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I Gave My Baby the Wrong Name!

I heard the name Nevaeh (pronounced neh-VAY) and liked it for my daughter. To prevent people from pronouncing it neh-VAY-uh I spelled it Nevae. Now everyone completely mispronounces it. I have even had people ask if it's a boy or girl name. I want to change it now to prevent my baby girl from having major frustrations but everyone thinks it's weird to change her name. She is only 7 months old. Am I being too sensitive about people mispronouncing it? Is it a bad thing to change someone's name? - Nevae's Mommy

What's so weird about wanting your daughter to have the name you chose for her from the beginning?

Most parents who choose the name Nevaeh do it for the spelling, which is heaven backward. But you fell in love with a sound. Guessing (rightly) that people would pronounce Nevaeh as three syllables, you changed the spelling in order to capture the sound you love. But it didn't work. People didn't get Nevae, leaving you with namer's remorse.

It's a surprisingly common affliction. Naming a child is a major responsibility, and anxiety can persist long after the ink on the birth certificate has dried. There are many flavors of remorse with many different factors at play, including the reasons for the second thoughts, the age of the child, and the alternatives available. Sometimes the best course is to make your peace with the decision. But not always.

In your case, you've received new information that was not available to you at the time you chose your daughters name: you've heard others try, and fail, to pronounce it. In other words, you haven't received the "product" you thought you ordered. You asked for a neh-VAY, and ended up with a neh-VAY-uh, or NEE-vuh, or who knows what. You now foresee decades of name frustration for your daughter.

So you want to fix what has you've come to see as a mistake. That makes sense to me. Why sit around wallowing in remorse when there's still time to take action and make things better? Your daughter is too young for the switch to faze her. As for your naysayer friends, ask yourself: do you want the story of your daughter's name to be a story about you letting peer pressure override your better judgement?

Comments

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June 1, 2010 12:11 PM
By Abby@AppMtn (not verified)

I'd be behind changing your child's name if you didn't think it fit. But I'm not sure that's what you're saying. You're frustrated that, after seven months, you're still pronouncing, spelling and explaining your daughter's name.

The question is this: if tomorrow everyone magically knew how to spell and say Nevae, exactly as you intended, would you feel differently?

You really have two choices. If you change her name, you'll need to pick something simple and ordinary to avoid future confusion. (Think Mary or Ava, Ellen or Madison.) Pretty much any unusual name will just produce another round of what you're experiencing now.

Alternately, you can patiently keep repeating Nevae, and realize that eventually most people in your immediate circle WILL get the spelling and pronunciation.

Should you move away from Nevae in favor of, say, Kate, you may find your daughter grows up to dislike her plain, ordinary name.

You really can't win, and if you still love the name, why not stick with it?

June 1, 2010 12:27 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Have you considered just changing the spelling to be more phoneic? Obviously you liked the name and still like it. Perhaps spelled slightly differently you could avoid future confusion for your daughter but still keep the name you've been calling her since birth. Or you could pick another name for her first name that is slightly more conventional but keep Nevea as a middle name and call her that if you like. Plenty of people go by their middle names! That way she could have the option to go with a more formal name later in life if you are concerned about that.

Regardless I don't think it's too late to change your decision or to find a compromise you are more comfortable with.

BTW, I have an unconventional name, but my mom tried to spell it a little more phonetically than when she orignally saw it. I have had to tell ppl how to pronounce it and always how to spell it. But usually they can guess the pronuciation pretty well when seeing it written.

Best wishes!

June 1, 2010 12:28 PM
By Mimi (not verified)

I think eventually family and friends anyway will pronounce it correctly. We know a Nevaeh... but they pronounce it Neviah... we have gotten used to the pronounciation.. and I have never heard any one say it wrong.. although I am sure she will have to correct those who read the name off a paper..

June 1, 2010 12:29 PM
By Kristina (not verified)

When asked my name when filling out forms and such, I automatically answer, "Kristina with a K." I'm 34 years old, and yes, it ticks me off that people assume Christina is the only way to spell the name, but I've learned to deal. And it makes me unique. Your inner circle will know how to say your daughter's name, and then once she gets to school, it won't take long for teachers and her friends to get it too. Hang in there. You chose the name and the spelling because you thought they were beautiful. You can't rename your child to please others.

June 1, 2010 12:37 PM
By Allison (not verified)

Change it. She's young enough and people will get over it. What's her middle name? Can you just swap those? If she's Nevea Marie, just call her Marie or swap the names around so she becomes Marie Nevea.

June 1, 2010 3:10 PM
By Caitlyn (not verified)

just change the spelling. You like the sound, so do what it takes to get the sound. (Or live with it. People learn the new sound eventually.) You probably don't even have to change the spelling legally if you don't want to - I know my mom discovered a few years ago that she's been spelling her name "wrong" all her life. (She's always spelled it Kimberly, but it's Kimberley on her birth certificate.)

June 1, 2010 3:48 PM
By Kayt (not verified)

If you love the name, but are frustrated with the spelling, how about just changing the spelling?

Nevay
Nuvay
Navae
Navei

June 1, 2010 5:59 PM
By Steph (not verified)

If you don't like the name anymore then it's not to late to change it. But if you still love the name I'd say just adjust the spelling. Unique names exist. My sister's name is Breenah. I've never met another one, and the name came about when my parents read the name Bryna in a book, and both pronounced it BreeNah. When they showed it to their friends though, their friends pronounced it BrynNah. So they created the most phonetic spelling possible. And when read off paper people always pronounce it right. They usually say it slow and tentatively because they've never heard it - but it's phonetic so it's almost impossible to mess up.
So, if you still like Nevae, why not spell it Nehvay - sure it's unconventional - but I don't think anyone's going to mispronounce that.

June 1, 2010 7:04 PM
By Rhi (not verified)

I grew up with an unconventional spelling - I basically correct pronunciation every time someone attempts to say my name.

It's really not a big deal. It's annoying when it takes a few tries, but it's hardly the end of the world.

June 2, 2010 8:07 AM
By Sebastiane (not verified)

7 months is not too late and I don't think its weird. It is completely up to you. Another thing you could do is that if she has a middle name, you can start calling her by that, and then later in life she could have the option of going by her first or middle name, depending on what she feels more comfortable with.

June 2, 2010 11:42 AM
By Maranda (not verified)

It's definitely not too late to change her name, if that's what you want to do. She is too young for it to effect her, son don't worry about it. You could either change the spelling or change her name entirely if you want. Absolutley nothing wrong with it.

Naming your child is a huge responsibility and if you genuinely don't feel you made the right decision, then change it now before she's old enough to realize. You're trading a few weeks of awkwardness (as you notify everyone) for a lifetime of awkwardness.

June 2, 2010 11:43 AM
By Jasmine (not verified)

I think its fine to change your daugthers name if you dont feel like its the right name for her. At 7 months she will never know the difference and everyone else will learn to adjust. My birth name was Jennifer after my parents had to choose something before they left the hospital. A little later on the discovered that Jennifer was the most popular name the year I was born and didnt want me to be lost in a sea of Jennifers at school so they decided to change it. At 6 months I went from Jennifer to Jasmine and now I have a story to tell when people ask where my parents came up with my name. As it is Im happy with the change as well as I like Jasmine a lot more then Jennifer.

June 2, 2010 11:48 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have a friend who renamed her baby, and it worked out well. You should do what you think is best for your baby. My only 2 cents is to keep the name similar to what your little girl is used to hearing. She probably responds to her name at this point, and changing it could be confusing at a time when she's developing an identity as well as language skills. Best of luck!

June 2, 2010 11:51 AM
By Joni (not verified)

Change it! Go for Nevay - it's straight forward to the sound you want (for Neh-vay). Navay looks too much like navi (ala Avatar) or Navy.

June 2, 2010 12:00 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

NaVAY is not intuitive because the majority of names that are essentially a bunch of made up sounds stress the first syllable. Even legitimate, historical names follow that pattern:
LOgan
EEEEthan
DANiel
SArah
BETHany
RAchel

Only a few names have the last syllable stress - Renee, for example, but that is because the name is French and has an accent on the last e when properly written. Zoe, same thing. Written Zoe, it should rhyme with Joe, but we say ZO-eee because the name is supposed to have the 2 little dots over it (umlauts?).

Nevae makes more phonetic sense than Nevaeh, which is often mispelled to Neveah. No matter what, you have given your child a very trendy, dated, bell-tone syllable name, and I would advise you change it for that reason alone.

June 2, 2010 12:25 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I wouldn't change it. Whenever I asked my mom why she chose my name she said because it was the only one no one had any complaints about. It didn't make me feel special, it didn't make me fall in love with my name, in fact I'm 22 and I still have issues about my name.

Stick with it, you love it, it's special, and she will love it too!

June 2, 2010 12:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have two daughters with unusual spellings in their names. One is Ami pronounced Amy but it should be Ahmee
Not french but Hebrew meaning: My Nation. It never stopped her. she herself pronounces it AMY It was spelling in hebrew to satisify her father.

the other ones middle name was Jona as in Yona (a dove) in Hebrew. She related it to Jonah and didn't care for it so she changed it to Jon with and accent over the O so it reads John. No biggie.. Do whatever it is that makes you happy the baby at 7 onths will never know the difference.. satisfy yourself..
I was happy either way and you should be too.

June 2, 2010 12:33 PM
By Meade (not verified)

I have a name that people have never known how to say when they read it, and is nether a girls name or a boys name. My mother never worried about it and in fact never noticed that it was sometimes hard for people (I told her when I was 25 that in my whole life no teacher had ever been able to read it off an attendance sheet, she was shocked).

I have never regretted my unique name, although I have changed the spelling. My Mother had spelled it Mead, but after about the millionth person to ask if I was named after the paper company (no I was named for the old English word for meadow), I decided to add an E to the end. I was 14 when I did this, I was comfortable doing this as my Mother had always told me that there was an alternate spelling of my name and if I ever wanted to use that spelling I should feel free to do that. She told me that she had picked the sound and the meaning not the spelling.

Having an option that I knew that wouldn't cause pain or friction in my family was a great thing. I would advice you to keep the name you picked but when your daughter is old enough let her know that she should feel free to change the spelling if she likes. Also give her a middle name that is simple and easy for people (if she doesn't already have one), and let her know that you are also more then okay with her choosing to go by her middle name. Let the choice be hers, but for now she keep telling people how to say her name.

I would be very sad if my Mother had figured out that no one can read my name and had changed it to Megan (something she thought about naming me), I know lots of Megan's but I've never known a Mead(e), I like being an individual. and my name is always a conversation starter (instant ice breaker).

June 2, 2010 12:52 PM
By Charly (not verified)

Nevé seems like the least ambiguous spelling, but it's also a made-up name, which I don't really feel okay advising someone to do. A name like Renée seems much more reasonable, but hey, it's your kid.

June 2, 2010 1:31 PM
By B. (not verified)

Change it if that's what your gut is telling you. Don't worry about what other people think.

Re: Caitlyn's comment: "You probably don't even have to change the spelling legally if you don't want to - I know my mom discovered a few years ago that she's been spelling her name "wrong" all her life. (She's always spelled it Kimberly, but it's Kimberley on her birth certificate.)"

If you do change her name, DO LEGALLY GET IT CHANGED. My grandmother had a similar situation in which she had a birthname (Marian) but went by another name (MaryAnne) since she was 16.

It created a world of hassles for her wherever an official name (Marian) was required but the company -- e.g., airlines, doctor's office, insurance, taxes -- knew her or had her in their systems as MaryAnne.

June 2, 2010 1:42 PM
By Christiana (not verified)

If it makes you feel any better, my daughter's name is fairly common (a New Classic, if you will) and people are always mispronouncing it, too. (She is Caroline, they say Carolyn) It bugs me, but I kinda deal. For that matter, people often butcher my name as well, but I figure, as long as they don't call me Christine (had an arch rival by that name and kinda dislike it), I have decided to roll my eyes and not make a big deal if it's a short-term usage (if this person will repeatedly say my name over the next period of time, I correct them with a smile. If they will likely only say it once or twice and I'll never see them again, i don't bother)

June 2, 2010 2:45 PM
By Bethany (not verified)

As a teacher of over twenty years, I have had to pronounce some true humdingers from my rolls, and I'd say that, if native-English-speaking people are having trouble realizing that "Nevae" should be pronounced "ne-VAY," then that is THEIR problem, not yours. That is certainly the first thing I'd guess, and in fact I can't even imagine how else you would say it, other than "NEE-vay." And I would also never think it was a boy's name; I think that confusion must be coming more from the rampant trends of naming both girls and boys any and every name under the sun, gender be flung out the window, so when somebody hears a new name, they are basically afraid to guess what gender the child actually is and get it wrong.

