Mother Corrected in International Baby Name Feud


Thousands of internet commenters were left stunned after one Irish woman explained how she told her sister-in-law that her daughter’s name is not, in fact, Irish.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Top-Process-4882 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she is married to an American man and described the controversy caused by a baby incorrectly named in honor of her heritage.

Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for telling my sister in-law her daughter’s name isn’t Irish?” the post has received nearly 11,000 votes and 1,900 comments in the last day.

Beginning with the explanation that her husband’s sister “has always been obsessed with my accent, my name and the fact that her brother married a real Irish person,” the original poster said her sister-in-law recently gave birth to a daughter, but consulted with her about Irish names long before having a child.

“My sister-in-law excitedly told me ages ago that she was giving her daughter an Irish name and she couldn’t wait for me to hear it,” OP wrote. “Around that same time her husband asked me if the name was actually Irish (he told me what it was) and I said no.”

“I didn’t say anything to her because she never asked and I wasn’t supposed to know the name.

After her niece was born, the original poster said her sister-in-law revealed the baby’s name at family gathering, sparking both confusion and conflict.

“She talked about wanting an Irish name for her because of me,” OP wrote. “Her husband told her to stop saying it was Irish.”

“She was so mad at him for claiming it wasn’t and I jumped in. I said the first name was Scottish, not Irish,” OP continued. “She went crazy and told me the name was Irish [and] that Irish and Scottish had the same stuff.”

“I told her there was some overlap…but we still had our own distinct names and the one she had chosen was clearly Scottish,” OP added. “She is so pissed that I pointed this out to her [and] she’s pissed at her husband for disagreeing with her in the first place.”

Despite the love and excitement that come with the birth of a child, baby names are a highly-contentious topic, both on and off the internet.

While some soon-to-be parents navigate between recent naming trends, pressure from relatives and other family-name traditions, others remain dead set on specific names from the beginning, often with unforeseen consequences looming on the horizon.

Over the past handful of months, Newsweek has reported on multiple Reddit threads detailing baby-naming controversies, including one workplace feud over the acceptability of nabbing names from different fiction franchises and a mother who said she’d rather get divorced than allow her husband to name their children after the creators of Minecraft.

In each case, Redditors banded together in support of mothers and their right to both issue names, and veto them before they become reality.

Irish sister-in-law corrects baby name
Members of Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum backed an Irish woman who said she pointed out her new niece’s name isn’t actually Irish.
Wavebreakmedia/iStock / Getty Images Plus

In the case of the original poster, however, Redditors offered the opposite perspective, questioning her sister-in-law’s understanding of Irish culture.

“[Not the a**hole],” Redditor u/Fun-Two-1414 wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 18,000 votes.

“If she really wanted an Irish name, then why not check it with you, an Irish person?” they questioned. “Also, why argue with an Irish person about an Irish name and believing she knows more about Irish names than an actual Irish person.”

Redditor u/Turbulent-Army2631, whose comment has received nearly 6,000 votes, echoed that sentiment.

“This is a perfect example of cultural appropriation rather than cultural appreciation,” they wrote. “If she cared about the culture she’d care about the accuracy and wouldn’t say Scottish and Irish are basically the same.”

“She’s being rude and I have no idea why she’d insist on arguing with someone who’s actually from Ireland,” they added.

In a separate comment, which has received more than 1,200 votes, Redditor u/wanesandwaves speculated that the original poster’s sister-in-law didn’t put much research into the name choice and was offended somebody dared to point that out.

“She’s just angry that her laziness has been called out so she’s flying off excuses like Scottish and Irish being close together,” they wrote. “Yeeesh.”

“Her husband tried. You tried. She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do now,” they added.

Newsweek reached out to u/Top-Process-4882 for comment.

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