Author Topic: "Stealing" a Baby Name  (Read 33502 times)

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Elfmama

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #135 on: April 28, 2014, 07:06:30 PM »
There are also, according to the Baby Name Wizard, cycles.  Names of your mother's generation (for me, Linda, Sue, Debby, Barbara) all sound like your mother-in-law's name, and they make you think of a 50-year-old woman.  Names of your grandmother's generation (for me, Mary, Betty, Dorothy, Shirley) all sound like old lady names.

But you probably never knew your great-grandmother, or at least very little, and not many other people of your great-grandmother's generation.  You may have heard stories about her, and stories from when she was a little girl.  You may romanticize her generation, and earlier than that.  So the names of that generation and earlier (for me, Ruth, Virginia, Elizabeth, Evelyn) don't have as much baggage to them.

Of course, there are names that we like and names that we don't like from those generations, because there are other trends that drive us.  For instance, there's a current trend towards boys' names ending in -n.  Just like Carotte said that in France there's a trend towards boys' names ending in -o.

Girls' names with two syllables (or sometimes three) ending with -a are really popular right now.  Ava, Sophia, Olivia, etc.  Soft letters like s, ph, l, and v.  Lots of k's and m's, too.  But not as many d's, and generally flowing names.  So some women may be choosing old-fashioned, uncommon names, and then finding that Julia, or Sylvia, turns out to have three others of her name in her preschool class, because the other women are of the same generation and they are all being affected by language the same way such that they are also looking for those soft consonants and flowing names with the -a ending.

I want to see "Evelyn" make a comeback as a boy's name. Perhaps the (male) character of Evelyn Napier in Downton Abbey will make it acceptable? Fingers crossed!

In general once a name becomes a girl's name it never moves back to being a boy's name.
I only know of one.  Douglass was a girl's name in Renaissance England, but it apparently fell out  of favor altogether and disappeared from the name pool.  In the mid-19th C  Douglas cropped up as a boy's name, from the custom of turning the mother's maiden name into a given name for her son.  (Or, in case of US Civil War veterans, the name of one's commanding officer.) 
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #136 on: April 28, 2014, 09:50:44 PM »
As far as older names reminding one of someone else.  My dearest friend shares a first name with one of my late great-aunts.  Let's say "Marilla".  Aunt Marilla was quite a nice lady but very conservative, prim and proper.  Kinda like Marilla Cuthbert, really, or perhaps a mix between her and Rachel Lynde. 

Aunt Marilla also did NOT like when people pronounced "Aunt" so that it sounded like the insect and refused to answer if someone used that to refer to her.  Any correspondence I ever received from her was always addressed to me as Mrs. Husbandsname.  And nothing wrong with it at all but that as a kid I just had a hard time relating to her, though she did like me quite a bit, probably because I was a quiet child.

Then I met my friend and thought "Whoa, you're nothing like any Marilla I've ever known!" My friend is a free spirit, imaginative, mischievous, fiercely independent and calls herself an "old hippie" and still dresses like one. :) I often say I'm the Ethel to her Lucy. :)  In fact we started calling each other by the names of our fanfiction OC's partly because I kept slipping and calling her by her character's name because it sounded more like "her" than Marilla did.  She didn't mind, either.

In fact she's admitted she doesn't really like her first name on its own but does like being called by her first and middle name together like her Mama did.  Or a shortened form of her first name as DH uses for her.
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blarg314

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #137 on: April 28, 2014, 11:02:06 PM »

I only know of one.  Douglass was a girl's name in Renaissance England, but it apparently fell out  of favor altogether and disappeared from the name pool.  In the mid-19th C  Douglas cropped up as a boy's name, from the custom of turning the mother's maiden name into a given name for her son.  (Or, in case of US Civil War veterans, the name of one's commanding officer.)
[/quote]

Interesting. I did a quick search on this

For Boy -> Girl there's a whole lot - Alexis, Addison, Ashley, Allison, Aubrey, Avery, Bailey, Beverly, Blair, Cassidy, Evelyn, Hilary, Kelly, Kelsey, Kennedy, Kim, Lauren, Leigh, Lesley, Lindsay, Lynn, Madison, Meredith, Morgan, Robin, Shannon, Sandy, Shelly, Stacy, Sydney, Taylor, Vivian, Whitney, Tracy.