But you wanted to give your daughter an unusual name, so having to tell people how to pronounce it goes with the territory. So many people have mispronounced my daughter's (phonetically-spelled!) name Eliana (El-ee-AH-nah), it gets really, really old at times--but I would never have thought of changing her name because OTHER people have problems with it!

Finally, I'd like to add that I think the entire trend of naming girls "Nevaeh" (as "heaven spelled backwards") is idiotic (just my opinion, yes)--but at least your choice makes it a nicer name to look at, and, I think, much EASIER to know how to say it. To me, the "Nevaeh" spelling calls for three syllables (for example, ne-VAY-uh, or ne-VAY-eh, neither of which results in a pleasing sound to me--and I think it's a rather ugly-looking word as well, to English-speakers, with that strange h hanging there at the end). But your spelling improves that considerably, and also now relates it to the name "Neva," which is a traditional (and I think lovely) girl's name, meaning "snowy" (i.e., pure).

No I wouldn't change her name for other people's problems; just love it if you love it and let others deal with their own "issues." :)

June 2, 2010 2:46 PM
By Dorothy Hanna (not verified)

I would change the spelling, but keep the name you love.

I think Nevé or Nevée like Charly suggested look pretty, and then she could say, rhymes with rene, and people would get it instantly.

I think really phonetic options like Nehvay or Nahvay would be cool too.

Even though my name is a standard, classic name people often don't recognize it the first time I say it with my Boston accent so I say, "like Dorothy in the wizard of Oz," if they're having trouble.

I like having an unusual name. I think it's worth having to clue people in a little.

June 2, 2010 3:41 PM
By Maria (not verified)

We named our girl Esme, not popular, not common etc.. It seemed natural to pronounce it 'Ez-me', until the Twilight series became popular. The 'Esme' in there is spelled the same but said 'Ez-may', which would normally have a diacritical after it or be spelled 'Esmee'.

I just nod and smile whenever anyone pronounces it the Twilight way - because at this point (3 years) it really doesn't matter, it's close enough for me and for her. The one thing I do regret is that she can't really say her name yet. Some people say it is because I chose too hard of a name for her say. I think it is just because she doesn't have any care to say it - she answers to it and it's like calling your own phone number to her - she just doesn't do it because she doesn't see a need to refer to herself beyond 'I want it / mine' etc...

The one thing I do respond badly to is anyone trying to call her 'Izzy' -- then I correct them. My sister was calling her that for a while because it is more familiar to her, but for Nevae's mom - just draw your boundaries and stick to them.

June 2, 2010 5:08 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

I like Nevae and don't see that it's hard to pron. correctly. As for not knowing her gender after hearing or seeing it, that's just silly to me. If you want a different spelling, go with Nehvay. However, don't change a name you love b/c others are being difficult. Not fitting her is one thing, others' ignorance is something else entirely and should be ignored.

June 2, 2010 5:13 PM
By Zoerhenne (not verified)

I agree with what many of the posters have already said. I agree that much of the problem lies with the people who don't get a relatively standard pronunciation of Nevae. I also agree that you should love the name you pick for your child and NOT change it to suit others. However, if tacking an H on to it will ease everyone's life and make you not HATE your daughter's name then change it. In the end, you have to make the right decision for you and your family-no one else.

Meade-Is that supposed to rhyme with bread, head, said or more like meat with a D?

June 2, 2010 5:31 PM
By Katy (not verified)

I have to agree with the poster that said Nevae is actually more intuitive and pleasing to the eye than Nevaeh. Fact of the matter is, though, if I saw Nevae, I'd assume it was a twist on Nevaeh (oh my word, I have such a hard time typing that name!), and try to say it the same.

And with the explosion of Nevaehs, this will most likely be the case her entire life. She's a Nevae in a world of Nevaehs. And, like so many said, she is only seven months old. Honestly, I think you should change it, because you can't own it. Lots and lots of people have pronunciation issues, but their commitment to the chosen names outweighs their frustration.

June 2, 2010 5:42 PM
By Shay (not verified)

Just change the spelling. I kinda like Nevay.

June 2, 2010 6:01 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

You could always name her Lleh or Lle instead. Nevaeh's so overdone, and Nevae will always be mixed in with that (and it's pretty logical for that to happen). Lleh is really unique.

June 2, 2010 7:03 PM
By NAR (not verified)

Some of the "phonetic" spellings of your daughter's name read ugly/clunky to the eye, I think, and aren't necessarily any more clear to pronounce. "Nevay" looks too masculine to me, and looks like it could be Indian.

So maybe "Nevee, rhymes with Renee" is the way to go? But it's not perfect either; you might get "Nevee, rhymes with T.V."

I personally don't care for "Nevaeh," partly because I'm scared to pronounce it.

June 2, 2010 7:20 PM
By Kate (not verified)

I agree that changing the spelling is completely fine at her age or any age. But honestly the spelling you originally chose is really lovely and NOT that difficult to figure out how to pronounce, in my opinion. Dorothy's advice to say "rhymes with renee" is spot on. Teach her to say it with a smile whenever people stumble over her name and I'm guessing she'll be just fine!

The "made-up" name criticism strikes me as unkind and poorly considered. Every name was made up at some point, and the one you came up with is beautiful. Please don't change it to Mary or Kate or Renee as some have suggested! Those very familiar names are obviously not your style, or you would never have chosen Nevae in the first place.

June 2, 2010 9:40 PM
By Penni (not verified)

I read in a baby book (I think it was Kaz Cooke's Up the Duff, which has a different title in the US) that most people love the name they've chosen, then think they've made a horrible mistake, then love it again.

I so relate to that.

So it might be a temporary ambivalence (it's worth answering the question above, if everyone pronounced it correctly would you stick with it?). We had to say first born's name many times over, because people mistook it for a phonetically similar male name. It never really happens anymore, now she's 7. I don't know if we've got clearer at saying the name or if I spell it out without even really thinking about it, or if it's just because she's just clearly a girl (even though she has short wild hair and is something of a tomboy). Or maybe it just doesn't register in the same way when people make the mistake.

June 2, 2010 10:25 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

when I saw Nevae I immediately thought of the pronunciation you gave. If you really love the name and it suits your daughter, just keep persisting, they'll get it. some people are hard wired for certain sounds. When I introduce myself as Jen some people reply 'hi Jenny', so even common names can be a problem. I think Nevae is a very pretty name. I must add that it's new to me, I'm an Aussie and we are not in a sea of Neveahs.

June 3, 2010 3:21 AM
By Jane (not verified)

Putting aside my personal opinion about the name you've chosen (let's face it, who cares what I think, or what anyone else thinks - whatever name you choose for your baby is up to you, and if you like it then that's the most important thing), my advice would be to stick with the name you've given your daughter. If you didn't like it any longer, then I'd say change it, but it sounds to me like you do like the name, you just don't like the mispronunciation issues. But that, to me, is not a reason to change it. People can mispronounce even very common names, but their bearers get used to it, and so will your daughter. I have a friend named Mia, which is pronounced by some people as "My-ah" and some people as "Me-ah". She constantly has to correct people who use the incorrect one. And she has a regular, pretty common name. So does my friend's daughter Milla. Some people say "Mill-ah", others say "Mee-ah". Sara can be said "Seer-ah" or "Sah-rah". Rosalind can be "Roz-alind" or "Rose-alind". Megan can be "Mee-gan" or "Meg-an". Helene can be "Huh-leen" or "Huh-lane". Or even "Ell-en", if you're a French speaker. If you love the sound of your daughter's name, keep telling people how YOU want it said, and they'll get there in the end.

June 3, 2010 10:06 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

People are probably having a hard time pronouncing it, because as mentioned in an earlier reply, most English 2-syllable names have the accent on the first syllable (or later, in multi-syllable names). You want the accent on the last syllable, which is counter-intuitive to most native English speakers.
My first language is French and my kids go to a French school, so even though my mom gave me an English name and I gave my kids English names, at school, they get pronounced a bit differently:
KrisTEEna becomes KristinAH
CAth'rine becomes CaTRINN
AlexANder becomes AlexanDER
EMma becomes EmMAH
Essentially, the name doesn't change that much.
In your case, though, it changes the whole name. I still say stick with it and it's up to others to adapt.

