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Should I Choose a Name My Husband Hates?

I have loved the name Sloan since I heard it about 3 years ago and immediately knew that's what I would name my daughter. My husband has never liked the name. We have disagreed on it since. He has recently told me that if it is that important to me, he was fine with it. Is it really ok? - Sloan Dreamer

Oh, what a happy problem! I know it doesn't look that way from where you sit, agonizing over a name that has held a special place in your heart for years. But trust me, this is the best kind of naming conflict you can have.

The baby naming process is a snapshot of how a couple makes decisions. My inbox overflows with sad examples of how badly it can go. I hear from many parents who were bullied or tricked into the name of their partner's choice, or whose partners refuse to participate in the naming process at all except to reject every suggestion they offer.

Not you guys. Just think about it. Your husband is prepared to sacrifice his own desires to make you happy, and you're worried about taking advantage of him. That's good stuff, believe me.

If the name Sloan is truly important to you, you can go ahead and accept your husband's generosity. Make sure to show your appreciation, though, and to tell him how much this sacrifice means to you. Let him remember this name choice as a special gift to his wife, not just a surrender.

But if you can bear to let go of Sloan, so much the better. The only thing more precious than having a husband who loves you enough to let you choose a baby name he can't stand is loving him enough to not choose it.


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

July 26, 2010 4:47 PM
By Hilary H L (not verified)

Both my husband and I know what it's like to have the other really dislike your heartfelt favorite. But I think you really should make an effort to find a name you *both* love. This isn't like saying he'll go out to that restaurant you love but he doesn't really dig from time to time. The name of your child should be something that brings the two of you together - especially if it is one likely to raise some eyebrows. You don't want your guy to roll his eyes and say "Yeah, I know, but SHE really loves it so..." when people ask about it. EVEN INTERNALLY. Better to pick something that makes you both smile to think about so together you can say to those partypoopers, "WE just love it!"

Now if he comes around to genuinely liking it (as sometimes happens if you give it some space) I'd say just make sure your daughter never reads the Anne of Green Gables series. :) But that's just me!

July 26, 2010 7:03 PM
By Jenny (not verified)

I think the Name Lady and Hilary are both right. Choosing a name that you both like is very important. You will be calling your daughter this name for the rest of your life, so you should both agree.

Your husband may come around, but he may not. You could suggest that he choose the middle name. If he is one to hold a grudge, I'd consider searching for another name. A backup name that you both agree on.

You could also get him to re-watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The girlfriend, Sloan Peterson, was super pretty. He might get a different perspective on the name!

Best of luck!

July 27, 2010 6:22 AM
By Christy (not verified)

I agree with Hilary H L - you should NEVER let her read Anne of GG, where the word 'Sloanishness' is coined as a negative reference to a family of very unattractive and unpleasant people!

July 27, 2010 6:22 AM
By Christy (not verified)

I agree with Hilary H L - you should NEVER let her read Anne of GG, where the word 'Sloanishness' is coined as a negative reference to a family of very unattractive and unpleasant people!

July 27, 2010 11:53 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

i'm with the husband. PASS!

July 27, 2010 11:54 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I recently moved to the UK, where I have learned that to call a girl "Sloane-y" means she is well bred, well dressed, wealthy, and superficial. It's not a compliment.

July 27, 2010 11:58 AM
By Feb (not verified)

Well said! My wife and I both had names we liked or even loved, but knowing the other was not as enthused, or even disliked a possibility, dulled the shine. We kept looking, and found a name we both loved. Neither of us feels like we settled, or gave in.

July 27, 2010 12:05 PM
By Shammy (not verified)

I think it's more important to find a name you both like, then to have a name that one person loves and the other person is ambivalent towards. There are many names I love, that my husband dislikes. I don't even allow these names to be "in play" for a future child.

Before I was born, my parents chose a name they both loved for me. However, my grandmother (mom's mom), disliked the name, and pushed a family name instead. My dad hated the family name, but my mom thought it was a good name. Eventually, my dad said, "if it's what you want, then fine." I was given the odd family name, and my dad refused to call me by it for the first several years of my life! As a kid I thought my name was "Buddy," and when people called me by my real name, I would get angry and say, "that's not my name, my name is Buddy!"

It's never good for one person to sacrifice another for their own whims.

July 27, 2010 12:10 PM
By Roosevelt (not verified)

My wife just gave birth to our 2nd child. Our first child, I was very concerned because my wife kept coming up with names that I hated and I kept coming up with names that she hated. However, eventually we ended up finding a name that we both loved.

I think the first name should be something you both agree on. You can always make the middle name Sloan.

