Author Topic: "Stealing" a Baby Name  (Read 33895 times)

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FutureWife

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"Stealing" a Baby Name
« on: March 27, 2014, 10:23:21 PM »
My husband and I are expecting our first child this Summer.  My best friend of 15 years, who is NOT pregnant and has only expressed a desire to start a family since I told her we were expecting, asked me a few months ago if we had thought of names so I told her how we were debating between Charlotte and Catherine for a girl.  (I know, that was my first mistake!). Well she told me that he has her heart set on having a little girl and naming her Charlotte and asked me not to use the name.  I wanted to keep the peace and since we didn't know the baby's gender at the time told her I would keep it in mind.

Well...it's a girl!  We really do love the name Charlotte and have decided that our little one will have that name.  My friend is very upset with me.  She feels like I have "stolen" her name and that I am not considering her feelings.  To be honest, I really hadn't.  My reasons for not picking a different name are:
1. She is NOT pregnant and only recently decided she wanted to be.
2. They live on the opposite side of the US and it's not like our children will grow up spending lots of time together.
3. Charlotte is a VERY common name.  It's not like I have picked a unique family name from her family...she just likes it.
4. They may never have children and if they do, they may end up with only boys.  I do not like the idea of renaming my child because she might have one.

I have told her that I have no problem with both of us having girls with the same name.  I haw pointed out how far apart in geography and possibly age they kids may be and I have even reminded her that the decision is not solely mine and my husband happens to be fond of the name as well.  I haven't pointed out that she isn't now pregnant and may never have a girl because she was very upset on the phone and I didn't want to hurt her more.

My question is, am I a mean person for using a name she loves?  In my situation, would you change the name? 

Elfmama

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 10:31:00 PM »
You decided that Charlotte was one of the contenders BEFORE your friend told you that it was "her" name.  She's being silly and selfish.  Name your daughter whatever you please.

And your friend will either get over it or die mad. 
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Hmmmmm

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 10:32:23 PM »
No, I wouldn't change the name. If an unusual name she had discussed a few times, then I'd find it odd you decided to use the name. But this is a common name she had never mentioned until she asked you about names. IMHO she is projecting her envy about your coming child onto a silly subject like stealing a name.

Jones

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 10:40:14 PM »
My cousin and I were pregnant at the same time (DS). I didn't know she favored the name we gave DS, I gave birth first and she chose to name her son Ian instead. The next 2 years jokes went around when people found out Ian and DS could have had the same name. I insisted it would have been fine if the name share had happened. Cousin recently had her second child and gave him the favored name, spelled the other way (2 traditional ways) from how I'd done it. That tickled me a little.

When people care about each other, names don't matter. She can't dibs a name that you brought up first, anyway. Your friend may have a little Charles instead, when she does start her family, too.

missmolly

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 10:51:26 PM »
My Aunt pulled the same stunt when my mother was pregnant with my brother. She declared that she wanted to name her firstborn "Edward" after their great grandfather, even though Aunt wasn't even pregnant at the time. Since Mum had already picked another name for Bro, she was amused by Aunt rather than annoyed. Mum was even more amused when Aunt did have a boy, and after warning all and sundry that Edward was off-limits to everyone, named him Oliver instead.
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Nemesis

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 10:55:16 PM »
Honestly, just tell her to name her future daughter Charlotte as she had planned. The world could use with more Charlottes.

And if she throws a fit, point out that there are many Charlottes in the world and if she wishes for only her future child to have this name, it is going to be a steep hill to climb.

And then go ahead and name your baby anything you want!

AND Congratulations!!!!!

kherbert05

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 11:01:31 PM »
Names are in public domain. I don't care if your child and her future child are double first cousins of two sets of identical twins, who live next door to each other in a West Texas School district with 9 kids per grade - She doesn't get to reserve a name. If her child was born first you could still use it.

My family off the top of my head with a splitting head ache. Going only to cousins that spend time with each other.

6 James/Jimmie


2 Harvey


4 Christie/Christina


2 Mitch


6 Steve/Stephen (OK - 2 who didn't know each other happen to have 2 letter difference in their last name. Their mothers' had nearly identical names after their marriages and they ran in the same circles but didn't meet. One nearly got arrested for "pretending" to be the other and "robbing" my grandmother's house before their mutual great aunt who's marriage connected the 2 families got the situation figured out).