June 3, 2010 10:56 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I've always pronounced Nah-vay!!! I thougth that was the pronunciation for Naveah

June 3, 2010 11:58 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Hi darl, I know how u r feeling. I just changed my daughters name a few weeks ago (she was 6months & a few weeks). Now Nearly 8months It is quiet a difficult situation, especially when we use names that are not so common. My partner & I thought we were having a boy & had the name all decided, our little blessing turned out to be a beautiful girl. We decided to call her Halo after the song my partner & I use to listen to in the car while I was pregnant. Then people started to be a little unsettled with the name. I continued to call her Halo, then when I would pick her up I would say Hello Halo & time & time again it just felt as if it might be a little difficult as she grows up & at interviews and so on. Not that there is anything at all wrong with "Halo" we love the name. But after much time & wondering & praying we decided on Neriah "Light of God". It suits her perfectly & we have kept Halo as her second name.
What it comes down to luv is if u feel comfortable for the rest of your lives calling your daughter by the name u chose, & r 100% happy with it, then don't worry about other people. They will figure it out & in time your daughter will be sure to correct them if they pronounce it wrong lol. If you do decide to change it then I would not leave it 2 much longer as I have just noticed my little one really is recognising her name but is not affected by it as we sometimes also say Neriah Halo.
I think the name is very unique & pretty. I hope you can decide & feel at peace with your decision. I do understand how hard it is. Do u have any other names u truly love as much?? Is your little one a November baby? My little girl is October? Please let us know how it goes. All the best & God Bless. It was put in your heart & mind for a reason, weather or not u decide to keep it as her first or second name. U will make the right choice as you r her Mother!! All the best

June 3, 2010 2:08 PM
By Moll (not verified)

I knew a girl with a named that rhymed with this - I can't remember if she spelled it Rivay or Revay. Anyway, I agree with the posters above: only change it if YOU genuinely regret and dislike the name. Or, change the spelling . Or, start using you daughter's middle name. I suppose you could search for other names that sound like Nevae, like Jenee/Jenay, Nivea, or Niveen. But whatever you choose, please come back and let us know!

Meade - Like your mom, I'm surprised that you've had so many problems with your name! It's very pretty, at any rate.

June 3, 2010 2:08 PM
By Moll (not verified)

I knew a girl with a named that rhymed with this - I can't remember if she spelled it Rivay or Revay. Anyway, I agree with the posters above: only change it if YOU genuinely regret and dislike the name. Or, change the spelling . Or, start using you daughter's middle name. I suppose you could search for other names that sound like Nevae, like Jenee/Jenay, Nivea, or Niveen. But whatever you choose, please come back and let us know!

Meade - Like your mom, I'm surprised that you've had so many problems with your name! It's very pretty, at any rate.

June 3, 2010 4:10 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My name was originally going to be Winter China, but my grandparents talked my mother out of it. My name is now MaKayah. It's pronounced "Muh-Kay-Uh". When I was born, there were hardly any "Mikaylas" and "Mikaiyahs" and such. People often call me Mikayla, and it annoys me, yes, but I've gotten over it. My family calls me "Kayah" and my friends (and occasionally, my younger cousin) call me KK.
It's not a big deal, really. I heard Nevaeh originally pronounced as Nuh-Vay-Uh. My mom corrects people when they ask my name. Don't change it!

June 3, 2010 5:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

If you decide that your daughter should be a Nevae, please don't change the spelling. The name looks beautiful and it would be a shame to change to please others, especially since its 1) not that hard to pronounce and 2) a vast improvement over the original name (Nevaeh). Besides, I've found that a lot of people are downright lazy when it comes to learning uncommon names.

My sister's name, Melanie, was not very common while we were growing up. And while no one who ever saw the name on paper ever pronounced it wrong, she was frequently called "Melody". Most of these people never bothered to acknowledge their confusion/poor hearing/etc by saying something like "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch your name" or even a "Melanie? That's different", they just assumed her name was something more familiar because they didn't know any better and/or didn't care enough to try and learn it. While having people frequently call her by the wrong name was annoying, my sister still loves her name and would never have wanted to be anything else.

