General 'baby-naming' question... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you name your baby a name that you *know* most people would not be able to pronounce when read
No Way! the child will spend her life correcting people and being annoyed by this... 130 69.89%
Absolutely! she'll totally forgive you 35 18.82%
other 21 11.29%
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious what others think about this issue...
We're having a really tough time naming this little baby...I have a girl's name that I absolutely love but you it is not spelled the way it is pronounced. This is making me crazy.... If you see it written (and you don't know the name, which most wouldn't around our area) you would not know how to say it. This is the only issue... other girl's names I only like but this one I love.
What do you think? Is that just the most awful thing to do to someone? My name and my husband's are totally generic and very easy.
Poll coming...
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I voted "no" because both me and my sister have "weird" spellings to otherwise normal names. And we have hated it our whole lives. Ok, it hasn't traumatized us, but I consider it a pain none the less. No one has ever pronounced my sister's name correctly upon first seeing it. So much so, she often goes by the mispronunciation...some people know her as that!... doctor offices and such.

Just my opinion though...it is your babe!
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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If most people will come close to pronouncing it correctly, I'd go with it. My name is like that. . short and sweet but frequently mispronounced. I don't mind so much because most people come close and I can still tell they are talking about me. What kdaisy says about her sister is true, though. . I've stopped correcting people because it's a PITA and often just let them call me whatever is easiest for them.

If it's a name that won't be pronounced anywhere near the actual pronuncation, I'd skip it. It would suck to be at school or waiting in a restaurant and not have any clue that someone is talking to/about you.

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Old 02-14-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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If it's a creative spelling of a common name, I'd rethink it. But if it is a common spelling of an unusual name or a name that is unusual in the US, then that seems fine. People who are not familiar will know that they aren't sure and will ask. My name is unusual, and it doesn't bother me when people ask or get it wrong. If this name resonates for you, that is the most important thing.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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If most people will come close to pronouncing it correctly, I'd go with it.
:

My son's name is Xan, which seems so obvious to me (it's pronounced Zan, like AleXANder). But then we've had some crazy attempts at pronouncing it that really baffle me. Actually, though, it's more complicated to say it aloud (in the park or whatever)--usually after I spell it, people get it ok.

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Old 02-14-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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I'm not sure. We are going with an uncommon name that at least should be easy for everyone to get. I *love* the name Sibohan for a girl - and I don't even know how it is pronounced.

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Old 02-14-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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No I wouldn't. I like traditional English names that everyone knows how to pronounce. I have a Byron and this one will probably be William or Jacob.

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Old 02-14-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Siobhan is a traditional irish name. It's pronounced 'Chevonne'.

I think original is a good thing but I think it's not-so-great when people spell a traditional name in a wacky way e.g. Luceeee or something!
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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Use it for a middle name. She could choose to use it later if it suits her.

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Old 02-14-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Oh, this can be a tough one to answer. We wanted to name our daughter Guinevere but we talked about it and chose a different name that we loved equally. Guinevere is a tradtional Welsh name and is easy to spell if you are familiar with it, but for a lot of people it's too confusing. We knew that our DD would be spelling this name to people for YEARS. We also figured that people would want to shorten her name to "Gwen", but it's really pronouced "Gwin" and to change the spelling to something phonetic would feed into one of my pet peeves.... So we went with Ariel instead... and some people can't say or spell that right either, so there you go!

Also, a comment on Siobhan - this is a popular name in my family, but they live in Ireland and Wales, and it's a very common name there, but my when my neice was a student in the USA everyone wanted to call her "See-ben". Weird.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I don't have a hard-to-pronounce name... a common name just spelled differently... and it's that way with both my first and middle name. I actually had a friend in high school who, when she saw my middle name written out, exclaimed, "what the he!! is that?!" ummm.. that's my name.

And my maiden name is pretty complicated (it starts with an Sch and is Dutch in origin)... I could always tell when someone didn't know me b/c they would mispronounce my name. And it was so long that it took me till the end of first grade to learn how to spell it (and I wasn't a slow kid by any stretch of the imagination).

