Name copying and what is your stance?

What is your stance on baby name copying? If you have an older child with a common/popular name and a good friend who you rarely see (mainly phone friends) wants to use it, would you have an issue with her using the name? Is it really name stealing if a name is really common? Should a person be punished by not being able to use a name she loves just because of who she is friends with? Would love to hear your thoughts as this is a scenerio that I think many moms are faced with.

If you have a common/popular name for a child it is absaloutly ridiculous to think that no one else can use it. I actually think it would be a real hoot to listen a person who was angry and ranting on this. It seems so absurd.

Now, if it is a made up name or something highly unusual say …[name]Electra[/name]. Then it would be weird to copy and don’t go there.

I think that conscious name-copying is kinda lame.

If you and your friend happen to both have loved [name]Chloe[/name] forever, and both end up using it, it’s not really copying, is it? [name]Even[/name] if that’s the case, it’s always going to be touchy, and the response will depend on the friend’s personality.

As a side note, if a close friend chose a name I’d always intended to use, I automatically would lose interest in it (this has happened to me a couple of times already). If your close friend used your absolute favorite name, can you honestly say you’d WANT to still use it? I wouldn’t.

My #1 name has never been used, thank goodness… and I hate that I did this, but I sorta “claimed” it amongst my siblings (a gentle “hey, you guys don’t want to use this name, do you? Ok good, because it’s always been my favorite”). Hopefully none of my social circle will use it before we get around to TTC.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but conscious name-copying is really annoying. If you have settled on a name that isn’t super-popular (say, “[name]Ariadne[/name]”) and then share that with someone, and the next time you see that person, he or she introduces you to their baby daughter [name]Ariadne[/name], you really have to wonder.

However, if a name is on the rise in popularity or just out there in pop culture, I don’t think you can fault someone for picking the same name as you.

This is precisely why I don’t share my name ideas with anyone I know outside of my spouse and closest friends. Also, I feel like this is something that would happen more often with a casual acquaintance rather than a close friend. I don’t think people are genuinely being malicious when they do this, they are just unthinking and self-focused most of time.

Another reason is the “Oh I knew somebody named that once and they were terrible/so stupid/mean etc.!” phenomenon that inevitably occurs if you tell someone your name ideas, but that’s a whole other subject!

The scenerio Im describing would be a good friend who you rarely see, and her child is older by at least 8 years. And the name in question is common/popular. What if the mom to be really likes this name and feels its the one? What if the friendship has had its ups and downs in the past and its probably not going to be a lifelong friendship anyway? If you were on the other end listening to a mom talk about how her friend copied her childs popular name, would you then regard the other mom as being a copycat or completely lame person? Or would you think the friend was being petty, since the kids wouldnt be even close in age, they never see each other, and the name is super common/popular?

I think people need to get over being precious if a name they like is being used by someone close to them, they may have the same taste what is wrong with that?

Like many others have said, I don’t think it’s a problem unless it’s a really unusual name and the other person “got the idea” from you.

I should have mentioned, I am the one who would be using the name.

This issue can be fairly complicated, depending on the circumstance. In your situation, we’ll say you want to name your child something like [name]William[/name] or [name]Jennifer[/name] which are common names as you said. Your friend’s child is several years older. I don’t think it should be as issue at all, but it would be if this person was your cousin instead of your friend. I have seen several stories on nameberry about family members stealing the exact first and middle names of their nieces or nephews for their own child, and this is definitely not ok. [name]Nor[/name] would I be ok with a close friend stealing a very uncommon favorite name from me if I had expressed interest in using it.

Hmm. This is a tough one. I’ve been lucky in that no one close to me has used the names I love most, so I’ve always had sort of a “find your own name” stance. But, in the past month, we learned two of our top choices have been used by acquaintances, so my rigid stance has been called into question as of late. I’ll share what we’re thinking, in case it might resonate with you.

We know a family with a little (3 yr old?) [name]Clare[/name], and while we see them very rarely, my husband’s family have been close with them for years. Knowing that our little one could be the “other” [name]Claire[/name] to her own family has really dulled the shine of this name for me, personally. DH still loves it, but I think it’s definitely moving to the mn slot (even though it’s become a pretty generic mn as of late). Sigh.

However, [name]Henry[/name] is still on the table. My dear high school friend turned mostly Facebook friend whom I see maybe once a year delivered her [name]Henry[/name] last week. We don’t have many common real-life acquaintances, so there’s distance enough for us. [name]Henry[/name] is also a fairly common classic, so “copying” feels like a non-issue in this case…although I will admit I’d love for our [name]Henry[/name] to be the only one I know.

I’ll admit that, deep down, I want our name choice to impress others with our unique good taste, so perceptions of our originality is also very much taken into consideration. (I know [name]Henry[/name] is popular, but most of the people I know chose more trendy names for their children). But, you may not be as shallow as I am :slight_smile:

You mentioned that that name you’re considering is common/popular. I’m thinking a parent with an [name]Emma[/name], [name]Madison[/name] or [name]Chloe[/name] would not be surprised to know another one and it would be silly if they expected such popular names to be off-limits. In fact, names like these are so well-liked, copying seems like a non-issue here, too. All in all, I agree with the other posters that using a common/popular name of an acquaintance’s child is okay and there shouldn’t be hard feelings, but “copying” a less-common name like [name]Willow[/name] or [name]Caroline[/name] or [name]Vivienne[/name] is kinda lame.

[name]Hope[/name] that helps. Good luck to you!

If the name is commonly used, the children won’t often be together, and they are far apart in age (and I consider eight years to be far apart), it would be unreasonable to make an issue out of it. Besides, isn’t that kind of like claiming navy as your “signature color” and getting offended any time someone else wears it?

Well, since no one owns a name, it’s not really an issue. If the name was pretty uncommon (say not in the top 1000), then I’d be suspicious, but still…complete strangers are using your child’s name, and you may not even like them. Friends are awesome, and she gets kudos for even asking.

Hmm, I would ask her how she felt about it. If it’s a fairly common name then I imagine she wouldn’t really mind - she hasn’t named her baby to be unique and she must be used to other acquaintances possibly using it. I’d make it clear you’d always loved the name (if that’s the case), or you could even suggest it is in tribute to how great her kid is (if that’s true too). Actually, since this isn’t a GREAT friend, it doesn’t sound like you even especially associate the name with them.

I think if you face it head on you’ll feel better about it, even if she says “I’d rather you didn’t”.