What are the ethics of naming your child — can you use someone else's baby's name? #I've got a parenting question!#names#pregnancy#starred March 6 2013 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. By: jetsandzeppelins – CC BY 2.0 I'm 38 weeks pregnant and was recently added to a "Local Moms" group on Facebook. It's a small group — and I live in a small town. In fact, I only know one other member of the group — the rest are an online support system. One of the moms recently asked about her baby's first shots, and I fell head over heels for her baby's name — completely smitten. I gushed on her post, and she seemed thrilled with my response. As days went by, I couldn't stop smiling and giggling when I thought of the name — I know it's meant for my baby, and my husband feels the same. Except… I feel guilty about the idea of "stealing" this beautiful name. I know it's not truly a one-of-a-kind name (the name is Indiana — both a state and a well-known fictional character), but I know that the parents worked quite diligently to find the perfect name for their baby. I decided to send a message to the mom to explain myself — I don't know the sex of my baby, so we might not even use the name, but I'm in love with it. She responded saying "I was trying to be unique… but what can you do?" Am I able to take this as a begrudging blessing to use the name, or do I need to forget about it? What are your thoughts on the niceities, norms, or ethics of naming your child? — Saska Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS DIY marshmallow shooters for kids of all ages NEXT Are there creative alternative uses for a yearly diary? Show/Hide comments [ 245 ] Our son's name is Brewer, after his great-grandfather's middle name & a family maiden name. In our tiny town, there happens to be another Brewer, 3 months older than him AND attending the same pediatrician's office! I had been made aware of this by our L&D nurse who had delivered the other Brewer and I was excited that there was another one in the world, because it meant he was unique but not too crazy! When I met the other mom, though, I introduced myself and was really excited that our kid had the same name. She was LESS THAN THRILLED about it, and kept saying "well, they will go to different high schools." I guess she wanted the only Brewer in the world! (as a funny side note, her name happened to be Genevieve and I am Jenna, which I thought was hilarious because they sound so similar…) I think if a name is right for your child then use it. It might be weird if you were using a name from a friend or a family member, but an online group? Totally do-able, in my opinion 🙂 Reply I LOVE your last paragraph, and totally agree. I knew someone who named her child after the state that bordered the one we lived in, and then was ruffled that someone else named their kid the same thing. I think at least part of the contemporary emphasis on unique names is due to the generation of parents who were born in the late 70s and 80s and grew up knowing 18 people with their name (example: I was born in 1985 and know SEVERAL Stephanies) just really wanting to set their kids apart. I totally feel that, because it was a conversation my husband and I had as well — picking a name that's not used often but is conventional enough. Reply There needs to be a book or list somewhere of these kinds of names. "Not overly-used/popular, but not too eyebrow-raising." Sigh. We don't have kids yet, but we've had a girl's name picked out for years. We simply CANNOT decide on a boy's name though. Seriously need a list of names like that… Reply We read a book that had a bunch of unique names, but it was sectioned off so you could explore different names by theme…so there was "Family Names" section and how to go about choosing a unique family name, there were other sections like "Colors" "Celebrities" "Things" "Old names" (all my paraphrase, I can't find the book anymore). It was so helpful to go through the process they offered and see different ways that Colors could be 'offbeat lite' or 'whoa, offbeat' because we were looking for something unique but not so weird that we'd get a ton of random questions about it. It was nicer than just reading through lists and lists of names…that got too overwhelming for me! Reply It was called: Names to Grow On. Choosing a Name Your Baby Will Love. Thanks! I will have to check this out! I actually love the idea of thinking through the PROCESS of picking out a meaningful name, instead of just trying to find a name you like. Thanks again! I think my parents did a good job of naming the 4 of us. They picked exactly those kinds of names- not too popular, but not eyebrow raising and "what were you thinking" inducing. We've got laurel (me), Wyatt (that's only recently become popular), Clark, and Lillian (we always just called her Lilly). Looking at name lists, it is really difficult to do! Reply Nameberry.com and the book Beyond Ava and Aiden were helpful for us with our kids! We were in a similar what-do-we-name-a-boy place, and then we had two. 🙂 Devilishly difficult. (We ended up with Kai and Miro, FYI.) Reply My husband and I are in the same boat! We can think of tons of girl names for future children, but no boy names. I love vowel-filled (especially A) names like Anya and Adelaide for girls….but can't think of anything for boys. We'll probably get screwed with male triplets or something. The only boy names I do sort of like are more geeky science/literature names liked Edison, Atticus, or Sagan. But seriously, does it set the kid up for a lifetime of teasing if his name is Sagan? Reply OMG Anya is our future-girl's name too! haha, shhhh…. don't be saying it out loud here! Ah well, maybe it becomes popular before we have kids… sigh. I like your boy names, and at the very least I think Atticus is not a teasing kind of name. Personally, I love "D" names for boys, like Dante and Darius. But apparently my husband associates those names with very specific people and thinks it would be way too weird. 🙁 Good luck! My husband and I also have tons of girls names we love (and we've definitely chosen Ivy for our first-born girl), but very few boy names. Funnily enough, though, the only boy name we sort of agree on is Atticus! I'd never met anyone else thinking of that for a baby name before 🙂 *squeal* Anya is my baby girl's name. (pronounced on-ya not Ann-ya). I met so much negativity when I told people my decision. "Onion?" "Anya, what's that?" "ewww" etc. Not very supportive friends and family, and my mom just about died when I told her it's after a video game character. Plus her name is Anya Ann which is really close to the same name. But on a non bragging note, I kind of understand the other mom. My son's name is Cooper which is far from unique, but then one of my husband's good friends had a son named Cooper last year. Suddenly I keep getting "Coop" facebook updates and mutual friends posting about how adorable Cooper is, only it's not my Cooper they are commenting on. I felt that pang of irritation more than once. I would never just stop hanging out with them, or even bring it up to them, though.It's just one of those things that if you feel like you have to do it, then do it. She may be irritated, she may not get over it, but in the end it's your life and you can ignore it. It's certainly not the worst thing you can do. Aiden? No, that would be RAD!!! Yay Sagan! 😀 We know a Sagan, and in fact he's been on Offbeat Families several times (most recently here: http://offbeatfamilies.com/2013/03/siblings-in-rainbows) My son Sagan is 4 now, and I've never had a moment of regret about his name. I think it's the perfect balance of geeky/unique but not silly-sounding. It has some gravitas. And unlike my name, which was entirely made-up by my normally conservative father and took me a long time to grow to love, there's a simple explanation. Sagan was named in honor of Carl Sagan, a long-time hero of my husband's and an inspiring human being. We even wrote an email to the Carl Sagan Foundation when he was born and got a sweet response from Carl Sagan's widow Ann Druyan. Naming our second son was trickier. I would have liked to come up with something more arts or literature inspired to balance out the science. If only Keats had sounded better with our last names! We finally landed on Kepler (for Johannes Kepler). I loved the sound of it, it went well with Sagan, and the nickname Kepi is working out well for our sweet baby. The funny thing about Kepler is that it's apparently somewhat popular, at least in Seattle. I have yet to meet or hear of another Sagan, although I'm sure they exist, but everybody seems to know a boy named Kepler. I even discovered that the woman who runs the preschool Sagan will attend next year has a little Kepler. I was hugely pregnant when I toured the school, and I made sure to feel her out. I told her we were considering the name, and fortunately she was supportive and enthusiastic. From what I've seen so far, Sagan and Kepler are far from being the most "teasable" names of my kids' generation. Most parents want to be unique, and the most "normal" name at Sagan's preschool is Dylan (a girl). However, since I remember growing up as Joriel and wishing I was a Jennifer, I did veto Sagan's choice of name for his little brother: Jupiter. I agree that it totally sucked having such a popular name. (There were 5 other Stephanies–various spellings–in my graduating class. Of 59. That means 10% of my class was named Stephanie.) My sister and I have had several conversations on this. She chose to give my nephew a very unique name–Calix, while we are leaning towards traditional yet unused names–pulling from literature. Reply Aside from the current comments lol I have know only 4 or 5 other Stephanie's my whole life. There was only one other in graduating class ('99), for me my name was always the "normal but not common" unlike my guy Christopher (who has chosen to not shorten it to Chris, for the sake of individuality). We're planning on leaning more towards less common names, that may end up being the next Michael or Jennifer LoL Reply Love the name Calix. Makes me think of the calyx of a persimmon, which is little-known but very useful ingredient in Chinese herbal medicine. Tea made from persimmon calyx is a sure-fire fix for stubborn hiccups–just a random fact in case your sister or nephew get a kick out of stuff like that! Reply Yup. My name was in the top 5 girls names for several years around when I was born and I've always found meeting other people my the same name to be unnerving and uncomfortable. Not to mention potentially confusing! I don't much like it when I know two people with the same name, either. It's confusing and it just makes my brain hurt:/ Reply My given name is Carolyn, which was not at all common. I've met maybe four in my entire life. So that's kind of nice. As long as I am okay with constantly being called Caroline for no apparent reason. One of the reasons my parents picked it is that it had a lot of options for variation too. I could be Lynn or Carrie and probably some others, though I've actually only ever been Carolyn. My best friend's name is Sarah and that was tough. She never responds to her name because there are so many of them. I can't call for her in a crowd! Reply That's so odd, cause my grandmother's name was Sarah but I only met maybe one other Sarah in my life. Yea, I hate my first name so much. Growing up my first name was very common; there was always at least 1 (often more) other girl with my name. In high school there was even a girl with my same first and last name. So we had to use middle initials instead of last names. It sucked so much. I always got asked which one I was and regularly got her papers returned to me by mistake. I go by my middle name now and changed my last name as soon as I got married. I still cringe internally when I meet someone with my first name. I'd hate for my kid to have the experience did. However, I don't think it would be a big deal if they knew one person with their name. Reply Yep, I was one of three with the same name in my class (12 in our year of 150 kids), and as the least popular I got stuck with the unwanted spelling (Vicki) since the teachers wouldn't allow us to use the same names on homework. We also all had the same middle name. I've loathed my name ever since, especially trying to create a professional identity since my full name is shared with a semi-famous jazz singer and a lot of adult entertainment performers. I'm very nervous about choosing names for our baby because I want to allow them as many escape routes as possible, I'm scared they'll hate me whatever we choose. Reply There is definitely some terrific irony in this comment being the first response to this post; my heart just jumped and I actually teared up a little when I saw your son's name. My husband and I have our female option set in stone for hypothetical baby #2, but we've been flummoxing over options for a male name. I hope it's okay for us to put this name on the table! Reply It's your baby. Nobody owns a name. Finding the right name is a big deal. To me, naming your child with the perfect name trumps "dibs." Reply I *still* regret not using a name that I adored for a decade that some friends snapped up a couple years before my son was born… of course now we don't see those friends as much as we used to, and it would have been totally no big deal to have used the name. Reply My parents were in the same boat. Their best friends had the name they liked, but their daughter was 2 weeks older than me…of course the friends moved after a few months and we haven't seen them since… Reply You ended up with a pretty fantastic name anyway, though! 🙂 Reply Well, thank you… but CEDAR FETZ STALLINGS!? Come on. That would have been awesome!! The alliteration alone is fabulous, but then there's the fact that I grew up surrounded by cedars and, guh. *avoids thinking about it* Reply So funny see comments about names with "Stallings" …Not planning on having kids in the near future, but any future kids would have your last name! It's pretty awesome to see debates about great sounding names with my future last name (I'm planning on changing my last name once my fiancee and I get married and would give any kids our shared last name). Reply That's my last name too. I don't hate it but don't love it, so my partner and I followed convention and gave the kid his father's last name. If I had been using my last name for my child, I wouldn't have named him Nicholas. Any first name that ends in S is a parsing problem with a last name that begins with S–NicholaStallings–and you end up having to pause in order to say it clearly. Something to think about. Ironically, when my Nicholas was a baby, my dad learned that our first Stallings ancestor to come to the U.S. was Nickolas Stallings. I guess his parents didn't mind juxtaposing the S's! I'm dealing with this right now. My good friend named her baby a name that I loved and when she told me my first reaction was "oh no, that's what I wanted to name my baby!" Now I'm finally pregnant with my first and she's due with her 2nd a few weeks after me. Practically speaking it would just be annoying if I had a girl and named my baby her daughter's name since we hang out so much. Hopefully I won't feel disappointed if she moves away and we rarely talk in a few years. Reply This reminds me of a kind of funny story. Five years ago I got a puppy and after a lot of consideration I found the name Thea and named her that. (She's a very small dog and I wanted a short name with a big meaning). When I told my best friend, she got this devastated look on her face. She told me that was a name that she was considering for her future daughter and now she wouldn't be able to use it without people thinking that she named her child after my dog! But a few months ago she had a daughter and had another name that was perfect. Reply This thread is cracking me up. Similar to Ariel, my mom chose a name (Shannon), but then she wasn't pregnant after all and it turned out my aunt was. She named my cousin Shannon. When I arrived 2 years later my mom named me Aja, and I'm forever grateful that my aunt stole Shannon, because it just isn't me. But then, a few days after I was born, my mom caught up with an old friend who had just gotten a puppy, which he had named… Aja. Reply I was waiting tables when I was pregnant, and trying to come up with a traditional Italian name (to go with our last name) which didn't strike me as totally cheesball. One of my customers had a tiny, adorable baby in a Moby wrap. While making conversation, she told me his name – Mateo – and his nickname, Teo. I loved it. I felt that it was right. I added an extra 'T', to change it from a hispanic spelling to an Italian one, and it stuck. Three months later, that was the name we chose. We especially love the nickname. A year and a half later, we were playing at the park, and another mother overheard me talking to him, and said "excuse me, what's your boy's name?" I told her, and she said "oh, that's so funny, that's my son's name too. We also call him Teo." I looked at her again and realized that it was the same woman who I'd waited on two years ago! I somewhat sheepishly told her, worried that she'd be offended, but she was tickled and glad that she'd helped me find the right name. Reply Two means "gift from God" in French, making it popular in Francophone countries in Africa. I met an awesome little Teo in Rwanda in 2011. Funnily enough, it also means "buffalo" in Hebrew. Just a little trivia for your Wednesday. Congrats on your little Teo! Reply Hello, I'm french native and have never heard this. Teo or Mateo? I'm curious now, will have to go dig, hmm… Reply Actually, Matteo, Matthew, Mateu, Matieu etc. are all versions of a Hebrew name, Mattityahu, meaning "gift of God". In Italy Matteo is a very popular name, I think it's constantly on the top five. I'd be curious about how anglophones pronounce it 🙂 Reply I love the name Matteo/Mateo too! I first saw the name on Offbeat Mamas (a post about a nursery with a "Where the Wild Things Are" theme), but we already knew we were having a girl. We found the female version, Mattea, and changed the spelling to Mataya (we have a thing for the letter Y). The first time we said the name out loud, we knew it was the perfect name for our little one! Reply My mother named me after a waitress! My parents were 8 months preggers, had boy names and no girl name. One night they went out for pasta and the waitress's name on the back of the check was Terra Lynn. I have met other Tara s before, but never a Terra. Course, they named my younger sister after our two lovely grandmothers, but I ended up with a random waitress's name. Another thing to consider: Don't give your children rhyming names. We had a Sara and a Terra in the house, and it was confusing! We also have the same birthday, and having rhyming names, everyone assumed we were twins. Reply Oh man, or even names that end the same. My family has a "Hilary" and "Kory" that always get confused, and "Sabrina" and "Amanda". They sound pretty much the same when parents are yelling lol. Reply I can imagine that some parents would be pissed if someone "stole" their name (an online group I am a part of just had a thread about this – some so-so friends took her favorite name after she mentioned it. And in this case, she wasn't pregnant and had no plans to be, just a favorite name. She was upset. So it can happen. BUT! That doesn't mean that you should decide to go with another name unless you want to. Name your child what you want. I have a friend who named her child the same thing as another mutual friend, and then she named her next daughter nearly the same thing as my daughter (her daughter's name ended in -e instead of -a). I couldn't care less, and my daughter's name isn't common. I would take a second to reflect on if losing this woman as a friend/acquaintance would bother you, or if any resulting mama-drama would bother you. I'm not saying it will happen, but it could. People can be petty, and yeah, it would be nice if no one cared about something like using the same name, but sometimes people do. Since you live in a small town, you will likely start running into this woman as time passes. School, sports, summer camps, parks, etc. It would be ridiculous for someone to hold a grudge that long, and you likely wouldn't want to be friends with someone like that anyhow, but it can cause some discomfort. I don't know if talking to her beforehand would be something you're comfortable with, but maybe consider it. Reply I share a name with a cousin. Nobody cares. I say go for it. Reply Same here, at least until I got married. My name was Christina Cordina and my cousin's name is Christopher Cordina. Yet, we both went by Chris. Actually, it was kinda fun.. We were known for getting in trouble and really close friends. When one of our mom's would yell "Chris Cordina!" We would both look at each other with a "Is it you or me?" type glance. They ended up using our full names (we each had different middle names), giving us enough time to run. LoL! To be honest, it didn't really bother either one of us. If anything, we are closer due to our similar names and antics. Best part is, our mom's are still totally close friends. <3 I say go for the name that you really want. If the other mom is a true friend of yours, this shouldn't separate or tarnish the friendship. Reply Haha! I share a name with a cousin-by-marriage, and it doesn't bother either of us either – even though everyone else seems to think that it should. There was a long debate over which of us should be "Big Liz" or "Little Liz" (I'm a decade younger and a head taller), and then there was a period of people addressing us as "Liz Sr" or "Liz Jr" and that felt kind of … grody. We're fine having the same name! We can usually tell who's talking to us because they're, you know, addressing us directly. I wouldn't assume that the person who makes eye contact with Liz and says "hey, Liz," is talking to me – but the whole family still thinks the whole thing must be mind-bendingly confusing for us both. Reply A tradition in my dad's family is to name the eldest son Alan. It's a big extended family, and as a result of most people in multiple generations following that tradition there are 5 Alan's, an Alison and an Alistair who all get called some variation on Al. It's actually a lot less confusing than you would have thought 🙂 Reply It's your child whose name you will use for the rest of their life. How long will you be in contact with someone online?? If you love the name and it is perfect for your baby, then use it! There is a much bigger picture to look at than another mum with a grudge. Reply I had my baby names picked out since high school, when I meant my now husband. A few years ago I told my names to a pregnant friend while we were discussing what to name her child, (she had a really difficult last name to match with). And low and behold she named her child my name. At first I was miffed, I had that name picked out for YEARS. But she had not named him for 3 weeks, trying out two names to make sure the one she picked was HIS name. And she was right, when you meet him he is TOTALLY a Benjamin, there is no other name that fits him. And when I had my son last year I decided I would let him pick the name as well and he was NOT Benjamin, it didn't even cross my mind. I named him Preston, it was the name I thought when I first saw him. For 3 days he was Preston and after calling him Parker for 2 of those days I called the hospital to have them change it on his birth certificate. Moral: A babies name is their name, go with the flow and do what feels right. Reply I hope that happens with us. I was in love with "Lily Evelyn" for years. Mentioned it to an pregnant acquaintance and sure enough, she named her girl that. I like the idea of letting the baby dictate the name instead of having it so set-in-stone. Reply DO NOT mention baby names to hormonal pregnant women. Haha 🙂 Reply I think this is the real moral of the story here… Reply LOL, right? Mostly what I'm getting from this conversation is that I shouldn't tell any of my friends who may potentially procreate before me any baby names I really want to use. 😉 That is interesting. 🙂 I'm glad it worked out for everyone involved. My mom had a similar experience. She told me that my parents had planned on naming me Elaine. After I was born and she was holding me in her arms, she told my dad that I looked like a Michelle. He agreed. So I agree with Monica on going with the flow and doing what feels right. If you and your husband love the name and it feels right when you meet your baby, then go for it. That said I can understand if the other mother is a little disappointed. Maybe because my name was in the top 20 in the 80's (as Stephanie mentioned earlier in the comments), I've liked unique names for my possible future children. But ultimately that is something that is not completely in anyone's control, which I'm sure is a valuable parental lesson in itself. In the end, our children will be special snowflakes (just like everyone else) regardless of how many people have their names. Reply Someone online who you sort of know? Go for it! I'm due in 6 weeks and I've asked my husband to not discuss our chosen baby names with other couple friends who are expecting because I don't want them to love the names and then call their baby the same thing. I did tell my co-worker's wife who is due… right now! … and she kept saying "oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE! that name". I don't think her husband would go for it, but, if they announce the birth of their child and have 'taken' the name… What can I do? The name is meaningful to us and I will know they will have got the idea from me anyway! A BAD idea is to name your -dog- the same name your sister-in-law told you she wanted to name her future child. I know someone who did that! (She says she doesn't remember that conversation!) Reply Ha, your last comment made me laugh. One of our favourite names for a girl is Molly, which is my grandmother's name. Except it's also his sister's DOG's name. Oh well. The girl will have a little friend with the same name! How cute is that? Reply Molly, Bella and Sophie are the top three girl dog names right now. Reply My name is Molly and about half the people I know seem to have a dog named Molly! Reply I hear that soooo much. And as for the original question, I think you've just got to do what feels right. It didn't sound to me like she was condemning the idea or a close friend. It's your baby right? Congrats!! It actually kinda annoys me when people – ie anyone, not people I know personally – give their dogs a people-name. It's not as if anyone is likely to call their son 'Patch'. Reply Hey, if people can name their kids Hunter or Duke (which are legit names for people or pets for the record) then it's only fair to let me name my pets Paul or Lisa. 😉 Reply My friend has a cat named Dave :-3 I had a dog named Jax several years before it started becoming a popular name for people. My current dog is Samwise, after the hobbit, which gets shortened to Sam – and Daughter's best friend is Samantha, also shortened to Sam sometimes. Which can lead to amusement. lol I have 2 brother dogs named Ayden and Cayleb, and ironically when I named them I had forgotten that an old friend has a son named Cayden…… Also I had a dog named Drake and my best friends daughter named her first son Drake…. No big deal… I know a set of (human) brothers that are named Hunter and Fisher. Their father's (nick)name is Mutt. *shrug* Do what makes you happy and name your son Copper and your dog Todd! That would actually be fairly epic…. When I was quite young, my aunt had a cow that needed a name, and I told her to name it after me. Which she did. I don't regret it (it's not like the cow and I were often brought up in conversation together), but I don't think I'd make the same request now 😉 Reply My dog is Chloe and my husband's cousin just got a stepdaughter by the same name. I think it's most confusing for my 2yo Reply Ugh, three of my close relative have named their dogs names on my baby list (Gracie, Lucy, Annie). I can't bring myself to "reuse" the names even though they are JUST DOGS. We find out in two weeks if our baby is a boy or a girl. No names set in stone but now I have three to cross off the list. Reply We had a sort of opposite problem, in that we had a dog (first) with a name that we really wish we'd saved for the kid. The dog died an early, horrible neurological-disorder death so it was both barely used and unusable forever more. Reply My number one girl name was the name of the cat I had from birth until we were 13. Is that weird? **shrug** The only ones who will really know are my family and they already think I'm bizarre for marrying a much older mixed-race dude, so whatevs. 🙂 Reply My little one's middle name is my maternal grandmother's maiden name. Which I also gave to our family dog in high school because I thought that no one would ever name a human child after Geraldine. (I still wouldn't saddle a child with Geraldine, but I did grow to love her quirky last name enough to use it for a human child:) People in my family love that we used the name for him, and no one thinks it's weird. Same story here… I named a pair of hamsters Stella & Violet, then one cannibalized the other and I had to give her away. Luckily I convinced a co-worker who LOVES purple to call her dog Violet, and a good friend of mine named her daughter Stella, so the names live on! Reply My mom named me Elizabeth and one of her cats had the same name back in the day. It hasn't been weird and it's better than the other cat's name – Squeaky! Reply Ha, my husband loves the name Cassandra and named his first cat that…. but now whenever we bring up potential baby names he gets so frustrated because he would want to name our daughter Cassandra but doesn't want to have a pet of the same name! 🙂 Reply We're fighting this same battle right now!!!! He named his cat Zoe cause he always wanted a daughter with that name. I cant stomach the conversation of "hey darling, we named you after a CAT" 🙂 Reply My ex had had a name for his first daughter set in stone. When he cheated on me and got another lady pregnant, it turned out she had a name chosen too. To this day I still crack up thinking about how he was forced to name his daughter "Zoey" when his puppy is "Zoe" and how I share a birthday with the baby! Reply Haha. My nephew's name is perfect for a dog. I would never tell my sister that though! Reply My mom did that! She hated the name that my sister-in-law chose for her (as of yet unconceived) first born and so she bought a dog and named him that. A few years later, my sister in law stuck to her convictions and when she was pregnant, kept the name thinking it could be a funny story. Sadly, he was stillborn and it's not a funny story. Reply A work colleague is named after her Grandma's dog. Not the other way round! That must have been a bit awkward when she asked her parents the story of her name…. Reply My brother and I are named after goldfish that our Mom had in college. If the name fits, roll with it. It's a good story for us now! Reply Ha! My high school best friend turned out -at birth!- to have a twin sister, who then got the cat's name and the cat got rebranded so to speak! The cat's-turned-sister's name was Sarah anyway, so nothing pet-like, but I've always loved this story 🙂 Reply We named our daughter Aurora, which was the name I gave my first female rabbit thinking my husband (who likes names like Harriett and Byron) would never go for it. After 6 months of trying heaps of different girls names with little to no success finding common ground (except for Lilah, until my BIL said 'sounds like lilo' and my husband vetoed it too) he said he liked Rory – and Aurora it was. Actually, we've given our animals loads of awesome people names. Felix, Marmaduke (Duke), Aurora, Coco, Alice, Esme, Huxley, Jasper. 3 of those are twilight names, though thats co-incidental. Stephanie Meyer does have good taste in names, which partially makes up for her poor grammar and insipid unlikable Bella. Reply Our son's name is Jasper — we didn't know he was a Twilight character, but loved how the name is vaguely southern (we're from Alabama) but still sounds a little classic, and isn't overused. My faaaaavorite girl name is Rosalee after the Chris Robinson Brotherhood song, and I don't know if we'd ever even have a chance to use it for a kid, but hypothetically if we did… we'd have two Twilight-named kids. Reply I say unless it's a family member who already has the name, it's fair game. People who are possessive over such things are silly. Reply I'm not quite yet pregnant. (Going through fertility and in the 2ww as I type). My husband and I have picked a few names and have them set up for birth order but we are not discussing those names with anyone. Part of that is Jewish tradition, you aren't supposed to use your baby's name until after he/she is born (for boys not technically until the bris but I doubt that will happen). We are however nicknaming the unborn baby Benjamin simply because he/she is already so expensive! Naming a child is a completely personal decision and one that no one has the right to judge, even if you are "stealing" someone else's name. Names are not copyrighted and we can't control where we are inspired when choosing. Go with what feels right to you and hopefully those you are inspired by will be complimented by your choice. Reply Teeny tiny note: we try to avoid acronyms (including fertility acronyms like 2ww) on Offbeat Families because so many of our readers are unfamiliar with them. More info here: http://offbeatmama.com/2010/09/why-i-hate-parenting-acronyms Reply To translate the acronym for those unfamiliar with it, 2ww = 2 week wait. Reply Haha, I thought you ment second world war (like, a really hard and crappy experience…) Reply And to further explain that, it's the two weeks between ovulation and the possible onset of your period where you are waiting to see if you are pregnant. Reply Which, as someone who has just waded into the murky waters of the mainstream pregnancy forums, is much appreciated! I have spent the last couple of months making up my own definitions for those acronyms, all of which are better than the real ones. Also, I once wrote a terrible rap using almost nothing but pregnancy acronyms. Reply I need to hear this rap! Reply Our daughter's name is fairly unique but one day our nanny informed us, there was another that they kept running into at other playgrounds. I was amused to hear it, no biggie. The parents of the other girl had a second daughter, with an equally unique name. The pair are adorable. We entered into a new nanny share and the daughter's name was a somewhat unique nickname. As we were getting to know each other we discovered their little girl's full name is the same as the younger daughter in that other family. I never would have guessed that I'd hear of four girls with two unique names between them, and similar ages between them as well, would be running around on playgrounds together. It's pretty funny to tell the truth. 🙂 Reply Now I am wondering what those two unique girl names are! Reply Me too!! Reply I think it really depends on how you are related to the person. Someone you know online a little, not a big deal. Your sibling or close friend, I think that's a little different and I would probably try and think about something else. I think it also depends on how common the name is. You want to name your son John but your friend just named her kid John, not a big deal. You want to name your kid Excelsior even though your sister just named her kid that, I'd say that's a bigger deal. In the end though, you are going to be calling your kid by his/her name for a long time, so you should really like it a lot and worrying about a little drama that will probably pass shouldn't derail you from a name you love. Reply Agreed! Everybody seems to be of the "no dibs on names" camp here, but I would be pissed and hurt if somebody did it to me. It depends on the popularity, the closeness of your relationship, etc. Apparently the poster met the other mother online, but it's a very small town. Are they both lifetime residents? Will the two Indianas be a class together throughout school years reminding her that her daughter's name is no longer as unique as she thought? Trendy or traditional names are bound to be repeated but I would not use an offbeat name that I got from a family we would cross paths with often. Reply My cousins son's name is Indiana nickname indi. I love it and think its adorable. If you like it, I say go for it. Reply And if the author's kiddo hates having a unique name, they could go by the nickname Ana. Totally normal. 🙂 Reply I feel like we need to get over the idea of unique baby names. When I was a kid there were 3 other Kellys on my street, 2 Erins in my grade, and we all lost count of the Katies (Irish neighborhood, much?). Now people freak out if anyone they've ever met has the same name. It's interesting – unique names are definitely on the rise. According to the social security administration, the percent of babies represented by the top 1000 names has been slowly dropping over the last decade or so. We decided we don't want to use the same name as anyone in the immediate family, mostly because it makes weekly dinners are grandmas REALLY confusing. But other than that, I think anything is fair game. Reply There were 4 Katies in my AP English class, myself included. We were all seated one after another, so there were a row of Katies, making it extra confusing when the teacher called on one of us. We all eventually became known as Katie Lastname because otherwise it was too confusing. But if your child shares a name with one or two other kids? Not a big deal. Reply I wasn't even the only Kelly F in my class, so all through elementary I had to write "Kelly Fa" on all my papers. The real kicker was that we had the same middle name, so anything with initials needed four letters as well. I'm a big fan of interesting middle names. They make a good backup if there's name confusion. Reply Your story reminded me of the fact I went to school with a Katherine Rose Flaherty who had a brother named Sean Patrick Flaherty. There was another brother-sister pair in the school who had the same names, middle name and all. And they were in the same grade as their counterpart. Their grades kept getting mixed up in the school's system. Reply I agree that people can get too hung up on uniqueness (myself included) but there is a difference between copying an unusual name within the same year and independently choosing the same name. My best friend's mom told everyone her chosen name during her pregnancy, but then her cousin gave birth a month earlier and used "her" name so she chose another. I heard this story when we were in high school and her mother was not a petty or bitter woman, this was just one of her biggest disappointments in life. Reply I'm trying to get over the need to have a unique name. While we have a ton of different interesting ideas for girls names, the only boy names my husband and I can agree on are all in the top 20. I was totally against this for a while. Then I realized that my name was second in popularity behind Jennifer for the year I was born and my husband's name was 13th. We are not permanently scarred from this. Our children will survive if they have to go by "first name last initial " every once in a while. Not only that, but you can't really predict popularity . My friend thought she was choosing a relatively uncommon name 9 years ago, but now her daughter is in a class with 2 other Isabels. Reply That's a good way to look at it. I had a laurel, Laura, and Loren in 2nd grade, 3 Jonathans in 5th grade, so I've always wanted to avoid that with my kids. My husband however likes the "normal" names you hear all the time. If we are lucky enough to have a kid we will have a difficult time agreeing! Reply My husband and I don't agree much at all. He likes girls names that were popular when we were growing up to the point where I'm thinking "so were these girls you had crushes on in high school or something?" I like fancy names that he can't stand, probably because I have always thought Amy was a little boring. The only names we agree on are what my coworker calls "old lady" names. Oh well, our child will survive. Reply With our first son, we were all set on a name. A week before he was due, we found out that his first name was second or third popular for boys in our state. I went through a whole panic (I was 39 weeks pregnant and emotional, after all) about this until I finally realized that I still loved the name and even if it was popular, I wanted it. He's now 4, and we rarely run into another kid with his name. I know a few older boys with his name, and once in awhile I hear someone yelling it at the playground, but it's really not that common. I think, as others have said, the diversity of names make each name less common even though it may still be highly ranked. Reply I don't know…sometimes it can be confusing. My name isn't super common, yet I worked for a season at a small department story where there was another Jamie, AND a Janie, AND two of my corkers including my boss both had lazy eyes. I never knew when I was being spoken to. Reply No kidding. Go to a cemetary, and about half of the women buried there are named Mary or Ann. The men are are James or Joseph or George. Though…there are also plenty of unique names, both in how old fashioned the are (Constance, Gertrude, Prudence) and just oddball. I have a great great great something uncle whose name was Orange, and I guess somewhere I have a great great great something aunt named Lettuce. Reply I have a great grand-relative named Fairybelle. I shit you not… Reply I've always been fascinated by names, and I love my role as a Sunday school teacher because I get to watch naming trends! Current trend: names ending with 'N'. Alden, Carson, Jaxon, Mason, Jalen, Aidan, Kaden, Madison, Peyton, Braelynn, Ethan, Hayden, Logan, Brayden, Jordan, Austin, Addison, Lillian, Keenan, Brooklyn, Tristan, Megan, Galen, Jaden… <– all actual names from my class 🙂 Reply The official statistic in 2009 that 36% of baby boys in America have names ending in N. More info: http://andrewgelman.com/2009/05/14/the_trend_in_la/ Reply I know, right? What's with the "?ayden" thing? Every little boy's name is Jayden or Hayden or Kashmayden. It's funny how these things really do run in trends. Reply If you love the name, then go for it! Especially as this sounds like a person you don't know well. We named our little girl Storm, for lots of reasons, and while we wanted a unique name I would have no issue of their being another Storm in her class or hearing of someone else with the same name. I think getting possessive over a name is really silly. My little sister, now 18, has grown up being in the same schools and now college with another Mathilda Elizabeth and its never bothered either of them, they've always been friends! Reply If I had been a boy, my mom wanted to name me Ryan. I have a cousin (about 9 months older than me) named Ryan. Apparently it caused quite the stir amongst the family. We have different last names, his family lived in Indiana, mine in Texas, we hardly ever see each other. My mom probably would have done it if I had turned out to be a boy! Like other commenters said, no one owns a name. If it were me, I'd name your child the name you love. Reply Our son's name is the same as our friends' son. We liked it and we used it. We thought they might be offended but they were/are totally cool about it. Their second son's name is the same as a mutual friend's son's name, too. We just have to say "MY-so-and-so" sometimes! Our daughter's name is becoming popular in our social circle, too. I say use it! Reply I find the whole 'owning a name' thing odd, but maybe that's because I grew up a Jennifer? Plenty of us around! We are naming our daughter Gwendolyn, which is unusual in our area. However, I met another momma online who has a Gwendolyn, and thought it was awesome! I suppose I look at it as, this other woman out there loves my baby's name as much as I do! And that's neat! Reply Have you heard the song 27 Jennifers by Mike Doughty? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nN_5kkYR6k Reply Lol! I sure hadn't, but that definitely made my day. 😀 Reply Oh man, do I ever have opinions about this. I don't think you really have the right to own a name or really hold a grudge about someone using one you like. My best friend and I were due within 6 days of one another and we only told one another the names just in case we had the same ones in mind, but if we had fallen in love with similar or the same names it wouldn't have been the end of the world. Luckily we had fairly different taste. She, however, was in love with my friend's daughter's name (Ava), who she had only met a couple of times. She almost didn't use it, but I convinced her that my friend wouldn't care and she should go with what she wanted. When I mentioned it to my other friend, she said she'd have been weirded out if she hadn't used it because of her. So there's that. We kept our names under wraps because my family is mostly teachers and I wanted them to meet our baby and associate the name with her instead of with a child from their classrooms. We wanted to use a name from my side of the family for a middle name and when I told my mom this, she suggested that I run the names by my cousins in case they wanted to use the same one. I refused. None of the men in my family would have cared, and the women either already have a couple of kids or are no where near having kids themselves. The ones who already have a couple of kids didn't run their ideas past me, and I would have told them not to worry about it if they did. If they did happen to want to use the same name as us, it's really not a big deal for second cousins to have a name in common, especially considering for our child, it's a middle name (plus how awesome would it be to have 2 kids named after you?). Basically, I think people are generally pretty reasonable about these things, but there will be people out there who you might not want to share a name with and who might not want to share one with you. It's up to you to decide what you want to prioritize. Reply I worry about this in relation to a pregnancy loss forum I post on where parents have chosen names for their lost babies. By definition, they won't be going to school together, but it can cause real pain to a parent after a loss, even if the use is unintentional. Reply This, definitely. I'm really hesitant to tell people the name of the baby I lost- Lillian Alette- because while lillian wouldnt bother me- being so common- Alette really, really would. I don't think I could be around their child. Fortuately (or not so fortunately) my second miscarriage doesn't run that risk, as the baby was known only as little Bun. bun in the oven? Yeah. In the long run though, I thin it would depend who it was and if they asked. If a good friend asked me, I'd see it more as honoring her memory than "stealing" a name. Reply My mum lost a baby at full term and had a friend "steal" the name. They weren't friends after that, and even though they just drifted apart, I wonder if it was worth the pain it caused? I know a name is important but eesh. (I am genuinely wondering here! Not judging, just…. not sure what I'd do in that situation!) Reply This is definitely a big consideration. My aunt's daughter was killed in a tragic accident, along with the father, when she was a year old. A year after that happened, my mother was pregnant with me and was in love with that name, and briefly considered using a variant of it, before ultimately decided that it would have been a very cruel thing to do to my aunt. Reply Agreed. I love the name Adele and it would be absolutely perfect since my future husband is French and we would want a name that works in French and English. But I had a cousin named Adele who died of SIDS. It happened years and years before I was born but I know that my aunt would be really upset if we used that name. Reply I would strongly suggest to anyone who wants to name their kid a "place", i.e. Brooklyn, Savannah, Indiana, etc, to visit that place and know a little about it first! Sometimes the "place" won't match you or your child at all. I say this because I live on the Indiana border. I love the WORD Indiana, but the PLACE…*cough*. Reply For me, baby would be named after Indiana Jones. Total badass 😉 Reply That was the name of my first dog, which goes back up to the comment about people's pets ruining perfectly good names! Though, we called him. Mr. Jones 🙂 Reply Shouldn't that have been Dr. Jones? 😉 Reply That's funny, because Indiana was actually the dog's name according to the third Indiana Jones movie… Or Dr. Indiana BONES! XD Yeah I'm a Savannah who definitely wasn't named for the city. Reply That's exactly how I thought of it. Reply Such a tricky one. I commend your desire to be sensitive to the other mom. How would you feel if the roles were reversed? And how important is it in the long run? Certainly no child will suffer if they share a name with another child. So, if we take the kids out of the equation, we're left with the parents. It's not like you're going all single white female on this woman. So yes, a relative stranger may deserve some consideration, which you have done (above and beyond, even), but it's not copyright infringement. It's a baby name. She got it from somewhere too…. Reply Hi All. Thank you SO much for your encouragement and thoughtful responses. To clarify, I do NOT know the other mom. However, I did message her, and she responded as posted above. A few days later however, she wrote back, in much more detail. She used very strong words, including "breaks my heart" and "feel robbed". She also told me that she would have been fine with it had I come up with it on my own, and that had the two little Indis ran into one another one day, that would have been fine, neat even. And to be honest, I understand where this other momma is coming from! That's why I wanted to talk to her in the first place! However, I found the whole "encounter" so uncomfortable, that I really don't feel I could possibly name my baby Indiana now, as there are very strong, sad, feelings attached to it (from the other momma). And I find it so sad that I tried to do what was right, but letting her know what I was possibly planning, when, had I not said anything, everything would have been fine in the end. Baby hasn't come yet, and we're still undecided (we're big believers in letting baby name itself), but I just don't know if I can name it after another baby, when the other momma was so against it…. Reply Oh man, I am so sorry. I am sure you would be able to get over the bad feelings attache tdo the name, since your kid and your family will be around a lot longer than your brief relationship to the online mom. But on the other hand, make sure you let yourself recognize that things have changed, if you need to, and to go with that flow and know that another, equally perfect name will come up, even if it's after you meet your child and have gotten to know them a little. I am pretty sure you will end up loving whatever name you give him/her, and even names are permanent if any problems come up. I just say go with what feels right, after it all, and try not to think too much into it or about it. Good luck! Reply Where exactly does she think most people come up with names? I seriously doubt they "came up with it on their own" – they likely saw or heard it somewhere and liked it (whether they remember that or not). Reply Honestly, if you love the name, go for it. It sounds like this woman is creating drama for herself, and you don't need to buy into it. Making choices to appease someone else's crazy is a huge waste of energy! Reply Ugh! Such a bummer, I totally understand you not wanting to name your baby that now. I wouldn't have seen what the big deal was since she was an online acquaintance, but since she expressed such strong feelings I would feel uncomfortable too. I also think she was being a little overdramatic since you don't even know each other! Reply here's the thing. it's one thing to want your kid to have a unique name outside the top 100 or top 500 names in the country. it is entirely another thing to want your kid to be the ONLY one with a certain name. if she wanted her kid to have a truly unique name, she should not have named it after a movie franchise and a state. she should have invented a name, mashed up some syllables she liked and added a Z or a silent G. please let her know she should do that for her next special snowflake. i too prefer special names outside the top 1000 for my babies, but i recognize that i am the product of a certain time and place and culture. other moms like me are possibly going to like the same names as i do. it's a very human thing to give your kid a connection with a name – that's WHY we like family names, historic names, place names, pop culture names, etc. she can have her feelings, but that doesn't mean that her feelings are right or should sway your opinion. i do feel that she is intentionally trying to create enough bad associations with the name for you to put you off it – and unfortunately, it sounds like she's succeeded. let your baby choose its own name, but certainly dont let some stranger on the internet talk you out of a name you love. in all honestly, you probably love it because of your associations with the movie franchise, and hearing it on her kid made it seem like a real option to your ears. Reply I could not agree with this more. I get wanting an unusual name – that's why I ended up with 'Kendall' after all – but expecting true uniqueness is a horse of a different color. Honestly, unless you're prepared to move to a very small town, chances are your kid's going to know at least a couple others with their name. I think some expectant parents get too caught up in making this huge, permanent decision, and start thinking that their kid personality and identity will stop being unique the moment someone their name isn't. Reply That is a bit extreme of her!! I think if its a close friend or family member it can be a bit trickier, but really that lady had no right to ruin the name for you. Have you thought about doing something similar instead? Like Indigo (the colour )- can still be shortened to Indi, or just doing the shortened version as her name? I dislike the name Olivia because of someone I grew up knowing, but I ADORE the name Liv, so this is on our maybe list instead. Also I have an Ava who is now 8.5…. when I picked her name it wasnt even on the top 100 list, 1 year later it was in the top 10 here in New Zealand. Reply My dog came with the name Olivia, which I wasn't too fond of, but we shortened it to "Livvy," which seems cuter! Also we occasionally sing her name "O-li-vi-AAAAAA!" to the tune of the Activia yogurt commercial. 😛 Reply Hello. My name in Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. 