Naming Dilemma

What do you do when someone you know personally has the name you want for your child?

I’m named after my living aunt, and my parents decided to call me by my middle name, which has caused all sorts of hassles throughout my life. Thus, I’ve resolved never to name a child after a living relative.

I’ve even taken it a step further and decided that I will not use a name that anyone I know personally has, including acquaintances. (If they’re people I never come in contact with, that’s a different story.)

DH and I are trying to name our second child. We decided on the name [name]Josephine[/name] ([name]Josie[/name]) and then realized that our neighbor across the street has a five-year-old daughter with the same name and nickname. After running into them recently, I noticed that this little girl is exactly what I expect a [name]Josephine[/name]/[name]Josie[/name] to look like, so much so that I can’t picture my own child with the name anymore. I now associate the name with that child.

Have you ever had this problem? If so, how have you handled it?

I think it’s fine to have 2 neighbors across the street with the same name, the girls will probably love being ‘twins’, but if it doesn’t appeal to you, don’t do it. Here are some ideas that might work for you:

[name]Jolene[/name], [name]Jolie[/name], [name]Johanna[/name], [name]Susannah[/name] ([name]Susie[/name]), [name]Florence[/name] ([name]Florrie[/name], [name]Flora[/name], [name]Flossie[/name]), [name]Josephine[/name] (with nn [name]Posey[/name] or [name]Effie[/name] to set her apart?), [name]Wilhelmina[/name] ([name]Willa[/name], [name]Mina[/name], [name]Minnie[/name]), Philamina ([name]Pippa[/name], [name]Mina[/name], [name]Minnie[/name]), [name]Eleanor[/name] ([name]Elle[/name], [name]Ella[/name], [name]Nora[/name]), [name]Penelope[/name] ([name]Nell[/name], [name]Pennie[/name], [name]Nellie[/name]), [name]Estella[/name], [name]Lydia[/name], [name]Vivian[/name], [name]Viola[/name]?

I’ve had to juggles name endlessly to avoid conflicts like this. And for the same reasons (not the neighbor one).

Like your family, my family also had the tradition of naming their children after living relatives (then dead ones),
I was the first kid of my generation to get pregnant and I promptly broke the tradition by creating a new one.
I decided that I would select a name from one of our heritages. I didn’t want to name my son [name]Patsy[/name] after my
grandfather so I picked my grandmother’s Irish heritage and went with [name]Aidan[/name]. When I had a daughter I went
with his Italian heritage and picked a Latin name.

It’s a hard call with [name]Josephine[/name], but if I were in your very same position I would scrap it and find a new name. As
you said, you already associate that name with this other girl now and not for your child. For me [name]Audrey[/name], [name]Sophia[/name],
and [name]Gemma[/name] were all scrapped because of conflicts with other people. A friend was naming her daughter [name]Aubrey[/name], my
cousin is using Zophia for her hypothetical first born daughter,and will not if i use any variation thereof, and [name]Gemma[/name]
is out because my brother has his heartset on [name]Emma[/name] for his first born girl (his hypothetical first born girl). And in the
end I came up with new names that I fell even more in love with than my first choice!

It’s an adventure! :slight_smile: Good luck!

Personally, I think its a bit silly to avoid using a name over acquaintences. It’s not that much of a hassle at all. Especially when it’s just neighbours.
I’d use the name.

I’m named after my great-great-great-great-grandmother. My name is SUPER antique and I’ve never met anyone else with my name. Therefore, that’s never been a problem. But I think two girls with the same name will adore it, but the parents might think you’re copying them. But I say go for it!

Your child’s name is for the rest of your/their life…your neighbor could move next year…my childhood neighbors are a distant memory. Probably could be the same for your daughter. I don’t think you should scrap your name because of a neighbor’s kid! :). [name]Josephine[/name] is very pretty. I say go for it if you really love it.

I agree with @bbzmama. Your neighbour might not live across the street forever, but you might always have to live with the regret of not using a name you love.

I’ve personally never ran into this problem as nobody in my area seems to have the same taste in names as me (For example, my DD is named [name]Violet[/name]. She was the only [name]Violet[/name] born in our county last year), so I don’t have to worry about it. I do remember once saying I liked the name to my [name]Anna[/name] to my mother, and she said I couldn’t use it because my cousins ex wife’s step son’s (from a previous marriage) fiancé was named [name]Anna[/name]. That, in my opinion, is taking it too far!

Use it if you love it :slight_smile:

Thanks, all, for your feedback. I never would have thought twice about using the same name, but running into them just last weekend made me start to second guess. Normally I wouldn’t think it’s a big deal giving a child the same name as a neighbor, but we live in a neighborhood association-type community where everyone knows each other, and the kids all play together. But as some of you mentioned, they might not be living here forever, and there’s a very good chance we won’t be living here for more than a few more years.

But my real issue is the fact that, as I said, this girl looks exactly like what I imagine a [name]Josephine[/name]/[name]Josie[/name] should look like. Maybe if I can get the image of her out of my head over the next few months I can wipe the mental slate clean before our baby arrives.

Yes, one of my best friends ended our friendship because my husband and I named our son [name]Jesse[/name]. She had a daughter named [name]Jessica[/name] and felt that we were offending her by naming our son a diminutive of their daughter. It was ludacris because we never even had a notion about her little girl’s name during out process. We were going for a Biblical name and one [name]Sunday[/name] during our church service the Gospel was about [name]King[/name] [name]David[/name]. It mentioned his Father, [name]Jesse[/name]. We studied about the “[name]Jesse[/name] Tree” and decided that was the perfect name. I never heard from my friend [name]Kathy[/name] again, however we stuck with our guns. Besides, this is OUR [name]SON[/name]. It was a very good decision and [name]Jesse[/name] has always loved his name.

I could never name a kid after a living relative, only a deceased one, and one who I had extremely fond memories of.

People have had names I like [but I may not necessarily like them] and it makes it so when I hear the name, that’s who I picture, even after in some cases 20 years. [name]Even[/name] in cases where I like the name bearer and the name, I still can’t kick the association with the name. So I cross out names of people I knew on my list of potential names.

So I’d say it all depends on just how strongly you associate the name [name]Josephine[/name] with your neighbor’s little girl now. If you can’t imagine your daughter having that name now, then I’d pick another name. However, if you can imagine it and you love the name, go ahead and name her that. After all, as others have pointed out, you may not be neighbors forever.