What do you do with a horrible last name?

I’ve been obsessed with baby names ever since I was young, and because I’m a teacher, I’ve found that I have a somewhat limited list of names left that haven’t been ruined by that boy who tried to kill the other one in gym class, or the girl that wet her pants and/or cried every five minutes during the first 3 months of school.

I’m getting progressively more disappointed at my boyfriend’s last name. All of the names I’ve picked out and fallen in love with sound absolutely horrible with his slightly awkward sounding last name, and it’s killing me!

Has anyone else had to completely rewrite their love-list of baby names during a serious relationship or marriage?

I can help you if you tell me your boyfriend’s last name.

Haha sorry! The last name is Yaffe (pronounced YAH-fee, although some pronounce it YOH-fee). I understand it means “beautiful” in Hebrew, but I feel like no first names seem to work–call it preemptive concern!

[name]Imagine[/name] [name]Sophie[/name] Yaffe…oh no! I love boys names that are more similar to last names, and girls names (generally) that are unique without sounding over-the-top.

Names that normally would make me excited:
[name]Vada[/name]/[name]Veda[/name], [name]Imogen[/name], [name]Sophie[/name], [name]Marley[/name], [name]Juliette[/name], [name]Calista[/name], [name]Presley[/name], [name]Charlotte[/name] (nickname [name]Charlie[/name])
[name]Beck[/name], [name]Beckett[/name], [name]Wilkie[/name], [name]Brennan[/name], [name]Jackson[/name]


[quote=“mara”]Haha sorry! The last name is Yaffe (pronounced YAH-fee, although some pronounce it YOH-fee). I understand it means “beautiful” in Hebrew, but I feel like no first names seem to work–call it preemptive concern!

[name]Imagine[/name] [name]Sophie[/name] Yaffe…oh no! I love boys names that are more similar to last names, and girls names (generally) that are unique without sounding over-the-top.

Names that normally would make me excited:
[name]Vada[/name]/[name]Veda[/name], [name]Imogen[/name], [name]Sophie[/name], [name]Marley[/name], [name]Juliette[/name], [name]Calista[/name], [name]Presley[/name], [name]Charlotte[/name] (nickname [name]Charlie[/name])
[name]Beck[/name], [name]Beckett[/name], [name]Wilkie[/name], [name]Brennan[/name], [name]Jackson[/name]

Yaffe is a name you can work with. I’ve heard much worse. What about Focker in “Meet the Parents”? My last name is [name]Chesney[/name], and so I avoid two-syllable names that end in -y or -ie.

Girls’ names that go with Yaffe
[name]Calista[/name] Yaffe - but [name]Callie[/name] Yaffe isn’t so great
[name]Imogen[/name] Yaffe
[name]Juliet[/name] Yaffe - sounds lovely

I also like

[name]Daria[/name] Yaffe
[name]Esme[/name] Yaffe
[name]Evelyn[/name] Yaffe
[name]Gemma[/name] Yaffe
[name]Iris[/name] Yaffe
[name]Melina[/name] Yaffe
[name]Mirabel[/name] nn [name]Mira[/name] Yaffe
[name]Noemi[/name] Yaffe
[name]Rose[/name] Yaffe - elegant!
[name]Viola[/name] Yaffe
[name]Wallis[/name] Yaffe

Boys names that go with Yaffe
[name]Beck[/name] Yaffe
[name]Beckett[/name] Yaffe
[name]Brennan[/name] Yaffe

I also like
[name]Daniel[/name] Yaffe
[name]Gabriel[/name] nn [name]Gabe[/name] Yaffe
[name]Isaac[/name] Yaffe
[name]Julian[/name] Yaffe
[name]Julius[/name] Yaffe
[name]Lionel[/name] Yaffe
[name]Matteo[/name] Yaffe
[name]Miles[/name] Yaffe
[name]Oscar[/name] Yaffe
[name]Roman[/name] Yaffe
[name]Topher[/name] Yaffe

It would be easy to think of more names to go with Yaffe. My son’s roomate last year has the last name Wahe. That’s a similar sound.

My house is really strange. It is actually four levels, going up a cliff and overlooking another cliff. The house is very narrow, but goes back a ways on the third level. When we first moved into our house, I was worried that our furniture would look horrible in it. But it looked pretty good because some of the floors are parquet and the fireplace is made out of boulders. The ceilings are really high, especially on the third level.
We had to move to this house in order to be in a little city with an incredible school system for our daughter. That has paid off. She just loves her school. Plus the neighbors are so warm and friendly.
Our house is eccentric and I’ve noticed that as long as I don’t decorate it in a traditional way, it looks great. So I’ve put in gold silk curtains from Pottery [name]Barn[/name] and a black valance over the kitchen sink. Two of the lamps we’ve put in look like something in a Basque castle. I would call my new decorating style [name]Tower[/name] Rustic.
The point I’m making is with a last name like Yaffe, you just have to fall in love with it and get into it like I’ve learned to really love my house, or I guess I could call it a tower. With a name such as [name]Iris[/name] Yaffe, I think your daughter will be very sophisticated!

