A mum has defended her daughter’s unusual name after relatives and strangers mistook it as a slang word for drugs and said she wouldn’t get a job in the future.
Tenille Bain, 33, named her daughter Chree – pronounced ‘tree’ – after her partner Michael, 29, jokingly suggested it.
Despite it initially being said in jest, the Canadian beauty technician loved the name and decided to stylise it Chree in homage to her mum, Cheryl, 58.
But some of the couple’s family were not fans – suggesting the name was similar to the slang word for cannabis – tree.
Relatives were “horrified” by the name at first, but Ms Bain refused to change it and now says the entire family has warmed to “little baby Chree”.
“Multiple people have blatantly asked me why I’d choose to name my daughter Chree,” the mum-of-two, from Mississauga, Ontario in Canada, said.
“People are just so afraid of change – they say they’re afraid she won’t get hired for jobs in the future, or she’ll be bullied in class.
“But in the same breath, she’ll go to school with a River, or a Brooke, or a Forrest.
“A lot of the comments try and find meaning in her name that isn’t there – Chree is not named after marijuana.
“I think her name is beautiful.”
The couple settled on the name Chree Mary Jane, and revealed their choice to family and friends.
At the couple’s gender reveal party in May 2018, Ms Bain got into a heated discussion with some of their family members.
She said: “They went ballistic. They told us that we were being crazy and that we couldn’t do it.
“Thankfully as soon as Chree was born, they learnt to accept it. She’s just our little baby Chree now, even at four years old.”
Ms Bain gave her little one the middle name Mary Jane after her grandmother, 79, making her full name Chree Mary Jane.
The mum posts content online with Chree and her older brother, Tevye, eight, – whose name was inspired by a character from Fiddler on the Roof, one of Ms Bain’s favourite films growing up.
She says people are “hugely judgmental” and see the internet as a “safe, anonymous space to say whatever they like”.
“I had one person say they’d rip up an application if they saw Chree’s name on it,” Ms Bain said.
“Some of the comments can be really loaded – someone said no-one would be able to pronounce it.
“I feel protective of my kids – but I also see it as an opportunity to teach them not to be prejudiced or judgmental.”
Thankfully, Ms Bain receives a number of nice comments from people she meets offline.
She said: “People always say Chree’s personality perfectly compliments her name. She’s very over-the-top, she sings and she dances.
“She’s just such a Chree.
“Fans of Fiddler on the Roof also recognise the reference in Tevye’s name and he’s often complimented on that.
“If I could say one thing to the TikTok haters about my kids’ names, it would be this – they’re names.
“They’re beautiful, and you need to be mindful when talking about children.”
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