Celebrity Names Blog

You Tell Us: Do You Have Name Regret?

You Tell Us: Do You Have Name Regret?
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

Yesterday, People.com published an interview with actress, math-whiz and new mom Danica McKellar about motherhood and her baby boy's unique name, Draco. We first wrote about little Draco when he was born in September. In her interview with People, McKellar doesn't mention the Harry Potter connection, but she does reveal how and why she and husband Mike Verta chose their son's name:

"[McKellar's] son’s name, which is the Latin word for dragon as well as a constellation, was her husband’s idea at first. 'He’d heard the name and loved it,' she explains. 'He said, ‘Once we’re gone, the constellation will keep looking out for him.’ It makes me cry every time I hear it. So of course that made it a winner! I love it. It’s a cool, strong name.'"

Verta was lucky; his wife quickly warmed to the name he loved. But it doesn't always work out that way. What names did you and your partner disagree about? Did you give in to your partner's first choice? Have you since come around to the name? Or do you still think about the other name(s) you liked?

In the comments, please share with us the names that could have been. And if you've come around and now love the name your partner chose, share that, too!



Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

December 4, 2010 10:44 PM
By Jennie

My favorite names were Flora and Josephine for a girl. They were nixed my now-ex-husband. We both liked Clyde and Isaac for a boy but for other reasons backed away.

I still love all those names, but the names we chose are more popular, normal names... given all thr social issues kids go through, maybe having a "boring", "normal" name isn't so bad after all... one less thing they have to "explain"

December 6, 2010 2:00 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My daughter's name is MAYA. It is a greek name and means motherhood, fertility, warrior... among other meanings. There is a history about the Mayan Indians in Central America. Even Though we are hispanics, I hate it when they "suppose" that I named my daughter MAYA because of our culture... I hate ignorant people....

December 6, 2010 3:46 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Story of our son's name and how it came to be....

My husband always said no to the names that I liked, but the problem was he never came up with a list of names for me to agree upon. So, I decided to put my 4 top boy names in a list of names that I hated. That way, he'd be sure to like the names that I loved. Well, amoungst the names that I hated, I chose to put down Mason (this was many, many years before it became popular). It was known as a dogs name. My husband chose that name. He had no doubt that he loved it. UGH, what could I do, but consider it. So, after weeks of thinking about it, I decided that it was suitable enough for our son.

My son is a Mason. He fit name! It did take me some time to feel completely happy about it, but now I love it (even though it's growing in popularity). The funny thing is, my husband honestly doesn't even remember stating that he loved it and that he actually thinks I'm the one that came up with it!!!

December 6, 2010 4:41 PM
By Avia (not verified)

Well, as someone named Avia, I love having a name that's not even in the top 1,000. It's Hebrew for 'God is my father' (no, I'm Christian, not Jewish), Latin for 'grandmother', 'bird', or 'without a way' as in 'carve your own path'. People always comment on how it's a pretty name but the fact is that no one can ever pronounce or even spell it! It's pronounced uh-VEE-yuh. Not ah-vee-ah, ay-vee-uh, or even ay-va. Funny thing is, I could never convince my teachers of that.

December 6, 2010 4:45 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Agreed. When I tell people my middle name is Margarita, they do a double-take. And then I have to hurriedly explain that I am named after my Cuban grandmother, and it really means 'daisy', and neither I nor my parents even drink... but they still don't believe me.

December 6, 2010 10:18 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

My oldest was supposed to be Alexander (per my DH and a family poll we did), but the closer we ended up to d-day, the more I hated it (would make me nauseous to think about it). A family friend suggested Sebastian, which I instantly loved as THE name. DH finally came around and I got my way. He got to name our 2nd...Alexander (Alek for short, my preference).

Names he wanted that I nixed: Asparouh and Asen (think "ascend" w/o the 'd')...he's Eastern European. Names I liked and he nixed: Ilarion, Silas and Spencer.

Girls will be hard it we ever have one b/c we are TOTALLY different on that front, too. He loves Olivia (I could live with Olive). I like Penelope, Hermione, Genevieve (the Fr. pron.), Josephine and Georgiana. He'd rather she been Angelina, Maya, Sophia or Malina.


