• Tue, Mar 18 - 5:00 pm ET

Any Smart Husband Knows Not To Veto A Pregnant Woman’s Baby Name List

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Every husband knows that pregnancy is a time to tread lightly. I’m not saying this in a “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy” cliché kind of way because I hate that bullshit saying. I’m just saying that any husband with half a brain knows that pregnant women are irrational and emotional and difficult to please. This is probably a scientific fact, and it describes me perfectly in both of my pregnancies.

I’m lucky that my husband and I both have an easy-going side, so we normally don’t have a hard time making major decisions. If one person feels strongly, then the other is normally cool with it. It’s very rare that both of us feel passionate about the same issue and decide to butt heads over it.

When it came to baby naming, the task was easy. I had a few boy and girl names that I absolutely loved. My husband wasn’t very picky about baby names, except for what he called his “white trash” test. He has great radar for white trash names, as we’ve both grown up in South Texas, and he was staunchly against any redneck names in our family tree.

He told me if a baby name fit in the following sentence, then I wasn’t allowed to use it:

“________, put down that tater tot and stop hitting your brother with the garden hose!”

So that nixed some of my favorite, so-called white trash names, like Cassidy, Cayden, and anything ending in “ee.” But otherwise, my husband was pretty chill and open-minded about the whole ordeal. Not like this disagreeable husband I found on a BabyCenter birth board:

I have 2 names that I really love and he shoots them down without a second thought. I finally got him to say “maybe” to my favorite one last night and I was so excited! Well today I get a text from him while he was at work telling me that a make coworker of his doesn’t like either name so now he doesn’t either!

If you ask me, this guy is just begging for trouble. It’s really hard to choose a baby name because it’s something your kid will go by for the rest of their life. That puts quite a bit of pressure on your final decision. I’m just glad I didn’t have to deal with the Veto King as I tried to narrow down my top names list. As long as the name wasn’t white trash or stripper-esque, my husband was on board.

(Image: PhotographyByMK/Shutterstock)

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  • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

    I don’t know, this sounds very much like the woman is the main one who gets a say in the baby name, and I disagree with that. My husband and I would email short lists of baby names back and forth to each other and take turns ruling various ones out. We found one we both liked, and I spent the next few months practicing it in my head to make sure I liked it.

    The middle name(s) were a bit easier — my last name is one of them, and then the ‘main’ middle name was settled on right after she was born; he didn’t really care, and it fit with her first name well.

    Sure, I was disappointed when he ruled out some names I liked (and who the f cares if his friends don’t like the name?), but it’s his kid too.

    • Kendra

      I have to agree with you there. I feel that both parents should be totally happy with the name. My husband and I have severely different tastes in names. I would be very disappointed if I had settled for his choices and named my daughter Chloe (no offense to the Chloe’s of the world, it’s just not my favorite). For that reason, I can’t ask him to forego his opinions on things just because I’m the incubator. I would feel terrible if he had to call a child by a name he didn’t like. 50/50 naming rights and vetoes allowed for all!!!

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      I agree. My husband was just as opinionated about baby names as I was.

      Funny I didn’t know the white trash rule though, and even with the example sentence would not have been able to distinguish which names he means. Names are very personal thing though. If it reminds me of someone I hate, or a character in a book or movie I hate then I couldn’t assign it to my kid.

      Plus we are bilingual (French/English) so the name had to be spelled and pronounced mostly the same in both languages. I hate typing accents, so no accents. He didn’t like any Jewish names because apparently in France (where his family comes from) there is still a lot of racism there. A lot of really common names are Jewish, like David. His stepfather David gets asked all the time in France if he is Jewish. He is not and apparently it is a problem. He hates religion, so nothing biblical.

      Thankfully we did not have a boy because all the French boys names sound feminine or old fashion to me. The ones I liked sounded like construction workers to him LOL.

      I basically emailed him name lists daily and he sorted into possible, vetoed (most of them). Then at home he would throw some names out and I would do the same. We consulted family and friends and got opinions. It was a very long painful process but I would never have discounted his opinion because it is his kid too.

