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Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes

danstealing

You’re several months pregnant, when the conversation turns — as it often does — to names.  You don’t have a name picked out yet and you say you’re considering several options.  So your friend or sister-in-law or neighbor says, “Just don’t use Sophie or Sadie or Benjamin or Nathan.  I’m reserving those names in case I have another baby.”

Well, as it happens, Sophia is on your list.  And so is Nathaniel.  You may want to use one of them, you may not, but you certainly don’t want to be forced to take them out of consideration just because someone else calls dibs on them.

Should you stand up for your right to use whatever name you want, no dibs allowed?  Should you just quietly go your own way as if the claim had never been laid down?  Or should you back away from the newly-reserved names?

That’s our question of the week: What’s fair in baby-naming?  Can you reserve a baby name?  Should you respect someone else’s “claim” on a name?

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berry qow pic final

This week’s Berry Question of the Week comes from a Kansas mom named Amy, who is excitedly awaiting the arrival of a daughter to add to her trio of well named boys. Problem is, she’s waited so long to have a little girl that she feels the name she’s looking for can be nothing short of perfect. She writes:

My husband and I are having our first daughter after three boys and several years of trying for another without any luck. So this baby girl feels sooo special and I want her to have a name that’s perfect as she’ll definitely be our last.

The problem is that my husband and I just can’t agree on what we want. I have looked at SO many names and I feel like I’m running out of ideas- and I can’t even seem to stick with one style.

I like sweet and feminine, modern and spunky, hip and vintage, and word names. I can say I want something that’s not too common and that I’m not a fan of hybrid or invented names. My husband’s style just seems to lean to “no”. Aargh.

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fingers_in_ears

Recently we asked the Nameberry facebookers (Have you joined yet?  Better hurry on over there) to tell us which baby names they’d loved that their partners nixed.

The question prompted a flood of comments, with 65 (and counting) berries weighing in on which beloved names their partners banished from consideration, and why.

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Elaine seinfeld

Elaine, a young berry with what she feels to be an “old-lady name,” prefers to go by the sprightlier nickname, “Laney.” But she doesn’t love Laney either and so poses her dilemma to her fellow berries. Can she learn to love her name? Or is it time to start over with something new?  She writes:

“My name is Elaine. I’m 16 and have always hated it. I’ve gone by Laney for my entire life, but Elaine‘s still my name.

I want to love my name. Even from when I was little, I thought of Elaine as an old-lady name. I love that my name’s uncommon(ish) and do like Laney, but it just makes me sad sometimes.

I come on your site daily to check out name reviews. Sounds crazy, since I’m only 16 and definitely not expecting anytime soon. One day I just hope I’ll find some celebrity who named their child Elaine or maybe it somehow made a miraculous comeback. It frustrates me that my name won’t sound fresh until the 2040s. By that time I’ll be 45 years old!

Like I said, I want to love my name. I want advice more than ‘it’s your name: love it’ or ‘you go by Laney so it doesn’t matter.’ That’s the advice given to me by other forums and friends who clearly don’t have my problem with names like Hannah or Emily. I’ve felt this way for years. It’s not just a stage. I don’t know what to do!

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maleline

Megan , who lives just outside Philadelphia, is expecting her first boy after two little girls in June. Her daughters both have family names, but now her husband, Thomas IV, would like to continue the tradition of naming the boys in his family Thomas, making their son Thomas V. Problem is, mom’s not too keen.

Can you help her find a family name everyone will agree on? Or should she give in to hubby’s desire for a V? She writes:

“We are expecting our third baby and first boy in June.  It was easy to name our daughters – Aubryn Elizabeth (age 4) was named for my maternal grandmother and Margaret Jane (nn: Maisie, age 20 months) was named for my paternal grandmother and my mother.

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