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American mom has breakdown after being told she basically named her daughter 'Luigi.'

American mom has breakdown after being told she basically named her daughter 'Luigi.'


I'm an Italian woman who works for an Italian company that has a close working relationship with a few American companies. More specifically I am the Italian liaison of a kinda big department in one of these companies, so basically everything that my American colleagues decide comes through me and I relate it to my Italian colleagues.

In the years I've worked there I've made good friends with some of these American colleagues and this past summer one of them, S (F early 30s), invited me to her house in the US. I had been in the US many times before that, but always for work, never for leisure, so I was really happy!

It's the 4th of July and S has organised a nice party; I meet other people who work for the same company but whom I didn't know, amongst them M (F mid-late 20s) with her newborn baby girl Gigi. I'm not big on children so I mostly ignore the baby, but I talk to M for a while and with other people too.

At some point in the evening M tells me that her husband is Italian too and they wanted to choose an Italian name for their baby to honour his ancestry and they went with Gigi. I knew this name was used for girls in the US, but I didn't know someone thought it was an Italian name.

So I tell her that while Gigi exists in Italy as a name, it is not a girl name and in Italy there's a law that says you can't name a child with a name that it's traditionally used for the opposite gender and 'neutral' names do not exist.

She's like 'what do you mean?' and I tell her that Gigi in Italy is a nickname for Luigi and that if she comes to Italy and introduces her child as Gigi Italians will think she has a little boy named Luigi.

At this point poor M starts wailing, sobbing that I'm just being mean, I'm making fun of her, I'm jealous of her (??), saying that her daughter is not named after a stupid videogame character. I tell her that Luigi (and Mario too for that matter) are completely normal Italian names, that have existed for centuries or even thousands of years before the creation of videogames. This does not calm her down at all.

M is having a nervous breakdown and someone calls her husband (who was at work) to come pick her up. They leave shortly after and I realise I've inadvertently ruined the party for everyone.

Aita for telling this girl her baby's name is not what she thinks it is?

Reaction from commenters:

Jocelyn-1973 says:

NTA. You gave her information about names in Italy - her reaction was very unexpected.

Creative_Tart7794 says:

Nova trended in the US for girls. 'No va' in Spanish means no go. There was also a car company that tried to sell the Nova (a car) in Mexico. It didn't go well.

mouse_attack says:

I gotta go with YTA. A soft one. What was the point? The baby is named. Was she named in ignorance? Oh, absolutely. But they’re not going to rename her.

What you told her amounted to “you f**ked up naming your child,” which wouldn’t make anyone happy. And really neither you nor she had anything to gain from you educating her. The proper response is to say “how cute!” and then gossip about it with your friends back home

bobledrew says:

I did not know the Gigi-Luigi connection personally. I can’t imagine reacting as this person did. And I can’t imagine reacting in any way other than NTA to this story.

throwawayBabyLuigi OP read the comments, and responded with this:

EDIT1: yes, M's husband is not really Italian, just has some ancestry, as far as I know he doesn't speak any Italian nor has been to the country but M told me they wanted to visit with the baby in the near future (that's why I told her that if she introduces her newborn to Italians as Gigi they will initially think it's a boy).

He doesn't even have an Italian sounding name, he's named something WASPy like John Smith Jr.

EDIT2: so the general consensus seems to be that I should have read the room and I agree, I don't generally hang out with mums and children so I was a little out of my depth and I just thought that would have been funny trivia.

Also M had been telling the group earlier that she was upset her maternity leave had ended so soon and hated not being with little Gigi all the time, I should have connected the dots.

EDIT3: please stop bashing on M. Yes her reaction was over the top but she's a nice person, a young mum protective of her child. I didn't mean for this to become an attack on her character.

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