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Middle name dilemma

(58 Posts)
Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 15:55:16

DH and I rather surprisingly settled on our imminent arrival's first name very easily, with virtually no squabbling. However, middle names are turning out to be a nightmare. He is absolutely hell-bent on giving her his grandma's name. As much as I liked his grandma and I know how much it means to him, I really hate the name.

The nature of our arguments is to go on for days until I give in out of sheer exhaustion, which has been the case with this. But as a conciliatory gesture he has suggested that I choose her another middle name, and he has promised not to contest it. Now, of course, I can't decide.

The agreed first name, which is (almost) definite, is Lucy.
The grandma's name is Barbara.

The prospective additional names I am considering are Elizabeth or Marianne (spot the Jane Austen fan!)

My concern is that both of these would make her full name rather a mouthful, but I can't think of any shorter names that I like, except possibly Elise, but I'm not sure it works with the other two names.

So I'm looking for opinions on all possible permutations...and maybe even the possibility of gracefully declining the offer of a third name and having just Barbara for a middle name. I will never accept that it doesn't mean "Carry on Camping" to everyone in the world except him, but how often does a person really use their middle name?

Crosshair Sun 07-Aug-11 16:06:11

I dont use my middle name if I can avoid it. We both agreed not to bother for our baby.

I like Elise, not keen on Barbara it doesnt flow well with Lucy imo.

Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 16:23:33

I know. It doesn't go at all... but sadly Barbara is the one name I can't change because DH absolutely will not budge. If only I could get him to abandon the idea of a middle name altogether, but then he'd give up Lucy before he gives up Barbara.

I need to work out how to arrange the names I do like with Barbara. I'm starting to wonder if it's even possible to make it sound acceptable. I've had many tearful moments over it and I feel awful for giving my poor, helpless little girl who's done nothing to deserve it such an awful name, but if I can sort of disguise it a bit in amongst some nicer names maybe one day she'll forgive me!

SaffronCake Sun 07-Aug-11 16:25:09

I just can't get over the way you've been bullied into submission. In my oppinion you should automatically hold the casting vote because you were pregnant and gave birth and I think pretty poorly of him as a man for not behaving with more dignity. All I can say is go back and tell him that you're not going to cave into bullying and it's got nothing to do with wether the name is amazing or appalling, it's the dual principle firstly that in a relationship you don't batter people until they can no longer resist and secondly that in a respectful society of course Mum's earned the last word, or at the very least there is equality.

Crosshair Sun 07-Aug-11 16:26:52

Doesnt Barbara have a middle name thats more sutible? or maybe ask her on advice name wise so she's still included as a compromise?

BikeRunSki Sun 07-Aug-11 16:32:28

I have 2 middle names, both with family connections (one is my paternal grandmother's name, one is a place where my father lived for a long time abroad). They don't flow that well, but I LOVE the reasons for my names, and have never considered my name awkward or clunky. I would accept you fate and go with Barbara, or maybe see if you can find an acceptable variation on it. Babette? Bea? But then, that is not naming your DD after DH's grandma.

(Or try something along these lines. I was just pg when DH's grandma died earlier this year. I assumed that this baby (it is a DD) would be named after her, but DH said "Why? I only ever called her Grandma".

I realise that Bea is usually an abbreviation of Beatrice, but I do know a Barbara/Bea.

Actually, I don't think Barbara is that bad, and I certainly don't automatically think of CoC when I hear the name.

whostolemyname Sun 07-Aug-11 16:32:39

Oh dear, how difficult. I think I would just have Lucy Barbara. But Lucy Barbara Elise is nice too I think. Its nice that her wants to honour his nan in this way I think.

bamboostalks Sun 07-Aug-11 16:33:26

Do not roll over and saddle this poor baby with Barbara. Both the Babs I know hate their name. Just because he wants it does not mean you do not negoiate. Even pulling 2 names from a hat would be fairer. He sounds a bully tbh. Is he? Has this Granny given him a kidney or a million quid? My beloved Granny was called Myra Gay. Am I compelled by this to name my dd Myra Gay. Er no I love her too much.

Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 16:52:55

He's not a bully but he is super-stubborn. So am I, which is why our arguments (which to be fair, are fairly rare) tend to turn into a pointless battle of wills. Also, I completely understand his reasons for wanting to honour his grandma - she did practically raise him after his parents split up. She died the day we got back from our honeymoon and he was absolutely devastated. At the end of the day she was a really lovely lady and I was fond of her too. Just not her name! (And believe me, her middle names were just as bad!)

I really wish I could just go with it and be happy about it. There is no possible solution that will please both of us. He wants the name, I don't. There's no common ground to meet on, which is not a situation we've been in before. I'm trying to be the bigger person here by finding a way that I can live with it, when it's obviously something that means so much to him. And if I get to choose another name without his approval, that's as close to a compromise as we're likely to get. Except I can't decide which option sounds best! Hopeless, aren't I?

It could be worse, I suppose. It's not like Barbara will be her first name. And he could have had a gran called Mildred...

SaffronCake Sun 07-Aug-11 17:00:07

But why would he do this to you? It's got nothing to do with stubborn about what he likes, it's about that he is outright forcing you to do something you hate. Where is the love, the respect, the partnership? No one with an ounce of respect would force someone they purport to love into anything they hate. Your further explaination does nothing to un-horrify me.

InstantAtom Sun 07-Aug-11 17:01:15

Deciding "this is the name we're having" is not a compromise.

Choosing a name you both like is the sensible and fair way to do it.

Thumbwitch Sun 07-Aug-11 17:01:15

If you put another name between Lucy and Barbara, it might help - but Lucy Barbara _ just doesn't go well.

What about Lucy Ann Barbara?
Lucy Claire Barbara?
Lucy Ellen Barbara?
Lucy Faye Barbara?

It would need to be fairly short, I think, to get over the length of Barbara (I have a DS who has a ridiculously long name - two middle names that are too long as wel - argh!)
Not sure I really like any of my own suggestions there! sad

Crosshair Sun 07-Aug-11 17:02:39

Its whatever you're happy with and if you're not happy now is the time to say, obviously if you're willing to go along with it there's no point complaining about it.

Lucy Barbara Eliza lastname
Lucy Barbara Elise lastname
Lucy Barbara Anne lastname

InstantAtom Sun 07-Aug-11 17:04:55

Or are there any Barbara-related names that you prefer...?

Babette, Bibi, Bonnie, er... Barbie? confused

Larold Sun 07-Aug-11 17:11:01

Imagine how cool it will be for your dd to have the same name as Barbie!

I was very nearly named Barbara because my parents wanted to name me after my dad whose name is Robert nickname is Bobby. The nickname for Barbara is Bobby too.

They changed their minds at the last minute and called me Laura instead ??

Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 17:57:09

If I could think of a name that I like, that goes well between Lucy and Barbara, that would be my ideal solution. It would mean not having to rake up the whole argument again which I am not prepared to do having already had it twice and achieved nothing but pissing each other off.

I'm not really here because of DH's unreasonable insistence on something that he knows I dislike. Neither of us can make the other change their point of view so what we've landed on is basically "you choose one middle name, I'll choose the other." I've villified him here more than he deserves because in every other aspect of preparing for parenthood he's been an absolute hero (and indulged my wishes on enough occasions to make me wonder if I'm being rather a cow to be pissy over the Barbara thing, which is really the only thing he has felt strongly enough to fight for).

So I'm not really looking for suggestions on how to change DH's mind. I appreciate the support and assurance that I'm not the one being unreasonable, but it's a done deal. I've agreed to it now and won't go back on my word. What I could do with now is some advice from more artistic and creative people than me, who might be able to suggest ways to make two names that absolutely do not go together, sound acceptable.

And Larold - you're a saint for pointing that out about Barbie! I hadn't even thought of that. The idea that DD might absolutely love the name Barbara (even if only until she's about ten) never really seemed possible but you have given me hope!

