When I was pregnant, I decided I wasn’t going to stick to stupid old traditions. I was going to be cool. For one thing, my partner and I were going to choose the name of our baby before we knew whether we were having a boy or a girl. One long, sunny, wine-fuelled afternoon, months before we conceived, we decided we would call our first baby Smith, no matter what the gender.
We thought it was the perfect name – different and yet familiar. Could work equally well for a jazz musician or a footballer or a banker. Cool, right? In fact, I started to fear that we might spark a trend, and soon everyone would be calling their baby Smith. Yes, I really thought that.
Anyway, we were lucky enough to conceive, and about six months into the pregnancy, we decided to tell people the name we’d chosen. It was early, sure, but we were ready to cast another stupid old tradition aside. We still didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, but we were sticking with Smith. We started sharing our baby’s name with people, preparing ourselves for a frenzy of excited congratulations. But we didn’t get that. No one was expecting us to drop such big news, in a casual conversation, three months early.
“Oh,” was the usual response. “Oh, sorry, did you say that’s what you’re going to call your baby? Oh, um, okay. Okay.”
Brace yourself: Reddit users reveal the worst baby names they’ve ever heard. Post continues after video.
Maybe we should have had a “name reveal”, like a gender reveal, somehow involving a giant cake or balloons or street car racing. Just didn’t think of it.
Along with all the flat responses, we got the negative ones. Apparently, what we saw as “cool”, other people saw as “weird”.
“Oh, Smith… even if you have a girl?” Yep, that’s the idea of gender-neutral names.
“Won’t people think that’s the kid’s surname?” Yeah, well, Harrison and Jackson and Taylor somehow manage to cope.
“What will the nickname be?” Smithy. Or Smithers. Or maybe Farty McFartpants. Who knows?
Sure, we would have got some of these negative comments even if we’d waited till the baby was born. But not so many.