It’s weird that people are expected to give their children names they’ll carry their entire lives almost immediately after the physical and emotional rollercoaster that is having a baby.
That’s not an excuse for every strange or unfortunate name out there, because some parents plan ahead when it comes to ruining their kid’s lives. But in those moments after a child is born there is usually someone outside of the situation who can try to intervene.
Redditor u/Kubanochoerus asked on r/AskReddit, “Nurses and midwives of Reddit, have you ever tried to talk new parents out of a baby name? What was it?”
Some of the people answering aren’t midwives, but there are a lot of stories about close name calls, and a few situations where no one got there in time. It really takes a village.
I worked at a registrar for a while and among the birth certificates I got some of the standouts i saw were:
Killer, Syphilis and Sweet Prayer Sunrise (this one was a boy) —Not-an-Ocelot
My ex-husband didn’t think it was fair that girls could be names “Grace” or “Hope” etc and seriously suggested “Pestilence” “War” or “Plague” for a boy. His choice for a girl was “Tangerine”.
Fortunately, we never had any children. —Flaky_Walrus_668
not a nurse, but as a med student a patient wanted to name her child mudpiles. The nurses silently protested and waited a few days. Mom changed her mind. —bigpsych5150
My boyfriend was nearly called eggbert… But predominantly egg for short. Glad they decided against it! —greenqueen420420
My classmates mother was a maternity nurse and she has a couple who wanted to name their son “Collin” but wanted to give him a “unique” spelling for it. (I do not understand why parents do this. It doesn’t make a boring name more interesting all it does is set your child up for lifelong inconvenience.)
They spelled it out for her to put on the birth certificate C-O-L-O-N. They tried to name their son colon. As in, the organ attached to your anus.
When my classmates mother explained this to them they were painfully embarrassed and asked her to write it down with the normal spelling instead. I don’t think they’ll ever live it down. —skippyist
Not in the medical field, but a teacher. There are certain names that each teacher avoids because we’ve had a student (or seven) with that name who were difficult in one way or another.
One year, there were four Dylans in the same cohort and they were all hell on wheels. One of the teachers at that grade level had a baby with his wife that spring, and she named the kid Dylan. The rest of us were like, “didn’t you vehemently veto that?”
He just shrugged and said it was important to her and he wasn’t the superstitious type. Flash forward a few years, I saw a toddler tearing through the salad bar at the grocery store, spilling things, moving spoons from one container to another, reaching in with his hands…
…it was Dylan. —BobosBigSister
In France there used to be a list of names you had to choose from (mostly based on that day’s name saint and 3-4 others). Which is why there were so many Jean / Marc / Louis /Phillipe / Marie / Anne / Valerie, etc in France.
Now it’s a free choice…. but anyone can ask a judge to cancel a name-choice and force the parent(s) to suggest one the judge finds acceptable.
So no names like Coca-Cola, Xerox, Cocaine, Anal, Nutella, Sex Fruit, Devil, Blue Murder… PLUS the rejected name gets added to a “banned” list to streamline the rejection in the future. —LozNewman
And here my mom was talked out of naming me Violet. “Sounds like an old lady” they said. —Maleficent_Mink
I have a false leg. My parents had to be talked out of calling me ‘Peggy’ by the midwife. —orangemessy
I once had a student named Linoleum. Some midwife dropped the ball on that one. My brother wanted to name our soon-to-be younger brother Corn Peas and our parents almost went with it because they felt bad about asking for his input and then rejecting it.
Fortunately they got over that and passed on the name. —BigOrangeBall