it’s not made up!

KimiGrace Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

A long distance friend of mine made me a little cross-stitch of my absolute favorite girl’s name which I really hope to use one day (it’s my username on the online forum where we met, but we write back and forth offline and have gotten to know one another quite well). My friend knows how much the name means to me and why. She very graciously put a lot of time and effort into the cross-stitch, so naturally I have it hanging up on my wall.

Well, my mother happened to notice the cross-stitch and asked about it. I got it down and handed it to her for closer inspection. Her face went completely blank:

Mother: “What’s this?”
Me: “Your future granddaughter’s name.”
Mom: “My what? How the heck do you say THAT?”
Me: “Kimimela.”
She tries to say it once or twice, and then calls my father into the room.
Mom: “Paul. PAUL! Come in here.” (Hands him the cross-stitch.) “How would you pronounce that?”
Dad: “Kimima. Kimimmimma. Kimamala. Kimimemama.”
Me (slowly and clearly) “Kim. MEE. Meh. Lah.”
Dad: “Kimmamela.”
Me: “It shortens to Kimi. Or just Kim.”
Mom: “I have a better idea. NO.”
Dad: “Don’t worry, whoever she marries isn’t going to let her get away with that. He’ll want his kids to be named something normal.”

Mind, I won’t be having a baby of either gender for a while – but still, I was hurt/frustrated. I’ve loved this name for years now and it has a lot of personal meaning to me. It’s four syllables and shortens to something totally ordinary should family/friends/my daughter herself so choose. Is it THAT much more complicated than Veronica or Angelica? No one bats an eye at those!

This is why I’ve ceased discussing my favorite names with my family. Or just people in general who don’t know me really well.

Vespertinerose Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

When I met my boyfriend’s family, now mother-in-law, had never said anything about my name beyond” “that is an interesting name.” Three years after we were married, she finally told me that she thought my parents were hippies for choosing my name. If I had been well kept, religious, and graduated from a private school, she would have spoke up sooner. Now, I have heard this before, that my parents were hippies for choosing my name. However, it was always the “HIPPY” generation who made these comments, and the irony of the whole situation, is that my mother was a baby during the hippy movement.. so she would had to of been a POST-HIPPY!!

@ KimiGrace – I feel your pain. When I told my my mother-in-law that we wanted kids, and would try to conceive asap, I made the mistake of telling her the name that we were considering. I mentioned the name Leocadia, and my mother-in-law, she said ” What is that?” “it sounds like a disease, and I would know I was a nurse back in 80’s.” So I told her the etymology on the name and she said, ” I will have no grand-kids walking around as a Disease.” I finally said, ” Well, I’m glad that its OUR child not yours.” My father, I told him the name we were considering for a boy, which was Haytham, and my father became very upset. He said” I can’t spell the name let alone pronounce it.” ” I’ll just call it, It and whistle at it to come here.” …. I found this very frustrating and narrow-minded, considering my parents unseemly Hippy status for choosing my name, so I hung up on my father!

StrawberryLoo Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

My name, Emelia, is constantly misspelled and mispronounced. My least favorite pronunciation is Em-eh-leah. I also get called Emily, which just annoys the crap out of me. People used to try to tell me that my parents “spelled it wrong, it’s supposed to be Amelia, don’t they know anything?” Actually, yes, yes they do. It is a family name on both sides and meant a lot to them.

Two of my best friends also have a lot of name trouble. One is Rebecka. EVERYONE tries to spell her name wrong, I haven’t a person who has spelled it right the first time. The other gal is Maegann. She was named after her grandmothers Mae and Ann. People pronounce and spell it Megan and it definitely frustrates her.

Lissie_Love Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Last year this obnoxious guy at my school called me Kissy Lissie after seeing me with my boyfriend (who I wasn’t even kissing). Also, my friend Meredith used to get teased by people telling her “Have a merry death Meredith”. These aren’t really direct insults to our actually names, but were still kinda mean!