  • Jallun-Keatres

    My husband vetoed both of my favorite boy names :(

    No Jeffrey or Daniel in our family haha

    We had a “heated discussion” over MK’s middle name but he won out and now I can’t imagine it differently. Good thing he was okay with my #1 favorite girl name or else I would be one pissed wife. XD

    • Bethany Ramos

      I love your daughter’s name! I liked Reese if the first was a girl and then Autumn for #2, but no girls for me. :)

    • Lackadaisical

      We also didn’t reuse the potential baby names for if our boys had been girls. The first would have been Charlotte Rose and the second Isabel Katherine and neither was chosen for their little sister. After two boys and a family of male cousins, all with middle names that we loved as much as the first names we chose, we were running out of options when our third was born. While it didn’t matter whether she was a girl or a boy there was a small bit of relief over the fact that we still hadn’t agreed on a name (although I suspect we would have gone with his suggestion of Peter Simon rather than my Christopher Stephen / Stephen Christopher).

    • Bethany Ramos

      Great names. :)

    • Lackadaisical

      I liked them, but those were the ones we didn’t get to use due to our first two being boys and last being a girl. Somehow, having chosen the names in advance of the birth it felt like those names were part of the naming process of the kids they were selected for so couldn’t be given to the younger siblings.

    • Valerie

      I have my little Reese the niece. I love her name soo much and had it on my list if Ben had been a girl. Reese was born the following year so I was not a name stealer. Just had to clarify. ;-)

  • Lackadaisical

    A dad has to call his kids by whatever name is chosen for the rest of his life, in the natural scheme of things. I personally feel that both parents get a veto on names, as why on earth would you force a parent to call a child by a name they dislike? Yes, that means your favourite name might get ruled out, but a mother isn’t the only parent of that kid and if a father was insisting on a name that the mother despised then we would all be up in arms. There were names I loved that my husband hated so we didn’t use, but there were also names that my husband loved and I hated that were equally vetoed.

    Also the full of hormones, don’t upset the crazy pregnant lady doesn’t wash. The thing that makes pregnant ladies cranky is people reacting to them as if they are nuts and completely beyond reason because there is a bump rather than actual evidence of craziness. It’s 9 months of jokes that are just like the PMS jokes and when it finally wears you down so that you crack everyone gives knowing looks and says “see what I mean”. Also, even were it the case that a pregnant lady can’t be reasoned with (so not true) then surely by that logic you won’t get a chance to inject manly sanity into baby naming before the birth certificate because we get to claim that the new mum is crazy due to birth hormones for a while after. Surely there must be one name that two people who are apparently going to raise a child together are going to both agree on.

    • Kendra

      I, too, hate the obsessing over hurting pregnant women’s feelings or hormonal jokes. I found myself to be quite reasonable during pregnancy. Hell, I might have even been more reasonable..

    • Lackadaisical

      The problem is that the jokes (that are really half joke and half believed) are so irritating that eventually they make you irritable, which then wrongly validates the joke. I felt like saying “no, I am being over sensitive about your joke because I have had to put up with so many other people belittling me with the same joke, not because I am hormonal and irrational”. 9 months is far to long to be treated like a silly little girl who can’t be talked to like a grown up because hormones have allegedly eaten her brain.

    • Harriet Meadow

      I was WAAAAAAY more hormonal (and exhausted and cranky) AFTER the baby came!

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Yeah, that argument seems downright misogynistic. Pregnant women are still capable of thinking with their actual brains, folks.

    • JustaGuest

      A friend of mine was getting hormone injections for assisted reproduction and dealt with this kind of dismissal all the time. A friend finally got her a shirt that said “it’s not the hormones – you really are pissing me off.”

  • Jill

    I’m glad my husband doesn’t care much about baby names except for ones that he absolutely hates or don’t work for some reason (exes or whatever). I know that I will get the final say (because my husband is of the “you push it out your lady parts and then you can do whatever you want” variety) but obviously I want to have him like the name as well. Since he doesn’t really care as much about girls names (I think he assumes we’ll have all boys or something) I can do basically whatever I want. Muahahaha

    • Bethany Ramos

      My husband wasn’t too passionate either, but he did throw out some good boy names!

