Will my SIL hate me for a name that rhymes?

About seven years ago, my [name]SIL[/name] casually divulged to me that if she had a daughter, she would name her [name]Matilda[/name]. It has family significance on her side. I’m not even sure why I remember her telling me that–she and my brother both said they were not having kids and I wasn’t drawn to the name in any way. Flash forward to now. They have changed their minds and have been quietly trying very hard to get pregnant for the last two+ years. They haven’t been successful and have had several losses and failed IVF attempts. It’s a terribly sore subject naturally and I am not allowed to even talk to her about it, per my brother.

Well, I am pregnant and due in [name]September[/name]. My favorite name on a very short list is [name]Hilda[/name] and I’m having an internal dilemma whether it’s right to use because of it rhyming with [name]Matilda[/name]. On one hand, I am not close with my brother and [name]SIL[/name] and they live in a different state. They may not have a girl. They may not even WANT to use/agree on that name. She may not even remember telling me about her name-so no hard feelings. On the other hand, she [name]MAY[/name] remember telling me her name and think I quasi-stole it from her and resent me for it. It could be a painful reminder of what they don’t yet have. And finally, I come from a family of individualists who would likely not want to use a similar name if that was their perception. (FWIW, I doubt either of us would use nicknames.) Those latter reasons would keep me up at night if I knew it bothered them.

I try to imagine if the situation was reversed but my feelings are so clouded now, I don’t know. My husband doesn’t see a problem, but most men wouldn’t, I think. Again, I can’t talk to my [name]SIL[/name] and brother about this, and we are trying to keep our names a surprise from our families so I can’t seek advice from my sister or parents.

Please, I need lots of opinions!!! WWYD???

Why not bring the name up in conversation with her? Tell her the names you’re thinking about and see how she reacts. Since it’s only rhyming and the names aren’t very close, like say [name]Isabelle[/name] and [name]Isabella[/name], I don’t see a problem with that. But if you want to be sure, I’d talk to her about it without actually bringing up your concerns on the names rhyming. If she is worried about it, she’ll bring it up. Good luck!

I don’t think that they are actually that close. But you may want to broach the subject with her just to avoid any bruised feelings.

I also don’t think they are very close. They may rhyme, but their feel is so different.

We love the name [name]Rowan[/name], but hubby’s cousin has a boy named [name]Owen[/name]. I was worried at first, but hubby didn’t think it was a problem at all.

I think they are too close. They come from the same root, and you could theoretically use [name]Hilda[/name] as a nickname for [name]Matilda[/name]. Cousins named [name]Hilda[/name] and [name]Matilda[/name] could get confusing. I would talk to her and ask her if she would mind, or even see if she’s still considering the name.

I think you should try to be Honest with yourself ; If your brother and [name]SIL[/name] had a daughter named [name]Matilda[/name], would you be considering naming your baby [name]Hilda[/name]?

Also, there are many, many beautiful names out there to choose from that won’t cause you so much stress and worry! Naming your baby should be fun and not cause rifts betweem family members; which this sistuation really does have the potential of causing.

If you really 100% feel that [name]Hilda[/name] is the most perfect and beautiful name for your daughter, then you should use it. BUT. you will have to be completely comfortable and guilt free using it.

I would avoid [name]Hilda[/name]. Because of the reasons you have listed. Maybe your [name]SIL[/name] will never have a child and she will have the painful reminder of that name. You seem like a very sweet sensitive person, I think if you end up using [name]Hilda[/name] you will torture yourself by not knowing is ur [name]SIL[/name] is in pain over the name.

I would bring it up to your [name]SIL[/name]. I realize it’s taboo but I think it’s important if you both don’t want to have regrets in naming your children.

Thank you all for your responses!

I suppose since I really love the name to absolve myself of guilt I should just talk it out with them. Polar6, you’re right, this naming business should be fun and I hate that I’m torn. I did poll a couple of friends and they all said they’d use it, but everyone’s different. Oh how I just wish she never told me her name choice, or that my memory was worse!

I wouldn’t use it. If we’re assuming that [name]Matilda[/name] is the name she’s always wanted to use and she so wants to have a baby… Forget about her remembering that she told you or being mad at you or anything. [name]Do[/name] you want her to feel sad when she thinks about your daughters name? You seem like you care very much about people’s feelings, so that’s how I would think about it if I were you. [name]How[/name] would you feel if you couldn’t have a baby, and she named hers something that was very close to your favorite name ever… [name]Even[/name] if you never told her about, you would probably be sad, right? Because it’s not just the name, it represents the fact she can’t have a baby. I don’t think she would be mad at you (or have any right to be, at all), but she’d probably be quietly sad about it. So, personally, in order to avoid that, I wouldn’t use the name.

All that said, [name]Hilda[/name] and [name]Matilda[/name] are very different to me, even if they are related… And if it’s the only name you love, well, its hard to give that up. In the end, it’s a difficult decision that only you can make! It’s quite possible that she doesn’t even care about the name [name]Matilda[/name] anymore, maybe you could fish and find out from your brother! That’d be great, if she doesn’t even like [name]Matilda[/name] anymore!

I’ve been trying to think of names similar to [name]Hilda[/name], do you like [name]Golda[/name]?

I do like that name, although our girl will most likely have brown hair. Does that matter?? I also like [name]Gilda[/name]. Would you consider [name]Gilda[/name] to be too close to [name]Matilda[/name] too? It too rhymes, but at least it’s not a root of [name]Matilda[/name] as IrisRose says.

I think [name]Lyndsay[/name] made some great points - [name]Matilda[/name] and [name]Hilda[/name] have very different feels to me, but the rhyming (and the fact that they both end in -ilda) do make them rather close. I think you need to talk it out with your brother and sister-in-law if that is the only name you love, because you wouldn’t want to step on her toes after she’s gone through such a difficult time trying to have a baby. I get the feeling that you think it isn’t a good idea - am I right? Anyway, you may find she isn’t interested in [name]Matilda[/name] anymore, and then you can use [name]Hilda[/name] guilt-free!

By the way, [name]Gilda[/name] doesn’t really help the situation in my mind. It is one letter away from [name]Hilda[/name], rhymes with [name]Matilda[/name], and has that same -ilda ending. Sorry!

Here are names that have a similar feel to [name]Hilda[/name], should you be interested in an alternative:

[name]Agatha[/name] “Aga”
[name]Agnes[/name] “[name]Agi[/name]”
[name]Bernadette[/name] “[name]Birdie[/name]”
[name]Dorothy[/name] “[name]Dottie[/name]”
[name]Elsa[/name] “[name]Elsie[/name]”
[name]Eudora[/name] “[name]Dora[/name]”
[name]Florence[/name] “[name]Florrie[/name]”
[name]Gloria[/name]
[name]Helen[/name] “[name]Nell[/name]”
[name]Pauline[/name]
[name]Rosamund[/name] “[name]Rosie[/name]”
[name]Winifred[/name] “[name]Winnie[/name]”

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile: