Nearly one out of every five mothers—18 percent—regrets the name she picked for her kid and would choose differently if she got a redo. Oops!


That’s according to a survey by the British parenting site Mumsnet, anyway, via the Guardian. Specifically most regretted were: Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James and Thomas. The most common reason for regrets? Too common, according to 25 percent of respondents; of course, 11 percent said the exact opposite. Other reasons include: poor choices for nicknames (6 percent), just didn’t suit (10 percent), just didn’t feel right (21 percent) spelling/pronunciation troubles (11 percent), and celebrity hijacking (just 1 percent).

Of the 245 mothers who regretted the names they gave their children, 12% “always knew it was the wrong choice”, 3% knew from the moment the child was born, 8% knew within a couple of days, 32% knew within the first six weeks and 23% began to regret their choice when their children first started nursery or school.

One mother explained that her child’s name “was taken by a terrorist group, soon after she was born”. Another pinpointed the moment she began to regret naming her daughter Elsa as “when Frozen became massively popular”. Another said: “My child hates his name, and makes me feel bad for choosing it.”


Name regret is perhaps becoming a more common phenomenon, Ruth Graham notes at Slate:

“I think it’s something that happens more often now than it did a generation ago,” the founder of a baby-name website told in a recent story about a family who changed their daughter’s name from Ottilie to Margot after coming to dread the reactions when they introduced her to strangers. “Parents care a lot more and think a lot more about names now than they did back then, and agonize a lot more about names than they did, say, in the mid-‘80s.”

Do you regret your kid’s name? Are you concerned that you will regret your kid’s name, if you have one in the future? Does your mom regret your name? What a fun conversation you could potentially have this weekend!

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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