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“I Thought She Was Joking”: Woman Begs Sister To Rethink The Name She Chose For Her Son
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“I Thought She Was Joking”: Woman Begs Sister To Rethink The Name She Chose For Her Son

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“Thomas? No, there’s a Thomas at work and I hate his guts. Luke? I don’t know, it doesn’t sound right with the surname. What about Gabriel? That might be an option, but let’s keep looking.”

Conversations like this are not uncommon among expectant parents. Choosing a name for a bundle of joy is a privilege but a huge responsibility, too, which is why one has to think long and hard about what the most suitable option is. (Unless, of course, they have had their mind made up about it since the 6th grade.)

When this redditor’s sister told her the name she chose for her unborn son, the OP thought that the mom-to-be was joking. Yet, she wasn’t; being a lover of the ocean, she opted for a fish’s name for her child.

Scroll down to find the full story below, where you will also find Bored Panda’s interview with a sociolinguist, Professor in the department of English at University of Nevada, and author of Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English, Dr. Valerie Fridland, who was kind enough to share her insight on the linguistics of naming.

Naming a baby is a huge responsibility

Image credits: Image-Source / Envato (not t he actual photo)

This woman decided to name her baby after a fish, which her sister wasn’t too thrilled about

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Image credits: benzoix / Envato (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: General-Cycle-7391 

Girls are more likely than boys to be given a unique name

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, Dr. Valerie Fridland shared that over her 20 years of university teaching, she has definitely noticed a trend for more diversity in names, as well as an exponential growth in unique spellings; though, more often for girls than for boys. (For example, Hayleigh or Hailee for Haley.)

“Research backs this up,” she noted. “Researcher Jean Twenge looked at baby names as found in social security records from 1880 to 2007 and found that the biggest shift away from common names toward unique names happened in the 1990s. She suggests this is tied to parents becoming more focused on wanting kids to have more individuality and ‘stand out’ compared to earlier generations.”

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The expert continued to point out another interesting thing regarding unique names, also backed up by research – parents tend to lean toward ‘riskier’ or more unique names for girls compared to boys because boys’ names are more conservative. “They often indicate family names (i.e., Ed Junior and Ed Senior) or show ties to a cultural heritage (like ‘Jose’). In a sense, we value tradition more in boys’ names than in girls’,” Dr. Fridland said.

Some names never lose their popularity

Image credits: Heiner / Pexels (not the actual photo)

Some names, such as James, Michael, and Robert for boys and Mary, Patricia, and Jennifer for girls, seem to be ever-popular (based on data from the last hundred years). Others, however, come and go in waves, when for one reason or another a certain name becomes increasingly popular for a period of time.

For the last two years (20222023), for instance, the top three of the most popular names (in the US) didn’t change one bit, with Olivia, Emma, and Charlotte taking the three spots on the podium for girls and Liam, Noah, and Oliver respectively for boys.

In addition to the ever popular and the periodically trending regular names, there are also the unique ones, entailing both the good and the subjectively bad. According to The Memo, a website for expecting and new parents, the unique names in 2023 were mostly inspired by “grandpas, neo-cowboys, Stranger Things, and the sun”, with such names as Ira, Lenny, and Lou becoming popular again; though as girls’ names, this time around.

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All sorts of trends bring an abundance of unique names

Image credits: Anna Shvets / Pexels (not the actual photo)

Delving deeper into unique names, The Memo covered seven trends that might interest expectant parents looking for something different for their little one: Maximalism (entailing such names as Amadeus, Andromeda, Magnus, Myfanwy, and Wolfgang), Retro (Arlo, Bobbie, Lenny, and Teddy, being just a few examples), Gilded (Apollo, Aura, Glow, Helios, Sterling, Sunday, Sunny), and even Sci-Fi Cowboy (Brando, Dallas, Rhett, Royal, Steele, Tex, and others).

Then there’s the so-called ‘4-2-i’ trend, entailing names consisting of four letters and two syllables, and ending in an ‘i’ (Avni, Bibi, Gigi, Mavi, Suki, Zuri), adjectives—yes, adjectives—used as a name (Brave, Celestian, Glorious, Heavenly, Supreme, True), which is not that uncommon among celebrities, and finally, the ‘Blue-Green’, which is considered to be the “next evolution of the nature names trend” (Azure, Caspian, Forest, Marina, Navy, Ocean, Raney, Sky, Storm, Wave). Chances are—even if not blue, nor green in reality—Seabass would also make it to the nature category, as a marine life-inspired name.

According to Prof. Fridland, the context of nature-deriven names or names drawn from something that is trendy at any one particular moment is always a bit risky. “Parents are assuming that the impetus for that naming trend will still be clear years from now, which it likely won’t be. But if the name has a good feel and fit to it from the parent’s perspective, that may not matter,” she suggested.

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Be that as it may, the OP’s sister might not stick to her choice after all, thanks to her sibling showing the fellow netizens’ reactions to the name Seabass. Yet, some Reddit users said that the name the mom-to-be decides to give to her child is none of the redditor’s business. Scroll down to find their differing opinions below.

Some redditors thought that Seabass could be a cute nickname, but definitely not a first name

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Some netizens believed that if it isn’t your child, their name is none of your business

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Miglė Miliūtė

Miglė Miliūtė

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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A writer here at Bored Panda, I am a lover of good music, good food, and good company, which makes food-related topics and feel-good stories my favorite ones to cover. Passionate about traveling and concerts, I constantly seek occasions to visit places yet personally unexplored. I also enjoy spending free time outdoors, trying out different sports—even if I don’t look too graceful at it—or socializing over a cup of coffee.

Read less »
Miglė Miliūtė

Miglė Miliūtė

Writer, BoredPanda staff

A writer here at Bored Panda, I am a lover of good music, good food, and good company, which makes food-related topics and feel-good stories my favorite ones to cover. Passionate about traveling and concerts, I constantly seek occasions to visit places yet personally unexplored. I also enjoy spending free time outdoors, trying out different sports—even if I don’t look too graceful at it—or socializing over a cup of coffee.

Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. I kickstart my day with a mug of coffee bigger than my head, ready to tackle Photoshop. I navigate through the digital jungle with finesse, fueled by bamboo breaks and caffeine kicks. When the workday winds down, you might catch me devouring bamboo snacks while binging on the latest TV show, gaming or I could be out in nature, soaking up the tranquility and communing with my inner panda.

Read less »

Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. I kickstart my day with a mug of coffee bigger than my head, ready to tackle Photoshop. I navigate through the digital jungle with finesse, fueled by bamboo breaks and caffeine kicks. When the workday winds down, you might catch me devouring bamboo snacks while binging on the latest TV show, gaming or I could be out in nature, soaking up the tranquility and communing with my inner panda.

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fatman10k avatar
Eroe Infinito
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sadly. There isn't any laws against naming your children something stupid. Although there definitely should be. She should at least choose a cooler sea creature like the Kraken or Mermaid Man.

sanderst509 avatar
Sand Ers
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There are countries where there are those laws. People like this are why.

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fatman10k avatar
Eroe Infinito
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sadly. There isn't any laws against naming your children something stupid. Although there definitely should be. She should at least choose a cooler sea creature like the Kraken or Mermaid Man.

sanderst509 avatar
Sand Ers
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There are countries where there are those laws. People like this are why.

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