Couple nearly divorces over baby name

Once upon a time, a Chicago couple “quarreled over naming the baby until they landed in a divorce court.”

The year was 1914, and Mrs. Eleanor Nesfield wanted to name her baby girl Dodo. She’d discovered the name in a book — likely either Dodo: A Detail of the Day (1893) or Dodo’s Daughter (1913), both by E. F. Benson.

Eleanor’s husband, Mr. Edward Nesfield, “violently objected.” He didn’t like that Dodo was the name of an extinct bird. (Apparently he didn’t mind that it’s also a synonym for “simpleton”…?)

Judge Sullivan suggested that the couple name the baby Dorothy. “This name would comprise all the letters in “Dodo” and not hamper the child with the prehistoric bird’s terrific atmosphere.”

The baby’s mother “reluctantly consented” and the couple “left the courtroom arm in arm.”

And they lived happily ever after. The End.

Source: “Judge Named the Baby.” Toledo Blade 17 Dec. 1914: 6.

UPDATE: Here’s another post you might like: Couple Divorces Over Baby Girl’s Name.

6 thoughts on “Couple nearly divorces over baby name

  1. Thanks for posting this! I have an elderly aunt whose name is Dolores, but has always gone by the nickname “Dodo.” I always thought it was just something made up, but now I’m wondering if her parents were inspired by the books you mentioned.

  2. funny how parents pick names my parents picked mine from a hat because they couldn’t think of one it made me quite sad for a while to say the least.

  3. I loved this little tale because it brought back fond memories of my Aunt Dodo. Dodo was born in 1913 and called by her full name Dorathea when she was young. I’m not sure how Dodo got her nickname — maybe from her 16 years younger sister whom she helped raise, but to may siblings and me, she was our dearly loved Aunt Dodo.

    Interesting about her name too was that Dorathea was not spelled the usual way (Dorothea). Dodo was named after her maternal grandmother who was sometimes called “Dora”.

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