🙂 Reply How on earth is that extreme?! I see a lot of comments being harsh on the other mother, and she was more than reasonable IMO. I'd have been a little upset, kudos to her for being so calm – especially with such a young baby. In a few years it wouldn't have been such a big deal. Reply Her reaction seems a little strong to me… but, on the other hand, I agree that I would probably be more bothered by someone intentionally naming their kid after my kid than I would be if we just happened to discover another kid with the same name. However, that would be more how I would react to a friend using the same name… not a stranger. I don't think it would bother me if a stranger was inspired by my name choice. Either way, good luck! Reply I'm sorry that it is tainted for you now. Give it time and decide. I don't agree with her move to dump all those feelings on you in an attempt to sway you. Reply Seriously. I'm sorry you were made to feel that way about a name you love. Maybe your daughter will come out just begging for that name; I might not take it off the table yet! Reply If it's any consolation, I can think of several celebs that named their kids Indiana. So I think the other mom was overreacting about "but you didn't think of it independently" Reply As a person with a pretty unique name, I gotta say that it's awesome being the only Ndeya I know. That said, it's also really cool to meet someone who has the same name as yours (which has happened only once in my entire life, and holy crap, we both live in California! Awesome!). I don't have kids yet, but I already have names the wife and I would like to use. Definitely keeping them to ourselves (I'm a little superstitious) but if one of my friends chose a name I picked for one of my kidlets, I wouldn't be mad because, I dunno, great minds think alike? Reply My sister chose a name for her second child that my cousin had just given her little boy. She was concerned about it, but asked my cousin if it would be a big issue for her, explaining that they had fallen in love with the name before they knew it would already be in use. Everything worked out and they are both TOTALLY that name – though they go by slightly different versions in day-to-day use Reply Go for it! Nobody "owns" a name. Unless it's a close relative, then there really shouldn't be a problem. FYI, my irl name was super uncommon until about 5ish years ago when it shot up into the top 20. My mom was super proud that she chose such a beautiful and unusual name. Now I can't go to the mall without hearing some parent yelling after a little girl with my name. And I'm totally okay with it! There really isn't such a thing as truly "unique" baby name. Although, I will share a funny story of a baby name almost gone wrong. I'm the oldest kid in a huge family and my parents have had a bit of a struggle finding names for the last few kids. When mom was pregnant with kid #8, she asked my sister (kid #2 who was 19 years old) if she would be alright with the new baby having Kid 2's middle name as a first name. My mom's reasoning was that a) the name was an important family name, b) they're half-siblings with different last names so it's not too similar, and c) "you don't use it anyways." For example, it would've been like Laura Marie Smith having a new baby sister named Marie Oliva Jones. THIS IS NOT OKAY. This led to a big old fight in the family and thankfully kid #8 has her own unique name. This is the only time I've ever argued against "stealing" a name and I stand by it. That's just way too darn close. Reply Apologies for the acronyms! Just noticed that. I meant to say "in real life." I guess FYI is more an expression, but that's "for your information" in case it's a problem. Reply My grandmother was Peggy, and she had an older sister named Margaret. She was the eleventh child and (I think) ninth girl, apparently they just ran out of names. I know she was always sad that she didn't have a "proper" name of her own until I named my daughter for her. Reply I have a male friend who's first name is his older brothers middle name. They seem to think it's a funny story to share and it doesn't bother them at all. I think it's totally wierd but they're happy with it there you go. They only have 3 boys, I wouldn't have thought names would be such a challenge to come up with, but it's the name of an old-time movie star the mom had a thing for. Reply I go by my sister's middle name, which is also my middle name, and my entire name is my mother's entire name. Never ever thought of it as anything other than a name that was loved so much it had to be used 3x. And, no, it's not Rod 😉 Also, I have two boys and naming the second was a BEAR. Apparently we used the absolute only name we both loved on the first kid; we each had dozens of ideas that the other hated. Finally, he picked the name and I picked the nickname that we actually call him (Joaquin, goes by Quini.) We would seriously be a house divided if we had another boy. Reply Not exactly the same, but in high school I knew a girl named Erika whose younger brother was named Erik. Apparently her parents loved the name Erik, had a girl, and figured they'd do the feminine version of the name instead. Later they had a boy, and thought, "Y'know, we still really like the name Erik…" They mostly just thought it was hilarious (they were also pretty close in age so had grown up with the similar names their whole lives), but I can see how it might be frustrating. 😉 Reply My parents tried really hard to recycle family names so I've already got a brother & sister who have the masculine/feminine version of the same name (although it doesn't sound as similar as Erick/Erica). The whole thing was just frustrating because Kid #2 had just moved out. So it would've been like she had literally been replaced. Also, there are so many of us that we didn't have any personal space or our own belongings. I grew up sharing a bedroom with three of my sisters for example. Wanting to have our own individual names wasn't too much to ask for. Reply I went to school with twins called Stephen and Stephanie. Reply An ex-colleague of mine called her boy (not identical) twins Matteo and Mattia! They are perceived as two different names, but they share the same ethimology. So it's basically the same name :/ This in not unlike how in my town there is a guy who has a chocolate lab named Brandy…and then he later got a second chocolate lab that he named Brandy 2. The first Brandy just passed away, so we're all wondering if he's going to get another chocolate lab, and if she's be Brandy or Brandy 3. Reply I have a customer at work who has the exact same name as his brother. He was named blah blah jr, and then his parents divorced and his father remarried. His stepmother named his first younger brother blah blah jr. as well. He goes by blah blah jr. and his brother goes by bj. This is incredibly weird to me, but he seems fine with it. Reply This is probably the one time I could see being mad about someone "taking" the name. If I were the first wife/mother of the first son, I'd be seriously unimpressed. That's pretty funny! Good for your sister standing up for herself, she's entitled to her own name. There are SO MANY fantastic ones out there! I like to joke that I wish I'd had litters so I could use more of my favorite names and themes – we chose Irish with the first and stuck to it which is fantastic, I could name a hundred kids with Irish names that I love. But I also have a whole Greek list, gem list, nature list, Mythological, musical, spices, et cetera et cetera. In fact I'm still a little upset that my SO wouldn't let me give the youngest three middle names since she's the last! It's not like she'd have to use them all everyday lol. Reply Unless you name your kid Assface McButt you are bound to meet someone with the same name. People need to be more reasonable. Sure it can be disappointing to learn that the name you have had picked put for 15 years has been the top 10 baby name the last 5 years because of a sparkly vampire movie, but that hardly your case. This is a person you have never met. Think of it from a kids point of view. If you and this woman stay close and you're kids play together they will be the best of friends because the have the same name. Pretty sweet. and if you and this woman are ment to be friends, it will be an endearing "how we became friends" story. I would defiantly agree that she might not be too happy about you using the name, but she will forget. Life carries on, despite duplicate names. Reply I am TOTALLY naming my (as yet unconceived) baby Assface McButt now. Reply I once met a dog named Buttface. Mean, yes, but I laughed my ass off when I heard his owner yelling, "Hey, Buttface! Get out of the road!" Reply I always liked Farty McCrablice. Reply I'm leaning towards Princess Consuela Banana Hamock personally Reply either that or Crap Bag Reply A friend of mine was travelling with another friend who had the same fairly common name (think Julia). They were also pretty similar phisically. They got asked frequently "are you sisters?" after they introduced themselves. Yeah, I'm Julia, 25 yro, and this is my sister Julia, 25yro and a half :/ Reply I'd be super pissed. Just sayin. Reply Honestly, I would probably be annoyed too, but hopefully I would forget about it pretty quickly. I mean, I really would want my child to have a perfectly unique name, but realistically that's not really going to happen. ESPECIALLY if it's a name like Indiana. I hope I would learn to realize that it's a compliment, not a theft. Or I might be hormonal-crazy, and never forgive her, but then honestly I should probably be ignored. :/ Reply My parents thought they were being very unique with my name. Hah! I went to pre-school with a Kristen or two, there were 5 of us in my relatively small high school with name spelled the same but different pronunciation (Kursten and Keersten). So even attempts to be totally unique are going to be foiled by someone. If I lived in Denmark, my name would be probably among the least unique. So as someone whose parents tried the unique thing, I would honestly have preferred more common to still be explaining the pronunciation in my 30s. Unique can have its downfalls too. But if it's a famous character, someone has named their baby that and they are not the first person to think of the idea, obviously (the character got named that, after all). Unless your name is somehow copyrighted, it's hard to own it. While it's nice to not use the same name as your friends, it isn't required and @Ariel is totally right that you never know who you will be friends with later or who your child will befriend. Reply Is any name truly 100% unique? If you love a name then go with it, regardless of what others may think. I am OBSESSED with names, and their meanings. I have agonized over names for months picking my girls names. In the end one got a name that was super popular, and one got a rare name. I love both equally. I am on http://nameberry.com/ looking at the name blogs, and lists ALL the time. Also a great source is the Social Security List of names: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/ You can really see how names trend here too: http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager# Also there is such a thing as baby name regret, or remorse. You can read more about that here http://www.livescience.com/19210-baby-naming-regret-choices.html Reply This is a great post! The idea of hunting for a unique name is so entertaining to me – both my husband and I have very, VERY unique names, but they're related to our respective cultures (he's a Jew with a very Scottish name, I'm Iranian), and after growing up with these names, we're somewhat more interested in finding names we like the sound of rather than shooting for uniqueness. That being said, the names we choose will be slightly unique, just because of the fact that we're picking Iranian and Jewish names. Not only will they be somewhat uncommon, but they'll have real meaning and significance, which is the absolute most important part to us. Reply If you adopted a child with a name already given to them, you wouldn't think twice about the wee one (or older one) having the same name as your neighbour, cousin, parents dog, etc. You'd be over joyed to have this child as yours. Names are what we're called. But we get nicknames that fit us better, we get called by our middle names, or initials, or whatever. Its our personalities that define us 🙂 Reply I agree with what so many others have said. Even if you try to be unique, you will see that name all over the place once you are committed to it. We chose Darby for our oldest son because we were looking for a somewhat uncommon old Irish name. several months after our son was born, someone told us about the Disney Winnie-the-Pooh reboot in which Christopher Robin is replaced by a little girl named Darby. So not only is that sure to increase the popularity of our chosen name, but it makes it a girl's name! Dammit! But what can you do? Our youngest son has a unisex name too (Rowan), so I guess it's not a big deal. Reply That's so true! Especially with my older daughter – everybody asked if she was named after Fiona Apple since her first album came out about six months before she was born. I actually heard her for the first time on MTV in the hospital after naming her. Luckily she's one of my favorite musicians, I would have hated it if Fiona Apple sucked! Then Shrek came out when she was four, and people started asking if she was named after that. Um…no, the movie's one year old (at that time) and she's five. But I started hearing it like crazy on tv shows and commercials. There was even a tv show that came out right after her brother Alister was born with a character named Fiona McAlister. Btw, loooove Rowan! It was always one of my favorites for a girl but it's an awesome boys' name too. I wanted to use Bronwyn and Rowan for additional middle names for our last and final baby, but he drew the line at one first and one middle.. Reply I would be really unhappy if someone I knew used the name I had given my child or a name I had been planning to use. If it happened accidentally, I'd be unhappy, but I'd realize that these things happen. If they did it knowingly I'd be kind of pissed at them, especially if it were a close friend or family member. Names are important to me and I find overloaded names (two people with the same name) confusing and annoying. If it were a name I was planning to use, I'd feel that I had to pick another name because that one was already taken, in my mind, and I'd be angry about that, but I'd get over it eventually. If it was the name of my child, it would probably always irk me, but I'd try not to let that undermine the relationship. Because while names are important to me, relationships are even more important. That said, if it is someone on a discussion board on the internet who you don't expect to be in contact with long term and who wont be interacting with your kid, I'd say go ahead and use the name if you want. That's not a close enough relationship for the kids having the same name to be a problem. But don't go and tell the person you got the name from that you are using it because of them. In fact, don't bring the fact that your kids have the same name to their attention at all if you don't have to. Then it wont be an issue (I realize this suggestion comes too late for the original poster here, but that's my advice to anyone in the same position.) It's true that you cannot expect your child's name to be completely unique; that's just not practical (To my eternal, vague frustration:p) but it seems reasonable to me to expect it to remain unique among your 'tribe'. Reply My cousin's name is Hannah Christine, my daughter's name is Shannon Christina. My husband and I picked out her name in the first month of pregnancy- and that's who she is. I knew it from the moment I heard it pass his lips that was her name. (Shannon for the area of Ireland that his great-grandmother immigrated from, for the owl symbolism that echoed my grandfather's Cherokee clan affiliation.) I sent my cousin and her mother an email explaining why we choose that name and said I hoped it would be okay. She was actually tickled about it. Reply My beau and I have been discussing names for a while now and even though we won't start trying to conceive for at least a year or so we already have some names picked out. We plan to not reveal our children's names until the days they are born for so many reasons that I could write a whole blog post about them. With that said, there were some names that we were considering until they became ridiculously trendy or "stolen" by a family member or someone we know very well. For instance, I was considering passing down my middle name (Janae) if I ever have a daughter. Then someone I've known for years used it as a middle name for her child. To top it all off, this kid has become quite a celebrity in my hometown because she was born with a severe heart defect and there have been community-wide fundraisers held in her name. So we decided to pick another "J" middle name that has completely grown on us, even though he was the one who liked it first. One big thing we're trying to avoid are any "K" names because my mom, my sister, and I *all* have names beginning with that particular letter of the alphabet and it has caused so much confusion for my poor grandparents as well as some other people in our city. Reply I would think it was flattering if someone liked the name I chose for my child enough to name theirs the same. However recently in my close group of friends three of us were pregnant one of which decided not to tell anyone else the names that they had decided upon. At my shower I was asked what I was planning on naming our baby and I openly announced our top two choices, to then be told by the same person I stole her baby name. It made it awkward…and still sometimes is because she brings it up. Once I saw my beautiful baby girl I knew that it was not the right name for her and ended up choosing the other and our friend ended up having a boy. However if someone loved my childs name and chose to name theirs the same I would be touched. Reply It looks like the original poster decided not to use the name Indiana, but my thought on that was that it might be awkward if the two Indianas go to the same school (which is likely if it's a small town). There were two Alexes and two Bens in my class all through elementary school, but it would be kind of weird if it's a more unusual name and both families know that one inspired the other one. This doesn't apply if one family is planning on moving, of course. Some related stories from my family: My dad had always wanted to name his son after his grandfather. I (the oldest) would have had his name if I had been a boy. My sister was also going to have the grandfather's name. When my mom got pregnant with the third child (who turned out to be a boy), my dad's cousin named his son after the same grandfather. My dad was irritated that his cousin had "taken" it but he decided to go ahead and use the name anyway. So, my brother and my second cousin are about the same age and they have the same exact first, middle, and last names. At least they live two states apart and they go by different nicknames? My daughter's name is pretty unusual in the United States (where we live) but it's been around for thousands of years and it is popular in some parts of Europe. My coworker's daughter just had a baby and decided to go with a different name, but for a while she was considering the same name as my daughter. My coworker specifically asked me permission for her daughter to use it, which I thought was strange. It's not like I made the name up and it seemed like she was overstepping her bounds (I'd be really offended if my mother told me that someone she works with would have to approve my child's name). I was actually happy that someone else in this area liked the same name because most people haven't heard of it. Reply "There were two Alexes and two Bens in my class all through elementary school, but it would be kind of weird if it's a more unusual name and both families know that one inspired the other one." My thought on that is, when you're a kid growing up with a class full of kids, the unusual names are the ones you've never heard before. If there are two Indiana's in the class, then Indiana will likely just be another name to you. I grew up in central Florida with lots of first-generation American friends with all sorts of names that, looking back, were 'unusual'… but at the time, they were totally normal. That's Xtilan, what of it? Reply That's a good point. I remember that when substitute teachers (in elementary school again-I swear I usually don't even think about it) would call roll and mispronounce non-English names or just really creative names, the whole class would loudly correct them. It didn't occur to me until years later that some of the names were actually less common and it wasn't fair to expect someone to know how to pronounce them. However, I still think it could be awkward to "steal" a name from a stranger if the kids are likely to know each other. If the alternative is lasting regret (or if the families will probably never meet in real life), I'd say go for it. Reply We did the same thing! We had a Munsami MXXXXXXX in our class, and we would all hold our breath to see if the sub would say it right. I still love his whole name it flows so well Reply One of my best friends has the same name as me. I've never found that strange. Our friends just have to say which one of us they are talking to by a nickname or last name but that's not a big deal at all. I have never found it weird to meet someone with the same name as me…I always liked that someone has my name. There were 5 Anthony's in a class in my elementary school. No biggie. They just went by initials (A.O. , A.A. , etc.) and that stuck as nicknames for a few of them even into highschool. Reply Go for it! This other mom is at most an online acquaintance, so it's not like you'll be spending time together. And all names are stolen from somewhere – whether it be a list, relative, or fictional character. In fact, the idea of being unique seems pretty self indulgent to me at times. We don't exist in a vacuum, so we all get inspiration from the world around us. Reply I'm so bummed to hear the other mama's response. Of course do what feels right to you, but make sure it's what feels right to YOU, and not someone you're doing out of wanting to avoid conflict. (I see this as someone who could practically give lessons on unnecessary conflict avoidance.) I'm going to weigh in as one of the many responders who says you should go for it if it feels like the right name to you. Names are a really big deal, and it sounds like this one is really calling to you, and I feel like there's always a reason when that happens. And I agree with you that Indiana is a super cool name. I think it would be awesome regardless of the gender of your baby. Reply My daughter's name is Susquehanna, after the river. I fell in love with it because of the sound, and came up with justifications afterwards (rivers are strong, rivers are flexible, etc). I didn't name her to be different, I just thought it was such a beautiful, perfect name. All the same, I never thought of anyone else using it. A few months ago, one of my online friends asked me if I would be upset if they used the name. The honest answer was yes, it did feel strange to me. But my feelings of strangeness shouldn't stand in the way of someone else's pursuit of beauty. So I told him no, I didn't mind if they named their daughter Susquehanna. After all, she already shares it with the river, sharing it with another person surely can't hurt. Reply I love river/water names, especially since a lot of them (especially here in Maine) have native American roots. Androscoggin, Cobboseecontee, Megunticook, Matt-Wamkeag, Pemadumcook….those might be too much of a mouthful, but there are other names that are shorter and easier to say: Kennebec, Saco, Sebago, Sebec, Monhegan……..Then again, a lot of native American names are descriptive of the geographical feature, so it might be worth looking into what the name means. Reply My father is from Maine, and he's been trying to convince me ever since my daughter was born that if I have a son, I should continue the river theme and name him Kennebec or Androscoggin. My husband's not too keen on the idea though, he prefers more conventional names. I think the only reason he agreed to Susquehanna is because we can shorten it to Hanna and pass for normal. Reply I am one of 5 children and we all loved my grandfathers name Jack, it was decided that the first one to have a boy would get to use the name. My older brother had two boys but choose other names and then my sister had a a boy and used the name Jack. I have a few names I love but will not tell anyone in case like above they get used by a family member or friends first. Here in Australia we get a yearly list on the Department of Births Deaths and Marriages website of the top 100 male and top 100 female baby names for each year. Reply Growing Phoebe was an unusual name (before Friends and Charmed) people always had trouble pronouncing it (Foebe instead of feebee). It was hard always having to tell people how to pronounce it and I still do have to correct people on the how to say it. Unique names are fine but I can tell you from experience it can be a pain in the arse and for a long time I cursed my mum for naming me a common easy to pronounce name like my siblings. Reply ^ I love my name now! Reply Phoebe was a top contender when picking a name for my daughters both times. If I have another little girl I am sure Phoebe will be back on my list of potential names again. 🙂 Reply In my elementary school class, we were 5 named Cécile (female french name) and 1 Céline (sounding very similar, people often mix those up). Result: When the teacher called Cécile or Céline 1 quarter of the classroom stood up (blessed times when they weren't 30+ pupils in a classroom). It was fun at some times, but mostly tiring to be called Cécile A, Cécile B, Cécile C etc.. I had a name picked for my daughter since like forever (Lea). My now estranged brother had his first daugher in 2004 and named her Lea. Thanks Bro! So Lea became a no-go (and when I looked at babies'names I realised it is currently the most given in France right now, so my daughter would have face the same shenanigans than me!) My second favorite name (Louise) was the second name of the ex-wive of my husband so no… (and it happens that the group of the daycare center has already have a Louise). Discussing with my husband we came up with a name quite unique for us, Lucile, meaning light and when she was born we were sure it was meant for her (she definitively couldn't have been a Lea or a Louise) Reply I would use the name if I really liked it. (Well, of course my sister and I had an agreement that whoever had a daughter first could name her Ronja, and now I have a beautiful niece called Ronja and no idea what to call my (not even in the production) daughter, eventually.) Reply I went to senior school with another Fiona Patricia G. Very odd seeing as Fiona is a rare name in the Caribbean. On another note, I wanted Matthew for a boy and Catherine for a girl, both names were used (one by my brother after hearing me for years go on about it) and the other by a close friend who wanted to honour her mother. Now here I am, pregnant with a girl, and her name is to be Catherine. I have spoken to my friend, who already knew my plans to use the name when she chose it, and it's fine. I really don't see the big deal. Name your daughter Indiana! Although it always makes me think of the local couple who's last name is Jones and used Indiana as well……. Reply My mother in law named her dog one of the names my husband and I had picked. She didn't know names we had discussed though. I will say you can't go wrong with "family" names. The names we have chosen are personal to our family and honoring people we love. Regardless of who may come along and choose the same name, we know that they have significance to us. My daughter is due any day now an her name will be Madeline, clearly notoriginal. But when I was sitting at the bedside of a dying friend and saw his mother's name on a prayer book, I knew it would be the perfect name if we ever had a daughter. Sometimes a name just strikes you and resonates. That is what's important. Reply This hits home a little for me. I always loved the name Eliana (Hebrew for "my G-d answered") and always figured I would name my first daughter that name. Soon after I had a miscarriage, a friend (who didn't know about the name or the miscarriage) named her daughter Eliana and I was heartbroken. 