Who Should Have the Final Say, Mom or Dad? [Poll]
|23 September 2013|
When it comes to names, who should have the final say, the mother or the father?*
In April of 1914, a Los Angeles judge “rendered a decision that a wife has absolute authority in the naming of children. The husband has nothing to do with it.”
The ruling was made in the case of Chrystos Malamatinos, a Greek, who insisted that his baby daughter be named after Helen of Troy. His wife, and American, insisted on Muriel, and the court sustained her choice and ordered Malamatinos to pay the family $5 a week.
According to records, his name was actually spelled Christos Malamatinas, and his wife was named Esther May Reynolds.
They were married in 1912. Their baby girl was born in August of 1913.
Esther had discovered the name Muriel in a novel. When Christos learned that she had named the baby Muriel, he left home in protest. He was eventually charged with failure to provide for his family, and that’s how the couple ended up in court.
Now for a pair of polls:
Here’s a similar poll, Antoinette vs. Annette, if you’re interested.
And here’s a court case like the one above, though I don’t know what the outcome was.
*I’m using heterosexual terminology here, just to keep things simple, but feel free to open things up and discuss other scenarios — homosexual, polyamorous, etc. — in the comments.
- “Greek to Stay in Jail Until Muriel is Helen.” Chicago Daily Tribune 15 Apr. 1914: 14.
- “Wife Has Absolute Right to Name Children.” Evening News [San Jose] 17 April 1914: 5.