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Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes

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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rosekatherine1

Our Berry Question of the Week comes from Jen Barnes of Seattle, who’s facing a common problem in Baby Name Land: She and her husband are having trouble agreeing on a name for their second daughter.  Here, the names he likes and those that she likes.  Your job, dear berries, is to help them find a name they both will love.  Jen writes:

Please help us name baby #2!  Our 2nd baby girl is arriving in 4 short weeks and she has no name!  Our 18-month-old daughter, Rose Katherine, was named the second we found out that she was a girl!  Every time I think I have some names narrowed down, I add one to the list.  My husband has been no help in this process either — ha.  Here are the names he likes:

Sarah

Shayla- he used to live in a city (spelled Xela) in Guatemala with this name and it is very dear to his heart but I am just not feeling it.

Nora

I love the name Nora but I fear that it is becoming too popular.  What do you think?

Here are my favorite names currently:

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Should You Trademark Your Baby’s Name?

blueivy

Beyonce and Jay-Z took unique celebrity baby naming one step further last week when they moved to trademark infant daughter Blue Ivy Carter’s name.  Parents have a right to trademark their minor children’s names, according to U.S. law, but the name has to be both distinctive and connected to some expectation of commercial enterprise.

If Beyonce and Jay-Z had named their daughter Jennifer, say, she’d be one of nearly 2000 Jennifer Carters in the U.S. and it would be difficult to prove that someone selling Jennifer Carter crib bumpers was trying to trade on the name of their little Jennifer Carter.  But when other entrepreneurs rushed to trademark the name Blue Ivy, Beyonce and Jay-Z made a preemptive move to protect their daughter’s unusual moniker from outside exploitation.

We can only guess that trademarking the name Blue Ivy will have repercussions among other celebrity parents.  We foresee more celebrities choosing ever more distinctive names for their children, to strengthen their case for trademark protection.  And we predict that they will then claim exclusive legal rights to those baby names.

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Colette Weston

Ohio mom of two Kristen Hunger had an easy — make that ecstatic — experience naming her first two children, Colette and Weston, pictured above.  But this time around?  She can’t find a single name she loves….and she’s afraid she knows why.

It was bound to happen. After two pregnancies during which I fell madly, unwaveringly in love with two names, I find myself pregnant again.  Except this time I’ve come down with a severe and I fear terminal case of Baby Name Desensitization Disorder.

What exactly is BNDD?  It is when you not only feel unexcited by any and every name, but you also feel apathetic and numb to the whole naming process!  The disorder is aggravated by my background as a nanny, childcare employee, Sunday school teacher and nursery coordinator at our church.  I have heard every name and know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who’s used it.  No matter what I do, I can’t find a name that excites me the way my daughter’s “Colette” or my son’s “Weston” did.

When I discovered their names, I was instantly ready to get everything monogrammed. I didn’t even look at other names or ask random people their opinions!  It was so easy to envision Colette and Weston as spirited youths growing into successful and thriving adults. Holding steady jobs and contributing to society.

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