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Naming a child from a country you have no links with

(63 Posts)
TripTheLightFanjotastic Mon 01-Dec-14 20:53:23

So in the running are Douglas if a boy and Ingrid if a girl, but both myself and DH are English. There are no Scottish links and no Scandinavian links, we just like the names.

Would this be a bit weird? It doesn't help our surname sort of sounds a little Scottish.

FelixFelix Mon 01-Dec-14 20:55:09

I don't think it's weird at all. Dd has a french name and we are not remotely french. My own name is Greek and I am extremely English grin

AnythingNotEverything Mon 01-Dec-14 21:00:09

I think it's be different if you were talking about Gustav or Anders, but Douglas and Ingrid won't raise any eyebrows.

DramaAlpaca Mon 01-Dec-14 21:02:30

Not weird at all.

Macloveswill Mon 01-Dec-14 21:04:47

No, can't imagine you'll come across anyone being precious about that.

Coyoacan Mon 01-Dec-14 21:04:48

Well I did that and though I still love the name I gave my daughter I am a bit sorry that it does not reflect her cultural heritage.

Seriouslyffs Mon 01-Dec-14 21:13:57

Not wierd at all- I know what you mean about very exotic names and I can't quite out my finger in why it is 'wrong'.

queenofthepirates Mon 01-Dec-14 21:16:49

Not at all but be prepared to explain it a few times a month. My DD has a Spanish name and I recount the story regularly. I don't mind though, it's nice that folk take an interest.

noisytoys Mon 01-Dec-14 21:20:32

DD has a Japanese middle name - Chihiro. She's very much English but it's a lovely name.

BikeRunSki Mon 01-Dec-14 21:21:04

Douglas and Ingrid are pretty mainstream names now though aren't they?

My dd is called Amy but we're not French, and none of the Zoe s I know are Greek.

Pico2 Mon 01-Dec-14 21:50:14

Douglas seems pretty mainstream. Ingrid is still pretty Scandi.

We have some names from other countries that we like but won't use because it doesn't feel quite right - Astrid and Seren. I was particularly concerned with Seren that it might just sound a bit crap to a Welsh person pronounced in our accent.

My DM even vetoed names from her home country for my DD as we aren't sufficiently related to the country, which I though was a bit harsh.

I think that names with Latin and Greek origins are a bit different to obviously foreign names as much of English is derived from Latin and Greek. And of course, other names from different countries do seem to have "gone native" in England.

StuffedOwl Mon 01-Dec-14 22:04:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mintyy Mon 01-Dec-14 22:13:28

It is something I just couldn't bring myself to do - for eg. I loved Angus for a boy - but I do accept that's probably because I'm a bit uptight.

moxon Tue 02-Dec-14 04:58:15

Ingrid is fine. Honestly.

Eastpoint Tue 02-Dec-14 05:07:46

Both names are lovely & well known. PS I knew an Ingrid who was half Japanese half Italian American.

Florrieboo Tue 02-Dec-14 05:24:17

I met a little girl from the Solomon Islands with one of the most Irish names ever, she had no connection whatsoever to Ireland, and yes I will admit to finding it strange (that said I don't like Irish names anyway, so maybe I would not have given it a second thought if she was called Ingrid which is a lovely name)

TheXxed Tue 02-Dec-14 05:37:26

I wouldn't but then I am generally cats bum mouth about a few things.

This thread reminded me about a name I heard a few weeks ago I was in a park in south London and a nursery had taken a few of their pre schoolers out to play in the park.

One child bolted and the nursery workers starts screaming Isis, Isis come back Isis. I was looking at this clearly European child thinking what possible connection could you have to Ancient Egypt.

SurfsUp1 Tue 02-Dec-14 05:41:00

I would not automatically think of Scottish or Scandi if I heard those names.

Unless they have non-anglo spellings or pronunciations I think most names have become pretty global. If English people were going to limit themselves to purely English names then they'd be fishing in a very small barrel!

SurfsUp1 Tue 02-Dec-14 05:44:17

x-posts there TheXxed.

What names Do you find acceptable for English children? That sounds a bit goady - sorry - I don't mean to be, but I'm genuinely interested! There seem to be so few if you limit it to names that are really English!
No Sarahs, no Annas, no Alexanders, no Leos, no Fionas, no Sophies...

TheXxed Tue 02-Dec-14 05:50:38

Well its really not up to me to decided on which names other people give their children, personally its not something I would do. Names come with their own cultural history and it feels weird to have another culture feature so prominently in your life that you share no connection with.

KatieKaye Tue 02-Dec-14 06:09:27

Both lovely names and wouldn't strike me as strange at all.
I've never personally come across a Ptolomy but am assured that it is popular!
Ingrid could become the next Freya!

SurfsUp1 Tue 02-Dec-14 06:29:09


How English does a name have to be, though, for it to be considered English? Lots of people would think of Sarah and Anna as normal English names, but they aren't are they?

I'm honestly not trying to goad just trying to understand the POV. For example I would say that I really don't like surnames as first names, but there are quite a few Scottish names that are originally surnames (Lachlan, Angus, Cameron) that I do really like. So I guess my tolerance level kicks in given enough history as a first name?

TheXxed Tue 02-Dec-14 06:43:23

These things are impossible to measure and obviously culture is constantly evolving. There are Sarah and Anne's which have featured prominently in English history which in turn have made them culturally relevant.

I guess it boils down to your own sensibilities.

Greythorne Tue 02-Dec-14 06:44:58

I agree that Douglas and Ingrid are sufficiently well known not to raise questions. Fabienne, Jean-Claude and Etienne without a French connection on the other hand....

Greythorne Tue 02-Dec-14 06:46:07

Embarrassed to admit this as it is incredibly juvenile but I work with a Spanish woman called Belen and I cannot hear her name without thinking 'bell end' ....probably just me!

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