Have you ever been bullied because of your name?

We talk a lot about potential for teasing a lot on here, but I’m curious, how often does it actually happen? Have you ever been bullied or teased because of your name, and if so, was it just light teasing or something that became a severe problem? Did it leave any lasting effects on you or how you feel about your name? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you think it is important for parents to consider potential for teasing when naming a child?

Since this could be a sensitive topic for some people, don’t feel pressured to share more than you’re comfortable with. Also, if there’s something you’d like to share about that doesn’t quite fit the criteria of bullying, go ahead, I’m mostly just curious about how people have been affected by others’ reactions to their name.

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I never have!

I think hazelnut and [name_u]Hazel[/name_u] [name_u]Basil[/name_u] are cute, so I’ve most always loved being called those.

The only thing I’ve ever been bugged about being named my name is that folks used to ask me if I was named after [name_u]Hazel[/name_u] [name_f]Grace[/name_f] from The Fault in Our Stars. (I was born over a decade before the book came out.) Not remotely bullying, but a now-funny anecdote. :upside_down_face:

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Yes but not because of my name.

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No, but my husband has been because his first and surname sort of run into each other and kids always found it hilarious to say :roll_eyes: And my brother has because his first and surname together sound vaguely like a girl’s name and boys at school latched onto that. I’m now verrry cautious about how names sound with surnames!!

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I can think of one time as a kid when I just couldn’t catch anyone in a game of tag and the other children started mocking me by finding rhymes to my name. It is very easy to rhyme my name to things, but I still wouldn’t count that as because of my name. (I also wouldn’t count it as bullying because it was one instance and there was no bad blood between us afterwards.)

Some years later (as a teenager) a classmate found it worthy of pointing out that my initials were SS (they were actually SGS but he didn’t know I have a middle name). But nobody else really cared. He did continue to bully other kids including me, but not involving my name :person_shrugging:

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I have a middle name that is a bit embarassing, and the only reason I have it is because my parents thought it would be cute, but now I’m entering adulthood (I refuse to call myself an adult even though I technically am) and it’s just … not good? Everyone laughs at me for 5 minutes when I tell them and when I was little people definitely teased me for it

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I get occasionally teased for my real first name because it rhymes with many words (some of them have negative connotations) but it’s usually lighthearted.

[name_f]My[/name_f] middle name is an obscure word name and it sounds similar to some other words too so it’s very easy to tease me about it. [name_f]My[/name_f] dad and brother tease me for it (as a joke) everytime they get the chance but it’s getting a bit annoying.

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Yeah, but not severely. People have made some unkind nicknames out of my name (Moo, Mole) which I hate being called, but they haven’t had much of an impact, just annoying and stale at this point. I think it is important for parents to consider potential bullying, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor in naming their kid.

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‘Bullied’ is too strong a word, I got a huge amount of gentle teasing for my name growing up though - questions about my garden, my little lamb, my son [name_m]Jesus[/name_m], etc. Mostly people grow out of that and it was never meant in a cruel way (I found it funny, although the same joke twenty billion times inevitably begins to grate); the worst I get now is very occasionally a gross guy will try to hit on me with a ‘Mary [name_f]Magdalene[/name_f] was a prostitute’ related observation.

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I got bullied over my last name. All my family has been teased for this last name.
The whole bullying wasn’t only about the last name, I was the youngest and a shy kid, and an easy target I guess. But somehow kids never got tired of making fun of my last name.

I do think it’s important. You won’t likely be teased too much over a normal name (and then it’s just that the kids want to tease and will find anything, like you can find rhymes with absolutely any name), but you should definitely think twice before naming your kid a unique name, about how this name will be perceived by society.
I have a unique first name but even in the middle of bad bullying, it never came up because it’s still a name, just an uncommon one. But before you name your kid [name_f]Chardonnay[/name_f] or [name_u]Love[/name_u], think of how it will be seen. Not only in middle school but also in a professional setting etc.

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I didn’t actually get what was wrong with your initials at the start, tbh. Only after thinking I realised about that historical group. It is stretched imo :sweat_smile: Anyways I am sorry that these happened to you.

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Not bullied, but teased because it was ‘weird’ so people would compare it to the closest word to it they were familiar with, which is how I ended up being occasionally nicknamed [name_m]Chili[/name_m] in elementary school lol (my birth name’s Celia).

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Yes. [name_f]My[/name_f] first name is [name_u]Leslie[/name_u], which my parents pronounced with the voiced s sound: Lezzlie.
So, because I was nonconforming to my assigned gender, I was called Lez and Lezzy a lot. When I was younger (5th, 6th grade) I didn’t even know what that meant, but the way it was said led to feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Outside of my family, most people pronounced my name without the vocative: Lessslie, leading me to be called Nestle’s Quick in elementary school, which was just annoying.

How did it affect me? [name_f]My[/name_f] name can’t really be reduced to an appropriate nickname (unlike my younger sisters who had great nicknames) so I was stuck with it. I grew to despise it.
I never wanted to hurt my mom so I kept it and it costs a lot to change it. Then I had a career in publishing and my name became my brand, so I left it.

But I hate it. I use [name_u]Milo[/name_u] as my wrting name and it’s what close friends call me.

In my current incarnation as a high school teacher, there are many, many, many American children with unusal names, with non-phonetic spellings, creative variations, and sometimes just out there. I rarely hear kids seriously bullying another kid over their name – most kids have names that are what my generation would have considered weird. Kids today are more likely to be bullied over sex, gender, orientation, race, and body size.

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surprisingly no. my first name is p3tra and i say it more like PEH-tra and sometimes people will mistake it as PEE-tra.

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I have a typical name, but I was teased by one boy, because a cuss word is within my name. Still not sure how anyone can really notice it :sweat_smile:

Although my name is typical, I was the only one in my grade, with the name. But there were a bunch of boys with the masculine version of my name. So I had one friend who would call me the masculine version when she was mad at me. We’re actually still friends, 20+ years later, and she apologized for this one day, out of the blue :sweat_smile:

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Yes. A group of class clowns figured out that “ass” is part of my name (backwards) and I got called that for awhile. It wasn’t for a very long period of time but it was really distressing for me. I was very timid so my lack of a response made them lose interest eventually.
[name_f]My[/name_f] husband still gets teased about his…you should see his face fall when people repeat the same old joke…

I do think it should be taken into consideration when choosing a name. I don’t think there is a completely bully-proof name but I do think there are some names that aren’t the best idea. Obvious puns (Ben Dover), overly rhyming (Kelly Skelly), overly negative main associations (Manson, [name_m]Adolf[/name_m], etc), and so on.

In my experience, bullies latch onto anything… it could be weight, height, playing the trombone… but I don’t agree with the attitude that that means you just shouldn’t worry about name bullying.

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