For Girl -> Boy, very few. Examples are Jean and Frankie - the first is a male name in France, while the second, as a short for Francesca or Frances, has fallen out of favour for girls more than it's risen in popularity for boys.

There are a fair number of unisex names, particularly when you include sound-alikes (Aaron/Erin, etc) and names which were originally nicknames that came from both male and female names (Bobby, Chris, Jo(e), Toni/Tony.

There are also cultural cross-confusions. In English, you get the female Danielle and Nicola and the male Daniel and Nicholas. In Spanish, the male is pronounced Danielle but spelled Daniel, and the female is Daniella, while in French, Nicholas is pronounced Nicola (both cases are friends of mine).  I also know Chinese men with English names of Bambi and Hope, which is a somewhat different story.


Poppea

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #138 on: April 28, 2014, 11:15:59 PM »

I only know of one.  Douglass was a girl's name in Renaissance England, but it apparently fell out  of favor altogether and disappeared from the name pool.  In the mid-19th C  Douglas cropped up as a boy's name, from the custom of turning the mother's maiden name into a given name for her son.  (Or, in case of US Civil War veterans, the name of one's commanding officer.)

Interesting. I did a quick search on this

For Boy -> Girl there's a whole lot - Alexis, Addison, Ashley, Allison, Aubrey, Avery, Bailey, Beverly, Blair, Cassidy, Evelyn, Hilary, Kelly, Kelsey, Kennedy, Kim, Lauren, Leigh, Lesley, Lindsay, Lynn, Madison, Meredith, Morgan, Robin, Shannon, Sandy, Shelly, Stacy, Sydney, Taylor, Vivian, Whitney, Tracy.

For Girl -> Boy, very few. Examples are Jean and Frankie - the first is a male name in France, while the second, as a short for Francesca or Frances, has fallen out of favour for girls more than it's risen in popularity for boys.

There are a fair number of unisex names, particularly when you include sound-alikes (Aaron/Erin, etc) and names which were originally nicknames that came from both male and female names (Bobby, Chris, Jo(e), Toni/Tony.

There are also cultural cross-confusions. In English, you get the female Danielle and Nicola and the male Daniel and Nicholas. In Spanish, the male is pronounced Danielle but spelled Daniel, and the female is Daniella, while in French, Nicholas is pronounced Nicola (both cases are friends of mine).  I also know Chinese men with English names of Bambi and Hope, which is a somewhat different story.
[/quote]

"Jean" has been a male French name forever.  "Jeanne/Jean" has been a female French name just as long.

TeamBhakta

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #139 on: April 29, 2014, 12:23:51 AM »
My brother and his best friend had wives pregnant at the same time...

Mrs BF and SIL were due about the same time and long before she ever said she was pregnant my bro & SIL had the name Justin picked out.  I worked at a print shop and we had the artwork in place to be "Just In Time" as a front cover for the announcement weeks before the expected birth.

BF's wife was expecting a girl and they had a feminine type name chosen.  Well as fate would have it Mrs. BF delivered first and surprise, surprise it was a boy... they had announcements printed elsewhere with the "Just In Time" theme.  It was the end of the friendship.

My brother and sil weren't really mad about the same name, but we were all furious about the theft of their plan for the announcement theme.  Not that "just in time" is an original idea from our family - it was that they could sneak in and rip it off and act like it had been their idea the whole time. 

Our family's thinking was that if they will stoop to steal this - what else might they feel free to take later?
 

I think your brother & his wife overreacted. I recall several past short stories in Readers Digest about people naming their new baby some variant of Justin Time. Also, Southerners may remember the old Justin Thyme / Ford car commercials; I think my area's version included something like "Come on over to Ford and you'll be Justin Thyme"
http://youtu.be/Ih2NkrvT5pc
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 12:25:46 AM by TeamBhakta »

Redneck Gravy

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #140 on: April 29, 2014, 11:01:34 AM »
My brother and his best friend had wives pregnant at the same time...

Mrs BF and SIL were due about the same time and long before she ever said she was pregnant my bro & SIL had the name Justin picked out.  I worked at a print shop and we had the artwork in place to be "Just In Time" as a front cover for the announcement weeks before the expected birth.

BF's wife was expecting a girl and they had a feminine type name chosen.  Well as fate would have it Mrs. BF delivered first and surprise, surprise it was a boy... they had announcements printed elsewhere with the "Just In Time" theme.  It was the end of the friendship.

My brother and sil weren't really mad about the same name, but we were all furious about the theft of their plan for the announcement theme.  Not that "just in time" is an original idea from our family - it was that they could sneak in and rip it off and act like it had been their idea the whole time. 

Our family's thinking was that if they will stoop to steal this - what else might they feel free to take later?
 

I think your brother & his wife overreacted. I recall several past short stories in Readers Digest about people naming their new baby some variant of Justin Time. Also, Southerners may remember the old Justin Thyme / Ford car commercials; I think my area's version included something like "Come on over to Ford and you'll be Justin Thyme"
http://youtu.be/Ih2NkrvT5pc

They named their child Justin and used the Just In Time theme - mailing the announcements to many of their same friends. 

some PP asked about this - yes they used the same name.  It kinda reminded me of someone copying your test answers after being too lazy to study.  Or stealing your "project" idea for class because they weren't going to put any effort into coming up with an idea of their own. 

TeamBhakta

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #141 on: April 29, 2014, 04:37:36 PM »
Quote

They named their child Justin and used the Just In Time theme - mailing the announcements to many of their same friends. 

some PP asked about this - yes they used the same name.  It kinda reminded me of someone copying your test answers after being too lazy to study.  Or stealing your "project" idea for class because they weren't going to put any effort into coming up with an idea of their own.

Not on par with stealing someone's project idea at all. What if I named a baby Hannah, nicknamed her Hannah Banana & had monkey / banana themed announcements ? And then a friend used the same well known nickname & theme for their own announcements ? It wouldn't be copying, just a case of several people using a well known idea.

Twik

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #142 on: April 29, 2014, 05:19:04 PM »
To be honest, I don't particularly care for the "Justin Time" theme. It makes me think that the baby was named for the theme, not the other way around. However, that's just my particular taste.

More to the point, this seems to be a very small thing to break up a true friendship over. Who cares about the theme on a birth announcement a month after they go out? It wasn't even a *particularly* original idea. And it's not exactly plagiarizing one's doctoral thesis. There's no grade given for birth announcements. People just say, "Oh, the Thingummys had a kid. Name's Justin - sounds nice." and throw them out.
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yokozbornak

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #143 on: April 29, 2014, 06:02:21 PM »
Quote

They named their child Justin and used the Just In Time theme - mailing the announcements to many of their same friends. 

some PP asked about this - yes they used the same name.  It kinda reminded me of someone copying your test answers after being too lazy to study.  Or stealing your "project" idea for class because they weren't going to put any effort into coming up with an idea of their own.

Not on par with stealing someone's project idea at all. What if I named a baby Hannah, nicknamed her Hannah Banana & had monkey / banana themed announcements ? And then a friend used the same well known nickname & theme for their own announcements ? It wouldn't be copying, just a case of several people using a well known idea.

I disagree with this to a certain extent.  One of my close friends and I were pregnant at the same time and ended up naming our babies the same first name.  My DD was born first and we named her.  They hadn't decided on a name at that point, but she came to me and said they love the name we chose and wanted to name their daughter that.  Of course, I didn't mind because I don't own they name, but I did appreciate the courtesy of her telling me beforehand.  I would bet that Redneck Gravy's family members probably would have been okay if they had been told beforehand (even though the baby boy was a surprise it would still be possible), but it does seem underhanded to use the name you know your friends love without giving them a head's up.  Of course, they didn't OWE them, but I just think it would be a courteous thing to do.  They way they handled it would also cause my to distrust them.

CharlieBraun

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #144 on: April 29, 2014, 10:20:15 PM »
I was dating a guy who I will call "John."  Because that was his name.

His dad was John.  And his grandfather.  And great grandfather.  And...and...and...back back back.

His sister had two children - she had named her first son "John" and her second son "Not John."  Or Robert.  Or Seth. 

When he and I were nowhere near to getting engaged - in fact, it was like the second time I met her - she solemnly assured me that I had her permission to name my son John, after that future mythical son's presumed father (her brother), and that she'd only named her son John because:

1) her brother had been so long unmarried that the family suspected he might be gay, and that
2) her son's name was really just a" placeholder"; if her brother did marry and have a "real" son to be named John. they'd start using her son's middle name and leave "John" to the "Real John".

My then boyfriend listened to all of this, nodding approvingly.  It had evidently been discussed.

I can't believe I dated him as long as I did.

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Ceallach

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #145 on: April 29, 2014, 10:52:46 PM »
I was dating a guy who I will call "John."  Because that was his name.

His dad was John.  And his grandfather.  And great grandfather.  And...and...and...back back back.

His sister had two children - she had named her first son "John" and her second son "Not John."  Or Robert.  Or Seth. 

When he and I were nowhere near to getting engaged - in fact, it was like the second time I met her - she solemnly assured me that I had her permission to name my son John, after that future mythical son's presumed father (her brother), and that she'd only named her son John because:

1) her brother had been so long unmarried that the family suspected he might be gay, and that
2) her son's name was really just a" placeholder"; if her brother did marry and have a "real" son to be named John. they'd start using her son's middle name and leave "John" to the "Real John".

My then boyfriend listened to all of this, nodding approvingly.  It had evidently been discussed.

I can't believe I dated him as long as I did.

I dunno, it's kind of sweet... in a warped way.   If it's a family tradition that's important to them, it's nice that she is considerate of that rather than saying "Too bad you snooze you lose".   On the other hand, changing her son's name if a future John shows up, by which point John might already be well into school-aged, is definitely a little... odd.    ;D
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IrishGenes

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #146 on: April 29, 2014, 11:12:45 PM »

OP, I'm just repeating others when I say the most amusing thing about this is that YOU first said you were thinking of using the name. It's like you're holding a candy bar, she yanks it from your hand, then insists you can't touch HER candy!  :o

Charlotte is a beautiful name. I have an Aunt (in her 60s) and a SIL (in her 40s) with that name; it seems to be a timeless name without having been over-used.

When it comes to name-stealing, of course I think it isn't even possible, but I completely appreciate the claim if the name is really unusual.

My son is 9 and I didn't know anyone at all with his name when he was born ("Levi", which may be uncommon, but not at all unusual). I was very happy about that. Now his name is growing steadily in popularity and I'm a bit disappointed because I liked it being unique. I never would have tried to prevent a loved-one from using it on their own child, though!

I wonder how a person would feel if someone had a unique naming approach that someone 'stole' rather than the specific name (like "I'm going to name all my daughters after Disney princesses... Tianna, Ariel, and Belle), then someone else, like her SIL, comes along and names her kids Jasmine and Aurora. I can imagine some people getting really territorial!

That is my 12 year old son's name!  We chose it for Biblical reasons (he was almost 'Noah').
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Ceallach

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #147 on: April 29, 2014, 11:19:38 PM »

OP, I'm just repeating others when I say the most amusing thing about this is that YOU first said you were thinking of using the name. It's like you're holding a candy bar, she yanks it from your hand, then insists you can't touch HER candy!  :o

Charlotte is a beautiful name. I have an Aunt (in her 60s) and a SIL (in her 40s) with that name; it seems to be a timeless name without having been over-used.

When it comes to name-stealing, of course I think it isn't even possible, but I completely appreciate the claim if the name is really unusual.

My son is 9 and I didn't know anyone at all with his name when he was born ("Levi", which may be uncommon, but not at all unusual). I was very happy about that. Now his name is growing steadily in popularity and I'm a bit disappointed because I liked it being unique. I never would have tried to prevent a loved-one from using it on their own child, though!

I wonder how a person would feel if someone had a unique naming approach that someone 'stole' rather than the specific name (like "I'm going to name all my daughters after Disney princesses... Tianna, Ariel, and Belle), then someone else, like her SIL, comes along and names her kids Jasmine and Aurora. I can imagine some people getting really territorial!

That is my 12 year old son's name!  We chose it for Biblical reasons (he was almost 'Noah').

Ah yes, the rise of the old testament names over the past decade....  my son has one too (neither Levi or Noah but similar), but we were aware that it's on the increase prior to selecting it.  Given our other name choices were all in the top 25 I was just glad this one was only top 100, and a fairly recent entry!   
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #148 on: April 29, 2014, 11:34:41 PM »
There are also, according to the Baby Name Wizard, cycles.  Names of your mother's generation (for me, Linda, Sue, Debby, Barbara) all sound like your mother-in-law's name, and they make you think of a 50-year-old woman.  Names of your grandmother's generation (for me, Mary, Betty, Dorothy, Shirley) all sound like old lady names.

But you probably never knew your great-grandmother, or at least very little, and not many other people of your great-grandmother's generation.  You may have heard stories about her, and stories from when she was a little girl.  You may romanticize her generation, and earlier than that.  So the names of that generation and earlier (for me, Ruth, Virginia, Elizabeth, Evelyn) don't have as much baggage to them.

Of course, there are names that we like and names that we don't like from those generations, because there are other trends that drive us.  For instance, there's a current trend towards boys' names ending in -n.  Just like Carotte said that in France there's a trend towards boys' names ending in -o.

Girls' names with two syllables (or sometimes three) ending with -a are really popular right now.  Ava, Sophia, Olivia, etc.  Soft letters like s, ph, l, and v.  Lots of k's and m's, too.  But not as many d's, and generally flowing names.  So some women may be choosing old-fashioned, uncommon names, and then finding that Julia, or Sylvia, turns out to have three others of her name in her preschool class, because the other women are of the same generation and they are all being affected by language the same way such that they are also looking for those soft consonants and flowing names with the -a ending.

I want to see "Evelyn" make a comeback as a boy's name. Perhaps the (male) character of Evelyn Napier in Downton Abbey will make it acceptable? Fingers crossed!

In general once a name becomes a girl's name it never moves back to being a boy's name.

But Evelyn for a boy and Evelyn for a girl are pronounced differently - EE - vuh - lin for a boy and EH - vuh - lin for a girl. Sure, I wouldn't name my son Evelyn, but I wouldn't think the boy named Evelyn was a girl, because of the pronunciation.

Yes, I've noticed how on "Downton Abbey" they pronounce Evelyn's name as "EE-vuh-lin". I didn't realise there was a difference in pronunciation according to gender.

And yeah, I always think of the author Evelyn Waugh, so to me, Evelyn is not at all an outlandish name for a boy.

sammycat

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #149 on: April 30, 2014, 12:52:44 AM »
I was dating a guy who I will call "John."  Because that was his name.

His dad was John.  And his grandfather.  And great grandfather.  And...and...and...back back back.

His sister had two children - she had named her first son "John" and her second son "Not John."  Or Robert.  Or Seth. 

When he and I were nowhere near to getting engaged - in fact, it was like the second time I met her - she solemnly assured me that I had her permission to name my son John, after that future mythical son's presumed father (her brother), and that she'd only named her son John because:

1) her brother had been so long unmarried that the family suspected he might be gay[/color], and that
2) her son's name was really just a" placeholder"; if her brother did marry and have a "real" son to be named John. they'd start using her son's middle name and leave "John" to the "Real John".

My then boyfriend listened to all of this, nodding approvingly.  It had evidently been discussed.

I can't believe I dated him as long as I did.

That's quite horrifying. A person's name is one of the most fundamental things about them. To think they can suddenly just starting calling the boy by something else is beyond any normalcy that I can grasp. And how horrible for the boy to be treated as though he's less worthy than his cousin (presumably) because he's the child of the daughter, not the son. And thinking that because he wasn't married yet he must be gay?  Seriously?  That family sounds really screwed up.

Even though I would never in a million years choose my child's name simply because it's family tradition (it would instantly go to the bottom of my name list), I don't see anything wrong with two cousins having the same first name.