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Parent Wants To Name Their Son Elizabeth, Gets A Reality Check Online
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Parent Wants To Name Their Son Elizabeth, Gets A Reality Check Online

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Choosing a name for a baby might seem fun, but the responsibility that comes along with this decision can make it a bit intimidating. After all, the child will carry it throughout their life. (Hopefully.)

So when Reddit user Barbarian_On_Moon picked a name for their son, they wanted to get an unbiased opinion from the outside, and made a post on the subreddit r/NameNerds, asking its members’ thoughts on Elizabeth.

This parent wants to name their baby boy Elizabeth

Image credits: Leomara Paiva (not the actual photo)

So they asked the internet to see what others think about it

Image credits: DragonImages (not the actual photo)

Image credits: barbarian_on_moon

People thought the parent should probably “customize” it a bit and made a few suggestions

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Vicki Broadbent of Honest Mum believes parents are entitled to name their child (almost) anything they want

Image credits: honestmum.com (not the actual photo)

There are many reasons why people consider a gender-neutral name for their child. It may be a family name. They may believe it will help to prevent gender stereotyping or sexism in their child’s future. Or they may simply think unisex names are unique, cool, cute, and fun.

To get more insight into this decision, we contacted writer, director, broadcaster, and founder of the parenting blog Honest Mum, Vicki Broadbent. “When it came to my children’s names (I have three) we chose a mixture of family names and those we simply liked,” she told Bored Panda. “While we made a list (baby book names and online searches plus chats with our families helped inspire), we waited until our children were born to decide. We wanted to see their little faces and whether the names we had in mind were a good fit!”

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“I think it’s totally up to the parents to decide what name feels right for their child,” the author of Mumboss: The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home added.

“I have friends who changed their children’s names as they grew up or gave them nicknames they felt suited their personalities more. I think X Æ A-12 (Elon Musk and Grimes’ son’s name) which was not approved by courts and is now X is where I personally draw the line as it doesn’t seem fair on the child to be reduced to one letter.”

Depending on where they live, local laws may restrict parents from certain baby names

Image credits: Designecologist (not the actual photo)

In many places around the world, however, parents can’t name their children anything they want. In the US, for instance, although the right to choose a child’s name is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, most states do have restrictions.

Former Brette Sember singled out these:

  • Adding Arabic numerals (like 3 or 5) to a child’s name is not allowed in Texas and New Jersey, but Roman numerals are usually OK (as in John Smith III). Numerals that are spelled out (as in “ten”) are not prohibited anywhere.
  • Punctuation is often problematic. California won’t accept a name that includes umlauts, accents, diacritical marks, or pictograms. (For example, the state denied the name “Lucìa” and required the child to be listed as “Lucia” instead.) Kansas, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire also have similar restrictions.
  • Some states have a specific character limit for names — in Massachusetts, a child’s name can’t have more than 40 characters.
  • Obscenities are out of the equation. New Jersey and Nebraska have specific laws prohibiting obscenities, and legal experts believe most state courts would strike down an obscene name.
  • Surprisingly, some states don’t even ask parents to name their babies. In Connecticut, Michigan, and Nevada there’s no requirement to choose a name at all, or at least to submit a name to the state.

And while names are becoming more and more gender-neutral

Image credits: freestocks.org (not the actual photo)

When Quartz analyzed the Social Security Administration’s public data on baby names, the results showed that, on average, the country is slowly moving toward using more gender-neutral names.

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They calculated a “genderedness score” for every American baby name and for the country as a whole. The score goes from zero to one — a zero means a name is perfectly non-gendered. That is to say, exactly half of the babies with that name are boys, and the other half are girls. A one, on the other hand, means the name is used exclusively for one gender.

The overall genderedness score was 0.97 in 1920, meaning nearly every kid had a name that was used almost exclusively for just boys or just girls. But it has been falling. In 2016, the figure was 0.946. The 1920 score is close to the historical average for names like Billy, Selma, and Otis. Names around the new—less gender-specific—number include Jerry, Aden, and Orion.

And while a boy named Elizabeth might sound a bit off, consider the following: in 1910, just 5% of American babies named Charlie were girls. Over 100 years later, girl Charlies overtook their male counterparts for the first time in 2016, accounting for 51% of the share. Also, no girls named Blake showed up in the data until 1951 but today, one-quarter of American Blakes are female.

Many disliked this particular idea and listed other less masculine names

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miablack avatar
Mia Black
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think people should rename themselves if they want to fight this battle.

suzycreamcheese avatar
Suzy Creamcheese
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I honestly can't fathom anyone seriously considering naming a boy Elizabeth. But then, I'm old enough to remember when there weren't any girls named Ryan or Sidney, so there's that... ;-)

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deborahbrett avatar
Deborah B
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How about the baby's father changes his name to Elizabeth? If Dad isn't in the picture, how about Mom changes her name to Elijah? Fight your own trendy social justice battles, don't make your kid fight them for you.

brady_michele avatar
Brady Michele
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm ancient and every single day I thank the goddesses whoever the latest fad is named after for blessing me in not giving me children as baby brain should really be listed under "people too dumb to breed" Rename your husband as Elizabeth and give it 18 years to see how that goes!

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eyelessonex avatar
Corvus
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When choosing an unusual name for a child, the first and foremost question a parent should ask themselves is "Is my kid going to get bullied for hacving such a name?" - If there is even a small chance for the answer to be "yes", then the name should be rejected.

brynburch avatar
Bryn
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kids will always find something to tease other children about. Don't give them more ammunition.

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miablack avatar
Mia Black
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think people should rename themselves if they want to fight this battle.

suzycreamcheese avatar
Suzy Creamcheese
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I honestly can't fathom anyone seriously considering naming a boy Elizabeth. But then, I'm old enough to remember when there weren't any girls named Ryan or Sidney, so there's that... ;-)

Load More Replies...
deborahbrett avatar
Deborah B
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How about the baby's father changes his name to Elizabeth? If Dad isn't in the picture, how about Mom changes her name to Elijah? Fight your own trendy social justice battles, don't make your kid fight them for you.

brady_michele avatar
Brady Michele
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm ancient and every single day I thank the goddesses whoever the latest fad is named after for blessing me in not giving me children as baby brain should really be listed under "people too dumb to breed" Rename your husband as Elizabeth and give it 18 years to see how that goes!

Load More Replies...
eyelessonex avatar
Corvus
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When choosing an unusual name for a child, the first and foremost question a parent should ask themselves is "Is my kid going to get bullied for hacving such a name?" - If there is even a small chance for the answer to be "yes", then the name should be rejected.

brynburch avatar
Bryn
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kids will always find something to tease other children about. Don't give them more ammunition.

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