How many degrees of separation?

[name_m]How[/name_m] many degrees of separation do you need between someone you know (or their child) and your own child? Meaning- You want to name your child, say, [name_m]Adam[/name_m]. You have a first cousin or a high school friend who named their kid [name_m]Adam[/name_m]. [name_m]How[/name_m] far out of your inner circle would this need to be for you to be comfortable naming your kid the same thing?

I feel like second cousin and beyond is okay within family. With high school friends, if I didn’t talk to them anymore I’d be okay with it, but if there was still an active friendship I wouldn’t.

My name is [name_f]Christine[/name_f] and I have a cousin named [name_f]Christina[/name_f], never been a problem. I think having the same name can bring children closer, just make sure the person with the child of the name name is okay with it and you’re ready to go. My father and his sister were also named Cosmin and Cosmina, never really had an issue with that either though. [name_m]Just[/name_m] pick a name you love and things will fall into place. If I was a parent and I found out someone wanted to give their child the same name as mine I’d be complimented.

For me, two factors come into play: (1) my relationship to the person, AND (2) the popularity of the name in question.

For example, if I was considering a top 10 or 20 name, and then a friend from college whom I see maybe once a year at most named their child that same name, I wouldn’t necessarily be turned off from using the name. It might cause me to hesitate, but if I really loved the name, I wouldn’t immediately dump it. (But I would be even more hesitant still, or drop the name altogether, if one of my siblings or very close friends used that name).

But if that same college friend happened to choose the same outside-the-top-1000 name I was eyeballing? I’d be really sad, but I think that would immediately discourage me from wanting to use that name, at least in the near future.

I wouldn’t want to use the exact name that my sister or a sibling-in-law had used. I would consider using a very similar name, however – i.e. having an [name_f]Annie[/name_f] with a cousin called [name_f]Anna[/name_f] – as long as the girls weren’t particularly close in age, or going to grow up together.

It wouldn’t bother me, however, if a cousin used one of my favourite names, particularly if it was a classic. I would be a bit peeved if someone used one of my more uncommon Celtic favourites – probably because I selfishly feel that Celtic is “my thing” in the family and so it’s my prerogative to use those names. It still wouldn’t stop me from using the name, though.

I’ve grown to love names my first cousins have given their kids. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though we’re not close, and I really only see them once a year, I would still feel uncomfortable using the names of their kids. I can’t really explain why though… I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone else for it.

For me, it is based off a few factors. #1, [name_f]Do[/name_f] they share a grandparent? If the answer is yes then I won’t use it. Middle names don’t count, they can all have the same middle name or share a first name and a middle for another. I have a step sister as well so her offspring also count. #2. [name_m]How[/name_m] often do we see these people? if its a once a year kind of friendship or family relationship, then I would be more open to using the same name, however if its one of my best friends or a family member we see pretty regularly, I won’t use the same name, though similar names are okay. #3, If Family, would the child have the same first and last name? This would bother me more than anything. I wouldn’t want to give my child a name their cousin already had if they had the same last name.

Random people from college, High school, family friends, facebook friends, If they named their child someone I wanted to name my child, it wouldn’t deter me unless it was one of the factors above.

In general I would like a name that has not been used in my living family (names of passed relatives are fine). My family is quite large and intergenerational so that rules out about 30 names - remarkably we don’t have any repeats yet anyway. I suspect if we had some repeats I’d be more willing to repeat things myself. I’m a bit sad about losing [name_m]Peter[/name_m] and [name_m]Benjamin[/name_m], but I can cope. My partner’s family has multiple people named [name_m]Nicholas[/name_m], [name_m]Thomas[/name_m] and [name_m]John[/name_m], so he’s really fine with using a name anyway. I was worried recently that my cousin would use [name_f]Alice[/name_f] for her newborn and my partner said if they did he’d still want to use [name_f]Alice[/name_f] on a future daughter but I would have been unhappy. Luckily she chose [name_f]Margot[/name_f] so it’s all good!

I would also avoid using the more unique names from my high school/university days, even though I love [name_f]Rosina[/name_f], [name_u]Cassidy[/name_u] and [name_m]Patrick[/name_m] they are all too tied to people for me to feel comfortable using them. ([name_u]Cassidy[/name_u] was a guy I had a crush on for years, so even though I would be ok using the name my partner might not be and my friends would mock me endlessly).

I don’t need the name itself to be very unique, I just prefer it to be the only one within our close circle. Although this does mean that sometimes I don’t like a name because it’s the same as my friend’s dad or sibling etc (funnily enough, both also strikes against the name [name_m]Patrick[/name_m]). I think I would just mind that some people might assume I am honouring with some names if they were repeated so I would really like to avoid that.

In the middle spot I don’t care about repeats at all.

tl:dr I really want a very high degree of separation with first names. It is an important factor in my naming decisions.