  • keelhaulrose

    I think my husband didn’t want to think up names so he suggested ones he knew I’d hate (I don’t care if William Robert sounds distinguished, I was not going to have a boy whose name shortened so easily to Billy Bob, or ANYTHING where it would be easy to have two first names). He also suggested playing off our last name (Shaw), so I had to nix Rick, Cole, and Jersey and shortly after said I’d be giving him a list we could make things down from.
    But for those women whose husbands/partners want in on the banking thing it’s not fair to say he can’t veto names because he’s not the pregnant one. Some men have reactions to certain names for various reasons, and they should be able to say, for example, “I had an aunt Karen who hit me, absolutely no Karen” and not have their feelings dismissed because they aren’t the pregnant ones.

    • Jezebeelzebub

      Rick, Cole, and Jersey… your husband is a TRIP. I mean I’m glad you took a stand, but that shit is hilarious.

    • keelhaulrose

      Bonus- there’s no way say “Jersey Shaw” without sounding like you’re from that area.
      It was that point when I told him I’d make the short list.

  • Mikster

    Oh eff that! -the co-worker needs to sit down and STFU! My husband always participated in making the list and weighing in on his favorites. and after every one of our four kids was born via c section, he’d look at me and tell me *I* went thru all of the pregnancy AND the surgery, that I*I* got the final say. We ended up with the names we had chosen for our 1st, 3rd and 4th. But the second one I caved and named him after Dad,- but it didn’t fit, so I renamed him after the husband left and filled out the paperwork. HE was stunned but gracious.

  • Sexy Robotic Arms Dealer

    any husband with half a brain knows that pregnant all women are irrational and emotional and difficult to please.

    There, I fixed it for you Beth

    **runs away!!!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Oh, snap!

    • Valerie

      ..

  • CrazyFor Kate

    I don’t know, I’ve seen some moms bestow some pretty dumbass names on their children, to the point where not only should the dad get a veto, but mom should be legally banned from naming anything but goldfish for the rest of her life. If your partner – whichever parent he or she is – suddenly turns into a naming lunatic, you get to invoke an exception, I think. (Early Thunder, people. EARLY THUNDER. I’m so sorry, nephew.)

    • Jill

      My husband told me we should name our son Alcatraz. True story.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      If it’s possible to die from second hand embarrassment then I am. Early Thunder? Poor kid. Stick with Earl and hope for the best.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      He’s in his thirties now (and has five equally weirdly-named younger siblings), and his kids have the most conventional names you ever imagined…

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Not surprising! I feel like the opposite of some of my generation, I love traditional names, and have a particular soft spot of classic hollywood names. Henry and Ava are my current top 2! I find it so hard to come up with girl names though, i’ve a list of boy names i love, but really just that one girl name!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I love classic names. I was going to name my child Loretta if I had a girl.

    • Valerie

      I love more traditional names too. When you think of other trendy names that are from certain time periods it is very clear that many names don’t stand the test of time. I did not want to pick names that would instantly make people go “ah, that baby was born in the early 2000′s”. I thought that if a name had been around for hundreds of years than it must be a good one. I see no need to be super yuneek. A name that is easy to pronounce and spell seemed a gift to my children- members of a generation of kids that includes Jayden spelled 36 different ways.

    • Alex Lee

      Earl Lee Thunder would definitely fill the seats at the Monster Truck Jams.

      You’re paying for the whole seat – but you’ll only need the edge.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      We wanted him to be a country singer called Earl Thunder (Lastname). He became something boring instead.

  • Valerie

    Mine was sort of an ass with naming our son. But in the end, I’m glad we fought for the name we eventually picked because we both loved it. I was pushing for Evan from the time we got pregnant with our first (who ended up being a girl) but he just wasn’t into it. When we found out our second was a boy I begged and he did relent because he didn’t really have any other ideas. A few weeks later, I changed my mind because I wanted something we both loved. And how we have our Ben. And it’s perfect for him. :-)

    • Bethany Ramos

      I looooove Evan. I love Ben too. :)

    • Valerie

      Thanks. :-)

    • Lackadaisical

      Ben is a lovely name. The only reason we didn’t go with it is because it alliterates with our surname too much. Any other surname and I think we would have had a Ben.

