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Ex wants daughter to have an African name

(56 Posts)
Jade7392 Mon 29-Feb-16 10:04:05

Me and my ex are very much separated but trying to remain civil for babies sake and still talking and planning that side of things. I'm 30 weeks with a girl.

Originally I liked the names Lily, Emily and Rosie he liked the names Naveah and Paris neither I was keen on. He said that he didn't want an all English sounding name like Emily and lily for the baby. In the end we agreed on Nalah which is an Arabic variation on the African Nala.

I wanted her middle name to be Elizabeth after my great nan but he doesn't like it and wants her to have his mums name as her middle name which is Atinuke. He is Nigerian. He also wants her to have his second name which is a very African sounding one.

So her name will sound very different and African which will contrast my other children's name which are Austin and Liam Brown.

Am I being unreasonable or harsh if I tell him I don't want her to have that middle name?

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 29-Feb-16 10:05:57

So his idea of a compromise is that he has all the say and you have none, whilst doing all the work?

You're separated.

I can see why.

ATailofTwoKitties Mon 29-Feb-16 10:07:20

Nalah Elizabeth or Rosie Antinuke sound a nice mix, but I'd give her your surname and sod him.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 29-Feb-16 10:08:34

My DD has my surname, not her fathers, as we weren't together when she was born. He wa fine with it, but to be honest I wouldn't care if he wasn't.

I think it's I for your daughter to share her name with her brothers, so she doesn't feel different from them.

As for the middle name, again I would just use what I wanted blush

Katarzyna79 Mon 29-Feb-16 10:15:29

if he can't compromise i'd pick name myself because you are separated and you are carrying the baby, you will do the labour and primary care. i'd be angry don't need this bother, what a petty man!

CorBlimeyTrousers Mon 29-Feb-16 10:19:38

Yes he doesn't seem to be compromising much does he! What surname do you want her to have? Is your own surname the same as her brothers or her father? I definitely think you should have name(s) that mean something to you as part of her name.

drspouse Mon 29-Feb-16 10:21:02

I know a lot of people like having a name from each of the cultures that they come from and I agree with Kitties that those combinations work well.

Have you put your two sons' full names in that post or are those just examples? you may not want to have those there though if their surname is Brown it is reasonably common. If you didn't mean to do that then MN can remove them.

Were you married and/or did you go by your ex's surname? Or is Brown your name from your parents and your sons have it too? Or from their father (I assume not)? Unless you were married to their father and took Brown but aren't married to your daughter's father?

If it's from their father and it isn't your name (or actually if it's your married name from a previous relationship) it probably isn't right for your daughter but I'm assuming Brown is and always has been your name so would be right for your daughter too.

If Brown was another ex's name then either your parents' name or your ex's name. Both names with a British origin (I'm assuming your parents have a British surname, you don't say) AND names with an African origin are common for mixed race children so you choose, I'd say, but be prepared that your daughter may want to switch when older.

Hope that makes sense... I got a bit confused about whose name was whose because you don't really say.

SavoyCabbage Mon 29-Feb-16 10:21:23

I would say you both have to keep thinking. I wouldn't call anyone Lily Brown though.

Believeitornot Mon 29-Feb-16 10:25:07

Well you cannot deny her heritage so I would suggest she has a middle name from his family and maybe his surname with your surname as the final one.

Would you be as bothered if he was English?

My father is Nigerian and I have a Nigerian middle name but my mums surname because my father was not around when I was born. For a long time I felt ashamed of my heritage and I do wonder if it is because partly because of my name.

So it is a tough one. Do your other children have your surname or their fathers? For ease and a sense of family, if they have yours I would use yours (me and my brother have different fathers but my mums surname)

TrueBlu Mon 29-Feb-16 10:46:03

I would give her an African middle name, English first name (or the other way round) - Nahla is beautiful by the way - then your surname.

DD had her biological fathers Asian surname. He no longer has anything to do with her and I've had to fight through the courts to get it changed as she wants the same name as me and her brothers.

TheNewStatesman Mon 29-Feb-16 10:48:51

I would give her YOUR surname. And give her a Nigerian middle name---but do it for her (to give her that connection to her roots), not to please your ex.

