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Internet divided over mom’s plan to give son “really silly” name

A couple expecting twins have divided opinion on social media after sharing their disagreement over baby names.

The dad-to-be posted his dilemma on Reddit, explaining that his pregnant wife wants to name their son Neville. He objects to the name so strongly that he has threatened to name the boy’s twin sister “Hortensia Beerbong the Third.”

Alice Anderson, creator of parenting website Mommy to Mom, told Newsweek it’s vital for couples to have an open conversation about name choices, so they both understand what the other likes and dislikes.

Baby
Stock image of a baby crying in its father’s arms. A couple’s agreement that the husband would name their first son and the wife their first daughter has led to marital strife.
Getty Images

“This can lead to more of a willingness to compromise,” she said.

Compromise seems far away in the Reddit case, however.

The man wrote: “Before my wife and I got married, we made an agreement that she would get to name our first boy, and I would get to name our first girl. We recently discovered that she was pregnant with twins, and we decided to stick to our original plan.”

Their agreement began to fall apart when he learnt what name his wife wanted.

“The name is bad. It sounds really stupid, and it’s absolutely the kind of name that will get our son bullied. I immediately vetoed it, but my wife said I can’t because that wasn’t our agreement.”

The name Neville “comes from a character she identified with in one of her favorite books when she was growing up,” the dad-to-be added, but that cut no ice with him.

“I said fine, then I may as well name our daughter Hortensia Beerbong the Third. It sounds just as dumb. She told me I couldn’t do that, and I just said why not? It’s my choice. That was the agreement. We’ve been at an impasse ever since.”

Since the dad-to-be posted his dilemma on August 16, more than 4,400 comments have been left on it. Redditors are divided over the name itself, but have united in their dislike of how the couple are handling the disagreement.

“The name is Neville. It’s a classic, normal name. The original poster is making up reasons to be mad about it,” one commenter wrote.

“I’m not trying to condemn you or your wife, but you both need to change this dynamic as soon as possible, or your kids will have way bigger problems then a silly name,” another posted.

Other commenters said the original boy-girl agreement was a mistake: “No one should have a baby-name blank check.” Many suggested that “one no, two yeses” was the best way to pick a name.

Parenting expert Anderson offered the following tips for couple who “don’t love the same name.”

Ways To Find Common Ground Over a Baby Name

Divide the choice Let one parent choose the first name while the other selects the middle name.

Take turns If you’re planning on more than one child, allow each parent to choose a name for alternating children.

Mutual agreement Agree that a name will only be chosen if both parents like it (aka, “one no, two yeses”).

Seek similar names See if there is a similar name that you can agree on. For example, if one person loves Clara, maybe both could settle on Claire.

Combine names Blend elements from each name that is preferred to make a new one. For example, Julie and Anna could become Julianna.

Consider alternate spellings A slight change in spelling might make a name more appealing to both parents.

Make a list Both parents create a list of their favorite names. Each parent can then cross out a set number of names from the other’s list.

Consult others Ask for opinions from friends and family members to get a fresh perspective and maybe come up with some new ideas.

The Reddit dad-to-be admitted: “I’m not actually going to name my daughter that, and I’m pretty sure my wife knows that too.”

However, the topic has led to serious arguments for the couple. “She thinks I’m being controlling and overdramatic. Neither of us are willing to back down.” He added ruefully: “I’ve been wondering if things have gone too far.”

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

Newsweek’s “What Should I Do?” offers expert advice to readers. If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work and your story could be featured on WSID at Newsweek.

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