20 Surprising Baby Names Parents Say They Regret Giving Their Kids

I love the naming process when I have a baby. I'm open to any possibility of names, words, phrases, nouns, and verbs. As long as the name hasn't appeared on any recent popularity list I'm down to consider it.

Once I find I name that I love there is usually zero room to convince me to change my mind. And even after having all of my kids I still love all of their names. And no I'm not going to tell you because I don't want you to ruin it by getting it put on some popular names list.

A survey conducted on Mumsnet found that one in five moms regret the name they gave their baby. Some struggle for months before the baby is born to come up with a name, some wait until the baby is born and still even with all that time end up regretting their choice.

Perhaps the parents felt pressure from family members to use an old family name or a popular name that honors their heritage. Maybe they wanted to take a risk and choose a daring and unique name but perhaps went too far left.

Whatever the reason it's actually a pretty easy problem to remedy. Just make sure this time you love whatever you pick.

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20 Elsa

There are many parents who prior to November 2013 thought they were choosing a unique variation of the name, Ella when they chose the name, Elsa. Now when these parents share their name they’re met with a chorus of “Oh, like from Frozen!”.

Elsa is the name of the misunderstood Queen in Disney’s animated blockbuster Frozen and is now on loop in every single household across America and beyond. In 2016 a very official and scientific poll of over 1,300 parents was conducted and one of the most regretted names of 2016 was Elsa.

But at this point, I think parents should just let it go and rise like the break of dawn and be proud of their choice.

19 Scott

Way back in 1985 there was a popular Australian show called Neighbors featuring Kylie Minogue. On the Australian soap was a character named Scott Robinson and the name soared in popularity. But way before that Magda decided to name her own son Scott.

But after the success of the show and the character, she was constantly asked if she named her son after the TV Scott. Magda liked the name Scott because she’s Scottish and she thought it would be a way to honor her family and heritage. But teachers didn’t seem to think so. Magda soon realized that the name Scott was often used for the “bad guy” on TV shows and growing up teachers would wrongly assume her son was a trouble maker.

18 Evelia

I’ve written before about how I love a unique name. Only one of my kids has their name in the US Top 1000 but when we used it, it wasn’t.

Uniqueness and distinctiveness can be a big draw for some parents. But it doesn’t always work out. Case in point when Danielle was pregnant with her daughter she really wanted a name no one else had. She finally settled on Evelia, which sounds like Azalea.

But now that her daughter is in elementary school she hates her name. Her daughter Evelia hates having to introduce herself to new classmates and teachers and having to clarify the spelling. Even though Danielle does stand by her choice she does have pangs of regret when her daughter complains about it.

17 Tyler


A name doesn’t have to be regretful because it's awful, spelled funny, or weird sounding. You can regret a name choice simply because it wasn’t your favorite. Roxanne Deneau and her husband spent months researching names, their meaning, and popularity but still couldn’t come up with the one.

They decided to crowdsource and ask their friends on Facebook. The name most loved by their friends and family was Tyler which is what they went with. But now Roxanne hates it. She said she felt the pressure to choose the name chosen by friends instead of going with her first choice of Zachary.

The tricky part about crowdsourcing is feeling guilty when you don’t go with the majority on a decision. Trust your gut. You’re the only one that has to live with it.

16 Astrid

Astrid is a pretty popular name, reaching the Top 25 in Sweden where it originated from and entering the US Top 1000 in 2013.

Astrid meaning “divinely beautiful” is usually associated with the author Astrid Lindgren who wrote the Pippi Longstocking stories. Nicola loved the name when she discovered it for her daughter, but now is on the fence about it.

Why? She says people often call the little girl Ashley, Ashton or Asterix. And her mother-in-law thought they had named her Ashtray when Nicola’s called to relay the news. Nicola says it’s also been hard to come up with cute and simple nicknames for her landing so far on only Astridnaut.

What about Asteroid? Poor Asterix, uh I mean Astrid.

15 Hank


To say Dawn and Mike are indecisive would be an understatement. The first and favorite choice for their second child was Korbi, but they knew someone else with the same name so they eventually went with Hank.

But before Hank was born Dawn changed her mind and went with Sam. But when he was born he didn’t look like Sam so they changed his name to Jack. Are you tired yet? Because we’re still not done. For thirty days they called him Jack. But the night before the final papers was due they changed it to Matthew.

