Would you use name that's already been picked by relative?

See the results of this poll: Would you use name that’s already been picked by relative?

Respondents: 34 (This poll is closed)

  • Yes, regardless of who the relative is (cousin, sibling, etc…): 5 (15%)
  • Yes, as long as it wasn’t a sibling of mine or my spouse’s: 12 (35%)
  • No, wouldn’t use name that’s already been picked by relative: 17 (50%)

Most people (here) would be or tend to be upset by a relative “stealing” their name, whether they choose it before you get a chance to use it, or “copy” it later - without asking if it’s ok. The poll may say otherwise, but that’s the general idea. People like to be original, and as long as [name]Eleanor[/name] isn’t a family name (like a grandmother) that you want to honor, it would be at least polite to ask first if the other parents mind. Also - if this is his cousin’s daughter, she would have the same grandparents, yes? Possibly the same last name as yours also.

My mother has always been quite adamant about having a singular [name]Karen[/name] in the family, for example. I kind of feel that way as well, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. If we all have the same grandparents in common, then if there was a particular patriarch or matriarch of the family, I can see several cousins choosing it and it would be understood. [name]Just[/name] because you have children first doesn’t mean you own all the rights to their name - he’s my grandpa too!

Your DH may have issues with it similar to my mom, and his cousin and their spouse may have no issue at all and even be flattered. If your DH does not agree to ask and flat out says no copies, then you have to compromise. If he says it wouldn’t hurt to ask them, and they say no copies, you should respect that.

There’s nothing wrong with copying the name as long as you go through the protocol of making sure everyone’s cool with it first.

I think in some situations it would be okay if it was a cousin rather than a sibling’s child, but if the family are so close and see one another all the time I personally wouldn’t use it.

What about [name]Evelyn[/name]? I always think of this as feeling so similar to [name]Eleanor[/name] - it has the same structure and the same elegant, vintage feel.

Otherwise, what about another name that will give you [name]Nora[/name] as a nn? I agree as a full name it’s too close to [name]Noah[/name] (I love your son’s names, by the way) but I think it’s fine if it’s a nn.

Other names that remind me of the name [name]Eleanor[/name]:

Good luck!

If it were a distant cousin that you never saw, I’d say go ahead if it doesn’t feel awkward for you. But if its someone you see a lot, then no. Each family is different though, and in some families, it seems more acceptable to use the same name, especially if an important family name. I answered your poll that no, i would not use it, but had there been a choice for not using only if relative is close (although not necessarily sibling), I would have picked that instead. Good luck!

Thank you [name]Karen[/name] for your feedback. Very helpful. Since this is his cousin’s daughter, he and his cousin have the same grandparents. However, their kids would have different grandparents. My kids’ grandparents would be my husband’s parents, and her kids’ grandparents would be her parents (i.e. my father-in-law’s sister). Think I said that right??? Which would give these 2nd cousins different last names. But I agree… may be better to think of a variation from [name]Eleanor[/name] or a different classic/older name all together. His family is way too sweet, so even if we did ask permission, I doubt they’d let us know if it really bothered them after all :slight_smile:

On a side note, my husband (and his cousin’s) grandma’s name was [name]Harriet[/name] [name]Evelyn[/name]… [name]Do[/name] like the suggestion of [name]Evelyn[/name], but not as much as [name]Eleanor[/name]. Maybe it’ll grow on me though??? :slight_smile:

I said yes, though I definitely understand why you might not want to do it. [name]Eleanor[/name] is a great name. It would be wise to gain your relative’s opinion on your using the name, though. One advantage to a name like [name]Eleanor[/name] is the many nickname choices, you could call your daughter one of many nicknames like:
[name]Nora[/name] (this one is borderline, though)
[name]Nori[/name] (my favorite)

If you don’t like nicknames, there’s not much I can tell you besides go for it if you really love the name.

I strongly believe that you should give your child any name you wish.

If there is someone close to you that already has the name I would mention to them that I would be giving my child the same name because you love it so much.

I would expect them to take it as a compliment if you have been close to them, and if you are not close to them how dare they be offended. It would be pretty mean of them to throw a hissy fit.

[name]James[/name] and [name]Noah[/name] are both Hebrew names, so I thought I’d select some E names of Hebrew origin. [name]Noah[/name] isn’t classic in the traditional sense (more Biblical), so I think many of these will go nicely:


I also thought any of these Hebrew names would work well:


I think it really depends on the situation. I had a cousin (whom I never really saw except for at family parties) and we were expecting at the same time. We had our son’s name picked out (for months) when we found out she had her son (two weeks before me) and named him the name we picked. We decided we weren’t going to change our minds. Though the name is [name]Jacob[/name], and being as popular as it is - and was at the time - we couldn’t get mad - it’s not like she “stole” the name.
It’s weird how people are offended by someone else choosing the same name as their child. I got mad when my step-sister’s best friend chose my daughter’s name ([name]Alanna[/name]) for her daughter. But in reality no one owns a name, and everyone has the right to name their child whatever they want.
If you want to save argument and animosity between you and your husband’s cousin, you could always ask her if you could use the name.

I would probably choose a name already used by a relative, as long as it isn’t a sibling of mine or my spouse’s (which is the option I chose in my poll).

Here’s my example.
I love the nickname [name]Allie[/name], and also adore the name [name]Allison[/name]. But, I have a cousin named [name]Allison[/name] and just didn’t feel like I could ever use that name. On the other hand, I also have a cousin named [name]Alex[/name] (not [name]Alexander[/name], just [name]Alex[/name]), and for that reason I wasn’t named [name]Alexandra[/name]. Anyway, my absolute favorite boy’s name is [name]Alexander[/name], and if I did have a boy named [name]Alexander[/name] he would go by [name]Lex[/name]. So, because the names are kind of different, I would use [name]Alexander[/name], but I wouldn’t use [name]Allison[/name].
Yes, it’s weird, I know. But oh well.

I can’t say I would never, ever use the same name as one that had already been used in my family or my DH’s family, but I would very much hesitate before I did so. If it were the name of a sibling’s child or a cousin’s child (and the cousin was someone I had contact with, even if just a little bit), I really don’t think I would use the same name. If it were a cousin who had chosen the name, and I had never met the cousin (as is the case with some of my DH’s cousins because he has such a large family), then maybe I would consider using the same name, but I’m still not sure I would do it. I would be especially hesitant to choose a name already in use in the family if my child were to have the same last name as the other child who already had the name. That would just be very confusing for future genealogists! I’m lucky, however, in that I have 12 nephews and nieces (on DH’s side), but I’m not the least bit tempted by any of their names. My sis doesn’t have kids yet, and neither do I, and at one point, when we were discussing names, it looked like we might have some of the same names on our list. But since then, I’ve grown more interested in other names. So I doubt there will be a problem. Anyway, if she uses a name before I do, I will just have to find another one. My cousin has some cute names for her kids, but, again, I can live without those names being on my list. There are, after all, a lot of names out there.

There are exceptions, though. The main one being family names from shared direct ancestors. Anyone in the family should be able to choose a family name, even if it’s already “taken”. There are probably other exceptions, too.

I think it’s great to name a baby after a relative who’s in an older generation. But I wouldn’t use a name of a sibling or cousin’s child.

I hope so! I think [name]Evelyn[/name] is just as nice as [name]Eleanor[/name] (and has the same strong, bright and intelligent vibe for me), and I love the [name]Evie[/name]/[name]Eve[/name]/[name]Eva[/name] nicknames (and of course, you have the [name]Lynn[/name] option as well). If it’s a family name too, then I think it’s even more perfect, but of course it has to be something you fall in love with yourself. But I hope you do!

I’ve often said to my dh during naming conversations that I wish we didn’t know so many people! I’ve always done my best not to ‘name steal’ which has been no easy task with our large extended family and network of friends from work, church, and sporting clubs. When we decided on [name]Gabriella[/name] for dd2 we were positively certain we’d come up with a winner, that no one could accuse us of having copied. Then shortly after [name]Gabriella[/name]'s birth we discovered that the youngest daughter in and Zimabwean family we know well, an 11 year old girl whom we’d always known as TuTu, was actually called [name]Gabriella[/name]. As it turned out, I’m glad that we didn’t know that before hand because I definitely wouldn’t have used the name, even though we obviously liked it very much.

The family were delighted that we’d named our daughter the same as theirs, but maybe that was a cultural difference. Petty as it sounds, most ladies I know would definitely be put out by name stealing!

not so cool to have the same name! (:
Unless of course they made a great impact on you then its all good! (:

Personally, I would not use a name that had already been chosen by a relative. There is obviously a line though, as a head teacher, I come across many many children every year and if I were to write off each and every name I ever came across in my school/nursery/friends’ children/daughters’ friends etc then I’d have no names left to choose from! :slight_smile:
I think using a name already chosen by a close relative ie. in my case, my S-I-L is planning on naming her daughter [name]Clementine[/name] [name]Joy[/name] J------ (my 4 month old is [name]Clementine[/name] [name]Jane[/name] J------) and I personally think this inappropriate, however, have made my peace with that and not mentioned a thing about it to her :slight_smile:


This year my family (cousins and and aunt) used [name]Avery[/name],[name]Harper[/name] (both boys), and [name]Evelyn[/name] which were my sister’s top 2 names for her daughter. Eventually, she chose a totally different name, but I told her that she shouldn’t have ruled the others out. You should go with the name you love!

If you and your dh can’t bring yourself to have “copied” name in the family I’d suggest

Best wishes!