2 Melissa

8 different combinations of Edward, Edwin, Arthur

4 Andrews

3 Paul/Paula

10 Mary Margret/Margret Mary(Yes a large portion of the family are RC)

2 Geraldine/Gerry

2 Estell/Stella

10 Mike (Including 2 with same last name in the same small town)

5 Bill/Will/William/Laim

6 Anne/Ann

4 Emily Ann/e combinations


2 Thomas

2 Cameron


2 Ben


2 Matthews


4 Rolands
You know what 99% of the time I know exactly who Sis is talking about, when she calls and says Mike needs y or Liam did X just from the context and who they were with.
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CakeEater

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 11:19:12 PM »
Agree with the others - you're fine in naming your daughter your preferred name. In some circumstances, it might be odd to choose the name, but I don't think this is one.

Here's a naming column that talks about this a lot - something here might help:

http://www.namecandy.com/name-lady/search/name%2Bthief

PastryGoddess

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 11:24:29 PM »
Your "friend" needs to find a chair and have a seat.  You are pregnant, she is not. So basically she has made your pregnancy choices all about her.  Really?  Really?

This conversation is a gift, you now know more about her than you did before.  Use that information wisely. 

FoxPaws

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 11:37:54 PM »
No, you are not being mean. No, I would not change the name.

The only way you would be out of line is if she had created a unique variation - like spelling it Sharlut or something - and you copied that. A centuries old name with a traditional spelling? You're in the clear.
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JenJay

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 11:52:18 PM »
Good grief, she can't ask you to strike half your list in case she might want to use it someday. And, one parent to another, do take the list - just in case. Sometimes those little buggers don't match the name you chose. If you tossed the list (or misplaced it or grabbed an old one from a previous baby) you have to start over. Been there.

FutureWife

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 11:58:13 PM »
Thank you all for not thinking I'm a jerk!  With husband out of town and raging hormones, it's nice to get an outside opinion!

Elfmama

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 12:16:37 AM »
Good grief, she can't ask you to strike half your list in case she might want to use it someday. And, one parent to another, do take the list - just in case. Sometimes those little buggers don't match the name you chose. If you tossed the list (or misplaced it or grabbed an old one from a previous baby) you have to start over. Been there.
One of my favorite memories is of DD2, sitting up in her hospital bed with her newborn son propped up on her bent knees, discussing her list of baby names with him.  She didn't want to give him the wrong name, one that he didn't like.  I'm really glad that she ruled out the ones that *I* didn't like! 
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sammycat

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 12:26:22 AM »
Your immature and self centred friend is so far beyond ridiculous that I have no words.


Tea Drinker

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 12:31:48 AM »
In general, I don't think names are/should be considered reserved. If there was serious risk of confusion, I might reconsider--but that's confusion on the level of people naming twin boys Christopher and Christian, or Aiden and Jayden (I wish I was making those up, they're from the social security administration website a few years back. In each case, several different sets of parents did this.) Not just "which of my cousins Janet are we talking about?" or "there are three Mikes at this party." (If I was expecting a child, and looking at a family where half of the boys are named Tim and most of the rest are Robert, I wouldn't deal with that by telling other people they couldn't use those names, I would do it by using some other name for my own child, family tradition or no.)

That said, while it's an unreasonable demand, there are also more and less polite ways of making the request, and context might matter. As the OP noted, this is the first she's heard of her friend wanting to call a daughter Charlotte, and the tone seems a bit like "I know you got here first, but how dare you not let me cut in front of you in line for this event." That there isn't a finite number of tickets makes it sillier; it doesn't make it less rude. If her friend had been talking about wanting to name a daughter Charlotte for 15 years, since Charlotte was the 305th-most-popular girl's name in the United States, instead of the 19th, I might have cut her more slack, a gentler "I know you really like that name, but so do a lot of other people. Even if I called my daughter something else, your child would still know other Charlottes."

Your best bet is probably to drop the subject until you send out birth announcements. If your friend pushes, maybe tell her once that there are two people who get a vote here, you and your husband, and that you're not going to discuss it further.
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