RudeElf Mon 29-Feb-16 10:50:52

Your surname.

Compromise on first and middle name. (One his choice, the other your choice)

But your surname.

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 10:54:26

I think it is really important for children to be given their mother's last name, where the parents are separated and the mother will be rp. Especially if there are other siblings - imo it is better if the children all have the same last name.

Agree that he seems to want all the say. In your shoes I would go for Nahla Elizabeth Brown. His culture and preferences do not outweigh yours.

BaronessBomburst Mon 29-Feb-16 10:54:31

How about Nalah Elizabeth Atinuke Brown?
I've never heard the name Atinuke before but rather like it. It's pretty.

Jade7392 Mon 29-Feb-16 10:54:56

My children have my surname but it is their fathers also. We are unmarried, just both happen to have the second name brown which worked well at the time. However my last name isn't really special to me as my dad has never been in my life and my mum has her maiden name as she's never been married. I just think especially where I live having a complex and unusual name will be difficult for her. I live in a small town not London or a city so names like that are relatively unheard of around here. I know how cruel kids can be and I don't want her to get fun made out of her for having a name that isn't English so isn't "normal" to other children.

drspouse Mon 29-Feb-16 10:55:47

I do think we need clarification on whether Brown is the OP's parental surname or the OP's sons' father's surname though.

ImperialBlether Mon 29-Feb-16 11:00:18

Do your other children have your surname or their father's? If they have your own, I think your new baby should, too. You weren't married, so you get to choose the surname, in my opinion.

I think you've agreed Nalah for a first name and you get to choose the middle name.

Jade7392 Mon 29-Feb-16 11:03:24

Brown is both mine and my sons fathers second name we are not married just was a coisidence. Although had it had been different I would have given them his second name as we where together 7 years before we had our first son and my second name has no real meaning to me as my mum brought me up alone and she gave me my dads second name when I was born.
So my kids have my second name, but their dads too if that makes sense.

I don't mind giving his mums name as a middle name but I would like Elizabeth too. I just feel that he either chooses between having his last name or having his mums middle name as I don't want the name to sound too unusual.

Olbersparadox Mon 29-Feb-16 11:05:09

Why can't she have both surnames - I can't see why one name has to trump the other. What is wrong with African sounding names? If you have children with an African person, isn't it expected that they will likely have African names? I mean this could have been anything, Indian, Arabic, French etc

Do your other children have your surname? If not then why can't she also have her father's name? Elizabeth Atinuke Achebe for example sounds fine to me OR Elizabeth Atinuke Achebe-Jackson . It would still be different if your last name is Jackson for example - Elizabeth Jackson. I don't see the point of denying her her heritage because you are no longer with the father.

It also doesn't make sense giving her your other ex's surname.

RidersOnTheStorm Mon 29-Feb-16 11:06:54

I can see why he's the ex. Do what you think is best for the baby and tell him to fuck off with his opinions.

CorBlimeyTrousers Mon 29-Feb-16 11:06:56

I don't see why she'd be made fun of for being called Nallah even in a small town. It's a nice name and easy to pronounce the way it's written. In the circumstances I think Nallah Elizabeth Brown would be a good choice - same surname as you and her brothers. I don't imagine your ex would be happy but he can't really complain if he has chosen her first name.

VocationalGoat Mon 29-Feb-16 11:09:07


Swahili (originally Arabic) for angel as well as a beautiful song (best version is sung by Miriam Makeba).

SanityClause Mon 29-Feb-16 11:12:14

If you're not married, I don't think he even gets a say.

I think Nalah is a pretty name, and perhaps you could then use both mother's names as middle names, then your surname at the end.

I know two middle names seems a bit OTT, but then it's two names from each side, which seems reasonable.

SanityClause Mon 29-Feb-16 11:12:48


SanityClause Mon 29-Feb-16 11:17:44

Also, don't worry about bullying with respect to names. If someone is going to bully a child, they find a reason (the colour of your shoes, the fact you're good at maths, anything really).

Unless the name was something like Poo-Bum*, or something like that, that really didn't work at all well in English, then children are usually pretty accepting of unusual names.

*Farcical made up example, obv.

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