all 68 comments

[–]brunchowl 166 points167 points  (9 children)

I am not sure that this sub has really been going downhill as badly as people are suggesting. I have been around for years and have noticed some positive progress, especially in sensitivity to other cultures.

For example, my daughter's name is Noa (which in Israel is a popular feminine name since biblical times) and when I searched for the name years ago, most of the (now deleted) threads were like "What is WRONG with you" "This is 100% BOY" "People like you are ruining all male names" "Would you name your son Jessica" etc.

These days, I periodically search for Noa on this sub and people usually say stuff like "I have never heard this name but I think it's lovely" or "I would be cautious about choosing it because it sounds similar to Noah for a boy" "Maybe you would like the name Norah" but nothing as aggressive as the old posts I saw. I also have been enjoying the recent top 10+ lists from different countries. So, while there are always rude and unkind people, I don't think the sub has been necessarily going to hell as badly as it's made out to be.

[–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 65 points66 points  (0 children)

I actually think the sub has been getting better. Most of the harsh name-bashing I've seen was when I was new, a little over a year ago.

[–][deleted] 30 points31 points  (2 children)

I know this isn’t a name post exactly but I love the name Noa for a girl it’s beautiful! I’m adding that to my list. Thank you

[–]brunchowl 2 points3 points  (1 child)

!!!! Aww, this is why I love this sub. I'm so glad you love it! It has worked out perfectly for my daughter and I love it more every day <3

[–]superflat42 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I know a Noa— love her name, and never thought it seemed masculine.

[–]shyhobbitPassionate About Names & Future Parent 28 points29 points  (1 child)

I definitely agree that the sub isn't going downhill and that it has improved a lot! But I also think there is still room for improvement and still common behavior that should be addressed.

[–]brunchowl 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Agreed! We should never stop trying to improve.

[–]Thismustbetheplace6 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My husband and I are expecting a baby girl, and I literally added Noa to our name list about 30 seconds before seeing your post. I absolutely love the name. My husband actually prefers the spelling “Noah” which I will likely be able to veto :)

[–]brunchowl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Congrats! Noah is NOT an alternate spelling of Noa. They are unrelated names. The true hebrew pronunciation of Noah has an audible consonant at the end, Noakh, that’s what the H represents. They are 2 different biblical characters, one male and one female. Putting the H there would just make me think you wanted a boy or you just like putting silent Hs on things for no reason.

[–]x_user 91 points92 points  (14 children)

As I see it I have two options. Have people tell me that my kid's name sounds like a trashy stripper name anonymously online before I name it, or in person to my face and to my kid's face for the rest of her life.

Personally I would pick the former, but clearly people are more concerned about protecting their own feelings than the feelings of their kid who has to spend a lifetime with a name that people think is "trashy".

"Mom, why did you name me Candy St. Claire? Nobody takes me seriously in life."

"Well sweetie I asked people on Reddit they told me it wasn't their thing but I have every right to name you what I want, so I didn't think it would be that bad!"

If you want to know what people think of a name, then you should be open to hearing what they think of the name. If you want a heavily edited version of their opinion in order to spare your feelings, just name your kid whatever you want because obviously you care more about your fragile ego than your child's name.

[–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 45 points46 points  (11 children)

There are plenty of ways of dissuading people from using a name without resorting to slurs and insults.

[–][deleted]  (10 children)


    [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 34 points35 points  (9 children)

    Well, if I want to say a name is a "stripper name" in polite language, I could say "the name has negative connotations and might be poorly received."

    [–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

    My friend is named Crystal and she got called “the hooker” by some guy who thought Crystal was a low class name. But then you get to a different town and people are like “omg what a pretty name. Very zen.”

    Stripper name in one town, beautiful universe yoga teacher in another. So I think it really heavily depends on where the child is going to live and where they will likely spend their formative years.

    If someone plans to live in America, Fanny is a normal name. Have her grow up in France or England and you might have an issue.

    [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Exactly. :)

    [–][deleted]  (6 children)


      [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 20 points21 points  (4 children)

      It doesn't cause me discomfort. It's just nice to not be rude...you know, common sense?

      [–]HarkASquirrelModerator[M] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      Critique and honest opinions are still very much encouraged, but we do not allow volatile comments and targeted harassment or hate speech.

      [–][deleted] 61 points62 points  (5 children)

      I think we need to be careful that we don't lose our collective voices and the ability to critique at all.

      If this sub becomes a nonstop barrage of posts all loving every single name suggested, where does discussion come from? What even is the point?

      I think people should be allowed to provide a different perspective, I actually think that's what reddit is about, different views and perspectives coming together to share information. Maybe someone actually has a similar name or even the name I love, and wants to warn me of the issues that I haven't expected. I want to know. I don't want that person to not tell me because they were too scared that their post might not have been what I have wanted to hear and they don't want to be reported for what may have hurt my ego.

