To think that it's rotten to put somebody off their favourite baby name?

(66 Posts)
gail734 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:04:12

My best friend is pregnant after having a hard time TTC. She has always planned to call a baby girl Elizabeth, not because she's a big royalist, but because she loved Liz Taylor. Once pregnant, she told her sister about this and the sister was obviously not impressed. She harped on about it apparently, telling my friend that "Betty" would be picked on at school for having such a "square" name, that people would think she'd named her baby after the queen, etc. When I said something about name choices today she replied, sadly, that she'd let the idea of Elizabeth go because of all the crap that her (younger, childless) sister had given her about it. I think her sister is being a total, well, I won't say it here, but it's not a nice word. I told her to think about her name choices, discuss them with her DH and keep them a secret from fannies like her sister!

MissCellania Mon 03-Dec-12 21:05:37

Can't have loved it that much if one person put her off so easily.YAbu

Elizabeth is my number 1 girls name. YANBU, who gives a toss what other people think.

squeakytoy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:08:53

There is nothing wrong with the name, and nothing wrong with it being shortened to Betty either..

SantaWearsGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 21:08:59

Why would you let someone put you off your all time favourite name so easily?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 03-Dec-12 21:09:17

I agree she can't have like it that much if she was put off so easily, but no, it's to nice to be horrible about someone choice of name.

I can see the need to question a name choice if the choice is truly awful, but Elizabeth is a pretty standard name, and wouldn't make most people automatically think of the queen. Even if it did, so what?

jennycrofter Mon 03-Dec-12 21:09:46


Mil did a similar thing to us. Pursed lips, the whole "I don't think so" shebang. We made light of it, even though we were upset, and it still rankles - though DD has a lovely (different) name, which is just right for her.

They've just it again with another relative, and she stuck to her guns. The upshot is that the extended family call the beautiful little girl something similar to, but different from her actual name. That makes me even more angry and sad.

I'd try to focus on it being thoughtless rather than hurtful, if possible. Life's short.

HairyGrotter Mon 03-Dec-12 21:09:57

My middle name is Elizabeth...nuff said. Tis an awesome name

StinkyWicket Mon 03-Dec-12 21:10:49

I LOVE Elizabeth! Tell her that, and maybe she'll change her mind.

She IBU though to let others opinions rule what she wants to name her child. What does her sister suggest anyway? Jordani? Princess? Tinkerflopsybell? After all, they are much more 'modern' aren't they?

(PS, although I personally think it's VILE Lily Allen named her baby Ethel which is taking old lady names to the extreme!)

Pancakeflipper Mon 03-Dec-12 21:13:06

First rules of Baby Names - don't ever tell anyone the baby name.

We cannot all love the same names. So tell people after baby is born what the name is.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Mon 03-Dec-12 21:13:24

when i was pregnant with DD I told my family I was thinking of name A. I then changed my mind and thought of name B. When I told my sister she said, with genuine relief, 'thank god, A is an awful name'

DD is called A (with B as a middle name). If you love a name you can't shake it!!

(in first pregnancy SIL laughed out loud when we told her what we were planning to call DS - still called him it!)

HairyGrotter Mon 03-Dec-12 21:14:05

People commented on my baby names, but I loved them, that was enough for me. I still get raised eyebrows but DD suits her name, no worries

quoteunquote Mon 03-Dec-12 21:14:27

I bet the sister uses Elizabeth for her first born DD,

all the elizabeths in our family(we have a few) get called Lilibet or Betty, I like them both.


Mil put DH off of the 2 names we'd chosen for a boy. Now at 38 wks we're back to arguing discussing again. And it doesn't help I still like the 2 mil managed to veto angry

Pilgit Mon 03-Dec-12 21:23:50

My bil doesn't like our dd's name so calls her by a shortened version that she never gets called. Winds me up. But he's a dick and dd just looks at him weirdly.

HollyBerryBush Mon 03-Dec-12 21:25:50

Elizabeth is a beutiful name - it has so may diminutives , Beth, Bella, Eliza, Elie even Betty or Liz. It's one of those timeless names that transcends any generation and can be adapted.

My sister's favourite name during her pregnancy was Chlamydia grin (until our mother told her what it was...)
I guess if your friend is willing to let her sister put her off, she didn't like the name all that much. If she really wanted it, and was set on it, she wouldn't care.
There's an Elizabeth in DDs class at school, and I know several of all ages. It's one of those timeless names that is always nice, and won't date someone who has it like other names can.

WilsonFrickett Mon 03-Dec-12 21:30:22

I had Elizabeth for precisely that reason holly - you can adjust to suit the child. A Beth is very different from a Betty.

abigboydidit Mon 03-Dec-12 21:30:55

I am always amazed that people pass comment! When I was pregnant with DS I told a friend that if it was a girl, we would be giving her my granny's name as a middle name. My granny died when I was little but was still a huge part of my life and I explained this rather tearfully thanks to the hormones. My friend's response?