SoupDragon Sun 07-Aug-11 18:01:14

DD's middle names are after my grandmothers but neither are their actual name. One grandma was Frances so I chose Francesca and the other was Beatrice but, as she hated her first name, I went with her middle name Marguerite. Both are "honoured" and I can explain to DD why I chose those names and tell her about the two women she is named after.

Is this a compromise option for you and your DH?

ceri1985 Sun 07-Aug-11 18:07:18

It's her middle name and its in honour of someone the father of your baby girl loved very much. If he was insisting on Barbara as a first name then it'd be different but how many people actually use their middle name? It's often written as an initial on bank cards, letters etc and Lucy B. Surname sounds nice.
Unless you are going to call her by her full name every day then I wouldn't worry.

Its about the gesture and the emotion, I bet he wouldn't pick the name Barbara if it weren't his grandmas name. good luck smile x

InstantAtom Sun 07-Aug-11 18:33:52

Lucy is a classic name, and Barbara is fairly old-fashioned. I think another fairly old and medium-to-long name would be a good balance with Barbara.

Lucy Barbara Marianne would fit nicely smile Lucy Barbara Elizabeth is a bit trickier to say with the a and E running together.

Lucy Barbara Josephine
Lucy Barbara Catherine
Lucy Barbara Miranda
Lucy Barbara Juliet
Lucy Barbara Coralie
Lucy Barbara Susannah
Lucy Barbara Victoria

I wouldn't use Barbara as the second middle name because it comes as more of a surprise later on in the name, whereas if you have Barbara first the second middle name can soften it somewhat.

Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 19:12:59

Thank you, Ceri. That's pretty much how I'm looking at it. As much as I don't want DD to hate her name, I also don't want to hurt DH. He can be an awkward sod but he's not digging his heels in to be malicious. I'm trying to see it as an opportunity to be an awesome wife and make him very happy. And I have to reluctantly admit to getting warm fuzzies thinking about DH's relatives' reactions when we tell them.

And SoupDragon, The Gran in question had three names, the other two being no better (in fact slightly worse) than Barbara. Besides, it was Barbara she was known as and I fully understand how it wouldn't really be honouring her to pick a name that wasn't associated with her. DH didn't even know what her middle names were until her funeral.

I will make sure DD knows there is a reason behind her name. I just want to make the combination as nice-sounding as possible.

InstantAtom Some nice suggestions there. And good point about putting Barbara in the middle. I was swaying towards pushing it to the end but it does sound better with a pretty name each side. :-)

fedupofnamechanging Sun 07-Aug-11 19:34:18

I disagree about having Barbara in the middle. I think that if you have two really pretty names and then Barbara, you tend to focus on the first two names as the real ones and recognise that Barbara is a tribute to a loved relative. Putting it third sort of minimises it iyswim.

I also think it is easier to find a name that flows with Lucy. It's natural to pause after saying two names, which allows a natural break before you say the third , so it wouldn't be so crucial that Barbara flowed from the second name, as you'd have a natural pause.

I'm not sure I've explained that very well, but try saying the names out loud as that will help you to decide the order.

Taffybird Sun 07-Aug-11 22:12:22

Also good points. DH has a third name which comes from a dear departed relative. It's pretty old-fashioned but doesn't bother him at all as it's obvious that his first two names were chosen for him and the third one is a family name. In fact I recently learned that when DH's father went to register the birth, the plan was only for two names. He snuck the third name in (it was his father's name) without telling DH's mum. At least DH is honest about it!

BaronessBomburst Sun 07-Aug-11 22:24:31

Barbara is really not a horrible name - it might not be your choice but it's not that bad at all! DH wanted to name DS after his grandad. I really am not keen on the name but it was important to him so I agreed. And you know what, you never use the middle names and soon forget they even exist. She'll just have the initial B on her savings account.

deste Sun 07-Aug-11 23:12:34

I had a friend called Barbara but was called Barri for short.

skrumle Sun 07-Aug-11 23:29:12

i would have barbara as the second middle name - you couldn't just use her maiden surname? my kids have a middle name that goes with their first name (so they could chose to be known as firstname-middlename without it sounding daft) and then family names as their second middle name.

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