I think it’s definitely better to tell SOMEONE - like here, for instance, just in case we could hear something terrible that didn’t occur to you.
I also think at least in my family, people have some ok opinions so I would tell. My mom is harsh, but occasionally just has a bad association, and knowing my mom, would not get past it. I wouldn’t want her holding that against my child. So, I’d rather know if she didn’t like it (then she can just get used to it), or really had a personal aggravation with someone with that name. She works in a high school, so this, I’ve found with my nephews especially, makes it difficult. She also has a weird taste in names, for instance, when my sister was pregnant, I got to hear what my mom thinks of the name honestly, and her ideas, like for instance [name]GAVIN[/name]. What. the. F. I don’t know where my mom came up with that, and I suppose it’s one of those new-ish kind of names people like, that I don’t particularly like. She fought my brother on his son’s name and it went in the middle because of a boy at school, and perhaps she’s right. They live in [name]California[/name] though, so it might fit in better. I think she didn’t like this kid (sometimes teachers and staff actively hate students in their schools, you know) and also saw that he was open to a lot of teasing on his name, that it was quite interchangeable with a girl’s name, if you see what I’m saying. She was totally disgusted with that name, so I would want to hear her out if this applied to my child. She just plain doesn’t like my sister’s kid’s name too much, but that didn’t stop my sister, and my mom is living with it. Sometimes I think my mom doesn’t know what people are doing these days that makes some names ok again to younger generations, but then come up with [name]Gavin[/name], which confuses me. A [name]Felix[/name] or a [name]Jasper[/name] might kill her.
I really think it depends on the family - have you discussed names with your family for a long time (as if you all were name nerds just talking about it a lot)? Then you are aware what people like and what you think they won’t hassle you about too much. I really think springing a name on them after the baby is born is unfair, especially if you think they would criticize. I also think if you have friends of the same age and child-rearing stage as you, you should probably stake your claims carefully. If 2 people aren’t related, there is probably greater risk of them taking a nice name from you revealing it, but if they like a lot of the same things you do, they are probably finding some of the same names you like anyway, and using them before you have a chance to tell them it’s yours. Telling people does give you some idea how your child him or herself will be received when they introduce themselves. I know one woman who didn’t tell anyone because she said she wanted her baby to be the first one to hear his name, and then it was something like [name]Christopher[/name] or [name]Michael[/name] that nobody would have torn their hair out over.
The only other thing I can think about is how much we here point and laugh at someone else’s ridiculous choices and weirdo combos that don’t make any sense and seem to make life difficult for a child - and wish they had told their friends or listened to them anyway. Sometimes this is a matter of taste - not everyone thinks it’s best to name your child something unusual, but sometimes, it looks a bit more clear cut and you wish the same for yourself - please make sure this isn’t going to go on a list of crazy names that gets passed around the internet, as if that’s the least of your worries - that kid has to get a job and move out of the house someday. If you are dead set on using something completely out of the ordinary, or for instance, using a name that older generations like your parents only associate with old people (who don’t realize this is fashionable again, or get how jaunty it’s supposed to sound, or don’t really get what a “hipster” is or why they like weird things) - I think you ought to give them fair warning, hold your ground, and also run it past an impartial committee (like us), to make sure it doesn’t make any weird initials or awful puns, don’t like some name like Lucifer and nobody ever told you that’s the devil’s name or something.