Mum left furious after discovering daughter’s name is offensive

A mum has been left furious after a friend told her the “true meaning” of her newborn daughter’s name.

The new mum picked the name as it had been her nickname when she was travelling in Ethiopia, but the friend was quick to point out she hadn’t got the translation quite right.

The issue came to light when the anonymous woman was visiting a friend’s house and another woman, known as Mary, came over, reports the Mirror.

As the woman chatted, Mary asked the woman what her ethnic background was and she explained she was Ethiopian.

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Mary opened up about the time she’d spent in Ethiopia for an outreach programme when she was younger, and how the people, culture and traditions impacted her.

During her time there she’d been given the nickname ‘Yema Yimechi’ by the locals, which she translated as “beloved one”, and because she loved it so much she decided to name her newborn daughter it.

But the name didn’t mean what she thought it did.

The woman said: “I asked her if she was serious. She told me she was and well Yema Yimechi (correct spelling is የማይመች and the closest English spelling is yemayimechi) does not mean ‘beloved one’ in Amharic.

“It actually means uncomfortable/inconvenient/imbecile depending on how you use it.

“So I told her the true meaning. Mary is now very angry with me and refuses to accept that she named her child an unpleasant/offensive name.”

“Mary left angry and Alice is now upset with me for hurting Mary’s feelings as she feels I shouldn’t have told her.

“I do feel bad as she seemed genuinely hurt by it and I don’t know what to do or how to fix hurting Mary’s feelings.”

The woman explained that although she apologised to both Mary and Alice at the time, she still feels awful.

She added: “I definitely shouldn’t have said ‘Are you serious?’ But I was genuinely surprised and thought she was joking. When I did tell her the meaning I did my best to tell her as gently as possible, unfortunately it still hurt to find out the true meaning.

“I did not tell Mary the meaning of the name in front of Alice, I actually told her in private as Alice was in the kitchen and we were in the garden. Mary went and told Alice what I said.

“I think one of the main reasons she is upset is realising that the people she thought she was helping clearly found her to be a nuisance or inconvenience that they had to endure.”

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On Reddit, the overwhelming response from users was that she did the right thing by telling the mum as she would have found out at some point.

One person said: “So she’s angry at you for being honest about something you had no control over, as if she wouldn’t have been equally upset if she found out from someone else later and you hadn’t been honest with her now.

“Also, the kid definitely would’ve found out through the internet sooner or later even if no one ever told Mary.”

Another added: “‘Ah these people and their culture mean so much to me, I really love them’ *Has never bothered to learn any of their language.*”

A third said: “The people who told her it means beloved are playing the long game and I respect their energy.

“Also, would you not CHECK your translations? I triple check my drinks order in Spanish before I say it and this woman took someone’s word for her CHILD’S NAME.”

Liverpool Echo – What’s On