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Thread: Name Etiquette

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    United States
    1. Best comment: Your name is Athena? That is so cool! I love it! (most compliments are pretty generic.) Worst: Your name is something super fancy, right?
    2. I think it's going to far when you refuse to pronounce it correctly or you're blatantly rude about it. They didn't chose their name, and what are you accomplishing by telling them that?
    3. Not really. I try to avoid commenting on names when people announce baby names, ect. I'm much too timid to tell my cousin that naming her son Ryan is unoriginal.

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  2. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I have a pretty common name Alexandra so I never really get comments either way.
    Though with Lexie as a nn I get a lot of "Do your friends call you Sexy Lexie?" While at this point I roll my eyes it's really neither here not there.

    My biggest pet peeve was when I lived on a road and in a town both of which were similar to my name. (apt #1 in building 2002 or something like that) - nothing ever got delivered to me and nobody took me seriously because they thought it was a hoax. I'd order a cab for the airport and then have to call when they were late and get the "oh, we didn't send anyone we thought it was a prank - someone will be there in an hour" "great thanks, that's not helpful and I can't hail a cab in the sub-burbs at 4am).

    My rules: If I love a name or it's unusual I'll remark upon that. Negative feelings are honored with silence. IF someone asks me for my honest opinion and uses the words "honest opinion" I might say something along the lines of nms. Though if you asked repeatedly for my thoughts you'd probably get the truth.
    Last edited by lexiem; March 20th, 2013 at 08:54 AM.
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  3. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    The "best" comments I've had is that it's special. I don't know, there seem to be some kind of glorification of special and unusual names, I personally don't get it (probably because I have a rather special name (for my country, at least) and I've always hated it). Also, people always think that I'm of Hispanic descent (which I'm not). I haven't actually had bad comments, but I've had loads of people mispronouncing it and misspelling it, which is one of the reasons why I hate it so much.

    I would never tell someone to their face that I think their name isn't very flattering or appropriate. However, when I've come across names that I really do like, I've almost always told the person. Going too far, I think, is telling someone directly to their face that you don't like his/her name (or his/her child's names). I just think that's plain rude, and I think you ought to keep that to yourself.

    I mainly just try to be polite. If I don't like the name, that's not something I'm actually gonna tell whoever. If I do like it, I tell the person.
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  4. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    1. The best is when people tell me its their favorite girls name (Caroline) and before I got married, a lot of people said they liked the alliteration of my first/last (I did too). My mother was unsure about the alliteration but decided it worked out okay for Caroline Kennedy and went for it.

    2. I think it's going too far when you offer criticism when you aren't asked for an opinion. If someone says, I plan on naming my son Aidan SuchandSuch, I don't think it's fair to go off about how you're sick of -aidan/-aydan names, they told you the name, they didn't ASK.

    3. Personal etiquette, the one time I'll consider breaking #2 is if I notice that it spells something awful with the initials or is pretty undesirable said with a last name ("I'm planning on naming my son Ben Dover") Even then I'll try saying it back to them to see if they notice on their own. If the baby is already here and named, game over, not saying a negative word about it.

    Another personal etiquette is when I meet someone new with a name that I'm unfamiliar with/a name from another culture, I'm big on asking them to help me pronounce it correctly, not closest English approximation, I want to know how they say their name. I'm just a big believer that everyone deserves to be called by their name, not a butchered version.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    1. The worst I've gotten is generally people who say, "Oh, that's my dog's name!" Yes, I know Maggie is common name for dogs, but it's a real name; it's not like I'm named Fluffy or Mittens. I've had a few people, usually from other cultures, express surprise that my real name is Margaret, but nothing terrible.

    2. I think it's rude to say something negative about a stranger's name. Even if it's a terrible name, it's their name. It's just as rude as saying, "Wow, your hair has a lot of grey!" or "Your legs sure are short!" Saying something nice is always welcome though.

    2b. If it's a name someone is considering for their baby, it would depend on the relationship and whether they are asking for advice or just telling me. If they are telling me, I wouldn't criticize unless there is something really awful they may have overlooked, like they've never heard of Viagra and chose that name for their child or something.

    3. As Lineska said above, I try to learn how to pronounce and spell the name correctly. My maiden name is French and hard to pronounce for non-francophones. It would drive me crazy to be on the phone with a call-centre and have to say and spell my name several times, only to hear, "Oh, you mean [mispronunciation]." No, I meant my name the way I said it, thank you. At least TRY to say someone's name right, even if you can't get it exactly.
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