'I picked a traditional name for my son – but people say it's actually an insult'

A mum has shared her dilemma after picking a traditional Hungarian name for her baby, as she has been told the word has an entirely different meaning in English

A pregnant woman's belly with several magnetic fridge letters placed on top. The woman is holding letters that spell out the word "name".
The mum was worried about the name after hearing what the word means in slang (stock image)

For some new parents, picking out a name for your baby can be the easiest job in the world, but for others the process takes more time – especially if you discover a problem with the name you initially selected.

One mum is facing that dilemma right now, as she has recently found out the name she picked for her impending arrival doesn’t translate well in English.

Posting on Mumsnet, the woman explained she and her partner are from Hungary originally and had wanted to call their son Nimród, which is a popular Hungarian boy’s name.

But the mum has since been told that “nimrod” is an American slang word for idiot, and is having second thoughts on the moniker because she isn’t sure how native English speakers in the UK would react.

The name split opinion online, as some people thought it was “lovely” (stock image)


Getty Images)

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She wrote: “We are from Hungary where Nimród is a popular boy’s name, and we’d like to call our child Nimród.

“However, I’ve just learnt that in American slang ‘nimrod’ means idiot, dimwit, stupid, etc. But I’ve never heard this in the UK.

“I wonder how bad Nimród sounds for a native English speaker in the UK. We have no connections with the US and our son would grow up in the UK.”

The mum does have back-up names in mind – including László, Zoltán, and Vajk – but has her heart set on naming her son Nimród.

And her post on Mumsnet split opinion among other mums, with some saying Nimród was a bad idea, and others saying they had never heard it used as an insult in the UK.

One person wrote: “I’d regard Nimrod as an insult too. Laszlo would be ok I think.”

But another disagreed, posting: “Never heard of it as an insult. Lovely piece of music.”

While someone else said: “Yes, I would use Nimrod to mean idiot. Sorry.”

And a fourth added: “Never heard it as derogatory. Personally love it.”

Many commenters encouraged the mum to use one of her alternate names instead just to be on the safe side.

Someone said: “I’d never heard of it as an insult and thought it sounded great – the mighty hunter – but if it’s a known put down then maybe best avoided, or used as a middle name as Americanisms have a tendency to spread here.”

And another wrote: “I’ve never heard of nimrod as an insult.

“I would think of the military aircraft. I would never use it as a name – it would be like calling your child Spitfire etc.

“Though I suppose it could be shortened to Rod, which would be fine, though old fashioned. I’d go for László.”

What do you think about the name? Let us know in the comments.


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