Author Topic: "Stealing" a Baby Name  (Read 33191 times)

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DCGirl

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #240 on: June 04, 2014, 12:18:23 PM »
That particular superstition is one that is perpetuated by European Jews. I descend from Middle Eastern Jews and our tradition is exactly the opposite. In our tradition, you name your first born son after his father's father, first born daughter after father's mother. Second child is similarly named after the mother's parents. After that it's a free for all.

So in my generation, my oldest sister has the same name of several cousins on my father's side, and my second oldest sister has the same name as a few cousins on my mother's side. No boys in my family but there were several male cousins on my father's side who shared a name. Of course, on my mother's side, the boy cousins all had different names.

Note that this tradition holds regardless of whether grandparent is alive or dead, and usually they were alive. And note that although there were several first cousins who had the same name, no one felt the name had been appropriated. It was expected.

That tradition has been common in other cultures but is no longer.  My ancestry is Dutch and, when doing genealogy, you can almost determine the birth order of the children by their names. My great-great-great-grandfather was name Jacob, and everyone one of his 13 children had a son named Jacob based on the following conventions:

http://www.dutchgenealogy.nl/dutch-naming-traditions/

Ceallach

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #241 on: June 06, 2014, 01:46:17 AM »
That particular superstition is one that is perpetuated by European Jews. I descend from Middle Eastern Jews and our tradition is exactly the opposite. In our tradition, you name your first born son after his father's father, first born daughter after father's mother. Second child is similarly named after the mother's parents. After that it's a free for all.

So in my generation, my oldest sister has the same name of several cousins on my father's side, and my second oldest sister has the same name as a few cousins on my mother's side. No boys in my family but there were several male cousins on my father's side who shared a name. Of course, on my mother's side, the boy cousins all had different names.

Note that this tradition holds regardless of whether grandparent is alive or dead, and usually they were alive. And note that although there were several first cousins who had the same name, no one felt the name had been appropriated. It was expected.

My family is Sephardic, but we've attended an Ashkenazi synagogue my whole life. My middle name is my grandmother's name, who had just passed away when I was born. So I'm not sure whether this particular superstition is a long tradition in the family, or more recently adopted. Personally, I am not superstitious at all, but would rather avoid naming a child after a living relative more for their comfort than my own. I don't think that my use of a name that my sister recently chose would be covered under this belief, I think it has more to do with naming a child after an older relative. My feelings are along the lines of what wolfie described. We have a small family, and my sister's kids will be the only cousins that my (hypothetical) children will likely know or be close to. It just does not make sense to me to choose the same name that was just chosen by my sister. Sorry if it sounds like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill - as I said in my first post, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I had a feeling of not liking it, but when I think of the wide world of names out there, there are a lot of great options so I'm not so bothered. My sister does tend to be a little self-centered, so it was more like "oh, sure, there she goes again!" But this is entirely overshadowed by how thrilled we are about the baby. So life goes on!

I think it would be odd and a little inconvenient to use the same first name, particularly as you say the cousins will grow up close.   I think I've mentioned before that DH and I loved two boys names, both of which were in use - one was my nephew, and one his!   Yes we could have used them, but we didn't want to duplicate for so many reasons.   Having said that, my son has the same middle name as my nephew, and I didn't even think twice about that.   Nor would I have hesitated to use nephew's middle name as my son's first name if I'd liked it as such.  I don't think it bothered my sister at all either, and nephew thought it was pretty cool (he's 5).

So I definitely understand where you're coming from, but I don't think it precludes you using some of the names in a different way or different order. 
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VorFemme

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #242 on: June 06, 2014, 07:09:17 AM »
The Romans had similar naming conventions as far as "family names" - to the point of any names "awarded" the man for victory in battle (Germanicus comes to mind) were passed down to the next generation as well.

It has made keeping track of who's who in history very difficult for generations of school children, I'm sure.

Now - there were nicknames, use names, or other ways of determining who Claudius the BLIND or Caligula was (a Germanicus from his father's victories there) - but most of the time the most famous bearer of the name is the one that stands out from the crowd of Ciceros...

I am sure that the Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians had similar issues with names being passed down in the same family....
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poundcake

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #243 on: June 06, 2014, 09:39:43 AM »
Two cousins in my family, born within a month of each other back in the 1970s, were each given the same first name, but different middle names. (I have no idea if this was a point of contention between the SiLs. It seems that only more recently has the idea of "no one can have the same name" become more absolute.) The cousins LOVED having the same name! It was like their bond within the rest of the huge family. At family gatherings they were called by their first and middle names, think Michelle Lee and Michelle Rose. No one seemed to think it was odd at all.

