1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Baby Name Controversies


Updated July 10, 2012

How Not to Name Your Baby
Get a New Perspective on Pregnancy Photos
Photo © SePp - Fotolia.com
Naming your baby should be fairly easy. You pick a name you like. Your partner likes the name. There you go – baby named! The problem is that there are a ton of controversies when it comes to naming your baby. Here are a few of them:

Name of the Ex

It is hard to imagine a bigger bomb of a baby name than choosing the name of the ex. This goes both ways. You should not use the name of any serious ex of either mom or dad when it comes to baby. Even if you think you are a bigger person, this is just trouble waiting to happen. Can’t you hear the whispers of people now behind your back? Can you imagine saying the name of your ex every day? Multiple times a day? It is simple a bad idea. Just say no. That said, perhaps a variant of the name would be okay for you. Only you and your partner can decide if that would work. An example might be using the name Robert but the ex went by Bob and you call the baby Rob.

Weird Family Names

Mortimer might be a family name but if you snicker every time you say it, you are likely to cause issues with baby. The same goes for names that make you cringe, gag or anything else that’s not pleasant. If you do not like the name, and by don’t like, I mean an intense dislike, not just the “It’s not my style.” variety – don’t use it. Find a different way to honor the family.

Traditions You Don’t Like

This is tied to the weird family names, but sometimes there is a tradition that simply doesn’t work for you. I talked to a mom the other day who said that they had a habit of taking the mom’s maiden name and using it for the first baby boy’s first name. Now certainly, there are a ton of last names marching around the playground as I type, but that does not work for every last name blindly. When I asked my husband about last names he could imagine that would not make great first names, he came up with quite a few, many of which I couldn’t even believe were last names. So here are a few I found: Squirrel, Balls, Rabbit If you find yourself in a relationship with someone with a tradition like this.

Another tradition that may or may not work for you might be a history of picking out names that have the same initials. So you have all your kids with the same initials as one parent. Not only is this limiting in the name department, but it can also be annoying. (Imagine how that works at camp time!)

And need I talk about a tradition like that of George Foreman? He named all of his kids George Foreman. Talk about mini mes!

Filling Out the Birth Certificate Alone

While one would hope this was an urban legend, it does turn out to be true. This simply happens when one parent is so determined to name the baby a name, usually one not approved of by the other parent, that they manage to fill out and turn in the birth certificate without the consent of the other parent. This leads to the baby being named officially and the opposite parent not knowing any better, sometimes not until it’s too late. One familial story actually had the dad getting rid of the copy of the paper work filled out by mom and turning in another set to the birth certificate office! I simply can’t imagine this, though I can imagine the fight that occurred after this was noticed. Thankfully sometimes this gets caught before its made official. If this is your plan, stop now. You do not want to incur the anger that this might bring about, nor the costs of fixing the error. It’s better to wait it out and figure out a name you can both live with before resorting to baby name hijacking.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Pregnancy & Childbirth
  4. Baby Names
  5. Baby Name Controversies

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.