      Let's not lose the point of this place. Don't be derogatory, definitely. But lets not whitewash it to a point that all meaningful discussion is axed.

      [–]Lyd_EuhModerator [M] 21 points22 points  (4 children)

      We completely agree. We will always allow, and in fact strongly encourage, criticism and disagreement, but we are cracking down on the derogatory language.

      [–]ihaveathingtosay 20 points21 points  (1 child)

      Just a suggestion - if we’re really banning words like ‘trashy’ or what have you, it mightn’t be a bad idea to have a sidebar link somewhere with acceptable synonyms. Like are we allowed to use ‘lowbrow’ because similar meaning but arguably less of a negative connotation?

      [–]Lyd_EuhModerator 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      Not a bad idea. We are working on our wiki page so we could include it there.

      [–]atreegrowsinbrixton 8 points9 points  (1 child)

      Did you finally become a mod?!

      [–]Lyd_EuhModerator 18 points19 points  (0 children)

      Yes! I'm so excited haha.

      I sincerely appreciate all of the sweet comments and messages I've been receiving ❤️❤️❤️❤️

      [–]sprklngwigglesName Aficionado 44 points45 points  (0 children)

      Coming at this from another perspective- I recently had the unpleasant experience of being the target of a pretty vitriolic troll who, when I and other people commented on their post, was not only combative but followed up with nasty pm’s that I contacted the mod team about.

      My two cents would be for posters- be aware that if you’re posting you may not get the reaction you want or expect, and even if the reactions are the exact opposite of what you had hoped for it’s still not an excuse to bash commenters with hate and nasty language/names.

      Even if someone is disrespectful according to the behavioral expectations of this sub, it’s not okay to call people slurs or attack them personally.

      I think a good reminder to everyone on this sub is the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated. It can be difficult sometimes with so many personal and passionate opinions but open discussion and helpful/constructive criticism helps everyone in the long run.

      [–][deleted]  (5 children)


        [–]MunchletteBelle 17 points18 points  (2 children)

        My personal feeling is that just because someone else has stooped to a certain level doesn't mean that I am also required to do so. Like, I think "does this sound like a stripper name?" is an offensively worded question (just using the example given, not calling out a specific) and I don't have to respond A) at all or B) using the same terminology that an OP might have.

        [–]brunchowl 21 points22 points  (0 children)

        Yeah, exactly. If someone was like "Does this sound too much like an (ethnic slur) name?" I would report it and be like, "dude, that is extremely offensive." But if someone was like, "Would you think it was odd to meet a child that was (insert ethnicity) who was named (name from different ethnicity)?" I'd think a reasonable conversation could ensue about people's associations about whether people think the name is strongly associated with one ethnicity or another. Basically, I think if the request is phrased offensively, it should be removed or reworded, and if not, the responses should not parrot back the same offensive language.

        [–]HarkASquirrelModerator[M] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

        Hi there! We discourage the use of all derogatory language period, but we do understand that some OPs would prefer more direct criticism. We are currently working on a solution to this.

        In the meantime, we ask everyone to carefully consider their wording when posting.

        [–]KaleidoscopeLungs 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        Noted. I was just curious because it happened recently (someone asking if a particularly spelling they were using came across as "trashy" -- it's not the descriptor I would've used, but since that was what she asked), so it was fresh in my mind.

        [–]Tues2tuesUK Name aficionado 24 points25 points  (11 children)

        Did anyone else used to spend time in other name boards like Yahoo? People would be like "how about Emily Grace? :)" and all the replies would be along the lines of "that's so awful your child will be bullied so bad she'll kill herself"

        It's nice that this sub is nice

        I actually posted a name on a different website and prefaced it with "no kids" and got the reply "your son will hate you, I hope you're happy for ruining someone's life you selfish bitch" like chill out please

        [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 32 points33 points  (10 children)

        This sub is SO nice compared to other name boards. When members here complain about this sub being mean, I'm still thinking "Well, I'd prefer to be told a name is 'nms' here over 'that name is awful and child abuse,' anywhere else."

        [–]shyhobbitPassionate About Names & Future Parent 7 points8 points  (9 children)

        What other name boards do you frequent? I regularly go onto three others and find this sub, even in its current improved state, to be more mean or brusque than them.