TootsNYC

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #244 on: June 06, 2014, 10:49:37 AM »
That particular superstition is one that is perpetuated by European Jews. I descend from Middle Eastern Jews and our tradition is exactly the opposite. In our tradition, you name your first born son after his father's father, first born daughter after father's mother. Second child is similarly named after the mother's parents. After that it's a free for all.

You know, that's interesting--I'd forgotten until just now that in the story of the birth of John the Baptist (who was Jewish), the relatives were going to name the baby Zechariah after his father; Elizabeth says to name him John, and they reply, "there is no one among your relatives who has that name." It's only when Zech writes out the name do they believe her.

Elfmama

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #245 on: June 06, 2014, 04:52:39 PM »
The Romans had similar naming conventions as far as "family names" - to the point of any names "awarded" the man for victory in battle (Germanicus comes to mind) were passed down to the next generation as well.

It has made keeping track of who's who in history very difficult for generations of school children, I'm sure.

Now - there were nicknames, use names, or other ways of determining who Claudius the BLIND or Caligula was (a Germanicus from his father's victories there) - but most of the time the most famous bearer of the name is the one that stands out from the crowd of Ciceros...

I am sure that the Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians had similar issues with names being passed down in the same family....
Funny story about Caligula.  By birthname, he was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.  His father was a Roman general, who  made the unusual choice to have his wife and children with him on campaign.  Little Gaius was very proud of his sandal-boots, miniatures of the caligae  that the soldiers wore, so much so that the men nicknamed him "Caligula", the diminutive form of caligae. 

Pity poor  Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus -- no one remembers him by that name.  Instead, this most feared of the insane Roman Emperors has gone into the history books with that Latin nickname, one that would be rendered into English as ... Bootsie.
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wolfie

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #246 on: June 06, 2014, 04:57:33 PM »
The Romans had similar naming conventions as far as "family names" - to the point of any names "awarded" the man for victory in battle (Germanicus comes to mind) were passed down to the next generation as well.

It has made keeping track of who's who in history very difficult for generations of school children, I'm sure.

Now - there were nicknames, use names, or other ways of determining who Claudius the BLIND or Caligula was (a Germanicus from his father's victories there) - but most of the time the most famous bearer of the name is the one that stands out from the crowd of Ciceros...

I am sure that the Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians had similar issues with names being passed down in the same family....

Like how for a while every child got the same name? SO Pliny the elder and Pliny the younger were actually brothers (or sisters - not sure which gender name Pliny is) Imagine a family like the Duggers? 18 kids with the same name??? I guess like George Forman and his kids they all must have gone by other names but still.

Elfmama

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #247 on: June 06, 2014, 05:07:12 PM »
The Romans had similar naming conventions as far as "family names" - to the point of any names "awarded" the man for victory in battle (Germanicus comes to mind) were passed down to the next generation as well.

It has made keeping track of who's who in history very difficult for generations of school children, I'm sure.

Now - there were nicknames, use names, or other ways of determining who Claudius the BLIND or Caligula was (a Germanicus from his father's victories there) - but most of the time the most famous bearer of the name is the one that stands out from the crowd of Ciceros...

I am sure that the Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians had similar issues with names being passed down in the same family....

Like how for a while every child got the same name? SO Pliny the elder and Pliny the younger were actually brothers (or sisters - not sure which gender name Pliny is) Imagine a family like the Duggers? 18 kids with the same name??? I guess like George Forman and his kids they all must have gone by other names but still.
The Plinys were uncle and nephew.  Girls usually went by nicknames, because officially daughters didn't even get their own names.  If Gaius Julius Caesar had a sister, she was Julia.  If there were other sisters, they were also Julia.  Julia Major and Julia Minor if there were only two, Julia Prima/Secunda/Tertia (First/Second/Third) and so on if there were 3 or more. 
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Jones

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #248 on: June 06, 2014, 05:11:36 PM »
I assume that has something to do with all the Marys listed in the New Testament, too? Or it was just an excessively common name...

wolfie

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #249 on: June 06, 2014, 05:21:45 PM »
The Romans had similar naming conventions as far as "family names" - to the point of any names "awarded" the man for victory in battle (Germanicus comes to mind) were passed down to the next generation as well.

It has made keeping track of who's who in history very difficult for generations of school children, I'm sure.

Now - there were nicknames, use names, or other ways of determining who Claudius the BLIND or Caligula was (a Germanicus from his father's victories there) - but most of the time the most famous bearer of the name is the one that stands out from the crowd of Ciceros...

I am sure that the Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians had similar issues with names being passed down in the same family....

