My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Find baby name inspiration and advice on the Mumsnet Baby Names forum.

Baby names

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:
lliij8 · 30/09/2023 19:36

Think I am in a minority of one here, but I like plain, basic names. James, John, David, Daniel. That sort of thing. They all shorten nicely to nicknames. And they don't say a lot. It's hard to prejudge a James. (Ok, maybe some of you will say, well, James clearly has a boring mum).

I'd feel embarrassed to give my kid a poncy name, to be honest. It seems a bit egotistical! Like announcing how special they are. I'd rather they made an impression by how they act towards others, and the interesting things they do.

littlestrawberryhat · 30/09/2023 19:39

In my experience with friends who have an unusual name, is that they all love it. It’s like an instant conversation starter. I’m jealous I have one of the most common girls names of my generation. They are only in school for such a small portion of their lives and from there on I feel like an unusual name is a gift! Names are so personal and I admire those brave enough to go for the unusual names. If we have a second child I’m going full on out there!! You can always shorten it. Please don’t be swayed by the masses of basics out there.

suzysnowball · 30/09/2023 19:41

It's not Roman Empire is it?

Ohhoho · 30/09/2023 20:14

You might well find that when the child meets you you will dump the names you imagined and be inspired by their reality. Let it be. Neither of mine were called by the names I had thought of before they were born. You’ll just know. Big 🤗

helpplease01 · 30/09/2023 20:33

Don't discusses names with anyone prior to birth. Just don’t. It’s nobody’s business!
Pick the name you like. It’s your decision NOBODY else’s business.
Fuck everyone else. This is your Kid you’re talking about. Why would you give some randos that influence 😳

VeraMay · 30/09/2023 20:40

Naming a new baby is a minefield. Whatever you name the baby he/she will only be known to friends by their first name or be given a nickname.
The only advice I would give is to check the meaning of a name and whether it means something not quite nice in another language.
I know someone who didn't research the baby's name or consider any shortened versions and he's now stuck with it.
Whatever you name the baby, you might find a pet name is used.
My DD had a friend called Poppy. It was several years before DD found out that the child hated her given name, and so told everyone her name was Poppy.
When baby is born you may use a name you have already chosen or go for something completely different. No 3 DC was baby for 3 weeks until we found the right name for her. Mind you, she now gets called a variety of nicknames based on her name.
My DH has a "posh" name but was from a very working class background but he survived.

GrilledPineapple · 30/09/2023 20:42

My parents wanted to call me Balthasar or Caesar (pronounced “Cezzar”). I was eventually named after a well known Disney character - please for the love of god and your child’s sanity, choose something normal!

VivaLaVolvo · 30/09/2023 20:45

GrilledPineapple · 30/09/2023 20:42

My parents wanted to call me Balthasar or Caesar (pronounced “Cezzar”). I was eventually named after a well known Disney character - please for the love of god and your child’s sanity, choose something normal!

Dumbo?
Bambi?
Snow White?

SlightlyJaded · 30/09/2023 20:45

OP, I am West London. My DC are much older now but one of them has a name mentioned on this thread.

I have had a real think. I know of:

Lysander x2
Atticus x3
Seraphina x2
Hugo x a bazzilion
Niven x 1
Elektra x2
Anastasia x3
Anoushka x2
Thaddeus x1
Xander x2
Xavier x2
Othello x 1
Ariel x 1
Sebastian x 3
Theo x 4

In other words, if your names are 'classic' or shakespearean rather than made-up or 'unique' spellings, you will probably be in company and are safe to go with whatever you like :)

Saschka · 30/09/2023 20:50

VivaLaVolvo · 30/09/2023 20:45

Dumbo?
Bambi?
Snow White?

I’m hoping Pinocchio! Or Cinderella.

