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Friday, August 13, 2010

Naming your children

Okay. I need want your input on this topic. When you are expecting a baby or are about to adopt a child, you generally go through some baby names with your spouse. Do you take into consideration the names that your siblings, extended family, or even close friends have used? For example, if your cousin just named their son Eugene - would you also use it, or do you feel that it's already been taken?

I have a friend who's in a similar situation. She wants to name her next child a particular name - but her pregnant sister-in-law is planning to name their son that same name. My friend isn't pregnant, but is trying to become so. Do you think it would be awkward for her to use the same name once she is expecting?

Likewise, my sister is expecting a baby. She really likes the name Bianca, as do I. Would it be odd for me to name a future daughter Bianca if she has a cousin with the same name?

Your thoughts?

20 comments:

Winnie said...

I wouldn't name first cousins the same name especially if they have the same last name. Too much confusion in the family. My husband and his brother-in-law have the same name and even their own kids call them by their full names when both are around, it's totally confusing as neither has a nickname or a middle name that has stuck.
I would say that if your truly stuck on a name use it as a middle name if it is already used in the family, but otherwise if somebody else uses the name first get out the baby name book and look for another.

Lively Luckinbills said...

I agree with Winnie. Sadly, it is first come first serve. There are so many names out there that the person probably hasn't even considered. I have been so set on a name with my last two kids and in the end I named them something different, and I am SO glad. I'd say anything beyond first cousins is fine to use the same name. You also have to consider how often these children will be together and how awkward it would be for them to share their name.

Annie said...

I agree with Winnie. We've asked my siblings what names they really like and think they will name their kids so we don't use those. We really liked the name "Micah" but we didn't use it since there's one in the family already - unless you are trying to name them after that person. As far as friends, we take into consideration the names, but we would still use one if we really liked it. And with friends, you move around and come and go, so it's not like your family who will be there forever. Is there a particular "urgency" in needing a baby name??

Rachel said...

I have a friend named Rachel. She has a younger cousin with the same name--named after her-- I believe it was a case where two sisters loved the same name. The girls would have two different last names though....and there is a big age difference. I do not think it is fair to intentionally "steal" the name another family member wants to use. However, this can happen unintentionally. My sister and I both like one name--but she has another she likes better and I do not. Therefore we each have the naming rights to our top favorite name. My sister also likes a nickname to that name that I do not care for myself. What will likely happen is that if she still likes that name after I have already used it she will name one of her younger children that name after the cousin and her child will have a nickname. As long as there is an age difference and different last names--or one child goes by a nickname--should not be a problem. If a close friend uses a name, I would not consider it taken....nor would I if someone at my church liked the same name as me. People do not all stay in the same church forever...is it really going to matter in 10 years how many "Biancas" or "Eugenes" or whatever other name were in the church nursery?

Rebecca Clerc said...

I say name your kid whatever you feel like. Who's to say when the kid marries they don't marry into a family with that name . Drew is a family name that we have 3 of in my family (2 first cousins, 1 2nd) then I married a drew. We have all been together before with no problems. I would be honored if someone named their kid after mine. I think it is weird that people take dibs or whatever you call it on names.

Steph said...

Hmmm, good question. The way that I see it is, if there was a name that my sis-in-law or sister wanted to use, I would never, ever take it from them. If they were just tossing around names, they were pregnant, and I was not, I would let them know that I had my sights set on that name. They may not even know that I loved it. I personally think it's a big deal to name first cousins the same name. I just think it's odd and confusing. As far as friends at church or whatever, I would still consider using the name. i don't think that people can "claim" a name in a social circle. I would however, consider not using the name if it's so popular that many people are thinking about using the name. Hope that helps a bit. :)

Jason and Lissa said...

I say use whatever name you want. There's really no such thing as 'stealing' when it comes to names, in my opinion--odds are there are plenty of people out there with the same name, so who cares if they're related? Name your child what you think that child's name should be. Anyone who gets offended over this needs to chill out! :P

Sarah C said...

I can see the pro and cons to this question and the comments already posted.
I think you should name your child whatever you and Tyler want to. A lot of thought and prayers goes into naming your child. If you feel like a specific name should be used for your child, use it. I have always had friends with the same name as me and it has never bothered me. If you don't name the your child the name you want the first time, you may end up changing it later in their life. :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't name a child the same as a cousin- if they are close in age.
It would be okay if it's a relative you aren't close to or one you are naming the child after.
Examples-
-My Dad and brother are
John. I gave this name as a middle name to my son.
-a diff. brother once told me that he would have used the name I gave my oldest son for his son because it is his father-in-laws name. But since I had the name he gave his son a different name.(He told me this when my son was a few years old.)
-A third brother is named for my uncle.
So there you go - name your child after a friend or relative- but don't use the same name in the same generation. There are so many names to choose from. You know when it is okay and when it is the wrong thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Here are my thoughts and as I am your mother they are the only really truly important thoughts to consider! hah.
I'm going to emphasize these thoughts with upper case letters as I feel VERY strongly about this question. IT DOESN'T MAKE A HILL OF BEANS DIFFERENCE WHAT NAME YOUR SISTER OR BROTHER IS GOING TO NAME THEIR CHILDREN. IF YOU ALL HAD A CHILD NAMED BIANCA...SO WHAT? THEY DON'T ALL LIVE TOGETHER. IT'S NOT LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO YELL BIANCA AND HEATHER'S DAUGHTER COMES RUNNING....AND EVEN IF YOU DID LIVE IN THE SAME TOWN...AGAIN....SO WHAT?????? YOU NAME YOUR CHILDREN WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT TO AND LET THEM DO THE SAME. IF IT'S THE SAME NAME.....SO WHAT???????? SO WHAT SO WHAT SO WHAT.....AND LET ME SAY SO WHAT. Now that I have vented, I say: Name your children whatever you want REGARDLESS of what your siblings are doing. Period. End. Now....aren't you glad you asked?

