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Man’s ‘unique’ baby name suggestions leave his wife in tears and spark debate


A soon-to-be dad brought his heavily pregnant wife to tears with his “bold” choices for baby names, but the internet is also divided on the matter.

Parents are increasingly choosing unique names for their children. Where once distinctive nicknames were the preserve of celebrity moms and dads, research now shows that many new parents are opting for more unique names for their offspring.

This shift was highlighted in a 2016 study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge. She found that between 2004 and 2006, 34% of boys and 24% of girls in the United States were given one of the 50 most common names from that time period.

And, from 2011 to 2015, those numbers dropped with only 28% of boys and 21% of girls receiving one of the top 50 common names at that time.

For many parents, a distinctive name is seen as an opportunity to help their child stand out from the crowd, but it does have its downsides. Speaking to Live Science, Northwestern University researcher David Figlio noted that people make unconscious judgments about an individual if they have an unusual nickname.

“People draw subconscious cues on people all the time,” he said. “You meet a person for the first time and without thinking about it on an explicit level, you look at the way they walk, what their accent looks like, how they’re dressed, if they smell […] and you develop these immediate reactions.”

While opinions are still divided on the merits of an unusual name, it’s no surprise to see some expectant parents continue to clash over the subject. But few such debates have proven as controversial as the one shared on Mumsnet by a pregnant mom.

According to the woman writing in the post, she and her partner got into a heated argument over what to name a boy and it left her frustrated and emotional. “I cried a little because I never see us together,” she wrote.

While she is in favor of “more traditional names” like James and Isaac, her husband has suggested names like “Ozymandias and Balthazar”. Although the woman said she was “open to more unique names,” her suggestions are a little too “out there” for her taste.

She said that when she flatly rejected both of those suggestions, he spent at least “half an hour” spouting out “bold” names that weren’t to his liking. Things came to a head when he then asked, “What’s wrong with Balthazar?” At this point, she asked him to “leave the room”.

The woman added that her husband had previously chosen their daughter’s name “after months of disagreements”, but “rejected” each of her suggestions and will not let himself choose a name on his own.

The disagreement, perhaps unsurprisingly, proved equally divisive on social media, with users seeing both sides of the argument. One user, posted as Tsuni, thought it was wrong to “saddle a baby” with the name Balthazar, saying it sounded like something you would call a “demon”. PeskyBooks disagreed, however, writing, “I love the name Balthazar! Isn’t he one of the three wise men?”

PollyPutTheKettleOnKettleOn raised concerns that either name could lead to the child being bullied at school. “Can you imagine the nicknames he would end up with?” they said.

XDownwiththissortofthingX felt that there was “nothing wrong with Ozymandias” adding that “at least it’s a real name, which is more than can be said for most of the nonsense that people go after children these days”.

Meanwhile, User0ne urged the wife to call her husband’s bluff. “He’ll be sick of having to yell ‘Balthazar’ (instead of bazza) 15 times to get the little darling to put his shoes on anyway, maybe it’ll be karma,” they wrote.

TracyMosby felt the dad looked like a ‘bully’ because he wouldn’t let his wife pick a name with RegularSizedRudy urging her to stand up to her partner and pick the name herself, writing: ‘C’ you’re the one carrying and giving birth to this baby so ultimately you have the final say.”

Newsweek contacted the original poster for comment.

Image of a man and a very pregnant woman. A dad-to-be has divided opinion with his suggested baby names for his soon-to-be son.
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