Anyway, because of all that, I decided long before I was even married that my children would all get fairly common names that are easy to pronounce and spelled the way they should be. And it just so happens that the man I fell in love with has one of the most common last names in the book.

I mean, I did eventually get over being upset when people mispell my name... I figure that they don't know and I can't blame them for not knowing. But it does make me feel really special when someone takes the time to get it right.

Anyway, I just don't want my kids to have to deal with the kind of stuff I had to deal with from people who couldn't spell or pronounce my name. Not that I was traumatized or anything, but it was just really annoying.

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, i guess it's pretty clear that this is not a good idea. ftr this is an unusual name not a wacky spelling of a common name...
i live in an area where siohban (if i spelled it right!) is a pretty common name. it's funny b/c i would never think of the spelling or whatever as a reason to not use that name.... it just seems so obvious to me. locational bias i guess!
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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I chose other. My name is fairly uncommon and I have spent most of my life correcting people who're pronouncing it for the first time, but it's never been a big deal to me at all. I don't mind. However, it's not a difficult name, people just are so used to seeing other pronunciations with similar spellings that I think they just assume half the time.

Now, on the other hand, I went to high school with a girl named Eilyetheiae- pronounced "Alethea". I'd NEVER complicate a name like that, for the sake of my child AND everyone else! LOL

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:37 PM
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I voted no, but if it was something like Siobhan or Saoirse or Niamh, I would consider it. I really dislike unusual spellings of common names (condemns a child to a life of "no, that's Michelle with an A and SH and only one L" or whatever--if it has a standard spelling, I think it's best to stick with it). I even avoid common names with more than common pronunciation (i.e. Caroline--is that pronounced -LINE or -LIN?). But if it's an unusual name, spelled correctly, and it means something special to you, then I think people will learn it and it will be fine. My DH has an uncommon (foreign language) first name, and people do have trouble with it, but at least we can always tell who's a telemarketer right away on the phone! lol. The one thing I will caution you is that people often want to shorten an unfamiliar name, even if it's already pretty short--they may just want to use the initials, or say one syllable of the name.

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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But if it's an unusual name, spelled correctly, and it means something special to you, then I think people will learn it and it will be fine.
That is how I feel too. I don't like the modified spelling of my name. But an unusual name that is just hard to pronounce, I would be more open to.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I think if you love a name- use it. My dh's name is jared. It gets mispronounced, Im always in shock, like "really?!?".

He gets called jah-rd, jerard when they are reading it. And if he says, "HI my name is jared" he often gets- jerry, jerald, terry (more often than once which is weird).

My daughter- keira... gets pronounced- kay-rah, Care- ah, kar-i-yah.


People have issues, dont make them yours.


My sister sheila- gets called shiloh by doctors offices, everytime. I swear the receptionists cannot be literate.

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Old 02-14-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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I voted other. I'd be less inclined to choose a name like that, but I wouldn't completely avoid them. My DSD has a Gaelic name like that, and it's lovely and worth the initial confusion.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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My BIL is names Jzon (his mom thinks its french but apparently didn't know that Jean was the correct spelling for it, lol.) He was always called JaZon in school by the teachers and they would argue it with him even after he told them the z was silent. And now he gets called John by most.

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Old 02-14-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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My two cents worth...

I like odd names, but I don't like "made up" names for the sake of "originality". Siobhan's a good example - this is an EXCELLENT Irish name with good history. If people can't pronounce it, tough titties for them. They'll learn. But calling your kid "Jessykka" instead of just "Jessica" seems meaningless and stupid to me. People will spell it wrong for life, and for no good reason except that the parents felt that they were being Unique And Beautiful Butterflies.

My DH is of another opinion - he has a Persian name that he has always hated. Dispite the fact that it is pronounced exactly as it is spelled, everyone gets it wrong and makes up random sounds for it. His name is "Imshan" - people have called him Imjar, Emshin, Mishan, and in one memorable case, M-shard. So he's kinda sensitive about names being clear. He is *still* bitter about his name. He wishes he had been called something "normal".