July 27, 2010 12:19 PM
By Camilla (not verified)

I don't think you should do it. Your husband is being a really nice guy, but don't do this to him. Even if I gave in because I loved my spouse, it would still hurt to call my child something I greatly dislike.

July 27, 2010 12:55 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think it's ever so gallant of your husband to step down in this manner - but I really must take issue with the name! The posting above from the person that has recently moved to the UK is correct - here in England a Sloane is a somewhat derogatory term for someone with money but no brains and not particularly likable. The term was coined in the 1980s from 'Sloane Square' - an area in London where the snooty, ostentations and generally obnoxious 'Sloane Ranger' type lived. I'd have a rethink - or make sure your child never visits England unless they have a really thick skin or a great sense of hunour!

July 27, 2010 1:03 PM
By Hilary H L (not verified)

My husband just said her husband may not like it because almost every single urinal is made by SLOAN INC. which none of us would know, but pretty much any guy is bound to observe at some point. Urg. Sorry!

July 27, 2010 1:19 PM
By Joanne (not verified)

I totally agree with Shammy. I went to school with a girl whose father refused to call her by her first name and instead gave her a nickname - totally unrelated to her given name. Eventually her whole family called her that and the given name was in essence discarded. I would try to find a name that both can agree on.

July 27, 2010 2:01 PM
By Lara Jane (not verified)

My husband hated my favorite name choice from the time we were dating up until we had our first sonogram, but I kept hammering until he came around. In the meantime, everyone I discussed the name with (family, friends, co-workers, strangers... literally everyone!) voted against it, and my resolve started to crumble. Thankfully, my wonderful husband reminded me of what a great choice it was and I stuck to it. Henry turned 10 last month. :)

I think it's worth hanging on when a name means that much to you, despite the naysayers.

July 27, 2010 3:30 PM
By C (not verified)

I'd agree to keep finding a name that works for both of you. Maybe keep it in the running, because you'll never know what will happen. My husband and I had a girl's name agree upon, but could not agree on a boy's name. We didn't know what we were having, so when our son popped out and someone immediately asked, "What's his name?", we just stared at each other. In that moment, I looked at my son and decided my husband's choice of name (Felix, meaning happy and lucky) was perfect because that's how I felt in that moment. I let my name (Barrett) slide and I'm not even sure I'll go back to it if we have another.

Agreeing is huge. I wouldn't feel great about calling a child by a name I wasn't keen on, and I wouldn't want my husband to feel the same way.

July 27, 2010 4:58 PM
By Alison (not verified)

Yes, being called a "Sloane" isn't nice. It's on Urban Dictionary, but besides that, a book called The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook was published in the early 80s. So, I'd say it's had some staying power.

I picked up on the Anne of Green Gables connection, but I did not know there was a girl Sloan in the Ferris Bueller movie. There is a man Sloan in a movie called Music and Lyrics. I think of it more as a name for a man, and that's probably why. I see Namipedia lists it as a girl name in the US and an unisex name in the UK.

Your husband might really not care about naming children. But in a best case scenario, the name is something both of the parents love. If you still really want to use Sloan, is there a name he loves to use for her middle name?

July 27, 2010 5:27 PM
By Amy (not verified)

"The only thing more precious than having a husband who loves you enough to let you choose a baby name he can't stand is loving him enough to not choose it."
...awwwww! Name Lady that is beautifully said!

We had a similar prediciment with naming our daughter - i have a family middle name that is mine, my mums, my grandmothers and my greatgrandmothers and i wanted to use for my daughter, but my husband had never really liked - in the end he knew it meant too much to me, so we used it, but we made sure that we picked a first name that we BOTH loved, because this is the name that you are using day-in day-out for the rest of their life! In the end, i guess you need to reverse the roles and see how you would feel if your husband loved Loved LOVED a name that you didn't like... would you use it?

July 27, 2010 6:20 PM
By Top 10 Name of the 70s (not verified)

Hmm - here in Australia "Sloan" would be on the outer too. We tend towards a more British system of naming - and the Sloane Ranger phenomenon was well reported here in the 80s. Having said that - you Americans still seem to think that Fergie is OK, so maybe......!!

I also thought of Ferris Bueller - pretty girl but happy to ditch school and lie for her boyfriend!

I could not take a "Sloan" seriously. It does not say "Senator" to me - more "now appearing on pole number 3 for your entertainment"......

The 2 examples given above, where the Mums DID hold out, resulted in 2 classic, wonderful names - Henry and Felix (2 of my faves!). They are names that already had historical credibility and a proven track record. You were ALWAYS going to find approval from at least some sections of the community when you chose a classic name. "Sloan" on the other hand...meh...not so much....