But once again they still didn’t feel settled. Eventually, Grandpa put an end to the madness and suggested Kirby and so far at 15 months old it’s stuck.

14 Eilidh

Chris Weaver and his Scottish wife had two boys that they gave traditional Scottish names too. Neil and Ian.

Even though they aren’t very common in Germany where the family lived the children never seemed to get much flack about their unusual names. When the Weaver family found out they were expecting a girl they again considered traditional Scottish names, their favorite being Eilidh pronounced Aylish and means “sun” or “radiant one”, is long standing favorite amongst the Scottish.

But the Weavers quickly regretted their choice once they realized that their German friends and neighbors would undoubtedly pronounce the name as “eyelid”.

Could you imagine? Luckily for potential baby Eyelid, her parents quickly vetoed it and went for something a little less head scratching.

13 Ralph


Personally, I would never name my child this and if I heard you yell it across the playground I’d flinch and probably run away. Lena Corner felt the same feeling when another Mom asked her how to pronounce the name, either Ralph or Raef.

Lena says that she cringed because the other woman made it sound so hoity-toity with ugly drawn-out vowels. Lena thought that Ralph would eventually grow into it and she’d learned to love but she couldn’t and hated saying and hearing it.

After Ralph turned six months old she discussed the possibility of changing it with her partner who didn’t really care either way. So after testing the new name out for 10 days they legally changed Ralph to Huxley.

12 Andrew


For many parents, they are elated when they find out that they’re expecting and when they find out it’s a boy Dad is usually imagining all the things his little mini me will do. A lot of times

Dad’s take a lot of pride in having a son, especially their first born son named after them. Kelsi was pregnant with her first son and her partner Vinny knew that he wanted to name the baby after himself. But Kelsi really wanted the freedom to pick her own name and she did. Andrew. But when Andrew was born the first thing Kelsi said was “Oh my God, he looks like Vinny!” and it was then that she realized Andrew wasn’t right.

After Andrew’s six-month birthday Kelsi finally gave in and gave her partner his namesake.

11 Isis

It’s kind of easy to see why this name may be a regrettable one for some parents.

One Reddit user wrote in that they had named their daughter Isis at the end of 2013 and wanted to know if she should change her name now. In 2014 an extreme terrorist group adopted the name and the name quickly began to plummet on the US Top 1000 list.

Isis was once best known as the name of an Egyptian goddess of the moon and now no longer makes me people think of a magical name representing a strong woman. Unfortunately, kids and even other adults can be very cruel so if the name Isis is on your list you may want to consider another.

10 Ryan


Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason why you don’t love your child’s name, you just don’t. After spending months trying to decide on a name for their son, Elizabeth and her husband were thrilled when they decided on Ryan.

They were looking for something traditional, easy to spell, short, easy to pronounce and something not to ubiquitous. They kept a list of names they liked and Ryan continued to be the front-runner. Once they made their decision they started telling friends and family. At her baby shower surrounded by decorations adorned with their name choice, Elizabeth started to doubt her decision.

She couldn’t figure what made it wrong it just was. But instead of doing a last minute change she decided to stick with it but every time she says it she regrets not changing it.

9 Presley

I’ve heard about some parents who like to wait until after the baby is born to give them their name. They like to see what they look like. I could never do that though, probably something to do with my control issues but maybe this next Mom should have.

Kelcey Kintner writer at Mama Bird Diaries gave birth 9 year’s ago to a baby girl and decided to name her Presley. But the problem was when she looked at “Presley” she just didn’t look like a “Presley”. Kelcey figured she’d eventually learn to love it, but after six months, she still never found that sweet spot.

She mentioned to her husband that she was considering changing their daughter's name and they took another two months to finally decide and legally change her name to Summer.

8 Harper

Imagine your disappointment if after months of out of the box thinking you finally come up with an unusual or special name for your child and then it suddenly has a surge in popularity. Now parents can check list like the Social Security Top 1000 list or visit websites like Nameberry.com to get a gauge of how popular a name is.

S, who spoke with The Huffington Post but did not want to use her full name (must be something regrettable) reviewed social security data and settled on Harper as a middle name choice for her son. She liked that it was gender-neutral and unique.

