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Reserving names
~ A message board archive

From KiwiZ: What do you think of "reserving names"? My sister-in-law and I were talking and she was telling me boy/girl names she liked so she could "reserve" them for her next kid. Happily these are not names I would choose, but it made me think: Should a parent avoid a name they would use just because its been reserved by someone else?

There is no guarantee that person will ever even have another kid/use the name and there aren't any original names out there anyway. My feelings are life is short; name your kid what you want!

From pxmommy: I think if it's an important family name -- naming for a grandparent or something -- I would tread carefully. I gave my son a middle name that is the same as my father's and my brother's, but only because I knew that my brother and his wife were done having kids and never used that name themselves.

Otherwise, I think it's fair game. I frankly don't see what the big deal would be in having two cousins with the same name. There's so many variations of most names that it would be pretty easy to differentiate.

We named our son after my husband and everybody seems to be able to tell THEM apart.

Edited to say that my son's first name is the same as his father's and his middle name is the same as his grandfather's and uncle's.

From Lutey: I think it is downright arrogant to tell anyone else what they can or cannot name their own child. My husband's sister has done this with us--told us what names they like so we won't use them, despite the fact that we will most likely be done having kids long before they have their first, if they have kids at all.

My husband doesn't like using names that our close friends have used but it is more a personal preference thing than an identity thing. If someone were to use a name we had already chosen, we wouldn't care.

From Ursula: We never told anyone the names we had chosen. If someone in the family had chosen that name first, we never would have used that name. For one thing, that means the name is too popular for us, and for another thing, our family doesn't do duplicate names. We didn't tell anyone our names because, once you do, then that name gets stuck in their head and then they want it too.

From Scout:

Originally posted by Lutey
I think it is downright arrogant to tell anyone else what they can or cannot name their own child.

I agree! I don't believe in calling dibs on names. However, I did appreciate it when my sister-in-law asked our permission to use my husband's middle name -- Crosby -- for her daughter, because (1) I was pregnant with a boy at the time, and (2) if we had chosen to name our son after my husband, then we would have called him Crosby to avoid confusion.

After we told people what we're naming this baby, two people -- my sister and a friend -- both told me that they wanted to name their next male child Sam (actually both said, "hey, that's MY name"). I didn't know that either wanted to use the name, but that won't stop me from using it.

From noah'smom: A couple that I know had already chosen a girl's name while they were dating! Everyone knew that they had chosen the name because of its religious significance. It's not very common at all.

Fast forward to his older brother and sister-in-law having a daughter. Guess what name they chose? Sure they got to name their daughter using that name but they had to endure tons of people asking them, "Didn't your brother want to name his daughter that?" They just feigned ignorance.

I think if you have one definite name chosen (or "reserved") people should be sensitive to that. I don't think it's cool, however, to have an entire list of names because you'll never know if you're going to use them.

From HrshyGrl: A name is a name. You can call your child what you like. There will always be someone with the same name in the world SOMEWHERE. I think it's silly to change your mind just because some other child has the same name. I've always like the name Aaron. My sister's best friend's sister (got that?) had a baby two years ago and named him Aaron. And when my baby came along, I STILL named him Aaron. The older Aaron lives around the corner from us. I had no problem with it. I don't care if 50 people I knew who were pregnant wanted to name their babies Aaron, I'd have still stuck with my decision.

From daisygirl: The only people I care to discuss and call "dibs" on baby names are my sisters. I have an Uncle John and two cousins named John. I never knew which "John" everyone was talking about. So we tried to come up with different names than our kids' cousins. But everyone else, who cares?

From CelticGirl: When I was pregnant with Georgina, my sister-in-law told us that she was using Jack as a name should she ever have a son. We'd always liked that name and she knew that - she was just trying to be awkward (again). However, should Georgina have been a boy she would have been named Jack Lewis regardless.

