Britney one more time
Lilac, Jack, Hennree: are you suffering from name regret?

I was having tea with a friend this week (because that's what moms do. We have tea. Or sometimes if we're feeling really, really naughty we have coffee. But never after 3pm...) and I asked her about the spelling of her daughter's name. Unlike the name she's chosen, the spelling is unusual.

'I love the name but I wanted it stand out,' she explained. And stand out it does. 'Everyone pronounces it incorrectly,' the mom continued. 'I totally regret it now.'

And apparently she is not alone. After asking around, name remorse is rife. Firstly there's the 'We were looking for something unusual' group. Like Marie who branched away from family names when she called her son 'Blue'. 'We both like the colour, and he's a boy, so...' she tries by way of explanation. She's the first to admit she dreads her son being mocked on the playground later in life.

Calling Emma no. 5

Then there's the 'We wanted names they would never be teased about' group. Like a mum (she asked to be unnamed) who called her kids Jack and Emma, only to regret it when their daughter became known as 'Emma no. 5' because there are four other Emmas in her class. While their son is known as 'Jack Short' to define him from the two other (presumably taller) Jacks in his class.

There is also a bracket of parents who really can't be blamed for their regrets after choosing a perfectly reasonable name, only to have some cringe worthy celebrity steal it from them. Like the ex-colleague of mine called Britney whose parents named her long before Ms Spears donned pigtails and a school uniform. 'I used to love my name but I feel like it's been cheapened,' she complains. 'When I introduce myself to a guy, nine times out of ten he'll have some wise crack about hitting me one more time,' she says, rolling her eyes.

For parents or offspring who really can’t stand their name choices, you can always go the legal name change route. Although sometimes the Department of Home Affairs does that for you for free. When we got our son Joseph's unabridged birth certificate in the mail it said that his name was Carrie. "But that’s my name!" I explained when I called to complain about it.

Assistant: 'So? Lots of people are named after their parents.'
Me: 'Yessssss, but I'm his mother. And he’s a boy.'
Assistant: 'So? Lots of boys are called Carrie.'
Me: 'Reaaally? Name one.'
Assistant: 'Um, Jim Carey?'
Me: 'Um, can I speak to your manager?'

What logic did you use when naming your baby?

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