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Is it pretentious or somehow wrong (foreign names)

(60 Posts)
RivieraKid Sun 10-Jan-16 22:27:05


A good friend of mine has recently found out she's having a girl. She had a celebration/bump blessing thing this weekend and said that as she's a huge fan of everything Italian and visited while she was pregnant she wants to give her baby an Italian name (Carlotta). This has caused a surprisingly big issue with a couple who are mutual friends; they say it's pretentious and somehow inappropriate because neither she or her husband have a family/heritage connection to Italy. The wife even said it was cultural appropriation (isn't that something you can only do to oppressed peoples?)

Has anyone here given their baby a foreign name and been given stick for it, or decided against it for this reason? I just don't see that it's any of their business what she names her daughter.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 10-Jan-16 22:32:38

Cultural appropriation! Lol. Yes you're right, that's only applicable when there is a significant power imbalance.
Carlotta is not too out there. There are far more typically Italian names that would raise an eyebrow but carlotta is ok. I do think that using names from completely unrelated cultures can be pretentious especially when the name is quite out there.

Paddingtonthebear Sun 10-Jan-16 22:34:02

Some of the most everyday/commonly used names in the UK are of "foreign" origin though aren't they? Louise, Sarah, Claire..

SwedishEdith Sun 10-Jan-16 22:34:17

Are you the couple? Call your child what you like but people will ask if you're Italian/have Italian connections.

SanityClause Sun 10-Jan-16 22:36:49

And the moral of the story is that you should never tell anyone the name until the baby is born.

Only the very rudest people will criticise a name when introduced to a squishy new born.

defineme Sun 10-Jan-16 22:40:33

It's just life and fashion ...take names like Spanish Lola or Italian Luca-rare until recently and then in the top 100 baby names. Don't think it's particularly pretentious.

christinarossetti Sun 10-Jan-16 22:43:55

Well, if you want to stretch the point, most language is some sort of linguistic thus cultural appropriation isn't it?

Two of my children have names derived from Hebrew and one from Latin.

They're all fairly standard names, although one very unfashionable at the moment and one not often used in the UK.

If the parents love Italy, why on earth not use an Italian name?

RivieraKid Sun 10-Jan-16 22:44:33

No, Swedish, I'm not part of the couple, it just interested me that it got such a strong reaction. Exactly, Paddington - it's not as though English names don't have several different etymological origins to begin with.

RivieraKid Sun 10-Jan-16 22:45:24

I just felt so bad for her, making those comments at her party was completely unnecessary I thought sad

Figwin Sun 10-Jan-16 22:53:52

Imo, it doesn't matter, it's up to them what they call their child and it's far kinder than calling a child something that can easily be used against them like Richard Rogers of something.
With a name like that she will probably get called Carly or Lottie half the time anyway. And her peers wouldn't think twice about it either way.

Figwin Sun 10-Jan-16 22:56:22

Her friends just seem a bit rude but are intitled to their own opinions too. But who cares. If we all did what seemed popular with people around us we'd all be so vanilla

TheNumberfaker Sun 10-Jan-16 22:56:58

I think it depends on the name. Also female names of foreign origin don't sound quite so 'odd'. So Isabella , Anastasia and Maria sound fine but Giovanni, Vladimir and Didier do sound a bit funny to me.

Carlotta is lovely.

PrimalLass Sun 10-Jan-16 22:58:44

Carlotta is a lovely name.

IHeartKingThistle Sun 10-Jan-16 23:00:17

We know English people with a daughter called Jelena (with the Eastern European 'y' pronunciation). They chose it because they liked it, no connections at all. They constantly have to correct people but still love it - why on earth not?

Thinking about it though, I am always a bit confused by parents with no Irish connections choosing Caoimhe or similar. Not sure why that's different though!

Carlotta is lovely.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 10-Jan-16 23:01:36

Carlotta is lovely. People are rude.

Definitely NOT cultural appropriation.

Hellochicken Sun 10-Jan-16 23:04:38

Carlotta is lovely and I don't think you need to have an Italian connection for the name!

Holly34 Sun 10-Jan-16 23:27:40

Becoming a mum for first time I have noticed ppl with weird name options to the one chosen. Imo the parents have the right to choose and others must respect this.

I do feel people are far too opinionated when it comes to the name. Call them what you want at the end of the day, they are your babies forever wink

one must not be influenced by what others have to say about your chosen name, just laugh it off grin no matter how annoying it can be

emwithme Sun 10-Jan-16 23:30:55

The only issue with Carlotta is that she'd be wilful and strong and ride horses bareback and regularly run away from her boarding school was it only me who thought of Malory Towers?

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 10-Jan-16 23:41:19

Oh please let the offended woman be Helen.
Carlotta barely registers on the foreignometer.

Thanks em I knew it had horsey connections.

BikeRunSki Sun 10-Jan-16 23:48:34

Me too em

Why is caking an English child Carlotta, anymore inappropriate that calling it one of the many Hebrew or Irish names that are commonly used? At least Carlotta is more phonetic to the English speaking ear than Siobhan, Niamh or even Isaac.

ZenNudist Sun 10-Jan-16 23:55:45

So we all have to james, Anne, Mary, Elizabeth, Henry etc. Unless we are card carrying (insert nationality or religion here).

Carlotta is quite nice. Different but not crazy.

I have more problem with using say Muslim or Irish names if not of that faith/extraction. But that's just personal taste.

scrivette Mon 11-Jan-16 02:06:42

I thought of Malory Towers too!

I think it's a beautiful name and think the friend was extremely rude.

Are you going to show your friend the thread Riviera?

Soooosie Mon 11-Jan-16 02:23:13

What horrid silly friends

Canyouforgiveher Mon 11-Jan-16 03:34:00

Tell them to call her Darrell or Felicity instead. She might then become head girl or lead the lacrosse team.

(another Mallory Towers fan here)

Carlotta is grand.

Love the charge of cultural appropriation though-very funny.

SeoulSista Mon 11-Jan-16 04:16:04

Well in this case it is silly.

But the parents would seem to me nuts if they chose a name like "Shizuka" (Japanese) or Ng-Trang (Vietnamese) or Dilnaz (Kazakh) without their being cultural appropriation.

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