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Choosing “pretentious” boys names, even if some will judge you?

300 replies

Sevendayhigher · 28/09/2023 23:47

My husband and I are expecting a baby in the next month (don’t know the sex) and we’re struggling with names, because most of the boys’ names we love are considered by most to be “pretentious”. To make matters worse, we have a double-barrelled surname which, paired with the names we really love, is going to attract judgement from some people. We don’t really mind being judged by other people behind our backs (wouldn’t be the first time) but we DO mind people actively being rude to our faces about the name we choose (making it our problem), which a few people have already been with our possibilities.

What are people’s stance on naming babies what they actually want rather than something else so that people won’t think badly of them? I swear, we’re not trying to choose names so people think we’re “posh” or something - we genuinely love them and the way they sound, and honestly, it just seems so silly to us to not choose a name we really love because other people think we’re trying to be something we’re not!

We have no friends with kids so just don’t know what the situation with names are these days - do lots of people choose names that are “out there”? This may or may not make a difference but we live in West London where we’ve heard naming can be a bit more diverse, and was wondering if anyone could give us insight about whether it was more common to choose unusual names where we live? We think the worst scenario would be not choosing one of the names that we love and then it turns out everyone else just goes for it and we’ll regret we didn’t!

OP posts:
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Msblueskies · 28/09/2023 23:48

What names are you considering?

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Moveoverdarlin · 28/09/2023 23:53

I totally get what you’re saying. I would just do it, name them the names you like. If you like Tarquin, Barnaby and Lysander don’t name the baby Jack just to please everyone else.

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NeedingAGoodNap · 28/09/2023 23:58

Without knowing the names it’s hard to know

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Inkypot · 29/09/2023 00:00

Would you be able to share the names you're considering? It is hard to gauge without knowing, sorry x

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ZenNudist · 29/09/2023 00:02

What names?

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Aquamarine1029 · 29/09/2023 00:02

Stop caring what other people think when you're doing nothing wrong and your choices don't involve or impact them. The sooner you prescribe to this mindset the happier you'll be.

It's your baby, use the name you love.

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sarsaparillatree · 29/09/2023 00:15

I have never met anyone with the same name as myself and can't imagine how weird it would be not to be unique. Go for it!

( ... though perhaps don't go as far as Elon Musk... )

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Fireisland · 29/09/2023 00:18

The only thing that's important is how your child will be perceived in life with their name, not what anybody thinks of you. And I can't see how a "pretentious" name could go against anybody really, more the opposite.

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Tumbler2121 · 29/09/2023 00:20

When you say double-barralled, is this set in stone? Used to mean posh, now just means mum and dad aren't married!

Apart from that, name the baby something that you like, and won't be embarrassed to shout out through Waitrose/Tesco/Asda when he/she runs off!

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WandaWonder · 29/09/2023 00:23

Use whatever name you want but I would think how would someone feel to be called that ie would they have to spend their life correcting people, putting up with jokes, spelling it etc.

Same can be said for any name but I personally would think first before choosing

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HeddaGarbled · 29/09/2023 00:24

People being rude to your faces is not as important as making your child a laughing stock. If you think they’ll be OK at school and in your social circle with your chosen names, go for it. If you think you’ll be making them a target for bullying and ridicule, don’t.

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iwasgonnasay · 29/09/2023 00:26

If you love the name you love the name. Your gut is telling you how you really feel even if your head is arguing against you. You might love a name but "not for your child" - which is totally fine because you know in yourself if it just isn't for you ...
Equally you might love the idea of standing out or being considered "posh" and there's also no shame in that! I couldn't do an out there name I prefer to blend. Be you.

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GasDrivenNun · 29/09/2023 00:46

St John by any chance?

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CallieQ · 29/09/2023 00:53

What's a pretentious name?

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SiobhanSharpe · 29/09/2023 00:56

See above.