"that's a name you'd give a dog, not a baby"


Kalisi Mon 03-Dec-12 21:33:48

Yadnbu! I hate this and wouldn't dream of saying it to somebody. When I was pregnant with DS it seemed like the world and his bloody wife had an opinion on our chosen name. Sod the truth, if the response isn't "Oh that's lovely" I don't wanna hear it! wink

TwitchyTail Mon 03-Dec-12 21:35:18

Elizabeth is a beautiful name.

That said, I don't think it's a good idea to share your name choices with the wider world before the baby is born. You're just asking for trouble, as no name will please everyone. Announce it after the birth when it's a done deal grin

theboutiquemummy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:36:35

Amen gail734 the sister is just being jealous your advice is sound

GaryBuseysTeeth Mon 03-Dec-12 21:39:28

If a friend had her heart set on Adolf, I may say something.

A name like Elizabeth has so many nicknames that it's a shame if one not so great one would put her off.
I'd call her Elizabeth anyhoo just to see if younger sister thought she was boring & square then.

HairyGrotter Mon 03-Dec-12 21:41:16

I dunno, I think I'd scoff at 'Adolf' in a non-committal way confused

DeWe Mon 03-Dec-12 21:46:58

I like the name Elizabeth. One of my dd's has it as their middle name. I love also that they can make so many different abbreviations out of it.
Liz, Lizzie, Libby, Eliza, Liza, Lisa, Lilbet, Beth, Bets, Betsy, Bessy, Betty... I'm sure there are others.

The only thing I'd say is if there is a name that has an association that will be picked up very quickly (eg initials spelling something) it would be fair enough to let the person know gently.
I know someone who had recently moved to Scotland when they had their first, that they planned on calling Donald. The first person they told promptly broke into singing "Donald where's your trousers" and they were a bit shock. When the 4 and 5th also broke into the song they decided it probably wasn't the best name.
18 years down the line their son (who knew he'd nearly been Donald, but didn't know why they'd changed) said "I'm so glad you didn't call me Donald. Whenever I've mentioned it to anyone they've always started singing Donald where's your trousers..."

I think it depends on the reasons. My DM put me off our first choice of name for DD, but with quite a sensible reason (no one could spell the name we had chosen). I don't regret it in the least and love the name we chose in the end. But the reasons your friend's sister gave are just rubbish and that is out of order.

SanityClause Mon 03-Dec-12 21:50:30

You gave the best advice to your friend.

It's hard enough to choose a name both parents like, let alone everyone else in the world.

exoticfruits Mon 03-Dec-12 21:56:34

I love Elizabeth as a name-no one could put me off it.

Cortana Mon 03-Dec-12 21:56:54

YANBU, that's an awful thing to do.

FWIW I think Elizabeth is a lovely name.

Convert Mon 03-Dec-12 22:01:32

This is exactly why we told everyone when I was pg with DD that we were going to call her Grizelda. Everyone.

It was quite good entertainment as people tried to contain their horror and it stopped people being vile about the name we had actually chosen. By the end we actually grew to really like it grin

KenLeeeeeee Mon 03-Dec-12 22:02:56

YANBU to think it's awful to insult someone's choice of name, but I've always felt that if you truly love a name, other people's comments won't put you off. That's why my youngest DS ended up being called Theodore in spite of all the flack I had for it when pregnant!

If she's been put off Elizabeth so easily, maybe she didn't love the name as much as she thought. I do think that Betty is a gorgeous shortening of it.

PinkFairyTaleOfNewYork Mon 03-Dec-12 22:06:00

That's why I didn't tell anyone the names I had picked until DS was born, it really bugs me when people do this

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Mon 03-Dec-12 22:09:38

Depends. I told my brother and wife (in a nice way) that the name they picked made the baby sound like a nursery rhyme character. The first name almost rhymed with their surname.
Sil is my best friend (knew her before she met dbro) and am close to dbro so got away with it and they actually agreed.

They hadn't done the whole putting the name with surname and making sure initials don't spell twat pr anything.

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Mon 03-Dec-12 22:22:28

Family did it to us. I got told if I named the baby that, they wouldn't call him by his full name. And that it was a "poofs" name, whatever the hell one of those is.

Unfortunately it did put me off, but it also taught me never to discuss actual name choices with them again.

My children after that were going to be Englebert or Ermintrude. I stuck to that whenever they asked me.

And Elizabeth is a fine name, it's not one I'd choose but I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with it.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 03-Dec-12 22:26:40

Well, clearly she did not really love that name so much.

