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Would you use a name from a culture that is not your own?

(80 Posts)
CadburyMellos Mon 03-Apr-17 07:44:03

For example if you were 100% british, would you thinnk it ok to use an Arabic or Hindu name?

What if the name was from a select part of Britain, such as a Cornish name like Morwenna or Piran and you're from the north so as far away from Cornwall as you can get?

HeyCat Mon 03-Apr-17 07:46:59

Personally I wouldn't: school friend has a very Welsh name and has spent the last 30 years telling people she's not Welsh, her parents just liked it. She meets a lot of people in her job and says she's asked about her name several times a week. Her children have very classic popular names as she's so tired of this.

BigBrownSofa123 Mon 03-Apr-17 07:47:50

No, I'd feel ridiculous.

Cosmicglitterpug Mon 03-Apr-17 07:50:22

Well it depends on the name I suppose. One of my children is called Iris which is an Ancient Greek name, but people don't query our background as it's a known name. Had she been called something more unusual it probably would arouse comment.

zen1 Mon 03-Apr-17 07:52:19

I would as there are some lovely names from other cultures / countries and I would not want to be restricted to using traditionally british names. As it is, all my DC have names that are non-British in heritage (oldest is a teen now) and no one has ever commented negatively.

Therealslimshady1 Mon 03-Apr-17 07:53:57

I have an unusual name, not from my parents culture, and yes I always have to explain

Then I ended up doing the same to my kids grin

Sabistick Mon 03-Apr-17 07:58:00

I would if there was a really good link ( honouring a godparent/best friend) but not if it was just a whim.

ComeTheFuck0nBridget Mon 03-Apr-17 08:09:04

I would do it, there are some lovely names from other cultures and countries, I've grown up with the most boring name ever, and I always wished for some more exotic or unusual so that probably influences my decision

exexpat Mon 03-Apr-17 08:09:15

DD has a not-British first name, but one which has a long tradition in my family and works well in English (people usually say what a nice name it is). Her middle name is used in both China and Japan - she was born in Japan, so there is a connection - but also sounds like a common English name. I did think quite hard about using those names, and there are reasons.

I find it quite weird, as a Japanese speaker, when I hear of people calling their children something like Akira (an anime character) when they don't speak Japanese and have no connection to the place other than liking anime - I feel a bit sorry for a child being effectively named after their parent's hobby...

ScarletForYa Mon 03-Apr-17 08:10:18

Well, I wouldn't.

I'm Irish and so is DP, so I wouldn't pick something Russian/Greek/Jewish/African just randomly. Ideally I like the names to 'go'

But it's different if the parents are from two different cultures, as then the name tells a story.

Adebowale Murphy
Patrick Wiśniewski


KarmaNoMore Mon 03-Apr-17 08:11:37

It depends on the name. If it easy to read and pronounce easily where you live, it will be ok.

BounceBounceSplishSplash Mon 03-Apr-17 08:11:54

I know someone whose child has a Cornish name and they are not from Cornwall. It's a lovely name and I don't think they're strange for using it.

KarmaNoMore Mon 03-Apr-17 08:18:46

Also check the connotations of the name. Ie. Dolores is a Spanish name that became popular abroad at some point, the name came from the Virgen de los Dolores (virgin of the Pain), which is a version of Virgin Mary venerated in Spain. I understand there are Spanish families who started using the name in honour of Virgin Mary (and older relatives with the same name). But would you want DD be called Pains?

I also see a lot of girls with a name is only used in Spain in dogs and cats (it is not like Felix, it is like calling a child Fido)

BipBippadotta Mon 03-Apr-17 08:22:37

Depends where you're living. Friends in New York (second generation immigrants from India and Italy, respectively) recently had a baby and gave him a Welsh name. Nobody batted an eyelid. I think you'd get a hard time about it in the UK though.

ineedwine99 Mon 03-Apr-17 08:27:18

We British and our baby has a polynesian name

Jooni Mon 03-Apr-17 08:33:13

I would, though I'd probably avoid anything tied to a different religion because I wouldn't want to accidentally cause offence.

Loads of names have a "foreign" origin of some kind, however far back. Chloe, Daphne, Claire, Isabella, Jennifer, Jemima, Dylan, Finn, Beau, Magnus... As long as it "works" in English and isn't going to cause a ton of spelling and/or pronunciation problems for the child, I'd go for it!

PegLegAntoine Mon 03-Apr-17 08:39:29

I really love Japanese names but have no real link to Japan so wouldn't use them.

Ancient Greek names are on our list but I feel it's a bit different they are historical rather than being from another modern culture. That said I probably won't be brave enough anyway (Athena/Athene or Artemis as middle names) so it's a moot point

Cornish etc I wouldn't bat an eyelid as it's still English

Brokenbiscuit Mon 03-Apr-17 08:41:14

Well, technically, I suppose my dd's name is Jewish, as are many "traditional" names in this country. We have no Jewish heritage.

I think it's fine to use a name that you like, regardless of where it's from. Most "English" names probably aren't English at all.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 03-Apr-17 08:54:34

Like brokenbiscuit I've got a Jewish name , I'm CofE lots of people have names that are not part of their culture. Benjamin and Joseph are Jewish too aren't they!

elQuintoConyo Mon 03-Apr-17 08:54:43

My parents called my dsis an Irish name- we aren't Irish! She has never met another and people misspell it a lot, although it is very eady to pronounce. She is very successfully self-employed and her name has been a help (memorable) rather than a hindrance. My mum liked the name when she heard it in a film. My dsis has 2 middle names, both classic.

My name is classic 70s.

I would not raise a single eyebrow hair if you were Scottish and called your son Gonzalo.

I did lol at exexpat my ds could be called Needle or Spool grin

Oh and Dolores: v popular in the USA in the 30s/40s. There are many films with characters of that name, the waitress in The Odd Couple springs to mind. Much more common in the ol' US of A.

ems137 Mon 03-Apr-17 09:38:21

DD has got an Irish name, Niamh, it's not particularly unusual but i suppose if you don't know how to pronounce it it is quite odd. People very often ask me why we chose that name whereas they don't ask why we chose my sons name (very English style name). My GP were Irish and so I feel as though I have an "excuse" to use an Irish name. I think I'd feel quite odd if I didn't have a reason behind it tbh.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Mon 03-Apr-17 09:50:22

Yes, I would if I really liked it , or it had a special meaning to me.

Rockaby Mon 03-Apr-17 10:00:33

It totally depends on the name. I am a bit of a mix in terms of heritage / background but I suppose I'm mainly Irish. I like Irish names, but none of the older generations in the Irish side of my family have Irish names, so it would feel a little forced to me, to suddenly start choosing only ancient Irish names now.

We have a Teresa, an Anna and a Miriam in the family, which I think are all Spanish(?). We have a Richard too, which I think is originally French.

I think names like Cohen can be seen as offensive to some people, so I think I'd be careful about that sort of thing, but other than that, why not?

Girlincognito1 Mon 03-Apr-17 10:04:42

I think it's closed minded to say no. My name is french and unusual in France but I'm not french. My daughter has an asian name which fits in 2 countries and people don't think we're asian. Not that that would matter. I chose the name because I love and respect the culture.

Girlincognito1 Mon 03-Apr-17 10:08:16

Oh and that area of Asia definitely has meaning to me for more than one reason.

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