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ru53 · 29/09/2023 00:57

The key I learned is don’t tell people your naming options, people are far less rude once you announce ‘this is our baby’s name’ than if you mention you’re thinking of a name. Any name is going to have negative reactions from some people. Call your baby what you want and keep it between the two of you for now. I would think in London there will be lots of unusual names. Plus it’s a multicultural place so there will be names from all over the world at any school your child goes to. I personally like unusual names it makes life more interesting, also find them easier to remember when I meet people.

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Saschka · 29/09/2023 01:02

Honestly we worried DS’s name was a bit weird (entirely normal first name, but uses a German shortened version which is quite unusual in the UK).

But then he got to school, and alongside the Caspars, Bernardos, Ayoolas, Demetrias, Nevaehs and Kiyaans, his name honestly doesn’t stand out at all.

I expect there are some places where every second child is called Jack or Ava, but you’ll be fine in any city.

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Burlapandbodger · 29/09/2023 01:07

HeddaGarbled · 29/09/2023 00:24

People being rude to your faces is not as important as making your child a laughing stock. If you think they’ll be OK at school and in your social circle with your chosen names, go for it. If you think you’ll be making them a target for bullying and ridicule, don’t.

^^ Absolutely this!

It’s odd that your “worst case scenario” is regretting not going for a name that you love, rather than your child potentially going through school being teased and ridiculed.

If friends have openly made comments to your face about your chosen name, then it seems likely that it is very unusual or
controversial in some way.

Bluntly you need to stop thinking about what other people will think of you and put yourself in your child’s shoes.

I had a list of names ready that I adored for my dds before they were born, but I ended up not using any of them because they sounded awful in the language of the country we were living in at the time.

A name I think should be a compromise between something you love, something that works where you live, and something that will be comfortable for your dc.

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hattie43 · 29/09/2023 01:20

HeddaGarbled · 29/09/2023 00:24

People being rude to your faces is not as important as making your child a laughing stock. If you think they’ll be OK at school and in your social circle with your chosen names, go for it. If you think you’ll be making them a target for bullying and ridicule, don’t.

Exactly this .
It's not just about what you like it's how your child will like his name not to be used as a source of ridicule

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User3735 · 29/09/2023 02:28

Use Dark Greener names to check statistics, that will give you an idea if the names really are rare or not. First time parents who don't work with children are often clueless. Eg a first time parent of a baby recently told me they chose Isla because it was unusual but all of a sudden there are loads... No, Isla has been in the top 50 for 15 years and peaked 10 years ago. But wether or not you like Tarquin and Giles or something that used to be posh but is now very normal with all classes like Rupert, Sebastian and Theodore, name your baby what you like. One of mine has a very posh name and I'm working class. My children's names have different styles too, I don't care. I chose what I liked the sound of.

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user1492757084 · 29/09/2023 03:14

Your child, your choice. Use a name that you love.

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CurlewKate · 29/09/2023 05:06

Who knows? Without the names nobody can possibly comment!

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Potiphar · 29/09/2023 05:19

Remember your child will have to bear his name when you are long dead and incapable of further embarrassment. Also remember we don’t know how our children will turn out, what jobs they will end up doing etc. For this reason a fairly neutral name, class-wise, is generally better. A pipe-fitter called Sebastian Chomondly-Fortescue is going to be an object of ridicule. If you must go for a posh first name at least have an ordinary middle name so he can always use that.

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givemeasunnyday · 29/09/2023 05:24

I don't have children myself, but I can assure you that if I did I would be calling them exactly what I and my partner wanted to call them, and to hell with anyone else.

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givemeasunnyday · 29/09/2023 05:25

Potiphar · 29/09/2023 05:19

Remember your child will have to bear his name when you are long dead and incapable of further embarrassment. Also remember we don’t know how our children will turn out, what jobs they will end up doing etc. For this reason a fairly neutral name, class-wise, is generally better. A pipe-fitter called Sebastian Chomondly-Fortescue is going to be an object of ridicule. If you must go for a posh first name at least have an ordinary middle name so he can always use that.

All I can say is thank goodness I don't live in the UK if this sort of nonsense still exists!

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