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“Help! My Brother and His Wife are Planning on Giving Their Baby a Terrible Name!”

When it comes to choosing names, picking a ‘nice one’ is very subjective. We all have different ideas on what a ‘good name’ is. But, whereas in some cases, you can accept and even grow to love a name that isn’t initially to your taste after a baby is born, there are some names that are just terrible. We’re not talking a little strange or quirky, we’re talking setting the child up for a childhood of being bullied kind of bad! But, is it appropriate to try to talk parents out of plainly bad choices, for the child’s sake? Or should family members hold their tongue and respect that it isn’t their child and they don’t get a say?

My (F26) older brother (M30) and his wife (F31) are having a baby boy in a month. A few days ago, they gathered my family around to tell them the name they selected — Earlgay.

Yes. That is it. Earlgay.

I don’t think it’s a reference to anything. It sounds like Earl Grey tea, but I asked my brother and he said they don’t drink tea. Our younger sister asked his wife / our SIL if the name Earl was a family name on her side, and the answer is no. We were all left confused and speechless. My very conflict avoidant dad even told them, “you are making a gigantic mistake if you go through with this.”

It just doesn’t make any fucking sense. If you like the name Earl, it’s a bit old fashioned at this point but whatever. Why add “-gay” to it? Even beyond the low-hanging fruit that offers playground bullies, it literally doesn’t seem to have a point. It isn’t a tribute to anyone, it isn’t a maiden name in our families, we are just stone cold puzzled.

Last night, our SIL’s parents called mine and expressed their own confusion / worry about the name. Literally everybody in their orbit is against it, and the best explanation we can get from either one of them is “it sounds good to us.”

I was hoping you could all either A) give me evidence that this name is crazy or B) find some sort of explanation for why this is a fantastic, strong choice.

Many commenters agreed with the original poster that it was a truly awful name and suggested they should give them a taste of what their son was in for.

When considering a child’s name you need to consider how the name can be used to make fun of the child by bullies because it will happen. Earlgay is unsurprisingly easy to see how this would be the case

I’d really try to hammer home that kids will use that name to make fun of their child. It’s easy enough to google something like “will a child make fun of another child because of their name?” and find some results backing it up. . (Ripper1337)


My family would start making up the worst nicknames to dissuade me. If I got upset, they would say just wait until he comes home from school crying and it was going to be so much worse for my kid. (MBeMine)

Honestly I would tell them it is a horrendous name, that poor child will be picked on. WTF is wrong with them?! (Sweaty_Technician_90_

They can give him Focker as a middle name and win the bingo of ruining their offspring’s life. (Mello1182)

However, some people were not convinced that the couple weren’t pranking their family, considering how obviously terrible it is.

I sincerely hope that they are trolling you, yikes. (cokegivesmehiccups)


My first thought is that it’s absolutely a prank or way to get family to not know until baby actually arrives. It’s a fake out for sure. (egrf6880)

When some savvy Redditors pointed out that Earlgay was pig Latin for girl, more commenters agreed that not only were the couple pranking their loved ones, they might also be giving them a very subtle gender reveal.

Sounds like pig Latin, instead of girl, it’s earlgay. (Knickers1978)

Maybe they are secretly trying to tell you the gender? (Brad_Pffft)

This makes sense!! I’d love to know if the “Boy” turns out to be a girl! (Visible-TYellow-768)

Oy-bay (Sturgik)

I sure hope so, and if so, pretty clever..if not..yeesh, poor child. (Total-Mistake-1990)

Let’s hope it’s all just a very clever prank!

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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