Josh & Adrienne McElwain said...

I would not "steal" a name from someone else or do it to get back at someone, that would only create hard feelings. HOWEVER if both sets of parent(s) for the children in question are okay with it... GO FOR IT! I have cousins with the same name and they love it!

MoonDog said...

we were going to name Jaeger "Jacob" which I still love but husbands nephew is jacob. he goes by jack(which I also love) but his legal name is Jacob Samuel. and the last names would be the same. going into the future with the same legal name would be a problem for both boys. my mom and the wife of my dads brother have the same first name as well as last name. it has caused problems for them. not huge but avoidable if their names were different! in your situation the girls would have different last names. that would keep the problems of identification down. and then they will grow and marry and presumably take their husbands name and again they will be differentiated. I really think its only a problem if they have the same legal name (first AND last)

Hevel said...

In my family among first cousins we have 3 Chalins and a 2nd cousin with that name, 3 Ariks and 2 more in the next generation, and my SIL is expecting her second child, whose first name will be her first born's middle name, Shimon, with two other Shimon's on her side of the family and 1 more on our side. Many have the same first and last name, but differing middle names.

Aubrey said...

Any name that I have ever considered or wanted, the minute that a close relative or friend uses it, it has become less appealing to me and made me look & FIND other names that I end up loving more. I used to get a little anxiety about this subject as I was married later in life than most of my sibling and they were all well underway having children long before I (not to mention that my husbands extended family is gigantic) but in the long run, I was impressed by the Spirit as to what my children should be named.
NOW! All of that being said. My husband's real name is Daniel, as is his dad, as is his grandpa, as is my brother, as is 2 of my brother in laws... It can get frustrating for others in general conversation or at family function, thus the use of middle names or nicknames.
Good luck with this fun topic!

Charissa said...

Trust me. It's a bad idea. I have two cousins named Dalene. The first Dalene was named after her uncle Dale. The second Dalene, Dale's daughter, was also named after her father Dale. They were just a few years apart so for all these years we have called them Big Dalene and Little Dalene. Now that they are adults we are still calling her Big Dalene and I don't think she appreciates it very much! Also have two cousins named Benjamin, same last name. When one Benjamin got his name in the paper for being arrested for drunk driving, believe me it was not pretty. I'd say, pick another name and save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.

Alabama Apples said...

Umm...I don't think I would name cousins the same name. I loved the fact I was unique and not very many people have my name...that being said, my boys love that some of their middle names are shared by cousins. That makes a special connection. I think it is alright to tell your family what names you love, to you know, save them for yourself-stake your claim. ;) From there, I don't think it matters too much if your friends have the same children's names. I think it is kinda funny how territorial some people get with names...

Rebecca said...

I'm a blog stalker and I am on the bus with those who say no. If the name is taken by a family member, move onto something else, or use it as a middle name. Our family has several similar names in it. We have: Delaney and Denali, Savannah and Samantha, Miriam and Marian, Emma and Emily. Similar names are hard enough! I think the same name is just too confusing.

Still, the bottom line is, how do YOU feel about it. If you like it, no one else's opinion really matters.

Krista said...

I don't have too much advice per se, but with my husband having many family members (i.e.when I went to his first family reunion, there were 33 children under the age of three - and he isn't even in the youngest group of cousins!)
I think it is good to be aware of other people's feelings, but ultimately, you know what name is best suited for your child. I agree to go with what you like. With so many relatives on Nate's side of the family we have repeats often. They just always make sure that they get a picture with all the boys named Reed every time they get together (I think there are 8 Reeds right now.)
Also, just FYI, there is a woman who just moved to our ward who's name is Byanka. I love that it's a different spelling. She said it was pretty popular in her country but her parent's wanted to spell it differently.

Carina said...

I don't think I'd use the same first name as one of my siblings did for their kids, but then again, we're not a huge family. Plus, it's different because, so far, I'm the only non-Burr to have children and you have to figure out what goes with your last name.

I would like to use the name Jacqueline for a daughter someday (and call her Jackie, after Grandma Dahle), but I just feel like I should check with Dana and Melissa first since Jacklyn is their daughter Sydney's middle name. I think it also happened in our generation, come to think of it--my parents named my sister Brianne, but then Brent and Suzanne wanted to name a daughter Breanne (combination of their first names, I think), so they instead put that as Alleigh's middle name. I could be totally wrong about that, but yeah.

Honestly, if you love the name, then go for it. If there's a huge age gap, I doubt there will be problems. Just know there may be some confusion at some point. Among friends, I'd have no problem using the same name. With family, I'd think twice about it, but then go with what my heart wanted. =)

Brianne said...

Carina's story about my name and Ashley's would-be name is true, at least as my mom tells it. They had their kid (me) first, so they took the name. I think it's totally up to you. It can be confusing for kids if they have a cousin or other kid they see regularly have the same name. One of my nephews has two cousins (one on each side) with the same first name, and I believe it has been confusing for him. I definitely wouldn't name my child something my sibling used (except maybe for a middle name--just not a first name)...Kirsti, Carina, and I all wanted to name a son Joshua, but Carina had the opportunity first, so we won't do it now. =)