Husband Calls Mom’s Baby Name Choice ‘Abuse’ But She Doesn’t Take No For An Answer

A mom-to-be recently took to Reddit asking the interwebs if she was in the right for sticking to family tradition and naming her firstborn Gaylord despite her husband calling it “abuse.”

The new mom, 24, is due with her son in August and as it will be the first grandchild on her side of the family, she feels his name will be of the utmost importance.

“In my family, our genealogy is extremely important,” she wrote on Am I The Ass—-. “The firstborn son since the 1800s has been given this name.”

husband calls her baby name choice 'abuse,' asks for advice
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“The name is Gaylord.” And while she is “well aware” that the name carries a stigma, the poster felt that as a compromise, her son will go by Gail in school and with his friends “so that he doesn’t have to deal with bullies.” 

While at first, her family didn’t love the idea of the nickname as they wanted to keep things traditional, the OP “wore them down and they have agreed and don’t seem too offended by this.”

“They see the backlash over the name today as a fad that will eventually disappear, and I agree seeing how accepting each generation tends to become,” she went on. “When society stops being so immature about it, he can start using the full name.”

husband calls her baby name choice 'abuse,' asks for advice
Image via Shutterstock

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She even convinced her husband of the nickname, and he was on board with it at the time.

About a year ago, she told him that they would only put Gaylord on the birth certificate “and asked him if he was on board for naming our first son Gail.”

“I remember, he kind of chuckled and said, ‘Sure,’ and that was the end of it,” she recalled. “I thought it was settled.”

But now, he’s saying that he never agreed to the name and thought his wife was kidding.

husband calls her baby name choice 'abuse,' asks for advice
Image via Shutterstock

And after informing her in-laws about their grandson’s possible controversial name — the entire family is on edge.

Now, her husband refuses to discuss the name and his family is pressuring her to pick another name.

“I now have his whole family hounding me and overreacting, telling me it would be abusive even when we’d just be calling him Gail,” she went on. “My mother told me my MIL has called her to scream at her over the phone.”

Her in-laws informed her she needed to “‘get with the times ‘and choose something more appropriate.'” They also sent over a list of “approved” names — “which is incredibly offensive to me.”

husband calls her baby name choice 'abuse,' asks for advice
Image via Shutterstock

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“Not to mention they were trendy names that would never stand the test of time,” she added.

The mom admits she is between a rock and a hard place. While her husband’s family is vehemently against the name, the mom feels like he just doesn’t get the pressure to uphold tradition.

“How could I be expected to break a centuries-old family tradition?” she asked. “Are we really going to let immature homophobia dictate what we can and can’t do?”

What do you think? Comment below what you think she should do!

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9 thoughts on “Husband Calls Mom’s Baby Name Choice ‘Abuse’ But She Doesn’t Take No For An Answer”

  1. avatar of booboolai

    Hi. In this day and age Gaylord is not a good name. You may be happy with the name, but will your son when he gets beat up and bullied over that name. You cannot use a nickname such as Gail because his real name will be found out. It will get to the point that your son will make up excuses to not go to school. Neither of your in-laws are having the boy or permanently live with him. Not only do you and your husband need to be happy with the name, your son does. He has to go through life with that name which neither of your or either of your in-laws will have to. It would be a shame if later in life your son turns to drugs or commits suicide over the bulling he will get. You said that one of the in-laws came up with trendy names. It is not anyone’s decision what to name him except you and your spouse. If your in-laws don’t like the name, who cares? They don’t have to live with it, but both of you will have to live with whatever your son is forced to go through because of his name. He will blame both of you. There will never be peace and love in your house and your son may become rebellious against both of you over his name. If you want to see your son make something wonderful of his life, please do not name him Gaylord. Be smart and do the right thing for your son.

  2. avatar of sbrown9578

    You know what? Name your child Gaylord. No matter what you name your child someone is going to have something to say about it. I like the name BTW. It has nothing to do with gay people. You can always just use a nickname and have all his teachers use it instead. When he gets older, he can decide what he wants to be called. I bet he sticks with the family tradition, which will give him a strong sense of belonging.
    p.s. You don’t need to call your child Gail for a shortened version either. Peoples whose names are William for instance are either called Will or Bill. The other Idea I had for consideration was give him a middle name and use that. You have a strong family name. Don’t give it up for some nay sayers.

  3. avatar of

    Many families face this issue. One fairly widespread practice is to use the contested name as a middle name, such as, John Gaylord Smith. That way, you have honored your family tradition while also meeting you spouse’s concerns.