Our differences on the position can mostly be boiled down to the fact that we have different temperments. He's a shy, quiet guy who was picked on a lot as a kid. He doesn't like to stand out. Me, I'm pushy and opinionated, and think you can grow into a cool name. In the end, I think what your kid will think of his/her name will come down to what kind of a person he/she turns out to be.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Can you tell us the name? I'm curious now!

I feel obliged to point out that even a perfectly normal name can be misheard and mispronounced. My husband goes by 'Dom' at work, but more often than not, over the phone (he works on a helpdesk) people start calling him 'Don' or 'John'. At pizza places when they ask for his name, he's taken to calling himself James, simply because everyone seems able to hear 'James' and think 'James' without undergoing mental breakdowns.

FWIW, I rejected 'Jean-Luc' as a baby boy's name, largely because I knew most of NZ's redneck population would either call him 'John Luke' or see 'Jean' and pronounce it as in 'pair of jeans'. Either of which would irritate the heck out of me, let alone the kid.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Use a name that you and your DP love. I wouldn't eliminate a name JUST because it can be hard to pronounce, nor would I intentionally select a hard-to-pronounce (or hard to spell) name.

Another option would be to use the name but spell it phonetically instead of using the original spelling.

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Depends completely on name! If its one of those crazy Celtic names that is so hard to pronounce that no one could possible know.....I love the sound of the names but what a PITA!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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I think it depends on the name too but I am leaning toward saying no. I have a very uncommon last name and that's annoying enough, I can't imagine having to spell out my first name too when people are writing out my name.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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I voted "no" because both me and my sister have "weird" spellings to otherwise normal names. And we have hated it our whole lives. Ok, it hasn't traumatized us, but I consider it a pain none the less. No one has ever pronounced my sister's name correctly upon first seeing it. So much so, she often goes by the mispronunciation...some people know her as that!... doctor offices and such.

Just my opinion though...it is your babe!
Yep, I could have written that post. My name is "one letter off" from the norm.... think Tyna instead of Tina. I have always had to say my name for folks and spell it out, too. What were my parents thinking?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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I dislike made up names and creative spellings of classic names so I'd never use something like that. If I were very Irish I could see us using Siobhan or another classic Gaelic name. Classic and a part of your heritage? Yes. Made up name that no one can pronounce? No.

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Old 02-15-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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Like Dvorah?

Which is closest to the Hebrew phonetic spelling of Deborah.

But then I grew up with Heidi and lots of people misread/pronounced that!

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Old 02-15-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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Yep, I could have written that post. My name is "one letter off" from the norm.... think Tyna instead of Tina. I have always had to say my name for folks and spell it out, too. What were my parents thinking?
That's exactly my experience. My name is one from "normal" and I hated it while growing up, and I still dislike it. My last name was also abnormal. . . long and hard to pronounce. Started with "Sch" and was 10 letters long. I hated having to spell my first and last name for everyone. I just wanted a normal name with a normal spelling, the entire time growing up. Now, my kids have very "normal" names, and I love it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:34 AM
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I've always hated it when people have mispronounced my name. They think there is a car in it. I never blamed my mother for this. I get annoyed at the people who say my name wrong, especially after I've corrected them.

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Old 02-15-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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I feel obliged to point out that even a perfectly normal name can be misheard and mispronounced.
I agree. My name is Kate, and I get called Katie or Kathy or Katelynn quite often. It's not even Katherine, just Kate. Weird little thing, but it always bothers me. I also agree with PP who said to not give a kiddo a common name with a weird spelling. My niece is named "Jeszica" and I'm still not totally sure if it's pronounces "Jessica" or "Jezzica".
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:23 AM
 
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Yep, I'm with most of the posters here. My name is (real unpopular lately) Hilary. Sadly, it's spelled with one "L" instead of the traditional two "LL"s. Have been spelling it my whole life - never had those name stickers in the stores available to me - a wholly disappointing experience. I like my name, just wish it was spelled traditionally.
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