I have regrets. Is it too late to change my two year old daughter’s name?

I say tomato, you say paradicsom.


Dear Funny Problems,

I’m an American woman, married to a Hungarian man. When I was pregnant with our first child and we were deciding what to call our baby girl, my husband suggested a traditional Hungarian name that is beautiful but, to the American tongue, practically unpronounceable. As a compromise, we decided we would put the beautiful, unpronounceable name on her birth certificate but call her a more Americanized nickname. The problem? Once she was born, my husband only called her by her Hungarian name. So did everyone in his family. I started following suit–it sounded so pretty when THEY said it–but to this day, every time I try to say her name with the correct accent, it comes off sounding clunky and I feel silly. Now she’s two years old and I’m getting tired of this feeling (not to mention the weird, judgmental looks I get from people when they ask me what her name is). So my question is: since I don’t know how to pronounce my own daughter’s name, is it too late to change it to something else?


What’s in a name?



Dear Mrs. In a name,

Do I think it’s too late to change your daughter’s name to something else? Absolutely, way too late to give that human a new name.  However, do I think it’s too late to give your daughter an awesome nickname? No. Truly great nicknames transcend both age and societal boundaries. I have two dear friends who we all call “Jelly Doughnut” and “Cheese Fries” who are practically running the world.  Both women renamed (by me) in their twenties. So, re-christening a toddler is really no big deal. And if you can’t pronounce this kid’s name with the proper Hungarian inflection anyway then it seems to me that we don’t have a second to spare. Now while I don’t speak Hungarian all that great, I’m clearly pretty good at coming up with monikers.  And given the limited details I’ve been given, conjuring up this nickname will be my Everest.

What about…….

Daisy.  Short for “oopsa daisy” we gave you a weird name.

P. Diddy.  Renamed after another great re-namer.

-Baby.  Dirty Dancing anyone?  And I bet you sort of call her “Baby” anyway so she’ll just be like, “that’s right, get me out of the corner yo.”

I took a few swings but I encourage you to ponder some unique nicknames of your own.  If this name is given with love then it’s sure to be a home run.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have my own toddler to look after.  P. Diddy!  Put the scissors down!


1 thought on “I have regrets. Is it too late to change my two year old daughter’s name?

  1. Dear Mrs. What’s In A Name:

    Some names have an English translation and unless it is something like Chicago’s translation of “Smelly Onion” it might be a cute alternative. After all, movie stars have named their children: Apple, North and, even, Chicago. It can’t hurt to either translate her unprounceable name to English or substitute the name of a piece of fruit, a direction or even a City. At the end of the day, I don’t think she will ever care as long as you call her with love and since you are trying in every way to make her life perfect, I have no doubt that she will. Remember the adage: “Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet”? The answer is that yes it would, it definately would.


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