We are planning to give our first child – a boy to arrive in September – my father’s first name as a middle name. It’s inoffensive and easy to spell. I’m not worried about that one.
But the other day I asked my husband about whether we should consider giving our second child – if it’s a boy – my husband’s father’s name as a middle name. We have a lot of respect for both men and think it would be a nice way to honor them. I also don’t want him to feel slighted, so it would be nice do this with both men if we do it with one.
The second boy will probably be named Marley. (The reason I think I’m getting at least two boys is my husband has seven brothers and mostly nephews). My husband’s father’s name is Godfroy, so the kid’s name would be Marley Godfroy [LAST NAME]. In French, Godfroy is pronounced “goad-FWAH.” My father-in-law has always lived where French is at least one of the languages spoken, so people have known how to pronounce it. However, we’re here in the US, and I’m wondering if: 1)people will think it’s weird; 2) people will have no idea how to pronounce it; and 3) kids will make fun of him. On the other hand, is the middle name a big deal? It’s not what will get called out in class at school, or whatever…
What do you all think?
I think Marley is a bigger issue. People don’t much care what other people’s middle name is.
How often will your son-to-be use his middle name? Is it something that might commonly come up in conversation, schooling, work, etc.? If son-to-be will be called, and introduced as, “Marley Lastname” or “Marley G. Lastname” in school and so forth, then I don’t think it would be a problem.
It’s not like you’re making up some weird name, it’s a valid family name, that he will (hopefully) grow to be proud of, as a link to his family’s past!
I don’t think most Americans will pronounce it correctly, but most people never know another person’s middle name unless they are told what it is. My brother has a weird middle name (my mom’s maiden name) and I don’t think it’s ever been an issue for him. Also, kids will always find a reason to tease one another.
You should name him Herbert Pussycunt. He’ll grow up to be the toughest SOB in the school.
My middle name is ridiculous. But nobody cares. It’s really just a talking point these days, but as a kid it didn’t cause me any problems.
Mind you, I had plenty of other annoying personality traits for bullies to pick on, so maybe I’m no judge.
A friend of mine who is a musician, named his first daughter Marley for musical reasons. Nice name - everyone likes it and I don’t think it would be any different for a boy. Middle names come up about once a decade. No one I work with knows mine and it’s pretty mundane.
The guano, mate, lose the guano.
Yeah, Marley’s a terrible name. Especially if people named Marley can ban you. That’s the worst.
If you have to ask the question, isn’t the answer almost certainly ‘yes’?
I regret to this day not insisting that my son have my father’s middle name, which was also my grandmother’s maiden name, as his middle name. I think the middle name is a great place to put a family name. You might want to rethink the “Marley” part of it, though. Isn’t that a dog’s name?
I don’t think Marley is awful, but it does kind of sound like a girl’s name (sounds like Carley). Also there will be comments about Marley’s ghost and Bob Marley.
My middle name is Danish, and nobody can pronounce it. Yes, people think it’s weird, and yes, kids did make fun of it. Even though middle names don’t get used that much, these things always get made public eventually - like on graduation day when mine was read out (badly pronounced, of course) to the entire student body and all their parents.
Even though that wasn’t my name when I was picked on, it was certainly stupid personal decisions just like that which turned out to be my main problem.
I am of the opinion that meaning for names outweighs the “what will people think or say” factor. Name your child what you wish, make sure he understands the meaning behind it and instill in him a pride in his heritage. Then when some dork in high school gives him shit for his name, he can confidently respond that at least he wasn’t named for some skank pop singer, or whatever.
I would, however, argue against Peter Maximus on strictly comedic grounds.
“Day-nish” - or should it be “dah-nish”?
I agree that the family name thing justifies it if you really want to do it. One alternative did come to mind, though. Does your husband’s father have a middle name that’s a little easier to work with?
I have no idea what my best friend’s middle name is – not even sure what the initial is.
At long last, an issue where I unquestionably know better than everyone else on the Dope! Of course, it’s a tangent…
Godfroy first: it’s hard for a middle name to be really terrible unless you force the kid to use it. But I do think you have to accept the truth here: it’s awkward, especially on a little kid (he won’t be able to pronounce it for a while); it will always be pronounced American style by everyone else ; and people are going to think it’s pretentious. That’s not your fault, it’s no more pretentious than Smith or any other family name, but it’s French and I am sure that’s what people will think. If you don’t care, it’s not a big deal. You’re putting more thought into it than anyone else ever will.
As for the Marley issue: I have always enjoyed my name and taken a lot of pride in it, and I consider it something to live up to. (I’m named after Bob Marley.) It’s a very rare name among guys, which I’ve always liked - frankly I’d be the only one, were it up to me. Sometimes people mishear my name just because they don’t expect to hear it, and yes, sometimes I get junk mail addressed to “Ms.” It gets torn up with prejudice, but it’s a minor annoyance. Avoiding the name for those reasons would be stupid in my opinion.
The dog thing… well, there will be a Pit thread before the movie opens in December, I guarantee it. You see “Marley” stickers on SUVs sometimes, which I expect refers to the dog book. Periodically, people come up to me upon learning my name and say “My friend’s cousin’s brother has a dog named Marley!” I don’t know if I’m supposed to smile, thank them, do a happy dance, or what, but if it keeps up, I may slug somebody. I don’t know why I’m supposed to give a crap about that. But the truth is, the movie and book will be more or less forgotten in time and I’ll get over it. Bob Marley’s music and my name aren’t going anywhere.
Yeah but, after graduation day, you can leave them all and never look back. It shouldn’t matter by then. I was teased for a lot of things at school, but my middle name was never one of them.
Then you might feel better that our dog’s name is spelled Marli instead.
Wait, there’s a movie coming out titled Marley?