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last few weeks and having major second thoughts on chosen names

(14 Posts)
ilovecolinfirth Thu 18-Oct-12 06:14:36

Hi, we're in the last few weeks of pregnancy and the only names we both agree on are making me have second thoughts. We both adore the name Ben Matthew. I refuse to have Matthew as a first name as that's my brothers name, but we recently got told by my friend's Chinese girlfriend (without us telling her our choice of name) that Ben means stupid in Chinese. It is also a name Chinese people would only give to a dog. Anyway, I decided to ignore this because in English "Ben" is a beautiful name. However, then a really good friend called her son "Ben"....should this be enough to put is off?

When we were pregnant with our son, the chosen girls name was "Emma". Since then, my brother and his wife have had a daughter called "Ella". We then decided against using the name "Emma" as we felt it.was too similar. However, there's no other name that draws us so much as Emma. I'm a massive fan of names which have remained popular throughout time and can just imagine Emma as good for a baby, teen, adult and old lady. It's a strong name...but is it too close to my niece's name?

evamummy Thu 18-Oct-12 06:48:47

Emma is lovely and IMO different enough from Ella. Quite underused these days so a great choice!
Ben (Benjamin or Benedict?) is quite widely used already and with your good friend also naming her son this, I'd choose another name. There are lots of lovely names around - give him his own name!

echidnakid Thu 18-Oct-12 07:07:17

I say stick to your favourites! My nephew is Ben and we are considering Benedict so very similar but nobody in the family has a problem with it. As for the meaning in Chinese, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

I think Emma is different enough to Ella to cause no problems whatsoever plus its MUCH nicer IMHO.

It sounds like just a last minute wobble, I'll bet you'll be thrilled you chose those names after the birth :-) It's SO hard to find a name you both truly love so I would hold onto them if I were you!

eBook Thu 18-Oct-12 07:57:47

A lot of names will have a different meaning in another country. Don't let it put you off.

poppy283 Thu 18-Oct-12 08:03:55

A friend of mine knows a bit of Mandarin, and says that words usually have 2 or 3 different meanings, depending on the stress/inflection when you say it. Not sure if that's helpful at all.

I'd go with Ben and Emma if I were you, congratulations!

ilovecolinfirth Thu 18-Oct-12 09:18:14

Thanks for all the messages. I guess I've decided I need to go for the names I really like. Over-used names dont bother me, as long as they remain timeless, and I guess I need to remember that although one friend has chosen Ben, any name I come up runs the risk of other people choosing it...unless I go with something really unique, which isn't my style.

evamummy Thu 18-Oct-12 09:32:45

Sounds like you've made up your mind then smile.

EdithWeston Thu 18-Oct-12 09:40:52

The word that is transliterated in mandarin Chinese as 'ben' is pronounced like 'bun'. Depending on tone, 'ben' can also mean run/rush, root/stem/native, head straight for/hurry.

I don't think it's near enough to worry about.

sununu Thu 18-Oct-12 09:44:37

I would stick with the names you love. we gave ds1 a name similar sounding to his only cousin at that point, like Emma and Ella - the only thing I would say is MIL still gets them mixed up all the time and the wrong word comes out, if you can deal with similar slight annoyance go for it!

rachel234 Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:44

I think Emma is lovely and different enough to Ella.

Ben, on other hand, is much more popular and I would not give my son the same name as my best friend's son. There are SO many names to choose from that each child should get their own name - we sometimes forget that we name our children to identify them.

ilovecolinfirth Thu 18-Oct-12 12:07:39

I can see where you're coming from Rachel, and having a friend who has chosen the same name as what we'd like has certainly made me think a lot. However don't really agree with the comment "we sometimes forget we name our children to identify them". Of course we do...to a degree...however we have gone through the "normal name" route as we want names which will carry our children through the different stages of life. Having children in your 30s + means that you will often like names other people have chosen. I like to think the identity of a child is established in a number of ways including how you bring them up, the personality that they develop etc....

My first child is called James, one of the more common names. However, despite the fact he is one of 3 James' in his nursery class, he is easily identified...the funny, smiley boy who is gentle and kind but can easily get into moods smile

rachel234 Thu 18-Oct-12 12:17:51

"Having children in your 30s + means that you will often like names other people have chosen."

Really? Do you think so? I don't think that applies to everyone, I certainly love names that not everyone else does too smile

"I like to think the identity of a child is established in a number of ways including how you bring them up, the personality that they develop etc"

Of course everyone's identity is unique! But your name is what identifies you and if you are one of 100s Steve Smiths of Mike Taylor it can be difficult to be identified easily, which, in many careers, is an advantage.

steppemum Thu 18-Oct-12 13:03:44

I love all your names and I think you should go for it. But I think I would talk to your best friend first and explain you laways had this name waiting, and not because of her son. You can always call out 'Ben Matthew' when calling your Ben when you are together. If you worry ot is too common, use the whole name (Benedict very lovely) and call him by nn, then he has a choice when older.

The other thing is, that once I had met my dcs, my name choices 'fitted' If they hadn't we would have changed. So I think you will know once he'she is born

PickledFanjoCat Thu 18-Oct-12 18:56:37

I don't agree that having a popular name matters a single iota in the workplace. At all.

Some people just prefer traditional names and that's absolutely fine.

I love the name Ben, and I rarely come across it. Same with Emma.

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