Why You Might Want to Ask Grandma Before You Name Your Baby
Your parents may really, really hate the name you chose for their precious grandchild, according to a new study from the British parenting site Mumsnet.
The website teamed up with its grandparents-oriented sister site, Gransnet.com, to survey more than 2,000 parents and grandparents about baby names. The results were surprising, revealing that one in five grandparents does not like the name chosen for their grandchild and one in six parents said they have a parent or in-law who doesn't like their child's name. No word on how many grandparents are good at hiding their feelings, though.
The research also revealed what response many grandparents are likely to have upon hearing their grandchild's name for the first time. Three percent will react with laughter while 10% will question the choice with a subtle, "What?"
Some of the dislike for a name seems to stem from concern for the child's well-being with one in 10 grandparents worried that the name would be embarrassing for the child. Other reasons that grandparents may not like a name include if it is "odd" or "unconventional" or if they thought it was too hard to pronounce, too difficult to spell, or if they were disappointed that the parents didn't choose a family name. It seems that parents can't win, though. While some grandparents may be disappointed that they didn't choose a name from back in the family tree, at least 11% of grandparents may dislike a name because it's too old-fashioned. In fact, according to Mumsnet, some of the most disliked baby names according to grandparents included favorites like Charlotte, Edna, Lindsay, Sally, Bertha, Tabitha, Jack, Noah, Roger, Elijah, Frank, Finn, and Ian. Some grandparents hated their grandchild's names so much, they avoided using the name at all, while others found a nickname to call the child.
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the strongest objections tended to come from grandmothers rather than grandfathers. Forty-four percent of parents said the complaints came from their own mother, while 42% said they came from their mother-in-law. While one would hope a baby name wouldn't cause too much strife within a family, 6% of parents reported falling out with their parents or in-laws about their choice of baby name, while 4% of them said that the disagreement was so bad they ended the relationship.