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herenow2 08-13-2012 05:07 PM

Okay, I am pregnant with a baby boy and my husband and I have been having a terrible time coming up with a name.  We both like classic boy names but every single one of our favorites is "taken" by someone else.  Since they are classic and pretty popular names, I guess that is inevitable but I'm wondering where the line is with repeating names - unless you are intentionally naming your child after someone (which we aren't.)


I would love some opinions on name scenarios you would or would not choose! -


Other little boys we see every day at my children's school but are at least a year or two older but will probably be a regular fixture in our lives for the next eight years or more.


An uncle who is not a favorite and we don't want him thinking that we named the baby after him - just happen to like his name.


A second cousin (mother's first cousin's son) who lives on the other side of the country and is five years older than our baby. 


Will either the school friend's parents or my cousin be offended?  Is it something I should ask them first or explain later?

CA Country Girl 08-13-2012 09:02 PM

Nobody has exclusive claim on a name, whether it is popular or not.  I think any of these scenarios are ok.  The school friend and the second cousin could even be complimented that you share their taste in names.  I say name your baby the name you love an connect with most and ignore everyone else's opinion.  I let my sister lay claim to her favorite names, but that is about it.

firespiritmelody 08-13-2012 11:18 PM

I think I would draw the line at first cousins especially, or your cousins children, or other family memebers that you are close to and see regularly - for example at holidays & birthdays etc. I would also steer away from close friends that we see & or talk to on a regular basis. Other then that, name your baby what YOU like! You're the ones that will have to live with it for the rest of your lives. Even close friends may not be in the picture a few years from now and certainly school mates move away etc.

katelove 08-14-2012 01:19 AM

I personally wouldn't worry too much about the friends or cousin in the scenarios you described.

The uncle is a bit trickier. Is there an alternative spelling of his name? My brother and a cousin of my dad's have the same name but a different spelling so, as far as I know, no-one has thought my brother was named after him.

herenow2 08-14-2012 03:12 PM

Thanks everyone!


What do people think about me calling my cousin to run it past her?  Would that be weird or polite?  

quantumleap 08-14-2012 04:04 PM

I think a phone call would be courteous, but not necessary. If she tells you it bothers her, are you going to chose something else? If you're not going to change your mind, then I'm not sure there's any point to calling her, unless you think a heads up would make her quicker to come 'round or something. 

My sister named her 9 months younger than mine the exact same name as my son. We are married to men with the same name, and our sons' name is a derivative of the father's name. This was especially important to us because my husband is not my children's father (we have to use a donor). I knew she liked the name, but I did NOT know it was the only boy name she could ever imagine using and that it was so important that she would use it no matter what. I also did not know she was pregnant when we chose it, and did not know she was carrying a boy when we used it. I actually considered changing my son's name (there was one other name we liked too), but it felt too late by the time he was 9/10 months old.

I do consciously call him by a derivative of a nickname fairly often (ie: if the name was Sam, I call him something like Cam), just because it then is different enough that it doesn't look as much like the same name. Anyway, I know this is sort of the reverse situation of what you're talking about, but it does bother me. Not enough that I'm throwing fits over it, but enough that I regret not choosing our other name. I do, however, think that she's the one who looks a little silly in this situation, whereas I just feel a little sad. 

Our family (cousins, etc) has a lot of name duplication, although it is only one xyz per generation, and it's never been any sort of issue. Is the name one that would have a nickname, or more than one nickname? Like, is it of the Alexander or William school? If one of my cousins used one of my kids' names, I would totally not care. In fact, I could actually conceive of one of my cousins using my daughter's name, and I would be either ambivalent or pleased.  

All this to say that, no, I don't think you should worry about it! 

herenow2 08-15-2012 09:56 AM

Ouch, quantumleap, your sister named her baby the same name as your son when he was only 9 months!  I would definitely be miffed on that one!  Sounds like you are dealing with it quite well :).  Maybe they will both evolve into totally different nicknames over the years.  


This is why I keep wondering if I should call my cousin and explain the predicament my husband are in (we can agree on NO names except a few that are recently taken by other little boys in our lives).  I do think I would be a little irritated if someone named their baby the same name as our daughter, but I'm sure I'd get over it.  My cousin is totally reasonable so I do think she'll say, "no problem".  Everyone IRL tells me that it is totally weird to even make the call and that I am overthinking it.  The one thing we have going for us is that we would definitely, intentionally go with a different nickname.  


Thanks for your input!

buko 08-15-2012 10:30 AM

The uncle is the only one that would give me pause-- especially if I had other names I liked.  The others, I wouldn't even worry about...  Well, that's not true for ME, LOL, because I am kinda heck-bent on giving my kid a really unusual (though not unheard of) name.  But YKWIM.


FWIW, my dad has two cousins (also first cousins to each other) that each named a kid Ian-- though one was pronounced "E-un" and the other "I-un."  Not a big family either.  Don't know how much animosity it caused, but it did cause some confusion among other family members.  However, those are first cousins giving their kids (basically) the same name, YK?  Any more distant (especially if you're not super-close) and I think it's up for grabs and not assumed to be imitative.


A little odd was one of DH's BFFs.  He and his wife named their child Kristine* and call her Krissy.  No problem there.  But it felt slightly odd to DH and me, because Friend's most serious girlfriend prior to his wife (some years before) was actually MY BFF... named Kristine.  Also called Krissy when she was a kid, called Kris now.  It's like... I know it's a common enough name, and our best guess is that it was a name his wife had always loved or something, and knowing it was an ex's name didn't deter her.  We haven't asked because... IDK...  Besides my BFF (whom we told), I'm pretty sure we're the only ones who have really noticed.  But it did strike DH and me as odd.  Like who names their kid the same name as an ex?  At the same time, I guess if it's a common name...  (My exes both have fairly unusual names.)  I mean, my dad is David*, and if I had an an ex named David, yeah, it might not deter me from using it for a kid.  But we did do a double take on little Kristine.     


We have a bit of the same issue with DH's brother-- that is, some of the names we were considering have a nickname that would be the same as his, and it would seem like we were naming the kid after him, kinda-sorta. 


In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrasts.


*Names changed.

dannic 08-18-2012 08:17 PM

I would give pause to the same name as uncle, but not the others...

I have an interesting situation in that I told my sister my all time favorite if-i-ever-have twins pairing and she told me that if her baby is a boy she is taking the she is my super good friend as well, but I am pretty miffed that she would do that.  live and learn

NaomiJoy2 08-26-2012 09:07 PM

I would not use the uncle's name.  Not only will he think your baby is named after him but your family will as well.  The rest, I would be fine using and don't think a phone call is needed at all.  My twin sister and I call our oldest boys by our father's name though her son goes by his middle name and mine by his first.

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