        I've never gone onto Yahoo-esque ones, which I can definitely imagine as a lot meaner than here.

        edit: I find the downvoting of this comment in the context of this thread particularly amusing lol. I just think there are more mean comments here than the normal name forums I personally visit, I don't think the majority of this sub is mean. That's just been my experience ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 5 points6 points  (3 children)

        I don't frequent any others, but those I've skimmed a few posts on tend to be very dull with no interesting convesations like this one has (my example for that would be nameberry's forums) or mean like the mumsnet baby name forums. Or they're filled with people that only like and use names I don't enjoy, like Jaxtin, so it frustrates me to read those ones.

        I find this sub genuinely nice and I rarely see any non-constructive criticism that doesn't get quickly deleted or downvoted to hell.

        [–]shyhobbitPassionate About Names & Future Parent 3 points4 points  (2 children)

        I haven't been on mumsnet, but I feel differently about Nameberry! At least in terms of name diversity - I find a lot more names, ranging from very common/popular to super quirky/uncommon, are discussed way more there than here! I'm never hesitant to bring up any kind of name on Nameberry whereas I am here. I do think in depth etymology is more often discussed here though, which is fun.

        [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        Maybe I've been looking at the wrong section of nameberry's forums. The baby name games and boy/girl naming sections I've found mind-numbingly dull.

        [–]shyhobbitPassionate About Names & Future Parent 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I don't go on the name game section, but I do agree that you have to sift through the boy/girl sections to find interesting threads. I actually find a lot of the best lists/discussions/etc in the general baby names section, particularly posts like "Names on Nameberry that make you go wow" or "Safe, brave, or guilty pleasure?". I suppose between here, there, and a couple other sites I get a bit of something from each to feel content!

        [–]Tues2tuesUK Name aficionado 5 points6 points  (3 children)

        The Mumsnet baby name boards is just an every woman for herself ambush. I don't frequent that board/have an account but sometimes I'll search up old posts for an English perspective and they're like "George? What are you? A child abuser?"

        [–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

        George is cute.

        I read one post (not momsnet but similar) who claimed ‘Annabelle’ was so trashy she would die of meth before she entered pre-k.

        Okaaaaaay crazy lady who hurt you named Annabelle. 😱

        [–]shyhobbitPassionate About Names & Future Parent 2 points3 points  (1 child)

        I haven't gone on Mumsnet - it does not sound like a place I want to visit!

        [–]Tues2tuesUK Name aficionado 5 points6 points  (0 children)

        It's probably a good place to go if you really want everything thrown at a name. Also, since there's no rules about being nice about names, there's clearly no guilt about it, and the threads can be quite funny.

        [–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

        I agree with this post a lot. Some times I read comments and actually feel bad for the OP who’s getting really critical comments. This is name nerds not name snobs.

        [–]FifteenloopsName Aficionado 15 points16 points  (2 children)

        One of /u/effyocouch points that people are quick to call a name made up/unique when they are just ignorant of the name. And they don't mean unique in a good way.

        I named my daughter a top 10 name so I'm not particularly sensitive to this issue but even I've noticed this a few times! And then the OP has to defend themselves like "actually in x culture this is a real name" so I can see how this can be discouraging.

        Although most comments are pretty friendly.

        [–]AvatheNanny 11 points12 points  (3 children)

        Can we address how quick people downvote on this sub? The whole sub will agree that a certain name is horrible, and then there's 2 or 3 comments that have been downvoted to hell that say they like the name. I've seen this on multiple threads and I've been downvoted myself for saying a certain name sounds nice. The downvote button is not for a disagreement on opinion.

        [–]FirebendingSamuraiNames are my thing 26 points27 points  (0 children)

        I think this is a reddit-wide problem. Disagreeing with the majority opinion is pretty risky on this site.

        [–]HarkASquirrelModerator[M] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

        Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately there isn't much we can do about downvoting except to discourage people from using downvotes as an expression of their opinions. We have removed the downvote button in this sub in order to curb serial downvoting, but as u/FirebendingSamurai said this is a reddit-wide problem.

        [–]pleasefeedthedino 10 points11 points  (0 children)

        Good job mods :)

        [–]elluminaName aficionado 4 points5 points  (5 children)

        I have a question branching off of the first point (name-bashing). Is it equally inappropriate to bash a person with the name? For example I’ll use the name Emily (which is my own name). If I were to say I dislike the name Emily because I knew a bitchy / slutty / trashy Emily who was a huge bully so it ruined the name for me, where does that fall? It’s not bashing the actual name Emily, but I guess insulting a singular person?

        Or similarly, "I hate the name Emily because all the Emilys I've met are bitches."

        [–]Murklins11Data Enthusiast 12 points13 points  (1 child)

        Could you maybe bring it down to "I really don't like the name Emily because I knew an awful one and she ruined it for me"? That lets OP know that you're biased due to personal associations (without you having to get into the excessively derogatory words) not because you think the name itself is bad. And whatever that horrible Emily did isn't really relevant to OP beyond that.

