Naming A Child After Someone With Weird Name

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    John Doe

    Grandmother is niftar, einikle is born and your expected to give the name.

    Problem is, the name is something like “Hencha”.

    What is the solution?


    Give the name. It is fine.


    2 names, one hencha one whatever, call her the whatever


    Give the name, call her something else.


    Henchie …. Henchele…. di host gezehn mein henchkes? Just kidding. I think the name is kinda cute.

    Good Jew

    If you feel uncomfortable with the name, take the guts and don’t give it to your child.

    Giving two names and not using one name is absurd. The kid nebech has this name attached to him/herself, and the person that is officially being respected by giving the name to the child is not repected. To the contrary, he/she is being disrepected by purposefully avoiding to use his/her name.

    Who cares what parents and grandparents think when it comes to this issue. It’s your child. Do what YOU think is right. They will eventually get over it, but you might not.



    There is a reason why we name after other people. It is not only about a name it is about the person who bore that name. When we give a name our hope is that the child will carry the good middos and character of the person we name after. When we give a name we honor the niftar and the family involved, it is so much more than JUST a name. It is a kovod to the child to be named for that person. There are so many fights and bad feelings in families because of the name issue. Is it worth it? Why do you look at it as just a name? Did you know the nifteres? Were you close to her? Was she nothing more to you than just a name?

    Who are you hurting by not giving the name? Is it worth it? What type of person was the nifteres that you are supposed to name after. Are you being selfish not giving the name in the scheme of things? Think about it? What is in a name? If goyim can give names like spring and summer, and they make up names by combining two or using the first letter of 5 names to come up with words that they turn into names to be unique, then why can’t a child have a name like “Henchy”? What is wrong with that? You don’t have to call her Henchy if it grates on you, give her a nickname like Henny, but you will still cover all the bases and you will still be able to tell her about the wonderful person she was named after.


    Kids ARE affected by their names. Personally, I wouldn’t use a Yiddish name to begin with, because it is no more Jewish than an English name (but that’s another discussion thread). I only named my kids in Loshon Kodesh. If a name is really unpleasant or funny-sounding and could lead to the child being made fun of, DON’T DO IT, no matter how choshuv the person was, whose name you want to give your child. And if your last name might be problematic when the first name is added in, I would also think twice (like naming a child whose family name is “Berlin,” Chaim.

    Fast Forward

    I would make sure the real name is Hencha. I knew someone who was called Hancha, but the real name was Chana. It could be worse though, I knew someone who wanted an einekel named “Schwartzel”. Suffice to say, that did not wash. (I think in Polish, it was Charna, but alas she was Hungarian.)


    Maybe find a Hebrew equivalent?


    What about last names (Family names) that originated in a different culture (In Europe, for example.) but sound very weird in English? I personally know a family whose name was very elegant in their country of origin but sounds degradingly funny in English. Some family members have altered the spelling to take away the sting of its meaning.


    I was named Eclipse and I don’t mind at all.


    i have some close relatives who were named after someone and it is an uncommon name, and they are a little resentful about it. How about two names (like some of you have mentioned) and only call them the “normal” one? or is there a hebrew/lashon kodesh version of that name? such as zehava/goldie faigy/tzippora… tzvi/hersh


    My apologies to anyone who has either of these names, but whenever I need to use a weird name in conversation, I always say “Shprintza Genendel.”

    When one of my friends became a bubbie for the first time, we were discussing possible names her son and daughter-in-law might give the new baby. I said, “As long as it isn’t Shprintza Genendel.”

    Turns out my friend loved that name and wrote it down to suggest it to her son. He had other ideas, though. Meanwhile, she is still holding out hope for a Shprintza Genendel in her family.

    So it seems beauty is in the ear of the beholder.


    Giving 2 names is worthless. The point of naming after the niftar is so it should be a iyluy for the neshoma, giving 2 names is like naming after somone else!


    your expected to give the name.

    Ultimately, you and your spouse have to be happy with the name you choose.

    When Eeees and I were expecting, we, of course, listened to suggestions regarding what to name our upcoming children — but we were never “expected” to choose a particular name. Ultimately, you have to remember that it’s *your* child — not your parents’ child or your in-laws’ child, or anyone else’s. You have to pick a name that *you* (and your spouse, of course) are comfortable with. No one has the right to “insist” that you choose any name over any other name.

    The Wolf


    Giving 2 names is worthless. The point of naming after the niftar is so it should be a iyluy for the neshoma, giving 2 names is like naming after somone else!

    Since I have two names, I guess there is no point in my descendants naming someone after me when I’m gone. 🙁

    The Wolf


    I dunno I wouldn’t mind being called THE WOLF!!!


    Wolf – you misunderstood brisker. He meant giving a child two names, with one of them being after so-and-so. brisker is saying that is not really naming the child after the so-and-so.


    My Hebrew name is Bracha Chamah.(laugh track please)


    Trying my best – Thank you for undestanding me correctly! Wolf – Please dont twist my words!


    eclipse: You made a typo. You put an “m” instead of an “n” in your second name.



    You’re right and wrong.

    You’re right that a person shouldn’t name a child after 2 grandfathers, as neither grandfather has his name anymore.

    but the gedolim say if you’re stuck with a name like shprintsa, instead of not giving it at all, name here Bracha Shprintsa, and call her Bracha so everyone is happy.

    PS same applies if grandfather was a rasha, but family expects the name, give that name but have a tzaddik in mind.


    Trying my best:I meant a takeoff on Birkas Hachamah cuz my name is eclipse.Guess my jokes need rashi sometimes.


    If your asking permission to NOT name after your grandmother and that’s why your here you’ve come to the wrong place. Go to your parents and ask permission there. Work it out with the family because those are the people who you are going to hurt no matter what people are saying here. The hurt is going to be huge and it is going to last a long time.


    haifagirl-for wierd names my father used to say Shprintza Genendel Muska.. i dont think its gets much wierder than that…


    My parents had to name me a name that was not common at the time (now it is) so they added a name so that in case I didnt like the first name I can be called the second name. Happens to be that I love my first name and don’t really like my second- more normal name. So you never know.


    I am a gabbai in my shul.

    We make a misheberach for the cholim avery time we lain.

    Some of the names I come across are unbelievable.

    Rabbi Moshe Weinberger in one of his tapes lists all the aveiros that parents are oiver everytime their child suffers embarrasment from their name.

    Parents do what is best for the child.

    The child was not put on this earth to suffer permanently just to feed some family members ego.


    My sisters name is hentcha, and my parents gave her a second name so she wouldn’t be called Hentcha, turns out hentcha stuck anyway, and I love the name, because I love my sis 🙂


    Hencha is most probaby derived from Chana (Chana = Hanna = Hancha (Polish diminutive) = Hencha). I’d name her Chana.

    Eclipse, you made me LOL, literally. You have a great sense of humor.




    maah- I dont think its an iyluy for the neshamo, It might be nice memory…


    Just out of curiosity has anyone who commented been on the giving or receiving end of this situation?


    The Gerrer Rebbe Pnei Menachem once had a father come to him asking about a name, a very funny yiddish name. The Rebbe asked him, did you ask her? He answered yes my wife agrees. The Rebbe said, no i mean did you ask the baby girl if she agrees to that name. Do not give that name.


    The Rebbe said, no i mean did you ask the baby girl if she agrees to that name.

    I understand the point the GR was trying to make, but, nonetheless, it leaves an interesting point.

    Many people are unhappy about their names even if they are perfectly legitimate common names. Presumably those people were not asked about their names before they were given them as well.

    Would the GR have said that such people have a claim against their parents? And if so, how can a person name his child anything?

    The Wolf


    You do not have to name your child after anyone. You are under no obligation, to anyone, to name your child with a name that they want.

    If you are being pressured by a parent, grandparent or other relative to name after someone, there is one and only one response. Thank you for the suggestion. That’s it. After that, its a decision you make with your spouse. You had the kid without anyones help (except of course hashem) and you’ll name it without their help (of course, you’ll need siyata dishmaya).


    As a mother who was in a “name the baby situation” and a grandmother who was in “you should have” named the baby situation, I have to reiterate that it is not so simple. For all we do and give to our children generously and for all our children expect of us all we ask is that you honor our parents by giving a name for them so they will be remembered. We will not love the baby any less, but we might choose to compensate the parents less for being less than generous in return.

    In addition, those grandchildren who are named for their great-grandparents will inevitably wind up with heirlooms and other chashuv items that were once owned by those family members, it is just what will naturally happen. By choosing that the name is “weird” and discounting the importance of that family member you are choosing to cut your child out from future inheritance that may cause them to feel jealous and have bad feelings down the road. It is just human nature. My grandchild who is named for my father will get my father’s things. My grandchild who is named for my father-in-law will get his things. My granddaughter who is named for my mother-in-law will inherit her things, and in the future, my first granddaughter who is named for my mother will get her ring. That’s just the way it is.


    aries2756–that doesn’t seem fair. Only the FIRST grandchild who is named after a grandparent should inherit items from that grandparent? I have 3 married children and they each have sons named after my father and another 3 named after my father-in-law so only my oldest grandchildren should get anything? All grandchildren should be treated equally.

    I also agree that new parents should not be coerced into giving any specific names. A lot of times the daughter-in-law (or son-in-law) is assumed to be the one who doesn’t want to name the child after so and so. That is not always the case and either way the children should not feel obligated to do something that they don’t want to.


    Every time, when my daughter having a new baby, she and her husband ask me or his parents (depend of who’s family turn) if we have any wish (not a suggestion!) regarding the name. It does not mean they always follow our wish. They make own decision, but they always give name after someone from our families. It is parents right to name a child, but I like the fact that my father, a”h, had his grandfather’s name and now my grandson has this name.


    Philly, is that what I said, only the first? Right now I have one named for each, and I said the first one named for my mother will get her ring. There is only one diamond ring. What will be in the future I don’t know, so please don’t jump to conclusions or put words in my mouth.

    I have 3 married children. My daughter is the only one who chose to give names for family members both for our side and for her husbands side. Every child knows who they are named after and they are very proud of it. They have seen pictures and have heard stories of the family member whose names they share. My son who chose not to name for my husband’s mother, recently gave a name for my husband’s father because he is very proud of the family name. He will learn about his grandfather and he will get his grandfather’s things. His father already has his Pesach kiarah.

    As far as kids doing things they don’t want to do, don’t we as parents wind up doing things WE don’t want to do? Don’t we always jump in to do things for our kids that our parents didn’t do for us because our kids want it, not necessarily need it, and we don’t necessarily want to do it, but they expect us to? Just asking. Shouldn’t our children be at least as generous when it comes to honoring our parents?

    so right

    aries, by us its no problem, as the kids are richer than the parents and so don’t need their bribes. The kids are doing so well, they could buy their kids more diamonds than the parents could pass on to them.


    SR, b”h, may they continue to be blessed both with children and riches!

    I was thinking about this and I realized that it my be a European vs American background. As a second generation Holocaust survivor we were raised to honor those that lost their lives in the Holocaust. When we had our children we asked our parents for a list of names to choose from. It could have been their brothers or sisters as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We chose from the list they gave us and it didn’t even occur to us to just pick a name from a book or whatever. Maybe others, who didn’t have that experience and didn’t have the same connection being a descendent of survivors don’t have that same strong feeling or conviction. It might also be a strong family tradition brought from the “alter heim” which we just feel is very important as the other traditions that we hold on to in our families. That might just be it, it might just be a family thing.


    If you wouldnt like to have that name would your child?


    Joe, well the trend in names change, so that would all depend on how many girls in her class have the name and what is popular in her circles. In my circles the name “Mushka” wouldn’t fly but half the Lubavitch population at this point have the name Mushka and they are proud to carry it. Yoeli’s are very proud to carry that name but that wouldn’t fly in the Lubav circle’s, I didn’t particularly care for my own name when I was a kid but I grew into it as an adult. My daughter hated the way I spelled her name and swore she would change the spelling when she turned 18, but at 18 she liked being unique. So whether an adult likes the name or not, a child who was given a name at birth knows only that name and has no reason not to like it unless the parent puts the name down.

    There are plenty of Yentie’s and Yita’s and Henchi’s and Lipa’s and any number of names our “modernized” young people don’t particularly care about. And when I say modernized I don’t mean MO, I mean Americanized who would rather call their Rivka’s Riki, and their Liba’s Libby and so forth. So you can’t know in advance what your child would like her name to be or if they will or won’t like their name. And of course there is no guarantee that the name you like and choose that has no connection to family anyway is a name they will like regardless of whether you like it or not. Kids are kids and they can always be mad that you didn’t choose their best friend’s name that they think is prettier and way cooler than their own. So you can’t win no matter what you do.


    Giving names is a family issue and not a world issue. Heads up to families who continue giving names that others turn their noses too. In our families names as Zlate are given proudly. Those children with different names are tops in all areas that make others wish to be able to give different made.


    Discussing the Name

    The naming of a child should not bring any type of machlokes into the family because it is a danger to the child.(10)

    Although according to the basic premise of the law, there is no

    concern with discussing the name beforehand, nonetheless, the custom is that one should not discuss the name with family members before the name is actually given.(11)


    Y.D. 116:107, Zocher Habris page 146:21, Keroei Shmo page 100, Sefer Habris Page 320:28.


    13. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita and others are lenient. Refer to Igros Moshe E.H. 3:35, E.H. 4:102, Otzer Habris

    the English name on the birth certificate (Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita).


    eclipse- good joke- i was wondering why you would disclose your name on this thread…

    I have some relatives with names im not so keen on, i hope they should just live and be well!


    Had this problem many times. Once we didn’t want to name a baby after a very beloved grandfather for legitamate hashkofik reasons. And my mother would never have asked me to even though I know how badly she wanted it but we try to name very carefully. I ended up reading three books/magazines during my last month that all recapped the SAME dvar torah about schar for kibbud av v’aim. I felt that it was a sign but couldn’t rectify the issue. In the end he was born over two weeks late on that grandfathers birthday. (After checking with our Rav) we gave him the name which was “Yirachmiel” which means “Hashems mercy” with the kavvanah that Hashem should have mercy on people who have to name babies in order to give their parents kavod. (Even though my mother MORE than deserved it. If my grandfather had not run away from home to escape Torah it would never have been an issue).

    oomis – whenever I see your posts I could swear you are my other screen name.


    We lost a very special friend with a name I hated. I wanted to give the name anyway but he died young and so had the person he was named for. We were told we could use the name and just add another one but I was nervous. In the end the baby was born on the parsha with that name mentioned in it. I figured that was my answer.


    I know of someone who had an “icky” name and before she died told everyone to name “x” instead of her name.

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