2 years later, when I finally got pregnant again after a lot of struggle, the name had a lot more meaning to me, but I felt I couldn't use it. I was set on making it a middle name for a long time, but couldn't find another name I liked to be a first name. At some point, my husband said, "It doesn't matter that another child has the name. If you want to name her Eliana, do it." But now we couldn't pick a middle name. When I was in labor in the hospital, my husband picked a middle name that was perfect. 3 days later, I found out (after the religious naming ceremony–no backsies!) that it was the same middle name as the other girl. I think my friend was pretty upset with me, and I was also pretty upset about it. Now, it's a pain in the @$$ at get-togethers, but I can't regret her name. It fits her so perfectly. 🙂 Reply Speaking as a mother that worked really really hard to pick a unique name for my child, I would definitely not want to share the name. When we named our son we made sure the name was so low of the baby-naming charts that no one had used it in 50 years. I also live in a small town and if someone else named their son by accident I don't think it would be a big deal but on purpose, not great. I think you can tell by the mother's reaction that she doesn't want to share the name. There are a million great names out there, look around! I always watch all the movie credits and write down my favourites. Or use a last name! We called our son Wallace "Ace" Lier. We don't know any other boys named Ace, but who knows…maybe a trend will start! Reply This is too funny, there is a Greek tradition that you name your kids after your parents. My grandfather had 5 brothers, when they all had sons, they all named them after their father. My uncle (George) has 5 cousins named George! Their middle names are their father's first name, so that's how they are distinguished, George X, George Y, etc. I know a couple of female cousins both named after the same grandmother too. My friend's dad passed years ago; she and her sisters are all naming their kids differnt versions of their dad's name. It's a respect thing… No one gets mad about all the shared names because, hey it's tradition! Totally different perspective! Reply I probably wouldn't use the name of a baby I was guaranteed to know long-term (a cousin, a nephew), but a name of a baby born to people I probably won't even be Facebok friends with in 5 years? Stolen, no regrets! Reply Look at it this way: an online acquaintance you barely know in a small town she will likely never leave in a snapshot of time vs. your kid's LIFE: childhood, adolescence, and partnerships through to career path, kids himself perhaps, into old age…who knows whe he will go in the world and what he will become. Look at the big picture. If you feel he is an Indiana, don't let a vague contact with such narrow thinking make you feel bad about choosing that name. Shame on her. You will know when you meet your son who he is. Who do you care more about? This woman or your son? Don't get caught up in small town drama. It's a big world out there and room for everyone. Reply Why so hostile to the other mother? She was perfectly reasonable! Reply I had this happen, we had picked a girls name, had a boy and my friend had a girl and took the name we were going to use for our girl even though we had wanted to use the name for our future girl and now we dont have that option. I was very upset. I personally think you should come up with your own ideas and own name and not take someone elses. Obviously names are repeated and reused but I think youre crossing a line. Reply There's no rule saying that you can't still use the name. To be honest, unless it is a name you created yourself, the name you pick probably won't be terribly unique anyway. It would be a shame to not be able to use your favorite name just because your daughter would share it with someone else. Even people with fairly rare names like mine still grow up with people who share their name. When I was young it sometimes sucked to share the name with boys, but it's something you get over. I love my name. Sharing someone's name doesn't somehow make you less special or important. However, I do think it's rude for a close friend to use your name if you'd made it clear that you were going to use it and wouldn't want others to use it, but these women are only acquaintances. Reply I named my son Carl. A name so darn common that no one could claim I stole it from them. But a name so old-fashioned that no boys Carl's age have the same name. I always think of his name as a win that way. If I have a girl I want to name her Eleanor, which has a similar used-to-be-common-now-isn't mystique. Reply My mom "stole" my name from a co-worker. She had named her daughter Tiana, shortened from the name Tatiana. My mom loved the name so much that when I was born a few months later, I got the name Tiana. Growing up, I never met another child with the same (or the same birthday), so I felt special and unique. However, in recent years, Disney decided they HAD to name one of their princesses Tiana, and now I hear the name EVERYWHERE, especially in baby groups. Stupid Disney! For my own child, "stealing" a name from a close friend or family member was out of the question. I remember having a conversation with my younger brother, before my daughter was even conceived, about baby names. At the time I loved the names Aiden (this was before it hit the top 10) and Emma. In hearing this, my brother yelled "you can't have those names! I named my right ball Aiden and my left ball Emma already!" Yeah… so those names were outta the question (and I didn't want to have to think about my brothers balls!!)! As for "stealing" from an online group, I say if it's the perfect name, go for it. Unless you are going to see this person regularly in real life (as part of the same baby groups, etc), then it shouldn't be a big deal. Reply However, in recent years, Disney decided they HAD to name one of their princesses Tiana, and now I hear the name EVERYWHERE, especially in baby groups. Stupid Disney! I hear you on this: I was 15 when the Little Mermaid came out and suddenly "Ariel" was a hot baby name. Reply This absolutely. I was born in 1990, the movie however came out the year before. My mother was oblivious of this. She LOVED Shakespeare and read a TON of classic literature. My father did acting at a local college and did performances so powerful that it brought scouts from several companies who were interested in him. (He later gave up because my dream-crushing grandmother refused to pay for his college if he decided to become some starved actor). The both loved Shakespeare, especially Hamlet. They decided to name me after one of the characters, Ariel. So my name was Ariel Adrianna. Unfortunately, I was ALWAYS associated to the little mermaid. It doesn't help now that I live on the Gulf Coast and I'm near the beach, so when i wear my name tag people always are pointing the irony out to me. The joy I get out of it though, is when little kids ask me if I really am a disney princess, and why did i dye my hair when it looks so pretty red. lol. I've grown into it though. It makes me happy to see other people named Ariel. It is unique, its just how you wear it and own it that matters. I just don't know if I could have lived with the male name my mother picked out for me if I wasn't a girl. Corin Albean. Yeah. No. Reply A few years back my name (Emily or Emma) was the in the top 10 for baby girl names for something like 10 years in a row. Needless to say, there are A LOT of girls named emily out there. It's a bit annoying because I CONSTANTLY hear my name being called by parents trying to wrangle their kids, "EMILY! EMILY COME HERE RIGHT NOW!" and every single time for like a split second I think they are talking to me. Reply My daughter was four when Shrek came out. At that time it was AWESOME to see a karate chopping Princess Fiona! In kindergarten she would meet new parents that would go "Fy-ona? Leona?" and their kids would go "Just like Princess Fiona on Shrek, mom!" lol By the time she finished elementary school it was decidedly NOT cool, but by high school she liked it again. Reply the name doesn't make the child ~ the child makes the name Reply Unique-ness is so relative. Many of my friends and family are named after people in the Talmud (compendium of discussions about Jewish law). This means that among us, there are repetitions but the names seem unique to others. Reply My mom tried to talk me out of naming my daughter Ripley because my cousin had named her son Riley and it was "too close". My cousin, who I've only seen three times in my life and communicate with, sparingly, through Facebook hasn't seemed to care one iota and Ripley fits my kiddo perfectly. Only months after she was born did we realize that first name Ripley, middle name Aurora, and a last name that rhymes with "fartly" means that she will probably be dubbed "Rip A Fart" for a good portion of her childhood. Naming children is hard. Reply I wouldn't use the same name as a cousin, but Ripley and Riley aren't the same at all! The spelling is similar, but I wouldn't associate one with the other. 😀 Reply My partner's oldest sibling is pregnant with her third child (her first girl) and just announced the name, which turns out to be both OUR top pick for a future girl AND my partner's brother's top pick for a future girl! My partner's brother and his fiancee had a good laugh with us about it. Oh well! We all figured she had kids first, so she got dibs. We're bound to find something else we like eventually for our hypothetical future children. Reply Upthread it looks like you've made your decision, and you should do what you think is best. However. I would've said to just go for it – nobody owns a name. Not even the person who wears it! I'm an almost 30 year old Sophia. It felt like there were no other Sophias the entirety of my childhood. Now there are a zillion of us! I don't meet them in gradeschool, so I didn't have to deal with the problem the Ashley/Stephanie/Katies of my generation did, but all these new Sophias are between 0-6 and I hear their parents calling them constantly! It feels like kind of an old-time-ish name now but this wave of Sophias will change it, I think. You can't control this stuff, go with what you like! Reply I don't think it really should be a big deal. The child is unique, who cares if the name isn't? You don't take out a copyright on your child's name when they're born! There are very few truly unique names out there, so while your child may be the only baby you know with their name it doesn't follow that this will continue once they get to primary school or senior school or even university. At some point you're likely to have to deal with the fact that their name isn't unique. Also, having a unique name isn't always all it's cracked up to be- I hated my name when I was growing up and am yet to meet anyone with the same name as me. Similar, sure, but not the same. As a consequence I've had a ton of misspellings, mispronunciations etc so now outside of work I go by a much more normal nickname as it saves a ton of hassle. I reckon it could be quite nice to have a name in common with someone. Not too many people, perhaps, but someone else might be nice! Reply I still refuse to tell people my one non-negotiable baby name (it can be a middle name, but by gods it is going in there somewhere). It's a family name going back at least four generations, very old school, and I have never heard it outside my family. And yes, I'd be heartbroken if someone outside my family found out and used it. Keep it secret, keep it safe. Reply "Keep it secret, keep it safe." lol! Love this. While I would love to spread my daughter's beautiful name around, I try to keep it hush hush in naming groups (which I still frequent because I'm a name buff lol.) Her sixteen year old sister's name went from outside the top 1000 to top 300 but I don't think it'll ever be top 100. The boys are still around 800 and off the chart in their teens…I picked her name fourteen years earlier for her brother, so I LOVE it – but her nickname is cracking the top 100 this year. Since she's still under two, her full name is VERY similar to the nn (just add "A" to the front) AND a celebrity has used another version of it recently (though mine is a more obscure Irish adaptation of the old school name) I'm secretly terrified that it'll become popular! lmao! It's ridiculous, I know. But I put so much research into finding the perfect names for my kids. Her siblings have always enjoyed being the only children in their entire school with their names and have always gotten nothing but compliments