December 7, 2010 1:05 PM
By rebekah (not verified)

I called "dibs" on my grandmother Mabel's name years ago. My 2 sisters are older than I am, and also started having kids before I did, so I wanted to be sure they let me name one of my children for our grandmother.

And then...when I was finally pregnant with my only daughter, I had so many doubts. Suddenly I was bringing someone into this world who was brand new, and with whom I wanted to forge my own unique relationship. The name Mabel was tied to someone with whom I'd had an intense closeness and an established dynamic.

At the very 11th hour, I changed my naming choice for my daughter to "Zel", baffling my sisters and enraging my mother, who had of course expected me to name my child after her mother. It's been difficult, because I was so insistent that Mabel was "my" baby name. And I feel like I let everybody down, but...I also don't regret the choice I made for the reasons I made it.

December 7, 2010 1:11 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My mom let my dad choose my sister's name. She is now 26 and my mom still hates her name.

December 7, 2010 2:09 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think I went a little too unusual with my daughter's name.

My husband is Korean-American, and fitting with tradition, his parents were going to choose a Korean name that we'd use as the middle name. I wanted choose a Celtic first name to reflect my Irish heritage.

So did I look to my family tree for a name to showcase my family history? Of course not. I went with a baby name book.

We ended up choosing the name Inira (in-EE-ra). She's inevitably called either Indira or Irina (both pretty, but not accurate). The book said it was a Welsh version of Honora, but I haven't seen that anywhere else. The last thing we'd wanted was a made-up name, but it looks like that's what we got. In our effort to be "authentic," we were anything but.

Only after she was named did I learn more about my family history. It turns out I have great-great grandmothers named Anastasia and Clara - such adorable names! And either one would have reflected my actual family line, rather than some Celtic fantasy.

December 7, 2010 4:55 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We easily agreed on our sons' names (Finley nn Fin and Cypress nn Cy + our brothers' names for middle names Jack and Timothy respectively). But we couldn't agree on a girl's name, so I guess it is good that we only had one!

I grew up with a super normal waspy first and last name, and I wanted my kids to avoid that even if their last name would be equally waspy. I didn't necessarily want them to stand out, be unique or unusual - just not be named "white boy and girl" like my brother and I were (John and Mary).

When I was pregnant I liked a lot of different names, but didn't love any. My favorite was probably Sal, but I thought it sounded like a nickname and I didn't like Sally. My partner really liked Ella but I thought it was/is too popular. The only name on both of our lists was Anna. Turns out neither of us loved it, so we kept calling her her in-utero name - Bird. Everyone calls her Bird; most people don't even know her name is Anna. So I ended up giving my daughter one name that is too boring and a nickname that is too weird. Epic fail. She isn't a huge fan of Bird or Anna, but she doesn't like Sal or Ella either. *Sigh*

December 7, 2010 7:19 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

DH and I wanted modern Israeli names that 1) worked well in English and 2) weren't biblical (we're not religious). I liked Asher ("Ash" for short) but DH didn't like it. I couldn't convince DH that Oren is an old man's name, like Orville Redenbacher. Ronen was nice but I didn't like how it would so easily shorten to "Ron". Doron (pronounced duh-RON) was almost perfect, since it also happens to sound like my mother's Irish maiden name, but you just know all the kids would see it and change it to "Moron", even if that's not how it's pronounced.

We settled on Arieh ("Ari" for short), which is easy to say and means "lion". DH's grandfather was named Leon, so it's even suitable as a family name. Doron became a middle name.

Haven't regretted it or looked back, and he turned 1 a month ago.

December 8, 2010 10:16 AM
By a mom (not verified)

My sister-in-law named my niece Chanel. I think it's tacky. Chanel in her mid twenties now and I still hate saying it.

December 8, 2010 10:54 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My son has a name that's old-fashioned and quite uncommon (peaked around 1910; as of 2009 was somewhere in the 600s), but not startling or weird. We often meet people who delightfully say "That was my grandfather's name!" We chose it spontaneously, in the hospital, a day after he was born.

