real life

'After 23 years, I finally exploded at my mum over my name.'

While unique, unusual baby names are in vogue – particularly of Hollywood offspring – it’s rare we consider the impact a quirky name may have on the child who must carry it forever.

Now, a 23-year-old has posted on Reddit, sharing her experience growing up with an unusual name and subsequent resentment she feels for her parents for the name they gave her.

“My parents are ‘creative’ types. My three siblings (two younger brothers and a younger sister) and I all have ‘creative’ names. I’m named after a reptile, my sister (19) is named after a part of the brain, my brother (17) is named after a fish, and my youngest brother (16) is named just a weird name,” she writes under the username arktextsure, later revealing her name as Chameleon.

“We all hate our names – we talk about it plenty. Most of us have gone by nicknames our entire lives, and I know I plan to change my name before I get married. My mum and I don’t get along very well, we butt heads a lot,” she added.

Her relationship with her mother, she describes, has always been fractured. She has not “loved” her mother for a while. Instead, she “tolerates” her.

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“I could go into all our issues, but I won’t. It’s not the point.

“I got serious with my boyfriend recently, and he wanted to meet my family. Of course, I got talked into spending a whole week with them, starting on Saturday.”

Detailing how they all decided to have a family dinner, her new boyfriend in tow, the 23-year-old “blew up” at her mother after she continuously called her by her full name.

“We decided to have a family dinner because it was the one night my mum wasn’t busy. It was the first time we’d had a real conversation since I was in college, and she kept calling me by my real name. Everyone at the table was using my nickname. My boyfriend has only ever called me by my nickname – I keep my real name under wraps, although I did plan to tell him before I went to change it. I seriously hate my name that much. Of course, he got curious and started asking what my mum was talking about thinking it might be some kind of nickname because I’m named after a literal REPTILE.


“And she starts going on about how she slaved over baby name lists, how she had a stroke of inspiration while at the zoo, how much the name meant to her, and how selfish I am to go by a nickname. I just exploded. I told her how much I hate my name, how humiliating it is, and how selfish she is to have given us all names that got us bullied and harassed. I kept going and talked about how much I can’t stand her, how she treats her students like more of her children than she treats me like her kid. It was just complete word vomit, and my mum started crying, my dad kicked me and my [boyfriend] out without any of our stuff.”

Now, she has no clothes, none of her bags and no money.

“My dad and my mum won’t let us come to the house – they threaten to call the cops – and won’t even toss our bags onto the street so we don’t even have money or our tickets back home.”

While most Reddit users suggested enlisting the help of local police could ensure she gets her things back, Chameleon’s post does enliven debate about whether it is selfish to give a child a name they may well come to resent in years to come.

In the last few years alone, Jessica Simpson named her boy Ace Knute, Lara and Sam Worthington named their sons Rocket Zot and Racer respectively, Kim Kardashian welcomed North, Saint and Chicago West and Jamie and Jules Oliver completed their family with Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear Maurice and River Rocket Blue Dallas.

Objectively, they can be considered unique, meaningful names. But the question must be asked: Is an unusual name more about the parent than the child?

Tell us what you think in the comments.