Opinions on a controversial name

A neighbor recently named their son [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]. I doubt it’s for the namesake. But, I’m really struggling with it. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though I’m not Jewish, I find it really offensive. I’m curious to know how the name [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] sits with others. Are some names forever tainted?

Hmm, to me, [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] probably will be forever tarnished. I could never use it and it’s not a hard stretch of the imagination that whenever someone hears that name, Hitler is one of the first thoughts. That being said, we don’t know your neighbor’s reasoning for choosing this name. It could be after a relative or honoring their heritage…or they simply liked it. Whatever the case may be, hopefully seeing this little guy grow up next door and seeing that he is likely a typical little boy and not at all the same man who committed terrible acts years ago should help you maybe look past your discomfort with the name. I think that as much as we try not to, we can allow others who have hurt us or others to taint the innocent wearers of the same name. I fall into it to :confused: but I really hope this little boy isn’t mocked or bullied or judged just because of his name, his whole life.

I actually had a coworker named [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]. At first it was shocking but as I got to know him I associated the name with him more and got used to it.

I guess I just need to get my head around it and view this little boy for himself.

Thankfully it isn’t [name_m]Adolf[/name_m], that’s all I have to say.

I think it’s a shame people associate names with specific people.
[name_m]Adolf[/name_m] / [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] has a beautiful meaning “[name_m]Noble[/name_m] [name_m]Wolf[/name_m]” while it isn’t in my top 10 boys names it is one that I wouldn’t rule out completely (Might even make it’s way into my top 10 eventually).

I find names like [name_u]Cameron[/name_u] much less attractive just because of their meaning (“Crooked Nose”).

Summary; I don’t mind [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] - I wish people would stop linking names with ‘bad’ people and look at the beauty / meaning behind them.

I wouldn’t do it. I’m really picky with names that a person will have to bear for possibly over 80 years (with a name change or not). I wouldn’t judge a person for having the name but I might give their parents a side eye. [name_m]Just[/name_m] being honest.

I agree with this. It isn’t this little boy’s fault, but I feel bad for him - and yes, I do somewhat judge parents who use this name, whether it’s a “family” name or not. I don’t think it is usable or should even be touched for the foreseeable future, out of basic respect for all of the people who were killed or irreparably scarred by the most infamous bearer of this name. Yes, it sounds nice and it has a nice meaning, but that doesn’t erase its history - especially when you consider that there are veterans of World War II and survivors of the Holocaust still living and that the Jewish community faces social and cultural prejudice to this day. Both my grandfathers fought in World War II. One of them spent two years in a [name_m]German[/name_m] prisoner of war camp and weighed less than a hundred pounds when he finally came home. To me, it’s like spitting in their faces.

To put it another way - there are probably people out there who think that Osama sounds nice. They might be right if you divorce it from its background and just take the sight and sound of the name at face value. But the thing is, you can’t. Not now, not next year, not for a very long time. Likely never.

This topic has been raised on other threads before, and I know there is a range of opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own. But this is one name that for the life of me I don’t understand why people continue to defend.

It’s not a controversial name, in my personal opinion. The most recent infamous man who bore it was a racist, murdering psychopath, but the name itself is harmless and entirely innocent of said man’s crimes.

[name_m]Alexander[/name_m] the Great slaughtered so many people we don’t have an exact number and [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] Stalin did much of the same - yet those two names are still used commonly today and no one would think twice or care about those nasty connotations, so how is [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] any different? Overall, I feel as if people are far too superstitious in regards to names. It’s the person who makes the name, not the other way around.

p.s - In general, I happen to think that [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] is absolutley gorgeous.

[name_u]True[/name_u]. But you’re not likely to walk into a nursing home or a community picnic and meet someone directly affected by [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] the Great. Or their children, or their grandchildren. I agree that the name itself is harmless, and it’s not the name’s fault. Nevertheless, it is synonymous with bigotry and hatred. The associations and memories it raises are still incredibly painful and raw for many, many people, and cannot be erased or ignored simply on the grounds that the name has a neat ring to it. There is a world of gorgeous, under-appreciated names to choose from that don’t reopen wounds for an entire generation and their descendants. [name_u]Baby[/name_u] [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolf[/name_m] might be the nicest person in the world, raised by the nicest parents - but he’s still going to have to apply for colleges, jobs, grad programs, loans, on into infinity. And there’s every chance his teachers, potential employers, etc. etc. could be Jewish. Even if they avoid making assumptions about the individual himself, many people will understandably assume that the people who named him were Nazi sympathizers.

Bottom line: to me it’s not a matter of “superstition,” it’s about basic sensitivity and respect for (still very recent) history.

For me it doesn’t sit right because my only association with the name [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] is Hitler. My grandfather and his siblings were orphaned ( and split up by the state) because of the war. He just found a few of his siblings over the past few years thanks to social media. So for me I think it would upset my family most. I can only imagine what each family lost because of that man. So I have no idea why anyone would use his name on something so special and innocent. I would never judge the child or treat the child different because of this. It would take a lot for me to not say something of I was introduced to a child named [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m].

Honestly, I really don’t think it’s a good idea for a name any more, in any spelling. Let’s not talk as if genocide is totally a thing in the past, nor as if the Holocaust itself is a thing of the past - its effects are still evident today. If antisemitism, racism, anti-Romani sentiments become a thing of the past, then we can talk about bringing it back. But sure as hell not now. It could take decades, centuries, but now isn’t the time.

