A fifth of grandparents hate their grandchildren's names, survey finds

Camilla Turner
 The most common reason for grandparents’ dissent is that the name sounds “too odd” -  I Love Images/REX

Finding the perfect baby name can be a cause for strife among soon-to-be parents.  

But it is the older generation who are often left disappointed by the final choice, according to a survey which found that a fifth of grandparents hate their grandchild’s name.

 The most common reason for grandparents’ dissent is that the name sounds “too odd”, with just under a third citing this as their chief objection.

Meanwhile 15 per cent said the name sounded as though it was “made-up” or unconventional.

The survey of over 2,000 parents and grandparents, carried out by the online networking sites Mumsnet and Gransnet, found that one in ten grandparents felt that the choice of name would embarrass the child.

A fifth (20 per cent) of grandparents said they were annoyed that their suggested name had been overlooked, while ten per cent were irritated that a family name had not been used and five per cent felt the name was too hard to pronounce.

Grandmothers had stronger views than grandfathers, the survey found

Grandmothers had stronger views than grandfathers, the survey found, with 44 per cent of parents reporting that complaints came from their own mother, and 42 per cent from their mother-in-law.

This compared to just 14 per cent who said their own father objected and the same proportion saying it was their father-in-law.

Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, said: “Choosing a baby name is fraught enough for parents if you’re only taking into account your own views; if you add grandparents’ biases to the mix it can become impossible.  

“Parenthood is one long object lesson in not pleasing everyone, and new parents should think of any naming tussles as preparation for coming battles.”  

Finding the perfect baby name can be a cause for strife among for soon-to-be parents Credit:  Bubbles Photolibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

They survey also asked about what grandparents said when they learned of their grandchild’s name.

Ten per cent of grandparents replied by asking “What?” while three per cent responded by laughing.

In an attempt to avoid using a disliked name, nine per cent of grandparents said they did not use the name at all, with the same proportion insisting on calling a child by a shorter version of their actual name.

The most popular baby names of 2017, according to BabyCenter, were Emily for a girl and Liam for a boy.

Tatler’s most recent list of the poshest baby names included Alfreda, Blanche and Czar-Czar for a girl and Aubyn, Barclay and Cassar for a boy. Susan Cole, of Sutton, Surrey, compiles a list of the most popular names to be announced in the Daily Telegraph.

Speaking about the 2017 selection – which saw Edward most popular for boys and Florence for girls – Ms Cole said: “Names that I would have associated with great aunts and uncles have made a surprise comeback over the past year.

“Wilfred is a surprise inclusion, as is Constance. There are also a lot of variations of other names - if all the different spellings of Isobel were added together, it would be near the top, while Emilia is now almost as popular as the traditional form, Emily.”

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