What to do when you hate the family name your partner wants to give your baby

Posted in Baby Names.

Choosing a name for your baby can be quite tricky at the best of times, but even more so when your partner is insistent on using a family name that you simply can’t stand. So do you give in or stand your ground? Here are seven ways you can navigate through this tricky territory.

1. State your case

This is your baby too and their name is something they will have for life (unless they change it later on of course!), so if you really hate the name then clearly state your reasons why. Perhaps it’s very old fashioned or is associated with something or someone which will lead to bullying. Or perhaps it’s a very common name and you don’t want your child to be the same as everyone else. Your partner might just change their mind once you point out exactly why you aren’t keen on the name. It’s worth a shot anyhow, as the last thing you want is naming regret when it comes to your baby.

2. Suggest it as a middle name

This is always a good way to compromise – use any peculiar family monikers as middle names instead. This way your partner’s relatives are still honoured, but it won’t affect your child on a day to day basis if they’re called by something else as a first name. It’s basically a win-win situation as middle names are rarely used or discussed generally. 

3. Make it on paper only

A lot of men have family name traditions for sons where the first name (and sometimes even the middle name as well as their surname) needs to be the same as theirs. So in these instances, suggesting the name be used as a middle name instead just won’t cut it. There is one way around this however, and that’s to agree to the first name on paper only. So have it on their birth certificate but make it clear you’ll be calling your child by their second name – just make sure you choose something you really like as their middle name! Even if your partner says they’re still going to use the first name, just stick to your guns and after a while they’ll realise that the middle name sounds a whole lot better than their first name.

Baby with blanket over head 

4. Rework it

There might be a way to shorten or change the name if you hate it so much. For example Howard could become Howie, Ron instead of Ronald, or Berry instead of Beryl. If you can work out a nickname for your child that you like and is based on the family name then maybe it won’t be so bad?! On paper they can have the full name, but on a daily basis, they can be known by whatever nickname you’ve decided to call them.

5. Find another family name

If you’re worried about offending your partner or your in-laws, then another compromise could be to select a different name from their family that you DO actually like. This way you’ll still be in their good books without having to live with a dreadful moniker for your baby.

6. Choose a ‘J’ middle name

If your partner is adamant about calling dibs on the first name with a family name, then make sure you’re allowed to pick the middle name and choose something beginning with the letter J. Whatever they’re called then can be shortened to their two first initials, e.g. MJ, AJ, DJ or SJ.

7. Accept it

There is of course another option – let your partner have their way. Old fashioned names are making a huge comeback, so you might actually be at the forefront of a new naming trend and not even realise it. And you never know; once your baby is here and you’re actually using the name, you might find that you end up loving it. Just make sure that if you give in, you get naming rights for the second bub.

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