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?

For me, feeling my child was the only one (ha, ha) was extremely important. Each couple has to weigh popularity vs. love for the name. I would take your neighbor’s [name]Josephine[/name] as a sign for me to keep looking. Others would love knowing a little girl to actually see and better envision the name. If you do decide to go with something else, lucky for you, there are some lovely alternatives out there with a [name]Josephine[/name] feel. Good luck!

I know what you are saying, but personally, I don’t thinks it’s a huge deal. When you have your child, that will be it. You won’t think about other kids and how the name suits them better than your own. I also think it is difficult to forego any name that someone you know has in common. I can’t help but think about what will happen if you meet someone in the future who shares your daughter’s name. As parents we all want to shield our children from hardship, but there are some things that happen beyond our control. Choose a name you really love and you won’t regret it.

First, wholeheartedly agree with not naming kids after relatives (living or dead)!

Second, your neighbor’s daughter is the product of her parents. She is a distinct individual who is completely different in every way from your daughter-to-be. You’re putting an awful lot of expectations on your daughter by assuming what she will be like because she has the [name]Josephine[/name], and now you’re comparing her to your neighbor’s daughter to see if she measures up and your [name]Josie[/name] is failing. Not because she isn’t worthy of the name, but because your daughter has the disadvantage of not being born. :slight_smile:

Name your child whatever you want. There are a million [name]Josephine[/name]'s in the world and each of them is distinct and individual, making their names apply to them, not the other way around. FWIW, I think [name]Josephine[/name] is a beautiful (and versatile!) name. If you still love it, then that’s your daughter’s name. Your neighbor obviously has good taste by choosing the same name as you, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking a name you truly love.

What are the chances that you will always live next to these neighbors? Are you close to them? Your girls may never really know each other. Go with a name you love.

It depends on the name and how much I love it. Usually popularity of a name really bothers me (being an early 90’s [name]Ashleigh[/name] and all), but I love [name]Lucy[/name] to a point that having it be so high on Australia’s popularity chart doesn’t bother me. I’m still in a conflicted position with [name]Isla[/name], though, because it’s the name of a good friends niece, and I would be worried about her being one of many [name]Isla[/name]'s or having my friends sister think I was a copy cat, but when the time comes and I love it I will probably still use it. Once you see your little girl I’m pretty sure you’ll forget all about your neighbours daughter.

What you say here is great advice and so true too–thanks! It’s easy to forget that one’s child will be a unique individual when one hasn’t met her yet. Furthermore, as others have mentioned, this neighbor won’t be in the picture forever (as it is, we rarely see them–maybe two or thee times a year at most), and I don’t think we’ll be living here more than a few more years.

Also, [name]Josephine[/name] is a family name on both sides (though not for immediate relatives), so it holds some personal significance, although I tend to believe the only personal significance necessary is love for the name.

I think [name]Josephine[/name] is a great name, please use it! For what it’s worth, I’ll share something with you that I’ve been thinking about lately. my sister always was a little dissappointed to meet no children with her name, only “old people.” My parents didnt realize it would be like that, nor did they realize that in the 80s my name was number 6 when I was born. Despite meeting a few girls with my name growing up, I felt perfectly unique, and despite some dissappointment, my sister didnt feel weird because of her name. [name]Just[/name] pick the name you love. Good luck!
Oh and family names are great! If it’s after someone who’s still alive, it can go in the middle spot to avoid confusion.