Names that normally would make me excited:
[name]Imogen[/name]: I think this works!

[name]Calista[/name]: I don’t think this is horrible with Yaffe…

[name]Charlotte[/name] (nickname [name]Charlie[/name]): I love [name]Charlotte[/name] with Yaffe, but, yeah, [name]Charlie[/name] doesn’t work…

I think [name]Jackson[/name] Yaffe still works!

I think you can combat a last name you dislike by choosing a beautiful first name. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think Yaffe is terrible at all!) :slight_smile:

Here are some names that I think work well with Yaffe (but you may think they’re awful) :slight_smile: :

[name]Annabelle[/name] Yaffe
[name]Caroline[/name] Yaffe
[name]Evelyn[/name] Yaffe
[name]Emmeline[/name] Yaffe
[name]Eleanor[/name] Yaffe
[name]Elizabeth[/name] Yaffe
[name]Eliza[/name] Yaffe
[name]Louisa[/name] Yaffe
[name]Miranda[/name] Yaffe
[name]Mirabel[/name] Yaffe
[name]Simone[/name]/a Yaffe
[name]Susannah[/name] Yaffe
[name]Violet[/name] Yaffe
[name]Viola[/name] Yaffe

[name]Anderson[/name] Yaffe
[name]Bennett[/name] Yaffe
[name]Benjamin[/name] Yaffe
[name]Charles[/name] Yaffe
[name]Edward[/name] Yaffe
[name]Elias[/name] Yaffe
[name]Gabriel[/name] Yaffe
[name]Harrison[/name] Yaffe
[name]Isaac[/name] Yaffe
[name]Kellan[/name] Yaffe
[name]Miles[/name] Yaffe
[name]Maxwell[/name] Yaffe
[name]Maxfield[/name] Yaffe
[name]Theodore[/name] Yaffe

Good luck! :slight_smile:

I can’t even tell you how much better I felt after reading this!

It was great to hear that some of my names might be do-able…I think I associate the last name (because my boyfriend is often referred to by his last name and not his first) as a fairly goofy name, but hearing them associated with so many other names put things into perspective.

Quite a few of the names I’ve always really liked showed up on your lists—
[name]Gemma[/name], [name]Iris[/name], [name]Miles[/name], [name]Oscar[/name], [name]Roman[/name], [name]Ben[/name], [name]Emmeline[/name]—I”ve always liked [name]Emma[/name] and this is a great alternative that I”d never thought of!

Thanks, it definitely stopped me from dumping a boyfriend because of their last name (yeah, I wouldn’t…but I can’t say I haven’t considered keeping my own last name if necessary to get a name I love!)

Does make me wonder if anyone’s grown so attached to a name or married into such a wild last name that they’ve thought about it!

Thanks a lot!

I’m so glad we could help! :slight_smile: I honestly think you have many, many beautiful options from which to chose, and I know you’ll come up with more! :slight_smile:

[name]Just[/name] to make you feel a little better, my husbands last name is Coward. Yaffe is not so bad…

Yaffe is really not bad and hardly limits your choices at all. My poor kids got saddled with a long, harsh [name]German[/name] last name that sounds like an angry person spitting. [name]Count[/name] your blessings! I can’t think of a boy’s name that wouldn’t sound fine with Yaffe. For girls, I really like [name]Juliet[/name] Yaffe (but most of the ones you list sound nice, too).

I think your last name works well with many names! [name]Every[/name] last name is going to have some names that just don’t work. My married name ends is “el” so any name ending in “el” rhymes with it! I didn’t even realize how many names I loved that ended in “el” until we got pregnant. There are so many great names though so I got over it… Sort of! Haha

Yaffe is a fine last name, but I think you want to stick with something relatively simple and straightforward (for instance, I don’t think [name]Daphne[/name] Yaffe would work, but [name]Elizabeth[/name] Yaffe sounds great), and the first syllable being a vowel may rule out many first names that end in a vowel sound. I like [name]Charlotte[/name] and [name]Juliette[/name] quite a bit, and I actually like the way those work in writing because of the double letters in both first and last name (though if you do not [name]Juliet[/name] is another spelling). The only one on your list that I would question is [name]Sophie[/name] Yaffe, because it sounds too rhymey. Unfortunately, this may be the case for most name that end in an (ey) sound - [name]Chloe[/name], [name]Ruby[/name], etc.

