Parents Who Regret The Name They Gave Their Child Explain Why
Photo by Adele Morris on Unsplash

Let's get this out of the way:

If you find yourself relating to any of the people below, maybe consider calling your child by their middle names?

Reddit user, u/dani4715, wanted to hear:

Parents of reddit, have you ever regretted what you named your child? If so, why?

Not HER! 

My mom regrets my name. They thought I was going to be a boy, and had a boy's name picked out. I arrived, very much not a boy, after 12 hours of labor and no epidural (sorry, Mom). She told my dad to just pick a name, so he named me after his sister, Karen. My mom and my aunt don't like each other. At all.

Dad did not get naming privileges for my siblings, and Mom made sure to pick one name for each gender well before they arrived.


A Spell Upon You.

Melissa Joan Hart Witch GIFGiphy

Hi, the child here. My birth mom named me Sabrina, after her favorite tv show, Sabrina the teenage witch. You can bet that when a certain someone from my middle school that for some reason absolutely hates me found out, he started calling me "Sabrina the teenage B." I don't go by Sabrina at all, by the way.



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I knew an Analeze once, and when she was 8, they realized that the unique spelling of her name was a popular personal lubricant.



I was almost named Luke Sky.

One guess as what my last name is.

I honestly probably wouldn't have minded much, I already took on a lot of flak in school anyway.


1+1= No. 

My name is Jessica, which is the name my dad wanted. Mom wanted to name me Clarissa. I was born early and they hadn't settled on a name, a nurse suggested combining them... the seriously considered naming me Clarissica. They had even decided my nickname would be Rissy. I am so glad Mom decided Jessica was fine, I never would have forgiven them.



For this reason I never told my kids names beforehand. EVERYONE, barring my hubs and self, found out the name at birth. All this much to the chagrin of our mothers, and especially after my MIL suggested Verna Louise if our 2nd was a girl. Over my cold dead body would a daughter of mine been named "Verna Lou".



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My dad regrets my name. He wishes he had named me after his father. When my parents had me both his younger brothers were engaged, so he figured they'll probably have sons and name him after their dad. Well one had two sons and the other had one. None of them need after my grandfather. My dad regrets picking the name he preferred and has said, "If I could go back in time, I would name you Thomas."

From the Greek Word....

My friend's name is Sepfora, and she was named that before the popular make up company Sephora got big. It's the greek version of the biblical name Zipporah (Moses's wife).


Quick Google search: Sephora gets its name from a blend of two words. The first is the Greek word "sephos," which means "pretty," and the second is the name "Zipporah" who, according to the Bible, was the wife of Moses known for her beauty.


Hey J....

As far as I know, my parents don't regret my name, but it's an odd situation... I was their first born, and my dad wanted me to be named Jerry, after himself. But we have 7 other Jerrys in my family... So they named me Jerry, but they decided, from birth, that I would go by Caleb (my middle name). I don't mind, because I don't like the name Jerry. But it makes things confusing at work, cause I don't like to explain to everyone that I prefer to go by my middle name... So I usually just go by my first name at work.


How Royal...

Not me but my SO teaches two sisters named Princess with their middle name as the differentiator. If they haven't regretted it they will when both 'Princesses' grow up........... I hope (gulp).


'new kid'

There used to be 7 kids named 'Ayden' in my grade but all were spelled differently, or had different last names, until an 8th Ayden showed up with the same last name and spelling as another kid in the same grade. We called him 'new kid' for the rest of the year. moonfishrin

Be Super....

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I always let my kids name themselves when they turn five. Some people complain, but I can tell you that my son Superman is doing fantastically.


Sound it Out. 

I named one of my kids a name that I knew from childhood, but is french. Because I am so used to the name it didn't occur to me that everyone is going to mispronounce it for the rest of their life.


I understand that you name is a pain because English mouths cant work it; but on paper at least it look amazingly awesome.


Several Spellings.

Didn't anticipate spelling her name every single time you need an appointment, prescription. It's a strange but known spelling of a common name. Used it television, fashion, and an author with it.

Like Cierra for Sierra kind of difference.

I was also unaware of how people butcher my now husbands last name (German but short). We weren't married at the time. So this kid has to spell out her first And last names every single time usually twice.

She just starts spelling now vs saying then spelling bc people still get it wrong.



i hope no one who knows me happens to be scrolling this sub... my mother absolutely REFUSES to call me by my name, and has my (22f) entire life. she named my older brother, so she let my dad name me, despite her so badly wanting to name me "laramie" (gag). my dad named me alexandria. i don't like it, and i hate being called alex which literally everyone does no matter how much i insist on alexandria. but its better than what my mom wanted to name me, and calls me.

My mother hates my name so much, and is so pissed she didn't get to name me, that she refuses to call me by my name. so instead, she came up with a nickname for me that she's called me since i was an infant: buddha. not my real name, not a shortened version of my name, not my middle name, not my initials, not a bearable nickname, not even the name she wanted for me, but fucking buddha!? BECAUSE THATS SO MUCH BETTER THAN ALEXANDRIA!? to add insult to injury, i was a very overweight child with a large protruding stomach. her yelling "BUDDHA!!" in the grocery store was always a mortifying experience.

She got "buddha" from calling me "beautiful baby" in a baby talk voice. so she would say it like "boo da ful baby" and it got shortened to "boo da" very fast. but of course when you see a mom calling her fat ass kid "buddha" the last thing you think is "oh, well thats CLEARLY short for beautiful!" no amount of begging or pleading (even as an adult) has made my mother stop calling me "buddha", she will not use my actual name. its kind of ridiculous and annoying and upsetting, but i realize theres no winning. i am forever "buddha" smh.

i think i have name dysphoria.


18 and the change. 

I had a very weird first name, that was also extremely close to my mom's name, and a very common middle name. My mom wanted my middle name to be my first name. She's told me many times she regrets that it wasn't.

At age 11 I decided to go by a nickname for my middle name. At 18 I legally changed my name to what had been my middle name.

Wish mom had argued harder for it to be my first name; would've saved me an argument with the person reading names at my high school graduation, among other things.


Name Boom. 

Yup. Named him, literally rolled out of the operating room and a nurse said she just named her kid that name. It damn exploded and now it's everywhere. My first name was the most common the year I was born and I hated it and never wanted that for my kids. My maiden name was 13 letters and can barely be pronounced so didn't want to go that route either. Easy to spell, easy to say, not common that was all I asked. And I failed.



Mothers Day Lol GIF by reactionseditorGiphy

Before my son was born, my husband and I were having a lot of problems picking boys names. Everyone in my husband's family has two middle names so that made it a lot harder.

After a few days, we landed on a name we loved. Harrison Atlas Henry Ames.

After a few hours of blissful happiness, I stopped dead in my tracks, telling my husband we can't name our son that.

His initials would've been HAHA.


Oh Schmidt!

When my sons were born we deliberately chose names that were rather common and were not family names on either side. So they were unique in our families but pretty normal in life. My mom named me after two biblical names but didn't think about the order leading to a life time of renditions of Jingleheimer Schmidt.


The Ex's Idea. 

My ex and I couldn't agree on names, so he picked boy names, and I picked girl names. He named our son after his role-play character. I wanted to make him something normal like "Michael". This is reddit, so I'm not going to say the actual name, but it would be like naming your child "Agamemnon". Poor kid got teased for his name all through school.


Ava for short.

My family comes from Africa, but I was born in America.

When I was born, my mom wanted to give me an American name, so she chose Ava, but my dad wanted to be traditional and give me a traditional name. but they ended up using Ava for my middle name. in my opinion, it's a great name, I have a lot of nicknames. but whenever we had a sub in a class all my friends would (and still do) look me dead in the eyes and just keep whispering, "their gonna mispronounce your name-" and life forget it--it is not like it's been happening since kindergarten- When my brother's birth was the same. Mom wanted him to be named Aiden, dad disagreed, got a traditional name, got Aiden as his middle name.


Decades Later.

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I think my parents do, they named me after a guy who was my dad's best friend at the time. A year or two later they had a huge falling out and 30+ years later haven't spoken since.


Smarter as you go....

So when my son was born I was allowed to pick his first name. Our last name is Barrett, so I picked Grinin. Because then his name would be Grinin Barrett.

His name is Eric.

For my second son, my wife was smarter. She let me chose the middle name, figuring hey, almost nobody knows anyone's middle name. If it's a disaster then it's easily hidden.

I chose Romeo. I figured that when he was a teenager it might come in handy. "Hey baby, my middle name is Romeo".

His middle name is Samuel.

Oh well, at least they got to keep the last name.


Ask Judge Judy. 

I named my daughter a pretty ordinary but nice name. When I got involved with the woman i am married to now, her daughter who was very little started calling my daughter something else. It stuck and not long later she went to court and changed her name. She ditched her first middle and last names and got a new first and last name without a middle name.


Too Young to Know. 

Before I was born, my older brother helped our mom and dad pick my name. I wish it could've ended there but my dad decided he liked a different, longer version of my name and continues to call me by this name to this day.

My mom and dad divorced when I was young, so to one side of my family I'm the name on my birth certificate but to my dad's side of my family, I'm something else even though it's still virtually the same name. To this day I think my dad did it as some weird kind of power play.



fanning jack mcfarland GIF by Will & GraceGiphy

I'm having a baby boy tomorrow and we are calling him Jack. Not because either of us like the name, it's just the only one we both don't hate. Can't agree on anything else. I never thought I'd have a kid called Jack but here we are.


The "Prophet"

My ex wife and I named our son Ammon after a "prophet" in the Book Of Mormon who, as myth has it, among other things, cuts off several arms of his enemies in a fight. That was 19 years ago. Ammon and I left the Mormon church 2.5 years ago after several months of in-depth research into the history of the church etc. I keep wondering if he will want to change his name bc of what it represents. To us and to everyone who knows him, and I'm sure to himself, he is Ammon ... but I hope he one day decides it's worth it to make a change.


36 generations

The first born son in my husband's line is always named John or James. With A as the middle initial. I don't like the name James so my son is John. I always wanted to name my son Sebastian Xavier but I couldn't argue with 36 generations of tradition. My second child is a girl and I wanted to name her after my mother but my mom doesn't like her name. I used it as a middle name instead. I do kind of regret not putting my foot down, especially with my second child but her first name suits her personality so it worked out.


Poor Kit. 

My brother has some regret that my Mum chose the nickname Kit for him as he was named Christopher after our father, who already went by Chris. My brother chose to go by Chris himself with his friends once he reached his teens but remains Kit to close family only because that's what we've always called him.

He was very badly bullied growing up and kids will seize on anything they can.

Kit is a very old, very romantic choice of nickname for Christopher, dating back to Elizabethan times. Unfortunately it also rhymes with a vast array of insults. You can start with twit and just keep working your way up from there.

Kit Harington's fame as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones may have made it popular again but I would advise caution. He comes from a very privileged background where it wouldn't have stood out so much.


be original....

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Yes. Gave him the first name as his dad. It's caused problems flying, scheduling dentist appointments,pharmacy confusion, etc.


The Process. 

My daughter was supposed to be a boy. So the name was going to be my father's name, my two middle names and last name. My one middle name is my one grandfather's first name and the other is my father's middle name and his father's middle name.

We barely went over girls names by the time we learned she was to be a boy. My wife had only a couple names picked that I hadn't vetoed for being exes or porn stars. So when we saw the specialist again and he asked us if we wanted to know the sex... we said we already knew. From him. But nope. It's a girl. Plain as day. So then we were stuck.

My wife suggested Aurora and I liked it. Unique. Etc. My wife likes Disney movies. I had no clue that's Sleeping Beauty. I didn't find that out until after she was born. But my daughter loves her name and it fits her perfectly. And she knows she's my princess.


Why Parents? Why?

I regret them naming me Hamish because I have a gap in my front teeth so when I tell people my name it tends to get muddled but I don't have a speech impediment, So I would say my name is Hamish. But they would say oh hi danish or shamus, it gets very annoying when I need to tell very formal people because I'm very shy and don't like correcting people.


Sorry Dad.

Well, as a Caitlin, I've just started spelling my name to people instead of saying it. Everyone tries to spell it Kaitlyn. Everyone.

My dad wanted to name me after Picabo Street and he wanted to name my sister after Kristi Yamaguchi, but my mom put a stop to that. Guess he had a thing for olympians?



My Body Is Ready Mj Rodriguez GIF by Pose FXGiphy

Hell yeah I regret it!

My son was assigned female at birth. My ex husband gave him a girly name, because most people who are assigned female at birth are actually female.

Nope! Not our son, he's trans. Really wish I would have known that and given him a name that would work for either gender, because legal name changes are a pain in the butt.



I named my daughter after a lot of thought and research (pre internet) because i wanted her to have a nice name but not an overly popular one. Two weeks after naming her there were two other girls with the same name announced in our mid size town paper, it became one of the most popular names for a few years in the country. so I regret not waiting to name her because i had other options.



When I was pregnant with my third child, I knew he was a boy. All my life, I'd loved the name Gabriel and I was set on that name. I even called the baby Gabriel when I talked to him.

That is until, when I was 7 months pregnant, my family and I got together with my sister and her family (she had just relocated close enough we could visit).

She, of course, asked about names and I told her his name was Gabriel. She paused and asked about Nick names, would I use Gabe. Now, this is my sister; we're Irish twins. She knew I had an aversion to nicknames (having never had one when everyone else in the family did - and I do mean everyone) so I told her, unequivocally, no. He would not be called Gabe.

She said I might not call him Gabe, but surely someone would and maybe he would even choose it over Gabriel as he got older. Again, I said, no way.

She said, you might want to think about that because someone is going to call him Gabe at some point...

And your last name is Lowe (phonetically low).

So, yeah. Almost regretted that.


Warmed Up.

