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My Husband Wants to Name Our Child After His Grandmother but It’s the Name of My Childhood Bully

One woman has asked the internet for advice after she and her husband butted heads over what to call their unborn baby. Not yet knowing the sex of their baby, they’d made a list of their top 10 baby names for girls and boys to compare. However, it just so happened that the name that he really wanted to name a girl, to honour his late grandmother who had raised him, had very negative connotations for her as it was the name of her high school bully.

When I was in high school, I was constantly bullied by Sophie. She made fun of my appearance, personality, hobbies and grades. She also spread rumours about me and often told me that she wished I’d die (and was pretty specific about this). In elementary school, there was a bitchy stuck up brat named Sophie who endlessly spoke about how she was rich. In general, I do not have a positive connotation of the name “Sophie” but wouldn’t just dislike someone because they share that name.

My husband (27) and I (26) were discussing names for our child. We don’t know if it is going to be male or female, but started making a list of 10 male and 10 female names that we would consider. One of the female names my husband was very insistent on was “Sophie”, the name of his dead grandmother who basically raised him since his parents were always busy with work.

At once, I told him that I would not even consider it because the bully who tormented me throughout all of high school was also named Sophie. He got angry since he really wanted to use the name of the person who meant so much to him, but I refused. He told me that we should at least put it in the possible names, but I said absolutely not since I did not even want to consider it.


He got really angry that I wasn’t trying to take his opinion into account.

AITA for refusing to consider to name our child Sophie?

Many people had strong feelings about the couple’s situation, but not everyone agreed on who was in the wrong. Many people could empathise with hating a name due to a bad experience with someone, and acknowledged that unless both parents liked the name it was automatically a no-go.


This name obviously brings up memories for you of your school bully, so why would you want to name your child that, even as a middle name?

I know personally when picking our children’s names, there were names that were a hard ‘no’ for me for the exact same reason. Even though the names were lovely, they had been slightly tarnished because of people I knew at school who weren’t very nice. My partner understood, and likewise there were names I liked but my partner didn’t. We accepted that and moved on, and decided together on wonderful names 🙂

Good luck, hope you can work it out. (DaisyDazeXO)

Others pointed out that for her it was likely a trauma response rather than simply not linking the name, and were surprised that the husband was still pushing the point and not being more understanding of his wife’s feelings.


If every time you talk to your child you’ll be reminded of your bully, and you associate your child with your bully, your actions and behaviours will reflect that to your child’s detriment. I get the whole “honour important people” thing – if I was ever to have a sprog, I would want to have their middle name a variation on my grandfather’s name – but it would still have to be a mutual decision.

Is having it as a potential middle name still going to trigger you? If not, that could be a solution. However if it will still trigger then by all means, don’t consider it any further. (Fearless_Spring5611)


As a former victim of bullying, there are still certain things that are triggering. These triggers bring me back to the feeling of being the victim. Even if it is for a few seconds. I hate the feeling every time.

I haven’t been bullied in about 30 years. And I still have these triggers. That is how sever it was.

I am guessing your husband was never bullied, or not to that extent. He does not understand that it can be a trigger. He does not understand the feeling of being the victim. To him it is just a name.

To you it is a trigger.

You are not the asshole here. For your own wellbeing, do not back down. (evil-mouse)

He’s quick to say you won’t take his opinion into account for someone who won’t even think for a second how traumatizing that name could be for you. Not the asshole, you have every right to shoot down any name you wish, and so does he. (Super-Honeydew9863)

However, not everyone understood why she would push back on a name that was so important to her husband, and thought she was being selfish and should possibly seek therapy.

Soft YTA. It’s not your husband’s fault that awful people in your past were named Sophie, to him that’s his grandmother’s name and it obviously is very important for him to honor her by naming your child after her. However, he should also understand why you feel negative emotions towards the name. I would discuss a compromise where maybe instead of Sophie you go with Sophia or something similar. Sofia is the spanish spelling so that could also work? I would also maybe seek talking to a therapist to help you move past the grudge you hold against the name. (EquivalentPush7653)

YTA you’re being ridiculous, it’s a very common name and you should seek therapy for your trauma, it should not affect you after all these years. (Whatisanoemanyway)


YTA. Firstly, you don’t even know if the baby is going to be a girl yet so you both may be arguing over something that could turn out to be a non issue. Second, why not use it as an opportunity to replace the bad memories of your bully with good memories of your (potential) daughter. Third, the fact that you completely focus on yourself and your own feelings and don’t even consider your husbands is completely selfish. (Lemonayde84)

Other more helpful people came up with suggestions on how the couple might be able to reach a compromise that made them both happy.

Names are 2 yes 1 no unfortunately for your husband, so NTA for you to not be comfortable associating your child with the name who brings you sadness and potential trauma and negative feelings.

You could compromise on a variation of Sophie, or use as a middle name, or some ideas of honouring a relative that I thought was really beautiful was to use their favourite flower, city, or a word with meaning of a trait they had as middle/first name. Examples of this include Lily, April, Chelsea, Violet or even Phoebe (known as the Greek goddess of the moon and of hunting, this name means “radiant or shining one.”)

You have as much right to the name as he does, and he really should not be offended at all. (azvyll)



It’s understandable where both of you are coming from. You shouldn’t have to use the name for your child when it is clearly a name that holds significant negative connotation for you, but I understand him wanting to use a name to honor someone who was a large and positive presence in his life.

Is there any way to compromise on this – such as giving a possible daughter his Grandmother’s middle name, or perhaps if there is something the grandmother loves that could be used as a name…?

That way you can avoid using the specific name, but he still has a name on the list that is honorary for his grandmother. (Thrillsy)

What do you think? What would you do in this expectant mum’s position?

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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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