One in five mothers feels “namer’s remorse” and would pick another name for their child if they had the choice, according to a survey before the annual announcement on baby names.
Names most frequently regretted were Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James and Thomas.
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.”
The main reason for regretting the name was that it was too commonly used (25%). Just over one in five mothers who regretted their choice said it “just doesn’t feel right”. One in five said they had never liked the name but had been pressured into using it.
Just over 10% of mothers said the name did not suit their child. Another 11% said it was not distinctive enough. A further 11% said it caused their child problems with spelling or pronunciation.
Six percent regretted their choice because they disliked the shortened version of the name their child ended up being called. Only 3% pinned their regret on the fact there had been a change in public perception of the name since their child was born. Just 1% regretted their choice because a celebrity had used the name for their child.
Just 6% of mothers, however, have changed any of their children’s names, although one in three has considered it.
In a Mumsnet forum on the issue, one mother said: “My [daughter] is now five, so there is absolutely no way I would change her name or let on to her that I feel like this but ever since we named her I’ve had namer’s remorse. I suffered from horrendous postnatal depression after her birth which … made it very hard to name her … I gave her a very fashionable name which I hear everywhere.”
Another mother said: “I gave my [daughter] a name that is not at all like my other children’s names and it is not a classic or traditional name, which is something I have always valued. I have no idea why I chose such a name.
“I feel less strongly about it [now]. It is something to do with seeing her growing into womanhood … as she grows up, she becomes less and less one of many, and more and more her own unique individual. And the name goes with that individual.”
丹妮 and 朱善美 from language.chinadaily.com.cn