My family HATED the name we had chosen for ds2 with a vengeance. There was NO end to their moaning. "You cant call him that, it is a name suitable for an octogenarian. " "It is horrid phonetically, sound like a rock slide". "He will be teased, with that name in the UK"

I said: "you will start loving the name when you begin to love the baby, you will soon realize the name is JUST right for him".

It IS just right for him. It is a cool name. It is an unusual name here, but traditional in Norway. Only three letters, and still people spell it wrong! grin But hey.

So, dont feel bad for your friend, her sister did her a favour.

maxbradbury Mon 03-Dec-12 22:35:04

I love Elizabeth and Betty!
Upon finding out she pregnant with another girl, one of my friends wanted to call her dd Holly. She already had a dd called Jessica. Holly and Jessica. I know what I think of when I hear thoses name together so I told her. It didn't occur to her until I said.

AphraBehn Mon 03-Dec-12 23:03:55

I am an Elizabeth.

I have never, ever, ever been called Betty hmm.

dementedma Mon 03-Dec-12 23:04:59

Don't get it max what is the connection?

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 03-Dec-12 23:06:21

Little sisters name is Pippa of course. wink

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 03-Dec-12 23:06:33

Perhaps your friend will come back round to liking the name, which is lovely btw and has many shortened versions, so not necessarily Betty - and what is wrong with Betty, anyway?? I wonder if her younger sister would have picked fault with any name she'd told her about. hmm


And one of my favourite little girls in the world (apart from dd) is called Betty, so there!

I think the sister wants the name herself, and your friend shouldn't be put off so easily if she loves it that much.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 03-Dec-12 23:27:01

demented Holly and Jessica are the names of the little girls Ian Huntley murdered.

ddubsgirl Mon 03-Dec-12 23:29:10

Holly & Jessica 2 girls murdered on soham

ddubsgirl Mon 03-Dec-12 23:29:25

In not on

CoolaYuleA Mon 03-Dec-12 23:59:03

Someone I worked with asked me what we were going to call DD. I told her and she sniffed and said "Oh no, I don't like that, it's chavvy." shock

FWIW it's a classic name, not in the list of most popular but not off the wall, no random spelling and definitely NOT chavvy. (Whatever that actually means these days.) I don't think it was the fact that she didn't like the name it was that she actually came out with such a rude response. I didn't know her very well, and in that situation I would have said "that's nice" or something non-commital is I really hated it. I wouldn't have said it was "chavvy" even if it was Chardonnay spelt Sharr-donae because it's just bloody rude!

We still called her it - and it suits her. Don't know anyone else with her name, although that could be because I don't know any "chavs" grin

musicalendorphins Tue 04-Dec-12 03:11:50

I love the name Elizabeth, it was on my short list if I had a girl. I was going to call her Beth for short. and kill anyone who called her Betty or Liz

Lavenderhoney Tue 04-Dec-12 05:08:36

Elizabeth is a lovely name, and so is Betty, Betsy, lizzie etc. her sis was very unhelpful. I would take no notice and call the baby what I liked! For this very reason we refused to be drawn into relatives choosing our dc names or even discussing it, as it becomes a power struggle and I didn't want anyone cooing " ooh I choose your name, little lavender"

sleepywombat Tue 04-Dec-12 05:13:11

I love Elizabeth too. It was most popular girls name year I was born - all three in my class at primary were Lizzie or Lizzy (no Betties)!

Know how she feels though. We were going to call ds1 Elijah. My mum made such a stupid fuss over it, saying it in a silly voice & going on about how awful it was. So we were put off it and called him something else. When we announced his birth & told my mum his name, she said 'oh, I had just begun to love Elijah'!

reastie Tue 04-Dec-12 05:16:05

YANBU. MIL did this with me and some of my name choices (I remember a 'Martha? No, I once knew a Martha who wasn't very nice, you don't want to call her that' type of conversation hmm angry

Winetta Tue 04-Dec-12 06:49:11

I think your best friend's sister is being very mean - it's your friend's choice and hopefully she will not be put off. Not sure what the sister's childfree-ness has got to do with it, though.

INeedThatForkOff Tue 04-Dec-12 06:54:07

You're talking about my DD's name and nn here. She loves her nn and it suits her down to the ground - cute but not sickly sweet. Your friend's sister is a knob wink

ripsishere Tue 04-Dec-12 06:55:25

I love Betty. It was what DD may have been called had it not sounded like Sweaty Twat with DHs surname.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Tue 04-Dec-12 07:03:13

YANBU my MIL went out of her way to put DP and I off our favourite names angry it didnt work though and DD and DS have at least one in there somewhere.

