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Using a country-specific name when you have no links to that place

(102 Posts)
Ca55andraMortmain Thu 17-May-18 19:45:23

Didn't really know how to describe it in the thread title!

Basically I've always really liked the name Ianto. I think it goes well with the Mylo, sholto, Arlo trend but is nicer and more unusual (here, anyway). Obviously though it's a very clearly Welsh name. We aren't Welsh, don't live in Wales and have in fact never been to Wales. Is it too weird for us to use it? I'm not sure if most people hearing it would even know it was Welsh (we live in Scotland) but I don't want to seem like we're just appropriating names from someone else's culture.

PinkCalluna Thu 17-May-18 19:51:00

I’m Scottish, I would think it was a little odd if you used a very Scottish name if you’d never even visited.

Not so odd I’d comment though.

The child will have to spend his life explaining that he has no Welsh heritage though.

Heratnumber7 Thu 17-May-18 19:54:54

Yes, very odd.
Do you know how to say it properly?

Ca55andraMortmain Thu 17-May-18 19:55:13

Yeah that's what I was thinking too - if I met an English child called Ruairidh or Mhairi or something I would think it was odd. I wasn't sure if Ianto was an unusual enough Welsh name that it wouldn't scream 'wales' to anyone who heard it (eg I would never use something like Daffyd which is a much more well known Welsh name). I don't even know if that makes any sense...

Ca55andraMortmain Thu 17-May-18 19:56:07

Yes, I know how to say it properly!

MrsHathaway Thu 17-May-18 19:59:26

I do know what you mean, and yes I do think it's a bit odd, though only a little bit. I don't think people should only use names from their own narrow culture, but I would want some kind of personal link even if it was "parents had a happy holiday there" or "parents' best man was from there".

MargaretCavendish Thu 17-May-18 20:02:45

I have a name that's from another country, and not recognised at all by a lot of English people (as I suspect would be the case for Ianto). I spend half my life going 'It's Spanish, I'm not' and while every now and again someone questions it that doesn't happen much. It's a mild pain, but pretty low in the grand scheme of things parents can inflict on their children!

beela Thu 17-May-18 20:02:55

Could you get yourself over to Wales before you have the baby, then you will have a link (I'm being flippant, but 'my parents went on holiday in Wales while my mum was pregnant with me' doesn't sound too bad?)

Ca55andraMortmain Thu 17-May-18 21:00:54

Hahaha @beela, it's a good idea but only have a few weeks to go so probably not! I could just tell people that we did though?! Thinking this name probably isn't a goer which is a shame because I do really like it. Ah well, back to the drawing board I guess!

Ohyesiam Thu 17-May-18 21:04:17

I think liking a name is a good enough reason to use it.

Buntysoven Thu 17-May-18 23:55:57

I don't really get this cultural misappropriation opinion. As long as that name is not offensive to a Cohen.. and it doesn't sound daft with your surname, surely it's a compliment to use it?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 17-May-18 23:59:22

You must have some Welsh ancestors somewhere. Surely? We all do! Have a look at your family trees. I bet there is a Williams or Jones in there somewhere.

Dixiestampsagain Fri 18-May-18 00:12:58

Not odd at all in my opinion. My name is Greek in origin and DH Irish (our parent had never been there) and our dd name is Russian (we haven’t been!). Go for it (from a Welsh person!!)

Joeybee Fri 18-May-18 00:13:11

I've had this dilemma myself, as I love the names Leonardo, Raphael and Luca. However I have no links to Spain or Italy and so it feels wrong to me. It feels pretentious.
On the other hand...why shouldn't someone pick a name they like, even if it is from another country? Why should we all stick to 'culturally appropriate' names? The world is becoming more diverse, maybe naming styles should reflect that too?
I suppose I'm saying it's a personal choice. For me, I'm not brave enough and it doesn't feel right. However I wouldn't judge anyone else negatively for doing it.

InkSnail Fri 18-May-18 00:20:31

Words are open to us all. Most names are from other countries even if they've now been Anglicised. Freedom of speech includes freedom of naming smile

SleepingStandingUp Fri 18-May-18 00:24:18

My parents called my sister Charlotte, it's French. They've never been.

Most names we use in England aren't English. It's not like you're using it disrespectfully

Dixiestampsagain Fri 18-May-18 00:31:49

Hmm- just updating after I realised I said ‘parent’ not ‘parents’- just wanted to clarify DH and I are not brother and sisterblush

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 18-May-18 00:33:18

Thpse of you who think that it would be wrong, how many sean's have anything to do with ireland?
How many alistairs have anything to do with scotland?

Its not reallh that odd or wrong

YoucancallmeVal Fri 18-May-18 00:35:21

I'm Welsh and happy to share grin A person who is unfamiliar with the name may well query its origin, but hopefully no-one would ask WHY you have used a name. Just a name and a great one at that.

LostInTheColonies Fri 18-May-18 00:40:51

What about Ivo - same vibe, but less Welsh!

ChinaRose Fri 18-May-18 00:45:59

We're in the u.s. some kids in my ds class - Aubrianna, Dario, Luca, Alex, Ryland, Misty, Madison, Tasman.... they are all very individual names. All different ethnicities too (We are in a very culturally diverse area, even for the US). No one bats an eye lid. Chose the name you want! It doesn't need to be George, William, Emily, Olivia, Isla...

Dixiestampsagain Fri 18-May-18 01:10:21

If you do use it, you have to go to Cardiff Bay to visit the Ianto shrine- it’s bizarre!

PintOfMineralWater Fri 18-May-18 01:24:11

It's absolutely fine to use the name you want, regardless of where it's from!

felicitythemangyfox Fri 18-May-18 03:15:55

Tbh I do think it looks a bit "try hard" but then I think the same about a lot of the French names that are popular at the moment so maybe I'm just boring.

Bouledeneige Fri 18-May-18 05:49:51

My son has a Scottish name (I have Scottish roots) my DD a French name (no French connection at all). But my XH baulked at Seamus. I loved it but we have no Irish roots at all and it would probably have begged that question all the time.

I have a very unattractive middle aged housekeeper name so that had to go more unusual. Neither child ever met anyone with their names.

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