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Woman 'ruins' pregnant friend's baby name, 'that's the Portuguese word for nostril.' AITA?

Woman 'ruins' pregnant friend's baby name, 'that's the Portuguese word for nostril.' AITA?


"AITA for 'ruining' a baby name?"

I am Brazilian, but I've been living in the US for 3 years. My first language is Portuguese. I have a 4yo son, and I'm pregnant with a girl due in May. My son is friends with a girl whose mother (I'll call her Becca) is also pregnant. She's due a couple weeks before me, and is also expecting a (3rd) girl. Since we take our kids on playdates almost weekly, we frequently talk about our pregnancies.

Becca is into unique names. Not "Yooneeks" or "Tragedeighs," but names that she and her husband create. It's not my style, but she managed to come up with genuinely nice names both her older daughters, so there was never really a reason for me to say anything.

This time, Becca and her husband had a lot of trouble coming up with a new name. She first brought this up last December. For months, they'd try to create something that sounded good, with no success. We took our kids on a playdate at a park this weekend. When we sat down for a snack, Becca excitedly told me they'd finally settled on a name. I was really happy for her, and asked what they'd chosen.

Narina. To those who don't know, that's Portuguese for "nostril." I managed to control myself, and told her it sounded lovely. But my son let out a giggle (my husband and I are raising him bilingual, so he speaks Portuguese), and Becca wanted to know why. I tried to brush it off, but she kept insisting. Eventually, I told her that while Narina could be a lovely name, it was also the Portuguese word for "nostril."

Becca seemed really sad to hear that. She said she'd think of something else, but had fallen in love with Narina. After we went home, Becca's husband called me. He was furious at me for ruining the only name they had agreed on. Apparently, he had a fight with Becca because she told him she wanted to think of something else.

He argued they'd "never visit Brazil anyway," so they shouldn't have to change the name, but Becca refused to use Narina. My husband agrees that their fight is not my fault, but thinks I didn't need to tell Becca anything, since Americans are unlikely to know what Narina means. AITA?

EDIT: This was not my son's fault. He is 4 years old and had an honest reaction to hearing a baby would essentially be named "Nostril." I get that some people might think I was the AH, but don't blame my child for this.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

testmonkeyalpha said:

NTA. I'm shocked they didn't bother googling their name ideas as they came up with them. I see narina as nostril on the first page of search results.

StAlvis said:

NTA. It's not ruined. They're not even Portuguese! And FFS, they could always change the spelling if their panties are THIS twisted: Nerina, Nirina, Narinaa. (Do NOT tell me what awful things THOSE mean).

Ok_Expression7723 said:

I googled it. Narina is a type of bird. And it means ‘fresh, pomegranate flower’ as a Persian name. NTA but they way overreacted. Many names and words mean something different in another language.

At least the word is innocuous. The name Bill sounds like Bil in Dutch, which means buttock. Do you think people are going to stop using Bill as a name? William has to be one of the most common names in existence. Todd is the German word for death. She needs to chill and just use the name she likes.

Doktor_Seagull said:

NTA. You weren't really given any other choice other than to explain your son's reaction. Even if you had managed to brush it off there is a high chance your son might have spilled the beans at a later time (like after her child is born).

Young kids rarely know how/when to filter things, and that goes double if they are a chatty child. Knowing the name has an unflattering translation in another language obviously bothers your friend, if she had found out anyway after naming her child she might have been upset with you for not saying. This is one of those damned if you do and damned if you don't situations for you.

But definitely NTA for their argument. All you did was give her the truth, it's up to them how they use that information. It's not your fault they are disagreeing, that's on them. Friend's husband is TA for confronting you.

HolyGonzo said:

Just about ANY name you can think of can be connected to something else. John is a common English name but it can be used to refer to a toilet. At a certain point, you just have to let go and not worry about what it could mean in some other language or some other circumstance. I don't think you're an AH for just informing her of a language translation. She's not an AH for being worried about her kid being laughed at. Her husband is a bit of an AH for blaming you for his argument with his wife. NTA.

SkynetMCP said:

NTA - her husband is. That is completely unacceptable behavior from him.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these friends?

Sources: Reddit
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