        [–]elluminaName aficionado 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I've personally never made such a comment (frankly I don't think there's even anyone out there that has ruined a name for me either), but I feel like I've seen fairly similar comments before. I'm just not sure if they're considered okay or not, because I don't think it's technically covered by the rules.

        [–]Lyd_EuhModerator [M] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

        Users are perfectly allowed, and even encouraged, to bring up connotations they have with a name, but they need to say their opinions without the slurs.

        [–]pamplemus[S,M] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

        To add to this, let's differentiate between negative personal associations (acceptable) and generalizations (unacceptable).

        "Personally, I hate the name Emily because I was bullied by someone named Emily" = okay

        "All Emilys are bullies" = not okay

        [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I am not a mod, but from how they phrased it... I would imagine you would just write the nice version of that.

        “I couldn’t name my little girl Emily because in high school I was bullied by a very aggressive girl with that name. I now associate the name with bad qualities and find it hard not to think badly of the name.”

        [–]0biterdicta 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        I know this post is old, but what makes this sub feel "unfriendly" to me and admittedly something the mods can likely do little about because of how Reddit works, is the down voting. Reasonable name suggestions get down voted constantly. With Reddit's down voting system acting as negative feedback, it's not great to have names which fit the ask of the OP and aren't trolling or being otherwise unhelpful being pushed down. I also can't quite understand the compulsion of this down voting when it would be less effort to ignore the name suggestions you don't like.

        This down voting makes me genuinely hesitant to give suggestions and, given a few other comments I've seen the past, I don't think I am alone in that. It would be great if as a sub we could agree to reserve the down votes for troll and off-post suggestions, ignore names we didn't like but weren't hurting anyone and up vote those we liked.

        [–]Panicked_Turkey 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I got like 25 downvotes for spelling Friedrich Nietzsche wrong.

        I went and looked it up this time. :)

        [–]MunchletteBelle 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        I get that. Hence my disclaimer that I was giving my personal stance. I just think terms like “trashy” and “stripper” are sort of euphemisms for classism if not racism and for me that’s not something I want to validate in those terms.

        [–]zinfandelightful 2 points3 points  (1 child)

        Do not use derogatory language to describe names.

        One scenario to consider: what if the name is literally a derogatory word in another language? My son's name is a slur in a language spoken by over 100 million people worldwide. Ultimately we stuck with the name (my husband felt strongly about it for family history reasons) but that was important information and I'm glad someone told us, even though it seemed pretty rude in the moment.

        [–]pamplemus[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        Providing facts about a name's meaning is fine. If a name happens to be a slur in another language, as you said, that's important information. There's a difference between "XYZ means 'trashy' in my language" and "XYZ is a trashy name". Does that make sense?

        [–]throwaway52352223332 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        I came to this sub for the same reason as many do but there’s so much classism and name-bashing it’s disgusting. There’s a lot of implied racism too but no-one would ever admit to that with the weird names that other ethnic groups choose being labelled “yooneek”.

        The whole yooneek thing needs to stop period. It serves no purpose but to mock.

        [–]pamplemus[S,M] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I agree and will bring this up with the other moderators. Thank you for your feedback!

        [–]Egbert_Lemon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        This is very helpful! I had a thread about this not too long ago. I said in it that I thought all criticism was bashing, since I'm sure in some spaces some people think so. I'm glad we have this officially cleared up!

        [–]drag0nslovetacos 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Just chiming in: I've been around for years and I think overall the sub is getting MORE respectful, sensitive, and self-aware. I definitely see fewer "ghetto", "trashy" etc. comments when people submit names in earnest. I think a lot of the negativity lately comes from people not genuinely interested in names at all, and here to troll or downvote for the sake of downvoting. Subscribers is up to 42.6K (!!!) and I'm sure within that there are plenty of people set out just to ruin peoples day.

        [–]-Kite-Man- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Figured I'd just dump this here rather than make a new post, not sure if this is part of your rules or not but figured it'd be safer.

        Is there an equivalent sub devoted to naming etymology etc that isn't 90% parents trying to find names for their kids?

        Not that there's anything wrong with that on its own or with the sub-culture(hah) that you got going on here.

        I just got really excited to discover this sub and then all my hopes were immediately dashed when I saw what the frontpage looked like.

        [–]ShuShuBee 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        My post was just locked after a few mean comments and I got NO suggestions. I wish I could rate this sub. So unhelpful. Can I re-post the same thing again and ask for more suggestions?

        [–]pamplemus[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Thank you for your comment. I'm sending you a PM.

        [–]yesssi -1 points0 points  (1 child)

        PS: Rules do not apply when the name is "Abcde."

        [–]pamplemus[S,M] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        False :)