I could argue the same about Caligula, but you know as well as I do that the names [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolf[/name_m] and Caligula are connected to their most infamous bearers. [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] has other connotations such as the Biblical one. [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] has other connotations and famous bearers too. Plus both names are far more common than [name_m]Adolph[/name_m].

Because Hitler is known for targeting marginalised groups less than a hundred years ago. You might have the luxury of forgetting about [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] Hitler. Jewish people and the [name_u]Romany[/name_u] do not.

In addition, Stalin and [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] the Great don’t have the same context surrounding them. You don’t get neo-[name_m]Alexander[/name_m]-the-Great-ites. You don’t get gulag-deniers. Nobody denies what [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] the Great or Stalin did. Nobody commits crimes in their name or ideology. There aren’t any neo-[name_m]Alexander[/name_m]-the-Great-ites that will feel their views are being supported when you name your kid [name_m]Alexander[/name_m].

[name_u]Neo[/name_u]-Nazis, on the other hand? They exist. Holocaust deniers? They exist too. Racism, antiziganism and antisemitism still exists. On a downright dangerous level.

People who remember the Holocaust, they exist. Children of people who remember the Holocaust exist. Holocaust survivors and their children are prone to developing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems.

You might be able to ignore the context surrounding this name. But many will not. That doesn’t make them close minded. It makes them deeply affected by a dark period in history, and there’s nothing wrong with being agitated or frighten by being reminded of atrocities.

Let’s not go overboard on this. It’s not a name I would choose because of the connotations, but someone who is about 50 or 60 yrs old and has this name gets bigger ??? from me than someone who is born know. I simply cannot understand how someone in northern europe could have named their child [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] shortly after WWII. And yes, they do exist. But now? It is just a name and we do need to move on. What better way to do this than by using this name on a child.

So… while it’s not a name I would choose I don’t hold it against other people who do. Btw there are plenty of muslims who use the name Osama and they are not extremists. They know not to take the hatred for a man out on the name.

Yes, some names are forever tainted. [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolf[/name_m] is one of them.

There are so many nice names out there - [name_m]Just[/name_m] choose one of them

I do not think there is any moving on - historically, culturally -from the deliberate murder of six million people in some of the most inhumane ways imaginable. Certainly not when we haven’t even passed the hundred year mark, and many of the people touched by Hitler are still alive to tell their stories in person and live with those scars every moment of every day. Good old [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] also slaughtered gay people and people with disabilities along with Jews - basically anyone who didn’t agree or fit with his twisted ideology. The day that we do “move on” and [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] becomes just another name that causes no one to flinch or glance twice will be a very, very, very sad and scary day for humanity.

Yes, it’s conceivable that someone could name their son [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] or Osama and not be an extremist of any kind. In that case, however, I still have to ask why anyone would in good conscience use them when they know that these names have the potential to cause pain for others every time they are spoken or written, and why they would want their newborn child to be associated with men who did such monstrous things when they themselves are people of peace and presumably trying to raise good, compassionate, decent sons. And furthermore that even if they are not extremist, there are still extremist groups existing today that identify very strongly with those names and are very vocal about their desires to maim or eradicate hundreds of thousands of people. I simply don’t understand that logic.

Honestly, I think [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] just needs to be tossed in the trash - for the next hundred years, if not permanently. There are so many other names. I utterly fail to see how resurrecting [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] or any similar name will help people heal or move on.

And this is why I have a hard time naming a boy. I have a no mass murderers policy. So [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] and all variants are on a no no list for me. I immediately think of [name_m]Alexander[/name_m]… he burned down Persepolis. Uncultured. [name_m]Joseph[/name_m] I’m a little more mellow on, but only because it’s also an important religious name for me. [name_m]Adolf[/name_m]/ [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] would also be on this list for me…

Agreed. I know, second-hand, about how awful antisemitism can be, and the idea of it continuing on still makes me sick. My best friend was Jewish, and so I’m probably more sensitive to Semitic things than most, but I definitely wouldn’t take [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] lightly. I agree that it’s not the little boy’s fault, and I would hope that the parents aren’t choosing [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] because of him, but, at the very least, it is very unfortunate. I hope that little boy doesn’t have a hard life.

There used to be a couple in my church who had the surname [name_m]Adolph[/name_m], which can’t really be helped, either. I’ve noticed it, but it’s a lot better than going straight to Hitler. I think you get used to odd/shocking/awful names by exposure to them, but I think I’d have a hard time if I had to interact with a family who had such a named child. I would do my best to see the child objectively, but I can appreciate how hard that would really be.

I dated a guy whose middle name was adolph, after his Italian frandfather adolfo. I’m Jewish and so was his ex, so we kind of thought it was ironic that he would be into Jewish girls.

Also, where I am from there was a rabbi who was deported with the elderly people of our Jewish community, and his name happened to be adolfo. Would I name my kid [name_m]Adolph[/name_m]? Oh hell no. But I always thought it was really terrible that that rabbi, clearly an heroic man, had his bloody name taken away from him. Like, if there was a way to name a kid after the rabbi and not after hitler I totally would.

Other than that I don’t think adolph or adolfo is an attractive name, in general.