Man's 'Unique' Baby Name Suggestions Leave Wife in Tears and Spark Debate

A dad–to-be has driven his heavily pregnant wife to tears with his "bold" choices for baby names—but the internet is similarly divided on the subject.

Parents are increasingly choosing unique names for their children. Where once distinctive monikers were the preserve of moms and dads from the world of celebrity, research now shows many new parents are opting for more unique names for their offspring.

The shift was highlighted in a 2016 study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge. She found that between 2004 and 2006, 34 percent of boys and 24 percent of girls in the U.S. were given one of the top 50 most common names of that period.

And, from 2011 to 2015, those figures shifted down with just 28 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls receiving one of the top 50 common names at that time.

For many parents, a distinctive name is seen as an opportunity to help their child stand out from the crowd—but it does have drawbacks. Speaking to Live Science, Northwestern University researcher David Figlio noted that people make subconscious judgments about an individual if they have an unusual moniker.

"People draw subconscious cues all the time about people," he said. "You meet a person for the first time and without thinking about it on an explicit level you're looking at the way they're walking, what their accent sounds like, how they're dressed, whether they smell [...] and you're developing these immediate reactions."

With opinion still divided on the merits of an unusual name, it's hardly a surprise to see some expectant parents are continuing to clash on the subject. But few debates of this kind have proven as divisive as the one shared to Mumsnet by a pregnant mom.

According to the woman writing in the post, she and her partner have been arguing fiercely over what name to give a boy and it's left her feeling frustrated and emotional. "I've had a little cry because I can't see us ever agreeing," she wrote.

While she is in favor of "more traditional names" like James and Isaac, her husband has been suggesting names like "Ozymandias and Balthazar." Though the woman said she is "open to more unique names" his suggestions are a little bit too "out there" for her liking.

She said that when she flatly rejected those two suggestions, he spent at least "half an hour" reeling off "bold" names that were not to her liking. Things came to a head when he then asked: "What is wrong with Balthazar though?" At this point, she asked him to "leave the room."

The woman added that her husband previously chose the name for their daughter "after months of disagreements" but has "rejected" every one of her suggestions and will not let choose a name by herself.

The disagreement, perhaps unsurprisingly, proved just as divisive on social media, with users seeing both sides of the argument. One user, posting as Tsuni, thought it was wrong to "saddle a baby" with the name Balthazar, claiming it sounded like something you would call a "demon." PeskyBooks disagreed though, writing: "I love the name Balthazar! Is it not one of the three wise men?"

PollyPutTheKettleOnKettleOn expressed concern that either one of the names could lead to the child being bullied in school. "Can you imagine the nicknames he'd end up with?" they said.

XDownwiththissortofthingX felt there was "nothing wrong with Ozymandias" adding that "at least it's an actual name, which is more than can be said for most of the nonsense people are lumbering children with these days."

User0ne meanwhile urged the woman to call her husband's bluff. "He'll get pretty sick of having to call out 'Balthazar' (instead of bazza) 15 times to get the little darling to put his shoes on anyway, perhaps it'll be karma," they wrote.

TracyMosby felt the dad sounded like a "bully" because he wouldn't let him wife choose a name with RegularSizedRudy urging her to stand up to her partner and choose the name herself, writing: "You're the one carrying and birthing this baby so ultimately you get the final say."

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

A man and a heavily pregnant woman.
Stock image of a man and a heavily pregnant woman. A dad-to-be has divided opinion with his suggestions for baby names for his soon-to-arrive son. Getty