cbann Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

When my son Vaughn was born my MIL said “Fawn? isn’t that a kind of bird?”. My mom said “Vaughn, I had a cousin named that.. I must not have told you about him.” : /

ayc1983 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

My name is Francine (the first among a quadruple given name) and I’m in my mid 30’s. For more than 30 years everyone has always loved my name (including me) until I came upon this site and was heartbroken to hear some of the comments. Stuffy, tired, dated, middle of the road, etc. I was stunned and saddened. I had always been complimented on my name and it is such a strong family name with the women of my family. We have also given it to my daughter for a middle name because of the beauty, softness and richness of the name. I could never think of it any other way. 🙂

miloowen Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I’ve told this story before, but it’s still funny. My grandmother, Helen Hammett Owen, was a literary lady whose home in Maine was a salon for all the writers and artists and publishers she’d known during her career as the children’s book reviewer for the Herald Tribune and Publishers Weekly….Suffice to say, while I loved her and my career in publishing is dedicated to her, her blood was definitely New England blue. My younger sister married a guy who while he was born in New York his parents were Russian and he had this thing about considering himself Russian rather than American. So he’d told my sister they were going to name their first child — if it had been a boy — Rurik. Fortunately, when my sister’s son was born he looked like a Peter, and that’s the name he got. Fast forward to my sister’s next pregnancy, fifteen months later — I’m the one who’s asked to call my grandmother and tell her. “Torie’s had a girl,” I said, “they’ve named her Alexandra.” My grandmother’s rather waspish reply was, “Who does she think she is? The Tsarina?”

meyera4 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

@ayc1983 I think Francine is lovely 🙂

MKE Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

When we told my parents what we were naming DD (Lennon Audrey), my Mom said “Don’t do that to her. If you have to use that name, name her Audrey Lennon”, and went on to say that if we named her Lennon she’d just call her Audrey anyway. She did the same thing to my sisters when they shared their name picks (Kai, Noa, Hadley) but, lo and behold, she has ended up falling in love with all of the babies and all of their names.

The only semi-rude comment I got was from a woman who works in my building. I told her DD’s name and she said “Not after John, though, right?” and I explained that while we are Beatles fans, we chose her name because we love it and find it beautiful. She said “Huh” and walked away. No big deal; I am actually surprised we get so many positive reactions.

indiefendi Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I mainly got the “Kaprice?! You were named after the car except with a K?” when I was younger but no one really does that anymore. It was so annoying though because I was not named after the car.

My cousin said Anais could get teased with “anus”. That pretty much turned me off any Ana names. Like, Analisa I used to LOVE but all I see is anal now. Sigh. Sorry to sound crude.

athena95 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

My name is Dariya. I love it for the most part. It is not common at all where I live in Canada. The only thing I hate about it is the nickanmes Dairy Cow and Diarrhea that have haunted me since elementary school!

Mack_Dogg99 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Mack. Where do I begin? It’s a nickname, and I can’t imagine people calling me anything different (such as given name Mackenzie), but it has so many sub-nicknames. Especially the McDonald’s ones. Big Mack, Mack Attack, Mack n’ Cheese, Macaroni, Macaroon, and countless others. Not to mention that the dumb and ignorant think that I’m a boy because of Mack and my short haircut. Also, the misspelling Mac is pretty common. I like being Mack, but there are some very annoying aspects about it. (Also: sometimes people mistake me for a Max, which is fine, considering that my favorite book character is named Max. So in that case, I don’t try to correct them. It’s an unintentional compliment.)

Jessamynklinker Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:31 pm

My name is Jessamyn. The euphemisms people use to describe my name by often speak as loudly as insults. Interesting, uncommon, inventive, to name a few.

jessiemay Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 8:49 pm

When my baby brother (now two) was a few months old my dad and stepmum were in a café with him and an elderly woman approached them to say hi to the baby. She asked his name and when my dad said “Aloysius” she looked my brother in the eye and said “What cruel parents you have”. I couldn’t believe that when I heard it! I think they’ve copped a fair amount of flak for his name actually, but also a lot of people think it’s awesome.

Llumeneres Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I haven’t had any insults to my name, but I have had people say rude and hateful things to me about my mom’s name. My mom is an immigrant from India. Her name is Lavanya (Lah-von-ya). It’s the name of a legendary woman in ancient Indian literature, and was chosen by her father. It is clearly an ethnic Indian name, though not everyone seems to understand this.

In contrast, my name, Elise, is French, fits well into mainstream American culture, and isn’t likely to be seen as belonging to a certain race or class of people. My mom picked it.

So people are surprised to find out she’s Lavanya and I’m Elise. The worst reaction I’ve had went like this: “Your mom’s name is Lavanya? No offense, but that’s a reaaaallly ghetto name.”

He continued in this vein, calling her name “ghetto” even after I explained my Indian heritage. He went on, comparing it to other examples like La-a, D’Shawndra, Shaniqua etc. It was really insulting, especially because my middle name is my mom’s surname and is an ethnic Indian name like Lavanya. I didn’t really know how to react, so I didn’t even try to argue against him about it, which now makes me a bit ashamed as he was saying things that were very rude and inappropriate, and I allowed him to joke about it without giving any indication it made me uncomfortable.

