'Notably Shocked': Internet Divided Over Plans To Give Baby Infamous Name

A woman has sparked an intense debate online over her sister-in-law's baby name choice, as she voiced fears the infamous moniker could lead to "bullying."

She posted the dilemma to Mumsnet under username Fringely, where she explained the mom-to-be is 34 weeks pregnant with her first child.

Recently she announced their chosen baby name, which raised a few eyebrows among family members.

Fringely wrote: "The actual 'sound' of the name is fine, but it is heavily associated with something which DSIL [dear sister-in-law] and her DP [dear partner] were not really aware of. They have been made aware of the association since (as it's pretty common knowledge—not sure how they hadn't heard of it tbh!) but are of the opinion most people won't make the association.

"DH [dear husband] and I are of the other opinion that most people will definitely make the association, it's not a good association, and genuinely worry that it's not fair to give a baby that name and it's fully possible it could lead to bullying when older.

"Whilst DP and strongly agree on the huge issue with the name and agree it's unfair to lumbar a baby with it, I don't think DH should say anything. DH thinks he should have a proper talk with her about his concerns on the name and why he doesn't think it's fair to give to a DN [dear nephew]. I think nothing good will come and we should stay quiet."

The aunt-to-be revealed so far they've "said very little," although she admitted they "were notably shocked," but have simply "nodded and smiled."

The post, sent on Saturday, sparked a fierce debate, racking up more than 600 replies, and can be read here. And in response to numerous people demanding to know the name, Fringely confirmed: "The name is Genghis."

And she added: "So now I've said the name, most people seem to be agreeing intervention is required..."

A few people questioned whether it was real, as she replied: "To answer a few questions: I definitely do not think it's a joke, clothes are being made with 'Genghis' embroidered on them.

"We also were freely offered the name so no nagging from us. The idea for the name came from something seen online. The parents are mid 20s.

"I just feel like it's so unfair on the child to be given a name which is going to cause something as simple as introducing themselves to become a 'thing.' In good news—no the surname is not Khan."

Genghis Khan was an infamous 12th century Mongol warrior who established the largest land empire in history, which stretched from the Caspian Sea to the sea of Japan, according to History.com.

Khan made his name in history by uniting nomadic tribes across central Asia and China, creating the Mongolian Empire, as the website noted: "At their peak, the Mongols controlled between 11 and 12 million contiguous square miles, an area about the size of Africa."

But his path to victory was a bloody one, as History.com noted: "Many people were slaughtered in the course of Genghis Khan's invasions."

Reports suggest he killed all conquered adults, but left children alive, or used people as human shields.

"No one knows with any certainty how many people died during Genghis Khan's wars, in part because the Mongols propagated their vicious image as a way of spreading terror," History.com added.

Genghis Khan statue in Mongolia.
Genghis Khan statue in near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. A woman has voiced concerns over plans to name her nephew Genghis. Andreyuu/Getty Images

After Fringely revealed the name, numerous people thought it was too entwined with the namesake's brutal reputation.

Fivebeanchilli asked: "Genghis is.... Bad. Where did they even come up with it if it wasn't for Genghis Khan?!"

HestersSamplerofCarrots wrote: "They cannot name him Genghis. Yes. Your husband should absolutely talk to his brother."

NippyWoowoo commented: "Definitely do not associate Genghis with evil. Have heard the name but would have to Google him. As others have echoed, it's just a horrible job name."

SpaceFarce said: "GHENGIS?! What other possible connotation can they think of, other than Khan?"

WimpoleHat said: "Genghis?? Yes—your DH should say something. For the sake of his unborn nephew...."

But some thought it was fine in the 21st century, as Stuntbubbles wrote: "Oh, Genghis is fine! Ugly as a name, but the infamous namesake is long enough ago that it doesn't matter. I think you just have to let them get on with it."

LittleBearPad thought: "It's a bold choice!"

Iwonder08 added: "Genghis is a strange choice for someone without Mongolian heritage, however I wouldn't think of any morbid connections straight away. After all it is a fairly common and popular name in that region nowadays."

While Enko pointed out: "I've known a Genghis in the past you get used to it. I am surprised they haven't heard of Genghis Khan obviously but it could be worse."

The name doesn't make the top 100 in England—where Fringely is thought to be based—with the top spots taken by Oliver, George, Arthur, Noah and Muhammad, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The name has enjoyed some interest lately, after former NFL player Jerramy Stevens and soccer star Hope Solo welcomed twins in 2020.

The parents named their children Vittorio Genghis Stevens and Lozen Orianna Judith Steven, with Lozen a famous Apache warrior.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

File photo of a birth certificate.
File photo of a birth certificate. A woman claims she fears her nephew will be bullied over his name. Comstock/Getty Images