What are your thoughts on shaming a mother’s name choice?

A friend of mine just had a baby girl she named [name_u]Tatum[/name_u]. I went to congratulate her and I was rather upset by how many people questioned her name choice. One man went as far as to ask her “where on earth are you getting these names?” I felt really bad for her especially since she’s just given birth and the last thing she needs is to have people make her feel badly for what she CHOSE to name her daughter. I know when I named my son I had my fair share of people raising their eyebrows, but no one vocally said anything to me. So what are your thoughts on this? I can’t believe how bold people are getting when it comes to showing their dislike for things.

The only reason you should shame someone’s name choice is if you’re very close to the parents and you honestly think the name could have a negative impact on the baby’s life, and even then you shouldn’t outright tell the parents that it’s awful. For example, if my sister wanted to name her child something like [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m], I would say something along the lines of “I don’t think giving your child that name is a good idea, he’ll have that name his whole life and I doubt you’d want to have the same name as the devil. It’s up to you, but just something to think about”. If it was just an acquaintance, co-worker etc. I wouldn’t say anything, and I would never say anything about a name if it just wasn’t to my personal taste. (And for the record, [name_m]Calix[/name_m] & [name_u]Tatum[/name_u] are both lovely names)

Sometimes, people just suck, have no tact and act bold behind a keyboard :confused: Shame on them. I hate that your friend is having to deal with such immature people when she should be able to focus on her little girl and recovering.

I’ll admit, some friends or family have chosen names that I dislike, but I’d never say that to them! People pick names for many reasons. [name_m]Just[/name_m] because a name doesn’t appeal to one doesn’t mean it isn’t the most beautiful name in the world to another.

Honestly, I tend to be over sensitive, so I’d have called that poster out on being insensitive and whatnot, while congratulating the new mum on her little girl, and lovely name choice.

[name_m]Plenty[/name_m] of people I’ve gone to school with or been friends with have chosen names I don’t like, but I’m of the mindset that it’s not my child, so it’s not my place to say anything.

I had negative comments from my mother and aunt shortly before [name_u]Finn[/name_u] was born. They wanted something more traditional, preferably in-line with our culture/their religion ie. [name_m]Christopher[/name_m]. My mother spent a solid hour throwing dozens and dozens of other names at me. “You can use [name_u]Finn[/name_u] in the middle,” she kept saying. And my aunt reacted with “[name_u]Finn[/name_u]? Where did you find THAT?” Nothing was said when he was finally born and although people looked at us a bit strangely: “[name_u]Finn[/name_u]? Like a fish?” they didn’t say anything more about it. I am so glad we chose his name. I love it and it suits him. I can’t imagine him being a “[name_m]Christopher[/name_m].” I’m sorry your friend is going through this. [name_u]Tatum[/name_u] is a wonderful name, unusual, but thanks to [name_u]Channing[/name_u] [name_u]Tatum[/name_u] not unheard of either. I actually know of it from some TV movie when I was a kid, so it’s nice to hear it being used.

I agree with the above poster: if she named her baby [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m] or [name_m]Adolph[/name_m] or something along those lines, it might be in the baby’s best interests (and the mother’s as well, because that’s a lifetime of potential bullying and ramifications to deal with). But if it’s just not to their taste? I would tell them politely once “we love the name and are happy we chose it” and if they persist I would put my foot down “thank you for your input, we chose a name we love for OUR baby and have no plans in changing it.” Hopefully now that baby is here and the name is out, people will be quiet.

I agree with the previous posters that I’d only say anything if the name would have a negative impact on the child.

When Hjörtur was born we got a lot of negative reactions. My own family loved it (or at least nobody said anything negative), but my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] said she hated the name, mainly because it was a name from my heritage and not hers (the middle name was though). Apart from that, some people said they find the name very “unexpected” or “special”, meaning they’d never heard it before. One woman said people wouldn’t be able to remember, pronounce or spell the name and that we “should have chosen something a bit more normal, since we weren’t living in Iceland anymore.”

[name_m]Even[/name_m] if it might have a negative impact on the child I probably wouldn’t say anything, particularly if the child had already been born. If the name wasn’t set in stone I might bring up issues if I thought there were major ones.

I have gotten a lot of comments about [name_m]Atticus[/name_m] – “where did you get that? [name_m]How[/name_m] do you pronounce that? I’ll never be able to pronounce that. [name_m]How[/name_m] do you get [name_u]Kit[/name_u]? Oh, that’s… interesting.” And even though no one outright says they don’t like it, the comments still hurt! A name is something people obsess over for months, they don’t make the decision lightly. So even if I don’t like something I say congratulations and mind my business.

Hmmm… Well, I think it’s ok to be honest when asked. I also think it’s ok to name shame if, as pps said, they chose [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m] (or as often happens to me, they are not native speakers and don’t know the other meanings of the name… here’s looking at you, [name_f]Candy[/name_f], Amoeba, Soccer, [name_f]Cherry[/name_f], and [name_m]Dick[/name_m]).

My family always thought I had the wackiest taste in names. For [name_f]Emiliana[/name_f], my mom can’t pronounce it. My sister’s family won’t even try. My sister said I should have chosen something “normal, like [name_f]Grace[/name_f]”. My mom asked my husband (Persian, btw) to make sure all other kids got “normal” names. They were ok with [name_f]Pari[/name_f], because at least they could say it. MANY Americans have tried to name shame me over my daughter’s name. Europeans and Iranians are kind of ok with it.

