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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    South Australia

    My brother can't pronounce our favourite name...

    Our favourite boys name is Lawrence. If our little bundle is a boy I am 99.99% sure that his name would be Lawrence Gavin. Gavin is my youngest brother's name. He is 15 and has Down Syndrome. Gavin has trouble pronouncing some words especially L, S and C sounds. I asked him on the sly to say Lawrence because I know he won't tell anyone the name. No matter how hard he tried he didn't even get close to pronouncing it right. He gets frustrated when people don't understand what he's saying so now I'm worried that it's going to cause problems for him. We are leaning toward the nicknames Law or Lance. Gavin can sort of say Law and Lance comes out ance. So at least that's fairly close and he might feel okay about that.

    He can't say Elizabeth exactly right, it comes out izabeth but it's close enough that people know what he's talking about so it doesn't bother him. He has no problem saying Annabelle (which I admit confuses me because it has an L sound too). I have never had to worry about this with our girls names.

    I'm worried that maybe we need to rethink our name choice because I don't want to make things hard for Gavin. It's not like with a toddler who will one day grow up and be able to pronounce it properly, he will most likely never be able to pronounce Lawrence. I don't just want to think it doesn't matter because to me it really does matter and if I make the wrong choice I will hate myself for it. Gavin is a huge part of our lives and he is a very proud uncle.

    Do you think we need to rethink our choice? Is being able to sort of pronounce the nicknames enough?

    I know not many Berries are in a situation like ours so it can be hard to understand why it's such a big deal to me.
    Last edited by jazz1509; July 18th, 2013 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Spelling
    The 3 Princesses in my life...

    Elizabeth Hope
    Annabelle Cadence
    Madeleine Pearl

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Los Angeles
    I'm not personally, nor have I ever been, in this situation, but I've definitely had friends who had to take into consideration pronunciation issues when choosing their children's names because they came from families in which English wasn't the predominant language. Not that this is exactly the same, but I can appreciate that it is a challenging situation.

    My suggestion is: Is there maybe a special nickname that you can let your brother choose for your little one? Something not etymologically tied to his actual birth name? I was thinking it might be a way to give your brother an extra special connection to the baby. I can totally see how this might *not* work, but if everyone was into it, it could be a way for you to keep your favorite names *and* remind your bro know how much he matters to you.
    human children:
    holden timothy | huckleberry jude
    non-human children:
    penelope | puck | sofia

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Why don't you ask Gavin if he minds? Sounds like he doesn't mind calling his niece Izabeth. If you don't mind that Gavin's special name for the new little bundle is Ance, maybe he won't mind either. Or, maybe there's a special just-for-Uncle-Gavin nickname the baby could have, like Ren or Ari or Stinkbug. (I don't know, it sounds like the sort of thing many 15-year-old boys would enjoy calling a baby who adores them.)

    I think it's great that you're considering this. But don't worry. Regardless of how he pronounces the baby's name, it sounds like your brother will enjoy being Awesome Uncle Gavin.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    I really love the idea of a special nickname for Lawrence that only Uncle Gavin uses. That's incredibly sweet. Maybe you should let him choose the nickname, and then tell everyone else it's off limits (unless Gavin doesn't mind sharing).

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I agree with everyone else. Find a nickname that your brother can comfortably pronounce, perhaps something with some of the sounds in Lawrence. No reason not to name your son Lawrence, and it would be easy enough for your family to get used to an extra nickname. I think things can work out just great for everyone.

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