    • Valerie

      :-) Thanks! I love it more and more as time goes on. And we have a rather complicated and long Italian last name so simple names were our only option. We vetoed many because they sounded too ridiculous with our last name!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    My husband and I had our baby names picked out before we got engaged. We have some of the same family names so boom.
    However, I had complete say over middle names as he got to lay claim to the last name.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Middle names are fun because you can take weirder names out for a test drive.

  • Véronique Houde

    For our boy, I let my boyfriend choose the name and then vetoed it myself ;). See? Easy! lol It’s called reverse psychology. Letting the man THINK he’s in charge.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahaha perfect.

  • EX

    For me, choosing a baby name my husband and I could agree on was harder than labor (although, for the record, I did have an epidural).

  • Alene

    See, now my husband drove me crazy with the first, because he really needs to think about a name for a while before he forms an opinion, especially if it’s something he hasn’t heard before. I’d suggest a name, and he’d just nod and give a “hmm” so I assumed he just hated everything. It didn’t help that he didn’t come up with a whole lot on his own, either. We ended up picking something we both love, and it was definitely a mutual decision, but this time I’m trying to be more understanding and rather than ask him to give an opinion right away, I’m making lots of “I like_____” type comments.

  • angelina ♥

    I had total say over our 5yo son’s name (Atlas Bowie), but not because I fought for or demanded it, he just agreed and loved the name Atlas as well. Bowie, I think, I ended up putting on the birth certificate paperwork when daddy wasn’t around, but he did know it was in the top running–it just hadn’t necessarily been finalized yet between us. I Just had our baby girl two days ago and we had agreed long ago on her first name, Atari. We’d have used it before if Atlas had been a girl. Her middle name was up for debate for quite awhile, as we never agreed on anything we both loved. My first choice was Lux, he said initially he wasn’t crazy about it. Shortly before she was born, he suggested Leah (his sister’s middle name), which I didn’t care for. I was going to text him (I’ve been on bed rest in the hospital) a list of alternates (Cassandra, Nova, Simone, Siobhan, Dominique) but she came sooner than expected and again, I ended up putting Lux on the paperwork. I do feel a little guilty but to my credit he had said recently that Lux was fine with him and he didn’t want to second-guess my first instinct.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Congrats! That’s so interesting because I have friends that named their daughter Bowie, which was the first time I heard it as a name. Love it.

    • angelina ♥

      I’ve yet to run into Bowies, female or otherwise. I think it sounds slightly boyish for a girl, but I enjoy that as a quality in girls’ names as long as it’s not too blatant. For example, I liked the name Davis for a girl before Atlas came along…and I admit, I got that name from Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes.

    • darras

      Oh I love, love, love Atari Lux! What a name. Lucky girl :)

    • angelina ♥

      Thank you! I really loved Lux as soon as it’d occurred to me. I was disappointed by the idea that he didn’t want to use it, but it worked out in the end :) also our last name is Very common and plain so I like how that allows for some creative liberty with first and middle names.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    I’m in charge of naming our future kids lol.
    He named all FIVE of his other kids.
    Luckily our favourite names happen to be the same haha, so that worked out well!

  • MK

    I chose a name from my favourite childhood book. I’ve known since I was 12 years old that my sons name would be Asher. Husband didn’t like it so he read the book and understood it’s true meaning. PLUS. The Hebrew meaning is blessed, fortunate and happy. Done. He agreed, finally.

  • Picklejar

    I was prepared to not like this article based on the headline. (Sorry Bethany – normally I’m a huge fan.) Why shouldn’t dad have some veto power on the name front? But then I got to the dad in question. What a d–bag! It’s phrases like “without a second thought’ and the oh-so-generous “maybe” that lead me to believe Dad isn’t being sensitive or open to anything Mom is attached to. My husband at least entertained the idea of Beatrice/Beatrix – because I really liked it. But he painted a world where everyone would call her “Bea” in the most annoying tone ever. (In his mind, Bea would have to put down the tater tot, and quit hitting her brother with the garden hose). In the same spirit, I left Abigail on the list for him, and though I wasn’t partial at first, it grew on me.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Thanks! I think I would have gone crazy if my husband was jerking my chain about names for no reason. Obviously, the man gets a say, and I had fun picking names with my husband, but I cared a lot more than he did. :)