For [name_m]Caspian[/name_m], we mentioned it and my mom said he’d be bullied because of [name_m]Casper[/name_m] the Friendly Ghost… … Oddly, his name has gone over better with Americans. It’s a bizarre name for Iranians, and took some time for the in-laws to get used to. But their hesitation was useful, as it let me know we needed a more common Iranian middle.

I agree with @northernlights I would never say something about someone’s child’s name if they were already born & birth certificate signed etc. What good could that do? I also agree with @tfzolgadhr that if asked I think it is best to be honest, but I would still try to be sensitive. If one of your good friends told you they planned to name their unborn child [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m] and asked what you think, I think it is fine to express your concerns in a gentle way. If they were born and named and no one asked you if you liked it or not I think the right thing to do is just say congratulations and move on.

Nowadays everyone thinks they have the right to comment on anyone’s choices of anything. I think this has to do largely with social media, on which people are used to commenting endlessly on all kinds of things, and hiding behind a mask of secrecy.

People really have to think twice before making outwardly rude, personal comments in general.

Obviously, if someone was asking for an opinion it’s a different story.

I think if someone is asking for opinions, or saying they’re not sure about a name, such as ‘we’re thinking about naming him…’ then opinions can be given. Obviously of you dont like a name you shouldn’t just say it’s horrendous and a terrible name, but giving valid points of why you, and perhaps many others, aren’t a fan of a name can be helpful.
If the baby is already born and named, or the parents are announcing a name decision before birth, then any criticism should be held. ‘We are going to name him…’ is not asking for your views, nor are any criticisms helpful. The parents have made their decision. Same goes for if they are asking on opinions for which middle name for a first name, negatives of the first name are not what is being asked for.

Most of the time I’m of the opinion not your kid, not your business. I wouldn’t say anything unless someone asked my honest opinion and even then I would try to be gentle. People have different tastes in names and there’s nothing wrong with that.
[name_u]Tatum[/name_u] isn’t my personal style but it’s not offensive and I don’t find it odd or a bad choice at all.
You will never please everyone so the best advice you can give someone is to go with the name they love.

I think it’s completely inappropriate to shame someone about their choice of name. One could perhaps quietly discuss the name with the parents if there’s a genuine reason for concern, but I think there are very few names that are genuinely inappropriate to use. 99.8% of the time, it is no ones business to comment on anyone’s choice of name. Not your baby. Not your business.

I think there is also a way to voice a concern without sounding judgemental. If I’m close with a couple who are sharing their name choice with me, and it’s any kind of [name_m]Lucifer[/name_m]/[name_m]Adolph[/name_m] name, I would say something supporting first, or something like “[name_m]How[/name_m] unique, Are you concerned about the connotations of the name or the connection to___?” But I still would never say, you should not use that name or shame them for it.

And this is even if I am close with the parents. I don’t think anybody should be making negative comments at all.

When we are pregnant, I will not be sharing gender or prospective name choices with anyone until birth :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t call it “shaming” in this case, but I see a fair amount of negativity on Nameberry in the forums.
When somebody asks about everyone’s opinions of a name they are considering for their child, this is what I pretty much break it down to.

Appropriate responses if you don’t like the name:
“It isn’t my style”
“It might often be mispronounced or misspelled“
“It might have this bad association”
“It is a tongue-twister for me to say.”

Inappropriate responses:
“Ugly”, “clunky”, “try-hard”, “yoo-neek”, “plain” or anything else that is simply unhelpful!

In the real world, just keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t like the name! You do nothing but make someone feel bad.

All any name needs is to be

  1. Spellable
    2, Pronouncable.
    If you love and name and I don’t best thing is not to comment.

Yeah that does suck. It’s a obvious that someone has bad intentions when they do that because shaming your name choice is only going to upset you and make you feel self-conscious about it. It’s plain mean.

I haven’t looked at the other responses but I’m willing to bet that at least one person has said “everyone is entitled to an opinion” (actually no one said this! *note to self: this isn’t youtube lol) but the difference here is that that opinion is going to hurt someone else, so it’s best to just keep it to yourself. As the saying goes, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’.

People always judge when you live your life outside of the mainstream because everyone feels pressured to stay in the mainstream and no one wants to. So when you have the courage to step outside of it, someone else is always going to try to beat you down about it because they’re too scared to try it themselves.

It’s not written in stone though, people can change and I think there is some progress here, mainly with younger generations.

Awful! I don’t like this at all. First of all, [name_u]Tatum[/name_u] is not a weird name to me, I love it! I gave my child a very unusual name and have gotten some strong opinions about it. In fact, we didn’t tell people our name choice beforehand because we didn’t want to hear opinions. Does no one have manners anymore? Its one thing to express your opinion on a forum like this where people are asking for it, but giving your opinion or expressing your dislike for a person’s name choice, or anything really, is very rude and inappropriate. When it comes to parenthood, too many people are critical these days. Unless its truly dangerous, there’s no need to say anything. Keep your bad opinions to yourself! Parenthood is hard enough without people ripping each other apart over stupid stuff.

Society has successfully programmed me to never verbalize an opposing opinion. I would just fake smile and cringe inwardly, but nothing more.

I would never insult someone else’s name choice or even question it. It’s not my business and honestly I’m just happy when people share their name taste with me! My SO and I might talk about it later and be like “eh, I don’t really like that” but that’s it.

I’ve been surprised that feedback to my daughter’s name has been so kind! And I’m thankful people have kept any judgment to themselves haha