Like how for a while every child got the same name? SO Pliny the elder and Pliny the younger were actually brothers (or sisters - not sure which gender name Pliny is) Imagine a family like the Duggers? 18 kids with the same name??? I guess like George Forman and his kids they all must have gone by other names but still.
The Plinys were uncle and nephew.  Girls usually went by nicknames, because officially daughters didn't even get their own names.  If Gaius Julius Caesar had a sister, she was Julia.  If there were other sisters, they were also Julia.  Julia Major and Julia Minor if there were only two, Julia Prima/Secunda/Tertia (First/Second/Third) and so on if there were 3 or more.

Okay - so boys got their own names? only girls were numbered? I realized I was thinking of Agrippa the elder and younger - and I know those were women.

CharlieBraun

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #250 on: June 06, 2014, 06:03:44 PM »
I do family research and the naming conventions in my German Hungarian family are responsible for so many clumps of hair torn out.

Brothers emigrating from 1890 to 1910, all to Philadelphia, all with the same unusual last name.  Joseph, Frank, Peter, Adam, John. Two sisters, Dorothea and Magdalen.

Joseph married and had no children. Frank married and had Frank and John.  Peter died unmarried during WW2. Adam (I) died as a baby. John married and had John, Adam, Peter, Joseph, Dorothea and Magdalen. Adam (II) married and had Peter.

Two of these brothers married sisters, who were their cousins. With the same roster of family names.  And with four brothers.  Frank, Joseph, Peter and Wendelin.  And those brothers all married and had children.  So their wives' families, also impossible German Hungarian names as last names, have the same seven first names.

62 first cousins. Born over 17 years. All with one of the above seven first names and one of two last names. 

That was two years of my life spent untangling that.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 06:25:22 PM by CharlieBraun »
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girlmusic

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #251 on: June 06, 2014, 08:04:13 PM »
No matter how hard I try, I can't make Erin/Aaron sound alike, nor Don/Dawn. (Aussie/NZ here). In my little world:

Don - rhymes with John/Ron/con.
Dawn - rhymes with thorn/corn/morn/Shawn.

Aaron - rhymes with baren/Karen (or basically just Karen without the K).
Erin - rhymes with Kerryn/Merryn (ear-in).

New Yorker here.

Don - rhymes with Ron/John
Dawn - rhymes with fawn/lawn basically the "aw" in awning with a D and N at each end

Aaron - rhymes with Karen/barren
Erin - "eh"- rin (as in tin without the t)

z_squared82

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #252 on: June 08, 2014, 01:10:31 PM »
No matter how hard I try, I can't make Erin/Aaron sound alike, nor Don/Dawn. (Aussie/NZ here). In my little world:

Don - rhymes with John/Ron/con.
Dawn - rhymes with thorn/corn/morn/Shawn.

Aaron - rhymes with baren/Karen (or basically just Karen without the K).
Erin - rhymes with Kerryn/Merryn (ear-in).

New Yorker here.

Don - rhymes with Ron/John
Dawn - rhymes with fawn/lawn basically the "aw" in awning with a D and N at each end

Aaron - rhymes with Karen/barren
Erin - "eh"- rin (as in tin without the t)

Midwesterner.

My John and lawn do sound alike, thus Don and Dawn do, too.

Aaron rhymes with Karen rhymes with Erin. When we want to distinguish a story about friend's brother Aaron from other friend's sister Erin, we say, "Do you mean A-ron or Ee-rin?"

Corvid

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #253 on: June 10, 2014, 06:07:54 PM »
I'm from the upper Midwest/Great Lakes region, and I'm in agreement with the New Yorker.

Don = John
Dawn = fawn, Shawn

Aaron = Karen, barren
Erin = "eh"-rin

Ceallach

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Re: "Stealing" a Baby Name
« Reply #254 on: June 10, 2014, 11:53:21 PM »
Two cousins in my family, born within a month of each other back in the 1970s, were each given the same first name, but different middle names. (I have no idea if this was a point of contention between the SiLs. It seems that only more recently has the idea of "no one can have the same name" become more absolute.) The cousins LOVED having the same name! It was like their bond within the rest of the huge family. At family gatherings they were called by their first and middle names, think Michelle Lee and Michelle Rose. No one seemed to think it was odd at all.

I actually would have been ok with this had the names of my nephews been the kind that work well double-barrelled.  Unfortunately they were both really long/distinctive names that would sound odd paired with something.   For example, it would be a bit clumsy having a "Bartholemew James" and "Bartholemew Pete" etc.  (And yes, of course you could have two different nicknames or something else, but it was just too complicated).   And seeing my only reason for wanting those names was "hey I really like that name" we picked something different.

If it had been a more straightforward name I would have been more than happy for my "Mary" to be "Mary Rose" when around her cousins and I imagine they would have found it quite cool sharing the name.   
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