How to tell brother I don't like his name choice — The Bump
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How to tell brother I don't like his name choice

My little brother and his wife are TTC and, if they have a little girl, they want to name her Kaelyn (or some deviation of that particular spelling) Rae.  Kaelyn is my brother's feminization of a character (Kalam) from Steve Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen and Rae is my middle name and in line with family tradition. 

As much as I'm touched that my brother would want to use my middle name (and not some other R name), I also find Kaelyn to be really really nauseating--it is trashy, trendy, and juvenile.  My mother absolutely loves it, and it really isn't as bad as some of the other name choices he's thrown out there for boys or girls.

During our conversation at dinner, he had indicated other people at work had expressed dislike for some of his other names but that this was one name no one had disliked.   

Is there a tactful way to tell my brother that I really do not like his name choice? Or should I keep my mouth shut knowing 1) they aren't pregnant, or, even if they were, 2) it may not be a girl and, even if it was, 3) it is not my child?

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Re: How to tell brother I don't like his name choice

  • the name he chooses for his child shouldn't affect you. do you think he will change the name based on what you think? when people tell me they don't like the names i have picked out, i don't care because i love them and their opinion doesn't matter to me. kaelyn isn't a bad name anyway. it's not like it's something obnoxious or made up.
  • I haven't had a problem with it before.  In fact, some of the names we liked were vetoed, because of people sharing their opinions and associations. 

    EDIT: And I do believe he'd consider changing it, as he has decided not to go ahead and use Kalam for a boy's name due to people's dislike.

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  • I think you summed it up in your last paragraph. Keep your mouth shut knowing 1, 2, and 3. I happen to agree with you about their name choice, but I've also kept my mouth shut about a family member's naming style, she happens to think you neek names are special and wonderfully smart and make children stand out as special magical unicorns, and the names she like most people would think that she's not educated at all. She happens to like names like Jerzee and Mykynzy, I'm grateful she didn't use them, but I bit my tongue when she mentioned them. Not my kid, I don't have to like the name.

  • Why bother telling them? It's not your baby to name.

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  • I think it depends on your relationship with your brother. I would have no problem telling my brother I didn't like a name he was thinking of using, but we have the kind of relationship where that would be expected. I think if you have to ask though, you might not have that kind of relationship.
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  • I know two women that named their girls Kaelyn. Not sure if they're spelled the same way. While it's NMS, I think it's a decent name, and I do like how it sounds with Rae.

    I think you should leave it alone. If it was Kaiyelynne Raigh, then I'd consider speaking up. 

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  • I wouldn't say anything. I didn't like my cousin's choice for her son at all wasn't my child to name, i never said anything. Even if my brother or sister came up with a name for their future child that I didn't like, I wouldn't say anything. I would only be honest and speak up if he directly asks your opinion on the name, otherwise, i'd keep silent.
    Liliana Seraphina born 9/5/2103

  • The only time it is acceptable to comment is if they directly ask your opinion. If they ask, you have no reason not to be honest.
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  • It's none of your business, you should bite your tongue. 
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  • I wouldn't say anything. I like Kayla, but I was considering Kaelyn ( but since I wanted the middle name to be Lynn, I decided against it) 

    I don't like that my Dad already said he didn't like the name I picked... and my sister is already annoying me that I want to raise my kids my way (meaning, she's always picked on me for being a geek... I married a geek... our kids will probably be geeks too)


    Since you say that he may change it, I would be careful how you phrase it... you don't want to insult him, but also you never know if when they get pg if they will still like the name

    Eat your food people. You are pregnant, not made of glass. ~PrimRoseMama
    The Benes Boys were born 9/3/13! woooo
  • If my brother asked me my opinion I would certainly tell him the truth. If he didnt ask I wouldnt say anything.

  • It's absolutely none of your business what name he and his wife choose for your niece, and as PP already said, no good can come of telling him you don't like it.

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  • other posters said, if they don't explicitly ask your opinion of the first name, I wouldn't say anything. It's just not your place.