From JM: Hmmm, well I recently vented about this in The Waiting Game. A friend of mine is pregnant and we were talking about baby names and I said that 'my next baby will be called Rowan' and the next thing I know my friend is telling people that is a name she is considering. That really teed me off. My advice is if you like a name, don't tell anyone about it as that way they might not think of it and if they do by chance then it is not as though they have 'stolen' it from you.

From KristaLove: My husband and I chose the name Alison for a girl baby when we were dating. A few people knew that , but we didn't call dibs. When I did get pregnant people would ask what we'd call the baby and I always said "Frances". It can go either way. Sharing a name before a baby is conceived or born opens a big can of worms. Either someone else uses it or people feel free to give their unsolicited opinions about why you shouldn't use the name or why they hate it. If someone we knew would have used Alison for a name we still would have used it.

From amykw33: We picked the names Charlotte and Benjamin very early in our married life (I had a false positive after we had been married 3 months, so that gave us plenty of time to discuss this, as Charlotte was born when we were married 4.5 years!) We told a few people, but I really wasn't concerned about anyone "using" our name.

When we had Madeline, I found out after she was born and named that her name was my sister-in-law's favorite name for a girl. She has a son who is 13 now, but had secondary infertility and had been going through IVF unsuccessfully, so I did feel rather upset with myself for using her name when she had been going through such a tough time. She's ok with it, though -- I didn't step on her toes intentionally, and she knows that.

Madeline and Charlotte are family names, too, so they were sort of up for grabs by anyone in the family.

From SusanH: I voted "undecided" but I really meant "it depends." I think very close family and friends should avoid duplicating names out of respect for each other. If a name is very special to someone for some reason, it should also be off-limits.

I personally wouldn't care if my baby shared a name with a friend's baby, provided the name was reasonably common to begin with (like Samuel or Benjamin.) But we are planning to use one very uncommon name if we have another girl and it would upset me if someone else used it, as the odds of anyone else coming up with it on their own are incredibly slim.

From missmeg: My undecided is also a "depending on situation." I think it's rude to call dibs on a name if you are unmarried/not pregnant/just dating. There are too many names, too many years before you actually have a child, and too many other family members who potentially will have a child before you do. So in that situation I'd say NO, it's not ok to reserve a name.

On the flip side, I intentionally did not use a common family name when pregnant with my son/my daughter so that my newly married brother would have the opportunity to use it and carry on the tradition. Our tradition is to use the initials PAB for a male child. I have:

Uncle - Philip Arthur B... (mom's brother)
Dad - Peter Anthony B...
Brother - Phillip Anthony B..

. My married last name also begins with a "B", so I could have used "Peter", "Phillip", or "Anthony" for a son. But I didn't think it right to potentially take a name he would want. So I didn't.

From Lucy: I don't agree with reserving names, but then again we don't have any family traditions to cope with. Even if your child will grow up with another child of the same name, what are the chances they'll be friends their whole life??

From Les: I guess it also depends. My sister had thought about using the middle name Ann but it was my grandma's, mom's, and mine and we are all the oldest daughters. I had said from the time I was 13 my oldest daughter would be Elizabeth Ann and we would call her Annie. I did not say it was off limits or anything of the sorts, I just flat out would have done it because it meant so much to my grandmother that we keep the oldest daughter with the middle name Ann tradition. It also meant a lot to me to name my daughter after my grandma.

From M&M:

Originally posted by noah'smom
I think if you have one definite name chosen (or "reserved") people should be sensitive to that. I don't think it's cool, however, to have an entire list of names because you'll never know if you're going to use them.

I totally agree. Everyone in my family has 1 or 2 names that each of us know they really love. So we stay away from those names.

My best friend has always wanted to name her first daughter Joy. She has talked about it since she was in junior high and everyone in her family know that she loves that name. Last week her brother calls her and says, "My wife is going to have her baby in a couple of weeks, and we wanted to let you know we are going to name her Joy." My friend was upset because her brother knew that she wanted that name. So she told him. Go ahead and do that if you want, but when I have a daughter her name will still be Joy.