But years later she was surprised and disappointed when Harper suddenly became one of the “it” names for girls. But I guess the upside to this is Harper is only a middle name.

7 Ottilie

When Carri Kessler was pregnant with her daughter she and her husband knew immediately that they would name her Ottilie. Once their daughter was born and the nurse asked her name the nurse laughed and asked if they were serious.

But they still stuck with it. But many friends and family just simply couldn’t pronounce it right. Six weeks later her grandmother revealed that she couldn’t remember the baby’s name and in fact had stuck post-it notes all over to help her remember and that’s when Carri realized they had really messed up.

Carri spent three months regretting even saying her daughter's name. Once she and her husband realized they weren’t stuck in Ottilie hell they researched the process and after asking 2 billion people their opinion finally went with Margot.

6 Tennessee

Place names are becoming more popular with each year. Tennessee was recently chosen by actress Reese Witherspoon for her youngest son. But Sophie Day told The Guardian that she really regrets this choice for her son.

After taking a belated honeymoon trip to Tennessee, Sophie and her husband thought the name sounded poetic and since they were fans of author Tennessee Williams they thought it would be perfect.

But now? They greatly regret it.

She thinks the name might make their son subject to mockery because it sounds kind of snobbish and that the name gives such a lofty impression that her son will feel like he can never live up to it. Not to mention the unfortunate nickname of Tena which happens to be the name of a brand of adult diapers.

5 Olen

Labor is like running the New York Marathon in 8-inch stilettos, with your eyes closed and your feet tied together. But afterward, you are hit with a euphoric sense of wonderment as you stare down at your baby oblivious to the nurse cleaning up your bottom.

A first-time mom revealed in a parenting forum that she received a shot of morphine right before her son was born so when her husband suggested the name Olen she was so drugged up and in love, she didn’t even think about it.

But by the next morning she hated the name and 5 months later can’t bring herself to use his name to other people and instead just calls him “my son” or “my baby”.

4 Qui Ante’

When Diamonte was pregnant at 17 she wanted to give her daughter a cute name, with a strong meaning and one that had a little bit of pizzazz.

She chose Qui Ante’ (pronounced Kee-on-tay) which means brave warrior and is the combination of her own name and Qui Ante’s father. As she and her daughter got older she started to regret her choice.

She was now concerned that she had set her daughter up for racial stigma based on her ethnic name choice. Diamonte has started to research what the process would be for a legal name change but has yet to go through with it because she feels it should be something her daughter decides for herself.

3 Rafferty


Rafferty is an Irish surname that means “abundance” and “prosperity” which sounds all good to me. But Sarah really regrets using this for her son.

She said when she was pregnant she heard the name and spent months convincing her husband that it was the name for their son. However, now that her son is older she hates telling people his name because they think it’s his last name and she’s constantly having to repeat it or spell it for people.

Sarah says that when she has to call her son from across the playground she literally cringes and people often respond with “Oh, how unusual” which is obviously code for “That is freaking awful.” Her once skeptical husband now fully supports the name and thinks it suits their Rafferty perfectly.

Better luck next time Sarah.

2 Angus

Cat Sleigh really didn’t want to wait until after her baby was born to name him. So she and her partner bounced names back and forth but never really agreeing. She wanted something unique and he wanted something traditional.

Finally, at birth Cat and her partner settled on Angus Griffith Asher. But at three months old they had buyer’s remorse and really wanted to name him Finnegan, but because of a promise made to a friend they couldn’t use it. Not able to use Finnegan they tried on different names for Angus but nothing worked.

When Angus-never Finnegan was seven months old they went with Levi. But that still just wasn’t it. Going with their gut and losing a friend at the same time they changed his name to Finnegan Levi Angus Griffith Sleigh.

1 Miyako

A lot of Moms or Dads can feel pressure from their spouse or family to use a traditional family name or a popular name from the family’s culture. Even if you have the best intentions to please your husband or family, it may still end up leaving you with a lot of regrets.

In a baby name regret forum (yes they exist) a user writes in that her sister is struggling with the name she chose for her son. Her husband is Japanese and asked that they name the baby Miyako (pronounced mee-yah-ko).

The problem is the name is traditionally a girl’s name and they had a boy. Now the Mom is struggling to like the name and come up with a more gender specific nickname.

Sources: The Guardian, Baby Center, and TODAY

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