I do know somebody called Bambi, but it’s a nickname (for barbara I think)

GrilledPineapple · 30/09/2023 20:51

Nope, more unusual than that in afraid! 😂

MsRachelDoesItBetter · 30/09/2023 20:56

My tip would be to never tell people names you’re considering before you name your child. People will have so much to say and even if they don’t use words their face will say it instead! Once you name the baby people don’t say anything to your face (unless they really are CFs)

VivaLaVolvo · 30/09/2023 20:56

GrilledPineapple · 30/09/2023 20:51

Nope, more unusual than that in afraid! 😂

Oh

I know a Tinkerbell- that isnt you is it?

SpringIntoChaos · 30/09/2023 21:04

I absolutely LOVE the name Lysander - so much potential there, which is brilliant as your child grows up. ♥️

HobbiddoH · 30/09/2023 21:19

Just remember it’s not only you people may or may not be judging, it’ll be your DS too. For the rest of his life. I think “unique” is different from pretentious.
We know a Darwin, which honestly I find quite twattish. But like when you’ve mentioned Lysander, I don’t actually view that as pretentious. Others views are obviously different.
But without knowing the name that you have in mind specifically, it’s quite difficult to tell you. As I said, unique & unusual is different to what could come across as try-hard & twatty.
Just remember your son will have to live with that name.

Hill79 · 30/09/2023 21:26

Whatever you call the baby people will have comments!

leave them to it and go ahead and call YOUR baby anything you damn well like!!!!

Notlaughingalot · 30/09/2023 21:31

TheBirdintheCave · 30/09/2023 12:25

@greglet Magnus is just lovely 😍

Or go all Motherland and opt for Manus😁

Rewis · 30/09/2023 21:33

The concept of a posh name is quite interesting. Quite a few used as an example here are names I hear all the time in my old very low income council house/trailer neighbourhood.

I guess it's one of those where it's trailer trash when you're place x and posh when place y. Like with double barrelled last names. Sometimes sign of being posh, sometimes sign of unmarried parents.

Name your kid what you want. Everyone has opinions about names and there is no concensus. And people don't mett other people and actively think if they like the name or not. It just becomes a name. Only at the naming phase are you actively thinking if you even really like it

Nanof8 · 30/09/2023 23:14

Name your child what you want. My children were named what we wanted not what people would think.
The worst we get with 1 of my son's is people think his name is pronounced Karen not Ciaran.

Potiphar · 30/09/2023 23:23

Nah, if your mate tells you she’s thinking of calling her child something absolutely ludicrous it’s your duty as a friend, and indeed as a HUMAN BEING, to say “no don’t do that for fuck’s sake.”

This is all just ego. “I want my child to be unique.” Well he will be unique. He doesn’t need a silly poncy name to be unique.

Potiphar · 30/09/2023 23:24

Btw one of the girls at my daughter’s school was called “Orinoco.”

Potiphar · 30/09/2023 23:36

Of course there’s nothing to say that your unusual/unique name won’t have a sudden spike in popularity.
Eleven years ago my friend decided to call her son “Arlo”, believing this to be a fairly left-field, quirky and out of the ordinary choice.
For his entire life he’s been one of four or five Arlos in the class.

StinkerTroll · 01/10/2023 00:09

Doubled barrelled surname here...... we decided to go with names that were unusual enough not to have loads in a class but not uncommon enough to be weird and that has served us really well (except for the fact when we saw the registrar in the hospital I was so high on morphine I insisted on a sightly unusual spelling on one name...... its driven me bonkers with schools inability to spell it ever since!!! Think Harriett instead of Harriet or Sophey instead of Sophie!)

Blueink · 01/10/2023 03:29

MsRachelDoesItBetter · 30/09/2023 20:56

My tip would be to never tell people names you’re considering before you name your child. People will have so much to say and even if they don’t use words their face will say it instead! Once you name the baby people don’t say anything to your face (unless they really are CFs)

Agree with this.

As long as your first priority is to the experience of the child growing up with the name, whether others like it is not important.

If it’s a name just because the parent likes it or made it up when they were 12, with no consideration to the child (novel spellings etc), that’s a bit selfish and immature.

Aussiemade · 01/10/2023 06:19

It’s your baby so Name them anything you want. Thats why we go thru childbirth

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.