Needless to say, his comments had some very nasty racist undertones. The worst part is that he was a great friend of mine, and while we are not currently in touch this is the one thing that makes me question how nice of a person he was! Oh well. I imagine it was just ignorance and a lack of cultural sensitivity, though coming from a mixed-race family I’m always surprised when I actually encounter people expressing such opinions.

SparkleNinja18 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

My name is Abby. When my mom told my grandma what she and my dad were thinking about naming me, my grandma said “Abby? That was the name of a little girl from the Salem Witch Trials who accused everyone of being a witch. Please don’t name her Abby!” My grandma denies that she ever said that.

This isn’t really a direct insult to a name I liked, but it sure made my jaw drop and continues to today. Last summer I was reading something about how spelling names differently effects a child. I decided to try out misspelling a name I loved and my victim was Jason. I turned it into Jaycen and immediately texted my friend about it (we were 14, btw if that puts this more into perspective). She writes back, “That looks like a girl’s name.” I looked at it and wrote, “Eh, maybe a little.” Then she says, “My mom agrees it looks like a girl’s name.” I was like, “I’m not gonna use it anyways. Jason looks neater.” Then she texts me something that will change how I look at unisex names forever. She says, “I like it as a girl’s name.” WHAT?!?!?! SHE LIKES JAYCEN (JASON) FOR A GIRL?!? NUH UH, THAT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOY NAMES, OH NO SHE DI-IDN’T! At first I thought it was a joke but to this day she still wants to have a daughter named Jaycen Devonne. Le sigh. What have I done? Needless to say, I don’t like Jason anymore.

lookingahead Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 9:39 pm

A student told me my son couldn’t be named Gabriel because he’s white. That was an interesting/horrifying moment. Ah the things you learn about how other people raise their kids.

thefaultinourstars Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

The worst I’ve gotten(my name is Julia) was a substitute teacher who, when I asked a question, asked what my name was. I told her, and her reply was “is that short for Juliet? Julianna?) I told her it wasn’t and she said something along the lines of “ugh, I was so hoping it was. Both of those names are so much better, I like them way more and they just sound nicer. Why didn’t your mother name you one of those?” I was completely at a loss for words!!

mulme944 Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 10:14 pm

When I was a preteen, my older friend told me the name she picked for her second-born son: Henry. I laughed in her face and asked if she let her older son (who was about 4 at the time) pick it. Henry seemed like an old, musty, no-one-would-want-to-have-it kind of name. Now I see she was ahead of the curve. I feel bad for my rude, immature reaction. But Henry is still not a name I would seriously consider for my child. 🙂

JossieChris Says:

June 4th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

I was told the name Eulalah was the ugliest name they had ever heard and that it sounded like a slave name. Jaw still on the floor. With the Nn Layla. I still love it. boo haters!

kitchi1 Says:

June 5th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Well, I get many nicknames that I don’t like, but this one person said to my face that my name sounds like a drunk girl’s name. I don’t blame him though; it does.

kitchi1 Says:

June 5th, 2014 at 12:51 pm


Oh my gosh! I can’t believe she said that out loud, and to your face! That would really suck!

Vannalee Says:

June 5th, 2014 at 4:04 pm

My birth name is Vasilique (it means royal in Greek, it’s a very Christian name), after my paternal grandmother, but afterwards my parents decided it was slightly too frilly and old-worldly for a little early-00’s girl to bear, and thus decided to call me Vanessa instead. Probably a bit of a stretch, but alas.

Here, Vanessa is not a name unheard of, but it’s not really common either. For some reason, people here tend to identify non-Greek-sounding names with the likes of the poshy nouveau-riche, which I find to be a groundless connotation but anyway. Others’ reactions to my name varied from “oh, that’s… unique” and “hm, interesting” to “pretentious” or even “downright hilarious”. A family friend once told my mum that other mothers would comment that we were desperately trying to sound prestigious. I also had one teacher who insisted that I ought to be called Vasilique and only that, because apparently it’s considered blasphemy to change a Christian name to a “foreign” one, (the “What’s wrong with a Christian name?” is a classic), while last year’s Art teacher told me: “Well, you might as well call me Aphroxylanthe”.