Have you rejected out of hand ANY name your husband has suggested? As in - you couldn't POSSIBLY name your daughter that?? If not - maybe you can find some common ground. If so - then spare a thought for how he feels about Sloan the moan/Groan it's Sloan/Sloan on her own/hormone Sloan......(sorry - it's very Australian to find nicknames - we always consider that when naming our babies here!)

July 28, 2010 12:01 AM
By Lisa (not verified)

I'm in Australia too, Sloan is a surname as far as I'm concerned (Matron in "A Country Practice" LOL) And I have to agree with Top Name, we tried rhyming words to name all of my children LOL

I had an XH who wasn't helpful naming our children, didn't like the names I liked, wouldn't discuss names other than to say "no I hate it" LOL

My daughter has my choice of name as a middle name, my son has a compromised name. I wrote a list of names and his dad chose when he was born, but at least I got names I didn't 'hate' ;) LOL

July 29, 2010 9:34 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I would have to assume that since you have loved this name for 3 years and you are from the US, that you got the name Sloan from "Grey's Anatomy". If that's the case, keep in mind how other people from the US (or Canada, where I'm from) will view a Sloan... since we too will associate it with the two Sloan characters of that show. One is a man-whore, and the other a selfish teenage mother. *Sigh* If it wasn't going to be associated with that reference, I'd say it's a good name! I'm not from the UK, nor will I ever visit the UK. I have never heard the term "Sloane" before, and if I didn't stumble upon this site, I probably never would have! It IS a nice name, it just has too many issues around it. Let your husband think you're giving in FOR HIM, and let this one go. (Especially since it's the name of a lot of urinals!!! Aughhhh!!!) He'll think you gave up a long-time favorite for him, and most likely back up your next choice out of guilt. LOL He doesn't have to live his life with a child who carries a name he hates, and you get to come out looking like the goodguy. Win-win.

July 30, 2010 8:42 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

All these comments are great. I happen to like the name, it sounds smart and pretty. But I don't matter. Sounds like you'll have to make a list of similar, surname-type choices. How about Blaire, Linden, Britton, Greer, Solveigh, Stellan, Clancy, Cleary, Kendyl, Donnelly, Delaney, Flannery, Flynn, Kearney, Shea, Quinn, Regan, Sheridan, or Aislinn? (pronounced "Ashlynn") You can tell I marched through the Irish name book for part of this list!

Agreement between you and your husband is priceless. Let us know what you decide!

August 1, 2010 1:01 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Personnally i think its selfish to name a child something you know your husband hates Now he has a child on the way maybe he thinks a name is not as important as the health and well being of a child. Sloan is different maybe that's what bothered him about it Now that hes gotten used to it or maybe even heard of someone with that name hes come to like it because its a name the love of his life wants to name his baby.

IMHO i think you should pick a name you both like since both of you are the union that created her. good luck!!

August 1, 2010 8:37 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Where did the article about the name Damien go?

August 5, 2010 7:08 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

*Solveigh?* Srsly? How is that pronounced, like the Latin "Salve?"

I would shudder at any girl I met named "Clancy" and that's a fact.

August 6, 2010 9:20 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think the use of Sloan as a derogatory term must be a Southern thing, or just very outadated. I am 20 and have lived in the UK my whole life (though only in Birmingham and the North) and never heard it.

August 15, 2010 9:02 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Keep looking. I wanted Digery *(Digery Priest came over on the mayflower/my last name is Priest) My husband couldn't work with it sooo we made a deal. If it was a girl my choice would reign, a boy would be his choice... HOWEVER ... if either of us truly disliked a name, we would have veto power. He chose Jason. At the beach I yelled out JASONNNN and 5 kids turned around LOL Oh well, it's important to fit in I guess. The important thing is Jason loves his name... maybe its because his parents honored one another. It's a two way street.

August 27, 2010 2:42 PM
By Zoe (not verified)

I could NEVER give my child a name my significant other hates. The baby is both of yours. Your husband will be calling your daughter by her name for her whole life. I don't think it's fair to him to force him to call her something he really hates.

December 17, 2010 7:53 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

really this is stupid the women should name the child she gave birth to it and have to take care of the child for the rest or her life of course she should choose the name she gone throught so much pain it really makes me mad to see men being selfish i know the childs both yours but hes not the one who has to suffer

December 19, 2011 1:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)


August 11, 2015 1:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Make the child suffer. Drive the biggest road block between the father and his child's love that you can. Give it a name that the dad can not bring himself to say. It's a great healthy start to a screwed up life.

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