For what it’s worth, a LOT of last names limit the first name. For instance, my husband’s last name is [name]King[/name]. So, that ruled out most one syllable first names because they just sounded too choppy with [name]King[/name]. Also, we could not use any names that could be nouns as first names, because there are a lot of stores called ________ [name]King[/name]. For instance, I loved [name]Paige[/name] [name]King[/name] until my husband said it sounded like a copy center. And [name]Pearl[/name] [name]King[/name] sounds like a jewelry store in a shopping mall, etc.

And, having -ing at the end ruled out all sort of first and middle name combos based on the initial. For instance:

[name]Holly[/name] [name]Isabelle[/name] [name]King[/name] would be HIKing
[name]Bethany[/name] [name]Ann[/name] [name]King[/name] would be BAKing

etc. Now, we clearly overanalyzed the situation, and this is probably how we ended up with a relatively plain and un-sexy first name ([name]Laura[/name]), but my only point is that a lot of last names will unfortuanetly create issues.

And, finally, we did not use my very favorite name of all time, [name]Cara[/name], because it rhymes with my own first name, [name]Sarah[/name]!

I think Yaffe is a cool last name, but which your choices are limited by also your choice of profession. Anyone who works with children is dealing with a volume of people greater than most of us, who have all been named in very recent years, making them the pool of obvious stylish choices. That’s what makes this tough for anyone who is a teacher, for any last name. I think there are definitely more difficult or awkward last names than Yaffe, by far, but also without any input from your classroom role call, some names simply wouldn’t go anyway.

I think my own last name is fairly awkward, yet not completely bizarre or hard to pronounce (once I help correct a person), or susceptible to too many jokes or vulgar rhymes. However, a prospective husband’s last name would have to be pretty awful for me not to change my name. This has nothing to do with kids - not sure how this works, but don’t children take the father’s last name unless the couple is unmarried and irreconcilable? I believe my sister-in-law has kept her name but her children have my brother’s (also my) last name, as they are also his kids. I would expect if they had married and the kids were only hers, that he would adopt them and they would take his last name, but again, I don’t know if that’s more a guideline or a custom.

As you have several suggestions, I would try to examine names you would like, put them in a vacuum and separate it from a kid who has ruined it for you - and figure out what you like about it, and search for similar names that aren’t ruined. [name]Say[/name] every name out loud with Yaffe, without a middle name, as they would be addressed by most people all their lives. If you like [name]Ava[/name], try [name]Avery[/name]. [name]Avery[/name] Yaffe sounds kind of rhyme-y. Nobody ruined [name]Beatrice[/name] for you yet, for example, so: [name]Beatrice[/name] Yaffe, ok. [name]Bea[/name] Yaffe, kind of funny. [name]Don[/name]'t worry, [name]Bea[/name] Yaffe! She could run for class president with that slogan, but I’d keep looking.

And so on. Keep in mind your kid is not some other person’s kid, even with the same name. Maybe try on a personal policy of not getting too attached to personalities so that they linger for you years after they have been promoted from your class. Maybe you liked [name]Spencer[/name] but he disrupted your class and made you pull all your hair out. Next year, there’s another [name]Spencer[/name] who is sweet and smart, but not so precocious and snotty you want to throw up when you hear the name [name]Spencer[/name] - voila, the name is cured, is it not? You have balance, the name is well for you again. At least this will increase the number of possibilities you still have for Yaffe. Consider in the future, the possibility that you will name your child something positive and compatible with Yaffe, some demon could still be assigned to your class and muck up the name again. Head this off at the pass by not worrying too much about it.

[name]Ah[/name], the curse of the teacher. Realistically, if it’s a name you really like, you sort of have to make the executive decision to disassociate it from the problem student in your mind. That’s sort of the path I’ve taken for myself.

What about using your last name? Many children get the mother’s name. I knew a couple–he was named Carr and she, [name]Jones[/name]–and the baby’s last name became Carrjones. This might not work for you (my partner and I definitely can’t combine our last names), but if you really don’t like his last name, you could use another family name. Or who knows, Yaffe might grow on you in time. With a little creativity you will find a name you love and that works. Good luck!

I hear you! I have a HORRIBLE last name that throws out a lot of options… so much so that old co-workers would call me by my madien name. I won’t go into detail, but it’s one syllable and sounds like someone is throwing up. Seriously, your boyfriend’s last name isn’t fabulous, but it is far from horrible. I think you have some great options to work with. [name]Love[/name] [name]Juliet[/name]! Best of luck to you!

I don’t find your last name “horrible” at all! Many of the names you like will indeed work well as others have already said. I thought my husband’s last name sounded so bad with my first name that I hyphenated my name; We decided our children will have my last name too. There’s no rule saying children have to have their father’s last name! It’s up to the parents. I know some couples who give their daughters the father’s last name and sons the mother’s. Certainly last names narrow the field of first names that can be considered but really all last names do that. Here is a link to an article that discusses choosing a last name for your baby: