In March, British YouTuber Liana Jade broke down crying on social media after listening to a podcast about “ridiculous” and “out-of- control baby names.”
Though Jade and her partner, Connor Darlington, were not mentioned in the episode, the couple, who have an 9-month-old son, Koazy — pronounced Cozy — did come up in the comments, which have since been disabled.
In a tearful TikTok video, Jade acknowledged that Koazy's name isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” but said it’s “cruel” to mock a choice made by his parents.
“Fully grown adults just sat there slandering my baby’s name,” she said.
There’s no question: People have strong opinions about baby names. Ruby Villarreal, a mom in Colorado, recently went viral with more than 11 million views on TikTok after she applauded another creator’s video titled, “I named adults, not babies.”
Villarreal, 28, has two children: 5-year-old daughter, Karla, and 3-year-old son, Deluca,
In her clip, which focused on Karla, Villarreal explained she wanted to give her daughter a name that she would never “outgrow.”
“I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child and into adulthood,” Villarreal said. In her caption, she noted that she likes nicknames for younger kiddos.
"It doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older," Villarreal wrote. "Just gives them options."
Villarreal elaborated while speaking with TODAY.com.
"She won't get bullied for having the name Karla. And it also sounds professional," Villarreal says.
Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard" and creator of the website Namerology, says that there are no “bad” names, but some names are more flexible than others. For instance, names that have formal and informal versions (think Katherine/Kate/Kitty, or Alfred/Fred/Alfie) give options for different settings and personalities.
Wattenberg says her heart goes out to the British influencers who were bashed for choosing the name Koazy. She says that the farther away you veer from traditional naming, the more controversial your choice will be.
Every 13-year-old hates their name, and every 25-year-old comes to appreciate their name.
Laura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard"
Wattenberg says parents shouldn't stress about giving kids a "professional" name. In many fields, she notes, including sales and politics, people often go by nicknames in order to sound more friendly and approachable.
Wattenberg also says you shouldn't try to pick a name your kid will appreciate.
"You can't predict what they're going to like," Wattenberg tells TODAY.com. "Very often, we name our child with an image of what they will be like when they grow up — and any parent knows that kids can end up surprising you."
The good news is that names generally have a life path, according to Wattenberg.
"Every 13-year-old hates their name, and every 25-year-old comes to appreciate their name," she says. "Of course, some kids do resent their names. Some names do send signals that their parents did not intend."
Ultimately, Wattenberg advises parents, don’t worry about what others think, and choose a name that you love. And if you don't like a child's name? Keep that to yourself.
"My rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't tell a mother how ugly her child is, you shouldn't make fun of its name either," Wattenberg says.