I like it pretty well - and of course I adore my son - but I still sometimes think wistfully of the name that was my favorite before he was born: Leif (pronounced "leaf.") It's less masculine than my son's current name, and much more unusual, but it has a kind of magic to it that I'd have loved to bestow on him.

I also have to say that I'm not crazy about the nickname that absolutely everyone (including my husband) automatically gives my boy. It's cute, it makes people smile, and it's how my son refers to himself, so I accept it. But it also happens to be the name of a fairly well-known children's tv character. I'm praying this doesn't draw teasing when he gets older.

December 9, 2010 9:05 AM
By Regretfully (not verified)

Hmmm...not many people fessing up to regrets...or maybe there are many people with regrets.

I have serious regrets about the name of my boy...and if it weren't my dad's name I probably would've changed it. Baby Robert is nearly two and I still wish we'd gone with something else: Nash, Simon, Silas, Sterling, Moss, Bowen were on our list.

I call him Roby or Arlo sometimes, but I don't love Roby and no one else will call him Arlo. When I try to call him something different he says "no. wo-bert!" Gah.

December 9, 2010 9:06 AM
By Regretfully (not verified)

Meant to say *aren't*.

December 12, 2010 4:06 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My son's first name is his father's second middle name. It was never intended to honor my husband, as I just wasn't into the idea of naming a son after his father, per se. Rather, it was a paternal family name used for many generations (as either a surname or a middle name), and we both liked the name as well as the idea of carrying on the family name. However, we are now divorced, and it was a very bad ending...so as much as I like my son's name in and of itself, the idea that it is one of his dad's middle names now irks me to no end!

December 15, 2010 7:08 PM
By Emily (not verified)

My husband and I agreed completely on the name of our first and second, there was very little debate by the time we reached the end of the pregnancies: Theodore and Bernadette. We were lucky because we both really love both names. The only real contenders were Augustine and Veronica.

With our third, we were thinking it would be either Augustine or Veronica because those were the "runners-up" with the first two kids. Then toward the end of the pregnancy, I read that "St. Adelaide of Italy" is the patron of large families... My husband is one of six and I'm one of seven, so I thought that might be a great choice. I brought it up to my husband, he was unsure for the last few weeks of the pregnancy, but then when she was born, she was totally Adelaide! He doesn't regret the "last minute" switch at all. In fact, when I ask him about it, he insists that he cannot imagine her as a Veronica at all. I love the name Adelaide and I'm glad that we didn't use a "runner-up" name.

There's another reason I'm glad we didn't use Veronica, as much as I like the name. Our fourth child is also a girl, Teresa, a name we both LOVE but didn't want to use for the second or third child since the first is Theodore and we wanted to avoid a matchy "T" issue. I am Catholic and I love saints names but sometimes I do think that Bernadette, Veronica & Teresa might have been too stereotypical, the "Adelaide" mixes it up a bit while still having a great (albeit lesser known) saint :)

January 8, 2011 11:46 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Recently found out I'm pregnant with my first, so we're looking around for some good baby names, for both boys and girls.

My husband refuses to let me use Ian because it's his dad's name, but I absolutely love it! His dad lives in a different country so it's not like there would be all this confusion with people in our house calling for Ian and getting the two of them confused. But he says that his family doesn't have a tradition of naming children after parents or other family members, so he doesn't really want to be the first person to do so.

Thinking that I could secretly use it anyway, by calling our son Sebastian and using Ian as a nickname, I then asked my husband if he liked Sebastian instead -- but no. He thinks it sounds pretentious, like a snobby prep school name.

I don't think he'll come around on this issue, though he recently suggested using Sebastian as a middle name, which surprised me! I might get to have Ian as my "pet" name someday after all :)

March 3, 2011 10:59 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I could not pick a name for my daughter while I was pregnant. Nothing stood out to me and I was so busy with work etc I didn't really get the chance to think about it much. A couple of weeks before she was born someone said 'Mya''. I loved it instantly and named her this. I regret it now as noone seems to like it. I get a short silence after I tell people and I now feel sickened to think I have given her such an unusual name. She is 4 months old now and I secretly still love it, i just wish i had a nicer reaction and that it wasn't so unpopular and feel sick that it gets that kind of reaction. I hope I come to peace with the name soon

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