  • Williwaw

    Yes, women have to carry the child and give birth, etc., etc., but that’s just an unchangeable fact of biology, not a reason the mother should get more than 50% of the say in naming a kid. My husband and I are kind of nerdy, so we each made a spreadsheet where we listed our ten favorite names (keeping in mind that we wanted a name that would shift well between French and English, since my husband is French Canadian). We then combined all twenty names into a spreadsheet, and we each separately ranked the twenty names from 1 (best) to 5 (worst). We ended up with several ranked highest by both of us, and chose one of those for the first name, and we both love it. I suggested one of the number 3 names for a middle name and my husband was less sure because it is his own middle name and he felt awkward naming his kid after himself even partially, but he relented because he knew I loved it. Also, my husband changed his name when we got married – not to my name but to his mother’s maiden name, because he wanted to carry on that name and is not close to his father.

    I think I was in a pretty rational frame of mind when I chose this baby-naming strategy, so definitely didn’t fit the stereotype of overemotional irritable basket case ready to blow at a moment’s notice.

  • C.J.

    For our first we both made a list of names that we liked. I hated every name on my husbands girl name list. One of his favourites was Theresa. That was probably the best one on the list. No offence to the Theresa’s out there but It reminded me too much of an older aunt name. He liked some of the names on my list so we decided he would pick the name but he would pick it off my list. It worked so we did the same thing with the second one. We did argue about how to spell the 2nd one’s name. He wanted Selena, I wanted Celina. I decided since he picked both kids names of my list that we would spell it his way. I had difficult pregnancies and on the way to the hospital he felt so sorry for me that he said we would spell it my way. Now all the congratulation cards we saved have the wrong spelling of her name because I had already told people we were spelling it his way.

  • darras

    I had it fairly easy with my husband. We both made a list and then we vetoed the names we hated off each others’ lists (this is how I lost Max..) and then we removed the names that we loved but would get mangled by the others’ language, this is how I lost Ragnar – LOVE the name but HATE how english speakers maul it! I had a few girl names as well, I found girl names WAY easier, is that just me?
    If he’d been a girl he would have been Iselin or Jessica..

    • JLH1986

      Ragnar in the south would have been pronounced “Ragner” and then someone would have changed it to Ranger. So…good call. We would have butchered the hell out of that name.

    • Guest

      I feel like Ragnar is going to get quite a bit more popular with the Vikings show now on History. Esp with Earl Ragnar Lodbrok being so damn attractive.

    • darras

      HAH! Yes.. He is schmexy… But the level of mispronounciation of that name (and Bjørn) on that show will probably make the name mangling even worse! Which makes me doubly glad it got vetoed :D I shall go back to salivating over Travis Fimmel now..

  • Ife

    My husband is terrible to name children with. He likes to have veto power, but has no desire to actually contribute effort or opinions beyond that – and he seems to get worse with each child. Despite this, we somehow managed to select choices that satisfied us both 3 times. As much as I hated to see him reject some of my favorites out of hand, it was really important to me that we both felt good about the name we selected. I didn’t want either one of us to feel resentful about the choice, and I certainly didn’t want to win just because he capitulated to me pregnant craziness or something.

  • Fleur Forsyte

    I carried the babies for nine month. I threw up for most of it. I got fat and had to lose weight afterwards. I went through a drug free labour. I choose the names. End of discussion.

  • JLH1986

    The hubs and I have talked about this. I have some reservations about his name choices (he has some about mine as well) because he named his dog D.O.G (pronounced Dee-Oh-Gee) and his cat: Cat. I realize they are animals but really that was as creative as he can get? he worries because my favorite girl name is Pemberley Jane (PJ for short) because I have an unhealthy obsession with Jane Austen. I agreed that’s probably not the best/easiest name but we aren’t naming our child Kid either.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahhahaa

    • Guest

      Cats are the best animals to name and all he could come up with was cat? C’mon! Jingles, Chandler, Bing, Penelope, Mable, Whiskerfixins, Mr.Whisperton, BillyBobJoe, fluffy…I could go on…

  • Kristen

    This is bizarre to me. Of course my husband could veto a name he didn’t care for. We choose our daughter’s name together. I’m so glad we picked a name that we both love.

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