However, the most annoying part is that everyone keeps calling me Natasha, for some reason unbeknownst to me. And I won’t even mention the spelling errors, because they would take up a whole page. It’s not Venessa. It’s not Vinesa. It’s not Venesia. It’s not Vanesa. Why is it SO difficult for people to spell Vanessa properly?

bookworm26 Says:

June 5th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

When my mom was pregnant with my brother Reece, I had a friend tell me his name sounded a gay italian hairdresser. I wasn’t crazy about his name at the time but the comment kind of threw me off a bit.

bookworm26 Says:

June 6th, 2014 at 12:07 am

Another incident for me was when me and my boyfriend told his parents, my future in laws, that we were planning to name our first daughter Alice his mother laughed and said it sounded like an old lady’s name. It was kind of hurtful since the name means a lot to me (it was my grandmothers name, and I was very close to her). I told her it was my grandmothers name and that’s why we were using it and she said maybe you could use it as a middle name.

We had also told them we were naming our first son Noah and both of his parents looked at us and said “You can’t use that name. It’s our name.” It’s what they were planning on naming his sister if she was boy but since she was a girl we decided we wanted to use it since we both love it. And his parents have said they are done having kids so they won’t ever use the name in the future. My thinking is that if they liked the name so much they should be happy to have it in the family still.

After that we decided not to tell our families our name choices until after we have children (whenever that may be) and we do still plan on using both Alice and Noah since we both like the names and since Alice is filled with meaning for me.

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

June 6th, 2014 at 3:18 pm

@bookworm26 – Alice and Noah, in addition to both being beautiful in their own right, make a gorgeous sibling set. Alice seems to be becoming a very popular revival name. What’s old is new again! It’s beautiful and if I didn’t have other names I wanted to use before it, would put it right in the first name slot, too! You’ve got great taste in names.

wanderland Says:

June 8th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Boy, some of these stories are awful and mine seems just minuscule in comparison but my name is Emma. At the time I was born (more or less two decades ago), it was still considered an “old lady name” so my parents got a lot of criticism from family and friends when naming me. My grandmother especially was extremely vocal about hating my name until a few years ago. However, growing up, I didn’t get too much crap for it. It was gaining popularity as I grew older (I had two different teachers in elementary school who both had babies named Emma) and these days it seems like you can’t walk into a nursery anywhere without there being at least one little girl named Emma.

The worst I’ve ever gotten is people not believing that Emma is my full name. I’ve had people try to fight me on whether or not it’s a nickname for Emily. It’s actually quite unbelievable how many people thought I was fibbing as a little girl.

BellaTheWriter Says:

June 8th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I get a lot of “Oh, like Bella from twilight?”

Amossy226 Says:

June 9th, 2014 at 10:43 am

When my husband and I found out we were having a little girl we poured over baby names. We have very different taste but finally agreed on the name Annabelle. When I told my mother the name she said that it’s a cow’s name and mooed! The next day she called me and told me it was also something you would name a cruise ship, and that she would only call her Belle or Bella. My feelings were extremely hurt, and I explained to her that both she and my mother in law had the opportunity to name their children whatever they pleased, and that I have that same right. In the end we named our daughter Rose, after our grandmothers, but I still think Annabelle is a lovely name!

rachel27 Says:

June 10th, 2014 at 9:04 am

Yikes. Some of these are really bad. The worst reaction I’ve had is when my husband and I mentioned one name we liked if our baby was a girl (turns out, we’re having a boy) was Ada. Our friends burst out laughing and said things like “oh, she’d be teased SO MUCH” and what a ridiculous, old-lady name it was that no one would ever really use. It actually put my husband off the name, which is a bit sad. Maybe he’ll have forgotten their reaction by the time we have our next baby.

The story I always tell people is how, when I was 7, my parents announced that my new baby sister was name Emily. At the time, there was a bully in my class named Emily, so I sort of hated the name, but didn’t say anything. (In fact, when I was like 20 I mentioned this, and my parents were shocked.) If a 7 year old knows its rude to say you hate a name, adults should definitely know better, too, haha. (Also, I remember realizing several months after she was born that Emily had quickly turned from a bully’s name into my little sister’s name. Now I can’t really imagine disliking it.)

priviledgedpistachios Says:

October 28th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

My name is Nena (neh-nah), which some people find really hard to pronounce. I usually get called Nina, or Neyna or even Nene. I think the worst was when people kept calling me Nana.

I honestly can’t believe how many disrespectful people there are out there. (I mean, to make fun of your own child’s child’s name) That’s so low. Faith in humanity dropped.

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