  4. avatar of superbombastik

    People who ask “what’s in a name?” are not people named “Gaylord”. The fact is traditions are nonsensical and arbitrary; particularly when it comes to something like a name. Naming your child is one of the most important factors in who they become. Its not to say that “Steve” is a guarantee to success, but many successful people are named Steve. Certain connotations go with particular names. “Steve” for example, is a very masculine hero type name. He is also someone that will generally be near the end of any list alphabetically speaking and will be left with whatever “Adam” and “Brandon” decide to leave for those who follow. Whether we think its fair or not Gaylord will be a source of ridicule. Yes, it has “gay” in it, but its also very out-dated. Naming children with old names like George and Willard makes them stand out negatively. Doesn’t mean you have to name him “Brandon”. Also, the fact you’d commit to “Gail” shows the depths of your level of being out of touch. That too is a feminine name for a boy. NO BOY wants to be named either Gaylord or Gail ….. trust me on this. You think its neat, he won’t. If your family “tradition” is more important than you son’s personal image or keeping the peace and respecting the other parent who brought the child into this world than you should reassess your personal values.

    1. avatar of boper39

      Hi everybody—Joe Who Bob who Jim who etc etc . With Gaylord you don’t need the WHO. I’m a Gaylord , grew up on the streets of Chicago. Yep its a different name, When I was very young like under say 15 other kids can be jerks, but for me I learned from that, and actually learned from it. My middle name is Jerry which I learned to use at times, Nothing wrong with a built in alias, which can be useful. Yes I have a lot of experience being a Gaylord and love mom for the name,
      by the way i”m 76 years being a Gaylord .:

  5. avatar of superbombastik

    As a rule, parents should stay away from androgynous names (Chris, Dana, etc), characters from books and movies that are over used and generational specific like “Fiona” and “Merlin”, mythical crap like “Dragon, unicorn, Rainbow, etc., and supreme attempts at originality that sound fake like “Deyontae” “D’Marcus” “River” etc.
    Use the same method as you would naming a pet and go out on the back porch and yell the name out like you’re calling them and see how it sounds out loud.

  6. avatar of mamasadie

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Gaylord, especially since it’s a family name. I do find Gail a little too “girly” for a little boy. I’m sure plenty of folks are offended by that, but that’s my take on the nickname. You could always call your son – if you have one and it sounds like you don’t at this time, Gaylord John Smith and he could go by G. John Smith. I grew up with a guy where almost all the men in his family were named John and they all went by their middle names. I am also very into genealogy and that’s also has a very long history in many families, going by a middle name or even a nickname that has nothing to do with their name at all. Go with something you and your husband can agree on. I do agree with you that your in-laws sending a list of ‘approved’ names was WAY over the top. And I thought my in-laws were bad!

  7. avatar of selliott21

    Generally speaking, name your kid whatever you AND the father agree to. There are currently 6,641 people in the US named Gaylord/330,000,000. However, Gaylord would likely be tough for your son. Gail, which is a woman’s name (96%), from last century, last I checked, would also be tough for your son. Gail is the 285th most popular name in the US, while Gaylord is the 2,397th ‘most’ popular.
    I think it might be interesting if you called him LORD, rather than Gail. All caps to capture your attention. That is trendy and interesting and different and a new spin on Gaylord, which would of course be his ‘real’ name. (Of course, if that is religiously offensive, then no. Although LOTS of people name their children Jesus and Mohamed, and then there is Kanye West who calls himself Yezus, for referent points.)
    Another alternative would be to have his MIDDLE name be Gaylord. For the past 100 years or so, people’s middle names are much more meaningful than their first names, and if you really are as interested in genealogy as you say, you know this has been a long term trend. It’s another great compromise. That being said, I know people named Mike Michaels, Morgan Morgan and Rosie Rose, so not everyone has a great imagination.
    With all of that, children are still horribly cruel. They are not evolved in our society. They are born sociopaths who need to have that taught out of them to become adults. So counting on ‘society’ to grow up while your child endures the pain, isn’t being very kind to your child. You heard about the man who named his son Hitler, right? I am NOT equating the two in terms of names, but in terms of what is best for the child. Gaylord is a fine family name and a proud tradition, which is why giving it as his middle name would be perfect! Son G. Last?
    Two final thoughts; the only person I have ever known who’s name was Gaylord did, in fact, turn out to become gay. I do believe in the biochemistry of homosexuality, but there might be environmental factors. Who are you doing this for? Your family? Yourself? Your dead ancestors? Your son? Or are you doing it TO your son, and at this point, TO his father and TO his family?

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