'Stealing' a Baby Name Is Every New Mom's Right

Baby namesThe other day, a posting came up in one of my mom list serves. A woman was irate because she felt someone else had "stolen" her baby name. "I wanted to name my son Aidan and then my sister-in-law did," she ranted. 

All of us understood. We have all had that sinking moment where we see another person with our child's name and think: "OMG SHE STOLE MY NAME!" But we all need to chillax. Seriously. It's impossible to "steal" a name, and unless you make up a name that no one has ever heard, someone, somewhere will have the same name as your kid. Shocking, I know.

When my children were born, I had enormous pressure, especially with my son. I had to come up with a name that started with an A and had an L after. But I couldn't use Alex or Alec because they were "taken." Hello, challenge.


Well, I made a mistake. I should have used the name Alec (because I love it dammit!) and not worried what anyone else thought.

There is no "reserving" of names, especially with a name like Aidan. How many Aidans do we know in the world? If this is the name you like, then use it. Don't worry about who else used it. Besides, if it's a friend, it's also possible you won't even be friends 20 years from now and then you gave up the name for no good reason.

Baby names are sacred, it's true. In my culture, we only name for those who have died and what you name a child is incredibly meaningful and important. Because of that, I begrudgingly wouldn't overlap a name or reuse one. But that's just me.

If you are naming because you LIKE a name, then use it. No one can "claim" a name. Now, of course, on the other side, there might be some hurt feelings. Personally, I would be silently angry if someone used either of my kid's names, especially if they didn't talk to me about it first.

On the other hand, I don't own those names. They aren't copyrighted. They don't belong to me. Other children have those names.

People should be able to name their children as they see fit, and if someone else has an opinion on that, they should keep it to themselves. All is fair in love and naming children. Isn't that how the old saying goes?

Did you "steal" your baby name or have someone "steal" one from you?



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