‘We’re naming a child, not a dog’: Man fights with wife over naming baby ‘Zoomer’
Over the past decade or so, there has been a trend of parents choosing to give their children unique names. “We are deep in an era of naming individuality, where parents assume that having a [name] sound distinctive and unique is a virtue,” Laura Wattenberg, the founder of the naming-trends site Namerology, told The Atlantic.
There are multiple reasons for this change in American culture. One is that people have fewer children, so their uniqueness has become more important for parents. Another is that baby name data has pushed parents to go to further lengths to come up with names that won’t make them the third John or second Maria in a classroom.
The internet has also played a role in the change. People with unique names stand out online. Good luck if you’re looking on Facebook for a former classmate named Matt Smith.
Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic also points out that picking a unique name has become a trend, so it has become a type of conformity. “Trying not to be like everyone else makes you just like everyone else,” Pinsker wrote.
The unique name trend has also caused friction among parents. A father-to-be who goes by the name Aaronsaway on Reddit asked the AITA forum whether he was in the wrong for being “rude” to his wife for shooting down her unique baby names.
The boy’s name that caused the most drama was Zoomer.
“My wife and I are expecting our first child in the coming months and we have chosen not to find out the sex until the baby is born. Things are starting to feel very real now so we’ve started to properly discuss names, but we’ve realized we both have vastly different tastes in name style and we are having a hard time finding the right one,” Aaronsaway wrote.
He says that his wife likes unique names that he finds “tacky and silly,” while he prefers “traditional names.”
“Last night she showed me a short list she had put together and thought I might like. The names on the list were:
Girl: Fern, Fennix, Rhodes, Faun, Brixtyn, and Kinley
Boy: Spark, Diesel, Quincy, Phoenix, Buck, and Fox”
Aaronsaway countered by suggesting some traditional versions of the names she chose.
But Aaronsaway finally snapped when his wife suggested Zoomer for a boy.
“I asked if she was serious and said it was a stupid name. She asked what my problem was and why I was so dismissive of all her ideas and shooting down all the names she likes. I told her we were naming a child and not a dog, and that names can have a huge impact on the child,” Aaronsaway wrote. “I said I don’t want my child to be bullied or taken less seriously because they have a ridiculous name. She told me I was rude and that I was the bully for making her feel unsupported.”
The wife started crying and went to bed.
So, is the dad-to-be right in dismissing his wife’s unique suggestions or should he get with the times and give his child a one-of-a-kind name?
The commenters overwhelmingly supported Aaronsaway.
The most popular comment came from AsOne8433, who wrote: “So many people naming their kids like a 9-year-old naming a goldfish or a valley girl naming a pocket dog. Unfortunately, it indicates that the parent considering these names does not see the child as a person, but a thing, an amusing accessory to show all her fans how cool she is.”
“I definitely feel like you should discuss names you like and consider a more unique middle name, but ultimately this IS a person not a pet,” they wrote. “Lots of these names are more appropriate for pets. Your wife needs to be a bit more grounded in her selections. Fern isn’t bad. Quincy isn’t terrible, either. But please don’t name your kid Zoomer.”
The few dissenters didn’t like the way he talked to his wife.
“You’re allowed to not like her name choices, and she’s allowed to not like yours. You’re allowed to veto one another—but not to be mean to each other,” NightOwlEye wrote.
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