for them. I know I'm a name snob and it's not that big of a deal but still…I feels how I feel. Reply I'm sorry the other mom reacted that way, but it's similar to how I ended up with my name. My mom had always wanted to name a daughter "Sarah", but my aunt got pregnant first and well, Sarah is now my older cousin! But my parents ended up morphing my grandmother's maiden name into my first name, and Sarah is my middle moniker 🙂 Plus, while I hated my name as a kid (seriously, stupid nicknames and never finding personalized keychains sucked), I love it now because people remember it and I'm not one of 5 people in my circle with the same name (although I did spend 4th grade going only by Sarah). Whatever name you end up with will be good. Reply Lol, I would have just named my daughter 'Sarah' too. So what if cousins have the same name? I've seen that in at least a dozen families, it's never seemed weird to me. Now, if you were naming two SISTERS both 'Sarah'… Reply I can relate to the other mom, even though her reaction may have been a little over the top. Choosing a name is such a personal thing, something that stays with you for the rest of your life, becomes a part of your family and your family history forever… not to mention your child's life forever. We chose a fairly unique name for our daughter that I hadn't heard of before but it isn't so uncommon that it's silly or sounds made up. I know other people in the world have the same name and I'm okay with that. If it became common, though, I'd be really, really disappointed. Maybe that is part of the fear behind the mother's reaction? Even though I know my daughter won't be the only one with her name, I wouldn't be happy about someone else naming their daughter the same thing after hearing hers… if asked what I thought about it, of course I wouldn't want to encourage them to use it—I picked a unique name for a reason, after all. And, I think that would be my natural reaction, not a contrived, underhanded way to try to ruin the name for someone else. I really would be upset and hope that they wouldn't use it. It's one thing to naively believe that no one would ever have the same name, but it's another to give your blessing when faced with the prospect of someone else taking the same name, especially someone else in the same small town. I would feel like I had been cheated, as irrational as that may be. Maybe because we spent so much time devoted to searching and discussing and going back & forth… having someone else hear it from me and say "I like it, I'm going to use it too!" just seems unfair. Reply THIS. If I was going to steal her name, I would just disappear from the name group…People are being hard on the other mom but it sounds like she was very civil about a bitter disappointment. In a small town she faces the prospect of having the girls attend school together in the same grade or one grade apart not by coincidence but because of OP's decision. I did a lot of searching for my childrens' unusual names and while I wouldn't mind somebody using one of my teens' names or somebody online from another area using my toddler's name, I would be upset about a local acquaintance using her name while she's still a toddler. Of course, if they didn't know her name and found it independently that would be different. Reply I've always felt really weird about baby naming, because I have two unique names. First name is Aubrey, which I never met anyone else with that name until Teen Mom 2, and my middle name is Azalee. Azalee was my grandmother's middle name that she changed too legally because she didn't like her first name. They got that name from my great, great, great grandfathers, who's name was Lee, so they tacked on "aza" to get the name Azalee. Both my sister-in-law and my future sister-in-law fawn over that name and they BOTH asked me if I was planning to use it. I said "yes, if I choose to have kids and have a girl, I'm going to use it as a middle name" they both looked hearthbroken. But heres the thing, I told them to use that name if they liked it. I'm not for sure if I'm going to have kids and even if I did, I'm not going to burn their house down if they used it. I don't get it. Reply My partner's mother named her daughter after her sister… who is still alive! (i.e. My partner's sister Mindy has an aunt Mindy) *names changed to protect identities* I would think this was fine if it was in memorial to a deceased sister, but the fact that she is still living is really strange to me. I guess with naming it is really a personal thing. My dogs are named like rich old gentlemen, Harvard and Bertram, commonly refered to as Harvey and Bert, which people think is pretty strange! I have names picked out for my children and they are super duper awesome so I will tell no one so they cannot be "stolen". haha! My mom almost named me Amberlee (pronounced all together like Kimberly) but changed it to Heather at the last minute because back in the early 90s she was afraid that it was too offbeat! I think Amberlee is way cool, so maybe I'll post it here and some offbeat mama-to-be will see it pass it on! Reply This is a tradition in my family. My middle name is my aunt's first name, and my great-aunt's middle name. All three of us are alive and I am so proud when we get together as a family and make sure we have a photograph of "the Doreens." It's not uncommon. (Funny thing – I'm also a Heather!) Reply In my second grade class we had me, a Kristen, along with a Kirstyn (k-EAR-stin), Kerstin (kher-stin), Kristin, Christine, and Kerstine (kher-steen). The six of of chose to all sit at the same table. To make it even more confusing, our last names and middle names all had a combination of the initials of B, M, K, or L. We had a KBM, KBM, KLM, KML, CBL, and KLB so we couldn't even really go by that. I think the most annoying thing about my name is just people that misspell it (it's with an E, people!) or mispronounce it (Chris like the name and ten like the number!) and yet I have a very common name! If anything, I've learned that spelling your name and correcting pronunciation is going to come with ANY name these days. That being said, the eventual father of my babies has a difficult last name. We're combining that with some very.. umm… unique names that come from a combination of books he enjoys and some mythology I enjoy. I think I'm less worried about what the child will have to grow up with a unique name and more worried about my mother's response! All her children are named from the top 10 lists in our respective birth years! Reply I have enjoyed having a unique name for most of my life. There was another girl in my graduating class with the same name as me, but she spelled it Raegen, and were were in TOTALLY different groups of people (she a blonde cheerleader, me a brunette, well…not cheerleader), so people always knew which one you were referring to. However, now as a 27-year-old, I am hearing my name more often. A lady that I work with has a 15-year-old daughter named Regan, and there is a little girl in my daughter's preschool class with the name Regan, so it's becoming more common now. However, I named my daughter Jaelynn, because I always loved having a unique name that wasn't too weird. It wasn't until after we had chosen the name that I kept hearing it – for little black boys! So I laughed abut it and said, "at least she won't be confused with any of them!" But I get comments about it all the time. She has 2 cousins, whose names are Jaydin and Jaelee, but we don't ever see them, so it works out! Reply Your poor mother must get tongue tied with grands named Jaelyn, Jaydin, and Jaelee! Mine still complains because ALL of my cousins have J names and one of my siblings (my parents deliberately gave each child a different initial.) I might just pass this along next time she mentions all the Js! Reply My family never did this on purpose, but something like 80% of us in the past three generations have names starting with the hard C sound, like Kendall. It wasn't an alliteration thing, we just seem to have some genetic disposition to favor them! While I don't have kids, more than half the names I love start with this same sound, so this is a trend that doesn't look like it'll be stopping anytime soon. Reply I think as long as you say something it should be OK. That being said I'm not even telling my sister the name my hypothetical daughter would have. My mom had told my Aunt (her sister-in-law) what middle name she wanted if she had a boy. My mom had a girl and my Aunt stole it cause she had a boy. It was revealed the name was stolen after my cousin was born. This was the first of many wedges between them Reply I going to admit.. I was one of those instantly peeved when my friend's husband suddenly decided that the name I love was something he wanted for his kid. He had no clue , of course, that I had this name picked out for like 10+ years or so and that fate drew me to be friends with his wife who was going to have a boy. They decided not to name him that though, opting for Connor, instead because they saw a kid in a sailor uniform with some racist mother and just thought against it. The name I want to name my first boy child? Owen Thomas Lee. It sounds like a historical name to me.. I love Owen for its Celtic roots, Thomas because my husband's fathers name is that and yea with the last name. It has a beautiful ring to it and I can't wait to use it someday. I now actually don't care if someone else has the same name, I know my kid will have the personality to love it an own it, and if he doesn't like it, well 18 years isn't a long wait to change it. lol. Girls name? I've floated between Diane Taylor Lee, or Helen Rose Lee, or Glenda Lenore Lee. My husband won't let me name our second boy Thor Odin Lee though…has me bummed. =( Reply Choosing names can be so difficult and very personal. We chose to never tell anyone what we were considering, since everyone has an opinion (and usually not positive) and, frankly, we didn't want to hear it. Once you introduce your baby, it is a done deal. With a German-American family, we definitely wanted "unique, but normal in both worlds" and we chose Torben for our son. It comes from Thor, the Scandinavian god of Thunder. We love it and so does he! It's easy to pronounce and works in both languages. Feel free to add another Torben to the world 🙂 Reply Love that! I've never heard the name but with the popularity of -aden names and ALL names ending with an -n syllable he'll fit right in while enjoying a unique name. Plus the history and meaning behind it makes it so much cooler. Reply My husband's friend is named Torben. He's in his 40's. Reply My partner and I got ourselves caught in a bit of a trap, we both like different names in particular for me mythological names (a long standing obsession of mine) where everyone knew we would never settle on the popular names such as Jack. We also had the rule that we wouldn't choose any name starting with the same letter as one of our other children or the same cultural origin. Our first son was easy as both my partner and I chose the name before we had even met; Loki the Norse god of mischief. Our second son was more difficult and I let my partner take more of a lead with his name but it swapped between Raiden the mortal kombat character and Ronin which was the name we settled on. And our latest and most likely last was easy as before I got pregnant I had the name I wanted for a girl, strangely enough during my first two pregnancies it was the girls name I could never choose. The night before the ultrasound I made my partner sit down and help choose a boys name which was Orion but we apparently didn't need it as my little Avalon is expected in late September. Reply "I was trying to be unique… but what can you do?" I understand people will have different opinions, but I don't understand people calling her response a "strong" or "extreme" reaction. I'm sure that her feelings were much stronger than she revealed, given the small size of the town and the closeness in age (and no, it's just not the same as if she had chosen the same name independently.) Yet this response is very calm and not a "dump of feelings." It would be different if the town was larger or her baby was a few years older.. Reply I wouldn't have even asked tbh (but you sound like a lovely person for doing that). She doesn't own the name and honestly – it isn't that unique so I'm not sure what she's talking about with that one haha 😉 Reply My first name is Kendall, which was extremely rare in the early 80's when I was born, hovering at the bottom (or off) of the Top 1000 list for the last century or so. Now? It was the 116th most popular name for baby girls last year. It's actually more popular than 'Jamie', by a couple orders of magnitude. Heck, when my mother was born in the 40's, 'Sydney' was so uncommon a name most teachers couldn't spell it. Now, it's a fairly popular choice. You can't predict what trends will come. And you can't predict when a famous Kardashian will have a baby sister with your name. You just have to roll with the punches life gives you. Reply My niece's name is Emerson Marisela, goes by Emy. My brother-in-law's coworker had a daughter shortly after Emy was born (few weeks to a few months) and named their daughter Emerson Marie. My sister and brother in law basically just rolled their eyes at it. Even if they're in the same school, it's not a big deal. People have had the same names for centuries. There were a handful of other Samantha's in my school, I speak to none of them now. But I did marry a Sam! Now when I meet new people and we introduce ourselves I quip that I took his first and last name after marrying him. You'd be surprised how many people believe it. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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