So for those of you who don't agree with "reserving names" if someone takes a name that you love, do you think it is rude to still name your kid that?

From ErinFiat: I voted for the name them what you want option. The time when I would respect someone "calling a name" would be in a case like my sister-in-law and I are right now. I'm due 7 weeks ahead of her. It would be wrong for her to tell me the name they had picked and for me to say "Oh, I really like that" and proceed to use it ahead of her.

I guess in ways we reserved a name, but not out right (when people asked, we told them we'd follow tradition). It's never been said that nobody could use it. My son will be named after my husband and his dad. We took a twist with it though and gave my son my dad's name as a middle name--which was also what my older brother did with his first born. So I just made it into a joke that in my husband's family, the first born male is named Angelo and in my family, first born males have the middle name David. I don't think it bothered my brother or sister-in-law at all (they never said anything if it did).

From Lesley: I personally hate that. Pick a name that means something to you and to heck with who called it.

From SharonCC: My husband and I chose Emily because we liked it, and Rose because it is a family name (my grandmother's name). Emily shares her middle name with a cousin who was named after the same grandmother. That doesn't bother me and I don't think it bothers them. (her first name is Samantha) My brother is about to have a baby and I don't think that baby is getting a family name (at least not this side of the family).

Anyway, I agree that it is downright arrogant to "reserve" a name. I had not one, but TWO NEIGHBORS tell me that they wanted to use Emily! One even said that I STOLE "Emily Rose" from them and another said "oh darn, I wanted to use Emily, that was our name. It's my aunt's name." Well that's NICE but I really don't care?? You're my NEIGHBOR?!

From Damiana: I was a bit hurt when I found out that a friend had named her daughter my dream daughter's name. It just seemed cruddy to use BOTH the first and middle names I'd planned on using. We'd had the discussion months before, and I'd mentioned a rather unusual name that I'd always liked. Later, when I called her up to tell her that I was pregnant, she told me that she'd just given birth. She was a bit sheepish when she told me her baby's new name. I don't know, I'm not terminally mad; it just seems a little tacky.

From SunGoddess: I know I don't have to worry about other people wanting my names for kids, but I think you should name your child what you want, as long as it feels right with you and your spouse. And who cares if someone else gives their kid the same name. Even if someone I knew named their kid Cheyenne or Kiawah or Jagger or Cayukatee, I would still name my child that, because those names have meaning to us

From KH: This is how I feel about it - unless you are pregnant at the time, you can not "reserve" a name.

From LauraAnn01: I voted you should be able to name your kids whatever you want. BUT . . . my sister-in-law has two little girls now (the ONLY grandchildren). I have always wanted a boy named Joshua for as long as I can remember. She knows that. If she named her boy Joshua, I would admittedly be perturbed about it and disappointed. But I'd still name my child Joshua, although it would be weird with the only two male grandchildren having the same name.

From ebabe: No, I think it is ridiculous to reserve a name. Part of why we chose our daughter's name is because it is less common. If someone close to us (friend or family) had named a child that name prior to her birth, we would have been bummed, but would have simply chosen a different name.

For what it's worth, my brother and one of our cousins have the same first name (Michael). When we are with that side of the family, the two Michaels are just always referred to by both first and middle names to differentiate. Not a big deal at all.

From hunter: I think you shouldn't be able to "reserve" names unless you're already pregnant or actively TTCing. (I don't think you should be penalized when it's not your fault you don't have kids yet, know what I mean?) And then it should be reserved for close family, i.e. siblings and cousins you see more than just at holiday dinners. As it worked out, we now (long after Emma was born) have two friends with kids named Emily, and another with an Ameline, so it's always interesting when we get together with all of them. My point being that you never know with friends who you'll end up with!

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