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  • I don't see why you care, why you have such hate for Kaelyn or why your brother cares what so many other people think.
    O 10.08 & MJ 6.10
  • My stepmother is not the biggest fan of the name I am going to name my daughter which is Sophie.  Idk why she doesn't like it she just doesn't.  Anyway, she kept trying to make other recommendations for names.  It started when we went to dinner where she threw out 20 names all of which I didn't like.  She then proceeded to text me names randomly after we had explained at dinner that we were pretty sure we were going to name her Sophie.  I entertained her during dinner but she just got annoying.  I had to finally say point blank, this is the name we like and the name we are going to use and so it is not changing.  

    I personally didn't care that she didn't like it.  It didn't change my opinion on the name.  It just aggravated me that she kept pushing the point.  I don't think it matters if you like it or not.  Unless he asks for your opinion on the name I would leave it alone. 

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  • Ok, the main thing is that they're not even expecting. Here's the reasons to keep quiet. 1. The reasons you listed. 2. Kaelyn isn't the worst name ever. Sure there's way better out there but there's way worse. 3. People tend to want to do things more when you tell them not to. 4. No reason to stir up drama over a baby that doesn't even exsist.
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  • Maybe I'm a bit biased, but my name is Kaelynn. Everyone always tells me that they love my name because it is unique and pretty. 

    Beyond that though, your brother and his wife aren't even expecting a child yet, and it is none of your business what they want to call their child. If my sister said she hated my choice in names I would be incredibly offended and angry at her. 
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  • I wouldn't tell him you don't like it. As much as you dislike the name you should respect that it is not your decision to make.
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  • imageMrs.G123:
    Why bother telling them? It's not your baby to name.

    Agreed. I don't think any good will come out of dissing a name they love and at the end of the day, any potential daughter they have will be your niece and you'll love her regardless of her name. 

    (That said, I hate the name Kaelyn but if they like it, more power to them).

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  • Well, your opinion doesn't really matter. He can name his child whatever he wants. What ever you say about the name, he's going to remember. If you must, I'd keep all this in mind and tell him in a polite way that it's not your favorite.

    Mother of  Sable Rene' & Clifton Michael
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  • For some reason it's the emphasis on the "I" in this that bugs me.  it boils down to semantics, but your emphasis on how YOU don't like this name, it doesn't sit right w/ me.  It's very clear that you expect him to change it if you tell him you don't like it.

    He hasn't asked, for one.  They aren't PG, for two.  And they may never have a girl.  Or if they do - by the time it happens, they may change their mind.  Who knows.

    But you SO do not have a say in this.  And your emphasis on the "i" in this - you seem to think you do.  You don't. 

    Sit back and be quiet.

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  • My sister's name is Cailin. It's actually pretty popular. If he was naming his kid something absolutely terrible, you might want to bring your opinions into the clear. However, Kaelyn isn't really that weird nowadays. It's just a matter of taste. Keep your mouth shut - it's his kid.
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  • I don't think you should give your opinion unless you're asked.  Kaelyn is totally NMS either and if someone asked about it here I would say so and why, but it's not a name that is going to offend anyone or cause your (as yet unconceived) niece a lot of grief, given all the other unusual names out there.  Besides, it sounds like he could do worse, and might if you talked him out of it.
    DD born 10/10/07 * DS born 11/25/11 * #3 due 3/9/2015
  • I'd keep my mouth shut.
  • Tell them in song-format.  Unwelcomed opinions are always more acceptable when delivered in a catchy tune and 3 part harmony.
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  • You don't tell him. It's none of your business.

    Are you new? lol. 

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  • It is not your place to tell him. I would keep your mouth shut, for sure. I would be very upset if a sibling told me they didn't like the name I chose without me asking their opinion.
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  • its not your kid. keep your mouth shut.


    I don't like my sisters' kids name choices but I've never told her. there is nothing good that comes out of that. ever. 

  • It's none of your business what he names his own child. You have no say in the decision. Just suck it up!
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