I will admit to saying "WTF, you can't call your baby that!" sometimes when people tell me what they want to call their precious baby. But I say this INSIDE MY OWN HEAD. When it comes to baby names I go with the "if you can't say anything nice, keep it zipped" mantra. Apart from MIL's suggestions at what we should call our babies. Then I let rip because, well, she didnt hold back to spare my feelings did she? hmm

minibmw2010 Tue 04-Dec-12 07:03:16

Guaranteed the sister wants to use Elizabeth and deliberately put her off !!!

autumnmum Tue 04-Dec-12 08:32:38

I think your friends sister was very rude. the message everyone expecting should take from this thread is never tell anybody what you might call the new arrival. When I was pregnant I used to tell anyone who asked that I was going to call my baby Ulysses - that shut them up! (I didn't in case you were wondering)

vvviola Tue 04-Dec-12 08:40:44

Convert we did the same - told everyone the baby (then of unknown gender) would be called Gertrude Bartholomew (or Bartholomew Gertrude). grin

Meant everyone loved our real choice grin

Which incidentally, has Elizabeth as a middle name. I love the name, it's in my name too, and is in my Mum's & Grandmother's name too.

When we named DD2, and gave her the middle name of Victoria (from the female line of DH's family), there were a number of comments about how it was very odd that an Irish woman would name both her daughters after English queens. The extent of my response was: hmm

Signet2012 Tue 04-Dec-12 09:36:35

My 12 week old dd is Elizabeth. I've received nothing but compliments on her name and it suits her. I tend to call her lillibut as I called her that when she a bump. I will probably shorten it as she gets older when her personality is a bit more obvious. I love that she can have so many variations should she chose to.

PurpleTinsel Tue 04-Dec-12 09:45:56

This is exactly why DH & I didn't tell anyone our shortlisted names until DS was here and officially named. If they pressed us, we'd come out with daft names like Englebert or Ernestine.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 04-Dec-12 10:19:48

I think that sometimes feedback can be helpful,if the name is really bad but I'm talking more about "unique" names than classics.

However,there's nothing wrong with Elizabeth. The worst one could say about it is that it's not "unusual". It's a perfectly lovely name. Your friends sister is a bit odd. hmm

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Tue 04-Dec-12 10:32:22

My friend recently told me she was planning on calling her baby Honey now her and her DH call each other honey all the time so I automatically went hmm she knew straight away I wasn't keen and said so, I had to admit I wasn't but sure I'd get used to it, she has since changed her mind.
You can't lie when someone asks you, but if they don't don't tell them!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 04-Dec-12 10:34:01

Tell her you love it. Find some Elizabeth name loving threads on the internet and show them to her.

I think it's a lovely name. Adore Liz, Betty, Beth, Lizzie etc. Very chic name.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 04-Dec-12 10:34:52

Also can be shortened to Eliza, Elsa etc ..

Rudolphstolemycarrots Tue 04-Dec-12 10:36:00


lopopo Tue 04-Dec-12 10:40:55

Like the name Elizabeth. But I wouldn't tell anyone the names I was considering for my baby. I just don't want to hear their opinion. If you announce it after the birth people just have to like it or lump it. My MIL admitted she wasn't keen on my son's name when she first heard it but she's got used to it and its her grandson's name.

gail734 Tue 04-Dec-12 12:19:19

Winetta, I am not dissing the sister for being child-free, just suggesting that if SHE had ever had to spend a whole pregnancy listening to others chucking in their tuppence-worth about what the baby should be called, she might not do it! I think the sister is a spoilt madam who would just shake her head at every name suggestion, until my friend got to one that she approved of. Didn't make myself quite clear in my original post. It wasn't my friend who came up with "Betty" as a NN, but the sister, who did it in an EFFORT to put my friend off! She has actually been referring to the bump as "Betty Windsor" in a sarcastic tone. She is a horror, going on about how she'll be picked on at school etc. I'm surprised by the number of commentators here who have said, "Oh well, she couldn't have liked the name that much then, to be put off it so easily." My friend is a gentle soul, rather easily bossed around, who lacks the confidence of her outspoken sister. (Empty vessels...) She would have been alarmed by the sister's suggestion that calling a little girl would somehow make the child a victim of bullying.

vvviola - my own DH wouldn't let me call DD Victoria, because his family are Irish and he wouldn't have his daughter "named after an English queen". So I called her Katherine, after Katherine of Aragon, ha ha!

strawberryswing Tue 04-Dec-12 12:36:06

I'm going against the grainnl here, i told people the name i was going to give to my daughter mind people giving me their opinions. I had a couple of sneers, didnt mind in the slightest. It's a normal, classic name and not everyone is going to like it and I understand that. Aslong as the name isnt ridculous for the child, ignore it

Fwiw, Elizabeth is a lovely name, but your friend cant be put off a name because someone doesnt like it, otherwise her baby will have no name! smile

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