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“Am I A Jerk For Not Wanting My Sister To Be Named Like Me?”
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“Am I A Jerk For Not Wanting My Sister To Be Named Like Me?”

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Your name is something that’s forever tied to your identity, so it’s only fair to want to be the sole owner of it in your family.

So this 18-year-old young woman got very upset after hearing that her dad and stepmom decided to give their baby exactly the same name as hers.

“My dad is super excited about this baby which I guess is good but him and his wife want to name the baby Roseanne since her favorite flowers are roses,” the author explained in the post on the AITA subreddit. Turns out, if they follow their plan, “it will be my exact name and surname.” Read the author’s whole point of view below.

Image credits: valeriygoncharukphoto (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: mstandret (not the actual photo)

Image credits: RosieRoThrowaway

Name expert warns that giving the same name to a second child in the family compromises both children’s identities

Bored Panda reached out to Pamela Redmond, a baby name expert and the creator of Nameberry, known as the world’s leading expert on baby names, to find out what a name expert had to say about this case.

“It’s totally reasonable to get upset about your parent and stepparent giving their baby the exact same name as yours! Not only does that compromise your identity within your family, it compromises the baby’s identity too,” Redmond said.

Giving the same name to another child in the family was common in Middle Ages, but “this is no longer done and there’s no excuse for it”

“In the Middle Ages, there were relatively few names in common circulation, families were large, and the infant mortality rate was high,” Redmond said. She explained that “At that time, it was normal for two children in the same family to be named John, say, or Elizabeth. That’s how nicknames were born — one John would be called Johnny, the other Jack, one Elizabeth would be Lizzie, the other Betsy.”

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But in contemporary times, this is no longer done and there’s no excuse for it, really, the name expert argues. “There are more than 70,000 names in Nameberry’s database — surely parents can find different names for two siblings. If these parents can’t think of a different name for the new baby, they should let the older sibling whose name they want to steal choose the baby’s name!”

“Our names may not be unique in the world, but they should be unique in our families”

Redmond believes that there is nothing more personal or more central to our identities than our names. “Our names may not be unique in the world, but they should be unique in our families.”

“In some cultures and religions, children in the family may traditionally have the same first name — Mary or Maria in conservative Catholic families, for instance, or William as an ancestral first name given to all sons, with the children called by their middle names,” Redmond said.

She added that this practice is old-fashioned and increasingly rare, but it is still done. “In this case, each child’s name is effectively their middle name.”

Many people expressed their support for the author and said that she has a reason to be upset

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

While I do agree that she doesn't have ownership of her name against anyone else, it is strange and eerie that her Dad and step-mom are adamantly going along with this. These are not good people for her to stay in contact with. Just because they're her family doesn't mean she's obligated to stay in contact and be attached to that family. I hope she realizes this and gets some help detaching and moving on to allow herself to live free from them.

renka avatar
Ren Ka
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree with you. Something feels really off about this whole situation. Also, the chances of identity theft, or complications due to confusion between the two identities, will dramatically increase in this case. Not to mention couldn't her stepmom or dad open any mail that arrived for her at that address later by claiming they thought it was for her sister? OP should change her legal name and get out of that house for her own sake and safety.

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benhur avatar
Benhur Tan
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

easy solution: replace "dad". replace "your surname". replace your address.

rchargel avatar
RafCo (he/him/ele)
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

None of those are easy solutions. It takes a lot of effort to replace your surname. You can't replace your dad, though you can cut him off. And replacing her address requires having another place to live. Your advice is sounds, but it's not easy

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

I don't know about suing, that sounds expensive with the potential to fail, and will cause even more damage to the relationship with the biological father. Changing her last name to protect her identity from scams seems much safer.

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

I like that. The op should change her last name and go cut daddy out altogether. It sounds like he is toxic or at list enables toxic wife.

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

While I do agree that she doesn't have ownership of her name against anyone else, it is strange and eerie that her Dad and step-mom are adamantly going along with this. These are not good people for her to stay in contact with. Just because they're her family doesn't mean she's obligated to stay in contact and be attached to that family. I hope she realizes this and gets some help detaching and moving on to allow herself to live free from them.

renka avatar
Ren Ka
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree with you. Something feels really off about this whole situation. Also, the chances of identity theft, or complications due to confusion between the two identities, will dramatically increase in this case. Not to mention couldn't her stepmom or dad open any mail that arrived for her at that address later by claiming they thought it was for her sister? OP should change her legal name and get out of that house for her own sake and safety.

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

easy solution: replace "dad". replace "your surname". replace your address.

rchargel avatar
RafCo (he/him/ele)
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

None of those are easy solutions. It takes a lot of effort to replace your surname. You can't replace your dad, though you can cut him off. And replacing her address requires having another place to live. Your advice is sounds, but it's not easy

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

I don't know about suing, that sounds expensive with the potential to fail, and will cause even more damage to the relationship with the biological father. Changing her last name to protect her identity from scams seems much safer.

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

I like that. The op should change her last name and go cut daddy out altogether. It sounds like he is toxic or at list enables toxic wife.

Load More Replies...
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