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Why a child should not be named after one of the parents

Updated on July 5, 2014

As I myself was named after my father, I was frustrated many times right up until I left home. Below are six reasons not to name your child either after you, or your partner.

1) Same name, opposite personalities

What happens if the child grows up to be nothing like the person they’re named after? Some child-parent relationships end up being in a bad mess, and if the child being named after a parent, this could make the conflict worse. If the child is very annoyed with being called after a parent, they may even go as far as changing their name.

Wise Words
Wise Words | Source

2) It’s just uncreative!

There are millions of names to choose from for your child so why recycle one that is already used in your family?

3) Arrogance

This was the main problem with my father. He was the ‘John Smith' and I was the ‘Jr’. He not once referred to himself as ‘John Smith Snr’ outside the home or received any post with Snr on it. Because of this, problem 4 below was made even worse.

4) Post, Bank Statements, Phone Calls

All the post my Dad received was in ‘John Smith’. Even things he ordered online would be posted to that name. Whereas everything that was posted to me had to be ‘John Smith Jr’ or else my Dad would open it. My first job rejection letter, first pre-paid credit card, my ID Age Card, my first bank letter and many other things were all opened by my Dad. The trouble is since Jr isn’t on my Passport or any other official document; I can’t use it where the entity requires an exact match to what is on the document. Sometimes I just forgot to put it on. Other times I didn't put Jnr on was it's a bit like shouting out; 'Hey, do you know my Dad? Well you should...because I have the same name as him!'

5) Getting Jobs

My Dad worked in a senior position in a company so was known by a lot of people, which also meant he had a lot of people who didn’t like him either. When I was looking for jobs as a teen, I faced the prospect of putting ‘Jr’ on my Resume/CV and put the HR person trying to find out who my Dad is or just instantly confirm their suspicion that I am the son of my father, or else leave out the Jr and hope that the company doesn’t know my Dad but still go through the name mix-ups if I get any reply. Even getting work experience placements for school was hard and months later I’d find out that the very people who rejected my application for a work experience placement had actually done business with my Dad.

However, I no longer had to deal with that problem since I moved out of the state my parents live in.

Usher Raymond the fourth;  worldwide superstar singer.
Usher Raymond the fourth; worldwide superstar singer.

6) The ‘Snr’ is a nobody and the ‘Jnr’ is a celebrity

One thing I’ve noticed is that there is a lot of celebrities that are named after their parents, but don’t continure the ‘tradition’ themselves. The best example I can think of is Usher, the R&B singer. Usher’s full name is Usher Raymond IV, his father, grandfather and great grandfather are all called Usher Raymond; and I thought I had it bad! Of course, Usher became 1000x more famous than any of the other Ushers were. Is it no surprise Usher IV didn’t name any of his kids Usher?
Other celebrities include Robert Downey Jr, Will Smith, William (Bill) Clinton III, William (Bill) Gates III, Andre Rieu and Antonio Sabàto Jr. I tried to find some female celebrity examples, but in general being named after the mother is less common in my experience.

Some people who are named after a parent may go through life and not experience any problems but I think as we progress through the 21st century, it's going to be even more tougher for people who are named after a parent. Twenty years ago, no one bought anything online. Fifty years ago, most people didn't own a landline phone. Today, children leave home at a much later age too, meaning they're going to have to put up with the annoyances of being named after a parent for even longer!

If I'm making a simple situation very dramatic, i'm sorry. It's just I myself was continually getting frustrated being named after my father. I'd change my name but it's my name. Everything one accomplishes in life is done with their own name.

It's just sad in my opinion that people have to share the same name with someone so close to them.

Would you name your child after you?

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      Robert Turpin 2 years ago

      My first and Middle name belonged to my grandfather. I looked around the web about naming my son after me...This is by far the most biased article I have seen so far. The picture that Says You automatically assume one lacks creativity is one heck of a snap judgement. same with being egotistical...If anything this article made me want to name my son after me more. It would honor my grandfather and My Own father would be happy to see his father's name live on. I'm sorry you had a rough time of it but this article definitely helped me answer the doubts I had.

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      SoontobeDad 3 years ago

      Naming a child after yourself isn't always a conceded idea. It could be a tribute to your parents thanking them for giving you a name that you enjoyed having or you want to start some new family traditions. There are plenty of legit reasons to name a child after yourself. If you think you are doing it for conceded reasons then you might be. However consider your own motives and move on from there. Stop listening to every one online. They know no better than you do. Sincerely a soon to be dad.

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      SCMFL 3 years ago

      I am named after my father. It is an honor. My father is a great man. I wonder if "nunyabizz" owns a mirror. His/her comment seems very egotistical. How can you judge someone for how they voted. Huge lack of empathy. Disturbing to say the least.

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      Sara 3 years ago

      Wow look I'm the very first or the only person to comment down here.

      Anyway I totally agree that naming the child after one of the parents is a 100% bad idea and you gave a plenty of good reasons; like it being ‘uncreative’ and ‘arrogant’, plus all those misunderstandings and mix-ups with letters and phone calls as well. Sorry to hear about all the trouble you had when trying to get a job; all because the hiring manger thought you were your father or just like him at least, you probably thought “Is that WHY they did NOT chose me at all?”

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      nunyabizz 3 years ago

      All of you who voted yes are egotistical assholes. You should be ashamed of yourselves for wanting to stamp your name all over your kids like they're your personal property with not identity of their own.