My point is that no matter how you spell it, by choosing an unusual name you will always run into people who have a problem with it; whether it be pronouncing it correctly or remembering the name at all. But, eventually, most people will get it. If we didn't try out uncommon names, half of the women born in this county would still be named "Mary". The fact that so many people lack the manners to say "Excuse me, but I just hate saying names wrong. How do you pronounce your daughter's name again?" isn't your problem (especially since you've already changed the spelling to match the pronunciation).

If you do decide to stay with the name, go for it all the way and pick the spelling you like best. If not, I hope you will consider making it her middle name - you really seem to love it and I think that love should be a part of your daughter's name.

June 4, 2010 3:14 AM
By Gee70 (not verified)

Am I the only one with thinks this one name looses its charm if you spell it differently? It's hardly heaven backwards if you don't spell it that way.

June 4, 2010 8:01 AM
By Genoa (not verified)

You thought long and hard when you were pregnant and finally came up with a name you thought was perfect. You loved it and decided it was the ideal name for your beautiful baby girl. Now you are letting other people step between you and the name you chose.

Stop. Think long and hard. Do you still like the name? If your only problem with the name is because you are worried that other people will not get it, well, thats not a good enough reason to change it. Why let other people name your baby for you? It's not their decision.

My name is very unusual. It also gets pronounced wrong all the time. And to be honest, it doesn't bother me. I love my name. I would be very upset if I had a different name and found out that my mother had allowed other people to convince her to change my name when I was a baby, after she had chosen a beautiful name, with a beautiful spelling.

Who cares what these other people think, or how they pronounce it. It is a name you chose because you love it. Gently correct them and the people who matter will get it. If your daughter decides she doesn't like it when she gets older she can change it or go by a nickname.

Don't let other people make you second guess your good judgment and love of the name. It is lovely!

June 4, 2010 11:32 AM
By Anna (not verified)

My parents were in the same situation as you and they changed the spelling of my name when I was a year old. I'm not going to say it gave me a major identity crisis or anything when I found out, but I've always thought it was weird that once upon a time I was basically a different person!

The weirdest thing is that I had all but forgotten about it until I graduated from high school last year and it was spelled the original way on my diploma. Haha, still don't know how that happened!

June 4, 2010 5:33 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have an aunt named LaVae. Just capitilize the 'V' so it is NeVae. that will help-no one messes up my aunts name.

June 5, 2010 11:42 AM
By Stephanie (not verified)

I say keep the name exactly as it is- I am continually having to tell people how to pronounce my daughters' names, but because I really love how they are spelled and sound, it doesn't really bother me. It sounds like you chose the spelling because you loved it, and the name because you loved the way it sounded. She will get used to people asking (although, it seems fairly obvious to me) how to pronounce it, and that will be that. I grew up telling people over and over again how to pronounce my last name, and I still decided to hyphenate when I got married. "Lion-sheep" just became a part of my identity. :) (My last name is not Lion-sheep, but that was what I always told people to get them to pronounce my name correctly). Anyhow, I say, stick with it. My 3 month old responds to her name already, I can imagine that a 7 month old would respond to her name even more.

June 5, 2010 5:09 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

Wow, you were flooded with comments on this one! Let us know what you decide.

I think you're second-guessing your choice. And that's a sign that you should change it. I personally love the "unique classics." Find a meaningful name, maybe from history or literature, and roll it around on your tongue for awhile.

A name that has to be explained for a lifetime isn't a blessing...it's a burden.

June 6, 2010 1:58 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I changed my first daughters name when she was two months old. I just decided I liked a different name better. She is now 13 & aware of my decision & is glad I did so. However, if you love your daughters name, leave it. People will always mispronounce names. My name is Brianna (Bre-Anna) pretty basic, but I still am called (Bre-Onna). Your call, totally acceptable either way!

June 6, 2010 2:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My first name is Deane. What's your guess, am I a male or female? All my life my name has been mispronounced, misspelled and mistaken in gender. People seem compelled to correct the spelling of my name on job applications, on mail, even on my divorce papers, as if I don't know how to spell my own name. I agree with the poster who said a name that has to be explained is a burden. Kids want nothing more than to fit in. Growing up my name always instantly set me apart as the oddball. Please don't do that to your child, male or female.

June 6, 2010 3:49 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

i would go ahead and change her name to avoid years of confusion. your friends who are making comments will get over it in a few days

she's just 7 months so you can still do it now at no charge. once she turns 1 there are legal fees.

i wish you the best in whatever you do.

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