Dilemma Of The Day: Can't Agree On Names

26/11/2009 15:27 | Updated 22 May 2015

Parents arguingQ: My husband and I are really struggling to agree on a name now I'm pregnant. His grandad, his dad, and he all have the same name and if we have a boy he and my in-laws want to carry on the tradition. I don't like the name much and it is a bit old fashioned, plus I want my baby to have his own identity. Help!

A: Your husband is probably going to find it difficult to go against his family if he has always been expected to name any potential sons this one particular name.

You could go along with their plan for the quiet life and you might even grow to love the name on your son, but this may lead to more unwanted interference from your in-laws in the future...

Children whose name matches another close relative may find it irritating when they are a moody 17 year old, or when they are a respectable 40 year old, and they still can't escape from being 'Little Tony' to the whole clan.

Would he consider a compromise at all? You could have your husband's name as the first name on the birth certificate, but call your son by his middle name.

Maybe you could find a nickname based on the original name, so John would become Jack, Henry turns into Harry, or William would become Billy? Or would you be happy with a different spelling, so that Alistair would become Alasdair or Ahmed would become Ahmad?

You could also try picking a name with the same or similar meaning, perhaps from a different country. Examples of this would be changing Douglas (Scottish) to Blake (English), both names related to the word 'dark', changing Herbert (German) to Argus (Greek), both names related to the word 'bright'.

Paul (Latin) could change into Vaughn (Welsh), both related to the word 'small'. Clint (English) could become Rio (Spanish), both related to the word 'river', or Garth (Norse) could change to Leslie (Gaelic), both related to the word 'garden'.

What about choosing a characteristic of your husband's family and picking a name linked to that? Red haired? How about Russell? Proud of their northern roots? How about Norton? Do your father in law and husband both love horses? Why not Marshall?

The best thing would be to hope for a girl so you can sidestep the whole issue! In fact, if you do have a girl, you and your husband could name her a feminine version of his name. Then you would be carrying on the tradition in a new way.

How did you choose a name for your baby – and did you disagree with your partner on the choice? Leave a comment below...

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