Does Your Mother Regret Your Name?

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


Ginger Is A Construct

Ha, sooooo glad I’m reading this about 18 hours after my partner and I finally settled on both a boy name and girl name for Baby Is A Construct. Hopefully we will not be in the 1/5, as neither name is common, and both have multiple possible nicknames.

Also, and I think this is important, both the first name and middle name for each of our choices is a family name. Even if a terrorist group or awful popstar came to notoriety with the same name, it still has meaning for us. So fuck it. No name is going to be fool proof. Except maybe Laser Wolf.