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I didn't like our youngest son's name for about 6 months but now I can't imagine him being called anything else.


World of Warcraft Issues

Yes. And as soon as the divorce is over, my son is getting his name changed, and not just because he is trans.

Before my ex wife became pregnant, the two of us ran a large World of Warcraft guild. We had a close knit group of leaders that did various things. Our DPS Trainer became pregnant right around the same time as my ex. They bonded virtually during the pregnancy.

You can see where this is going. My wife absolutely had to have him named after the DPS Trainer's in game name. It's a very unique name that no one can pronounce right the first time. My son has always hated it. He goes by a nickname of his own choice now that has nothing to do with his dead-name.


She Gone. 

My daughter shares her middle name with her mother who turned out to be an awful mother/person and is no longer a part of our lives.


A Unique Fail. 

Not the name itself, but the spelling of it. When my son was born I decided I wanted his name to be a bit more unique, so I replaced a vowel with a y (e.g. Jason to Jasyn - not his real name)

When he was adopted later on, his parents changed it back to the proper spelling and I'm so glad, because I'd never thought about how much of a pain it would have been for him spelling his name out his whole life.

Not to mention that when people see names spelt like that, they usually automatically presume the person to be a bit, well, lower class.

I still feel awful that I could have made his life infinitely harder just because I wanted to be unique, but at least it was fixed before he learnt to write.


BOOM, Winner.


I named my daughter Karen.

Thanks, Internet.


Let's Get The Obvious Out Of The Way


I'm just here to see how many "Khaleesi" posts there are.


The amount of friends that I have who named their kids after GoT characters is just too high...


How Could You Predict Something Like This?

Isis. Back when it was just an Egyptian Goddess (7 years ago).

We don't yell her name out in public anymore.


You Can Do That?

Well, I had my first son and named him Walter Jr. But then I had my second son and he better exemplified the Walter name so I named him Walter Jr and switched the first son to Andrew, which I found in a baby name book.


When You Don't Live Up To Your Expectations

We gave my son the middle name of "Danger" thinking it would be cool when he was a high school QB, or make him look cool at college parties. But now that he's a teenager I think it's safe to say that if my son ever even attends a football game it will be because he's playing the Tuba there (not that there is anything wrong with that but probably wouldn't associate the middle name danger for someone on marching band).


Old Wounds Built In Our Roots

I dont mind my sons name but I regret that I didn't stand my ground and insist that his middle name be my great grandpa's name. I really wanted to honour my opa who was a big part of my life and my ex insisted it was "too German" and insisted he have a "good Irish name" and "allowed" my alternative.

My ex is like a quarter irish through his grandma that he never met, meanwhile my German dad literally didn't speak English til he was 7 and my mom is German and I grew up in a household where German was spoken too but go off i guess.


In Today's Racially Charged Climate, This One Certainly Turns Some Heads


Well I don't think they regret it or care but my name is Latina and I'm black. I always get asked about it and have to explain that it was completely arbitrary and I speak no Spanish


Dodged A Hairy Bullet There

My parents couldn't agree on a name, so they agreed that my dad would get to name me if I was a boy, and my mom would name me if I was a girl. My dad, in all his greatness, settled on Wolfman Jack. Yeah, thank god I was born a girl. Thanks, mom.



We were going to name our daughter Milena, but then I told my OB/GYN father what our decision was for the name. I kid you not, but he said "That is a terrible name. You will regret it. It is very close to the medical term melena, and that means bloody tarry stools. You don't want me to link her name with poop for her whole life, do you?"

So needless to say, Milena was out.


Whoa, Sounds Like There's Some Big Issues There

Before I was born, my dad wanted to name me Harley after his favorite bike, but my mom insisted that I needed a Bible name. At age 4 I chose a nickname for myself because I couldn't pronounce this Bible name, but then as a teen I questioned my younger self's choice and explored new nicknames, including Harley.

When I brought this idea to my dad thinking he'd be pleased, he got red in the face and said "I had to sell that bike to put you in school! It's nothing to me now, just a random chunk of metal. You want to be named after a random chunk of metal? Fine! I'll call you Crankshaft how about that!" And he did, for like 2 years. I don't know where the regret is in that story, but it's somewhere.


How Could You Have Possibly Known?

My wife and I don't like all the family politics of naming the children. Someone's going to get bent out of shape because one family member got used and not another. So, we racked our brains to agree on a name not used on either side of the family.

Didn't announce the name until the birth. Neither my mother or father said anything for a year. Then, one day they casually mentioned the name of my uncle's first son that I wasn't even aware of. He had died at only 6 weeks old, 15 years before I was born.

I don't know that I regret the name of my son. But, it would have been crossed off the list of contenders had I known.


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