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Would you pick a name that you knew one of your friends loved (but who doesn't have any kids herself?)

(27 Posts)
LittleDoe Wed 24-Aug-11 20:28:22

Sorry for long title!

Annie is on our list on of girls' names and it's a fave because DH and I both agree on it (unusual!), we don't know any other children called it and it goes well with our surname - result!!

Except that one of my friends's also loves the name and I know if she had a daughter she'd definitely pick it. She's been saying so since school (and we are now both approaching 35!). The thing is she doesn't have a partner and I'm not sure how likely it is she'll ever have kids. Is this relevant? If we use it, will we have "stolen" her name? Can you even "steal" a name"?

MummysLittleSunbeams Wed 24-Aug-11 20:55:53

Nobody owns a name so you can't 'steal' it. Don't use a name that you don't absolutely love just in case your friend meets someone, get's pregnant & happens to have a girl. If you love it, use it.

scarlettlips Wed 24-Aug-11 20:57:27

Why not call her Anna nn Annie?!?!?

Sorry to say Annie's not that unusual here...but it is a lovely name.

thisisyesterday Wed 24-Aug-11 20:59:35

i am generally of the school of thought that you cannot steal a name. and it certainly wouldn't bother me if a close friend used one of my kids names.

that said, if my best friend had a name i knew she'd definitely use then i probably WOULD just say to her, "we've chosen the name Annie, I hope you don't mind, i know you always loved it too" or something along those lines

cookielove Wed 24-Aug-11 21:01:37

I agree that no one owns a name, and so it really is your right to use whatever name you want, just as your friend has the right to use the name if she so wishes, even if you have previously used it.

kelly2000 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:05:57

because Annie is not an unusual name, I do not think it is such an issue. BUT I think using the fact that she is 35 not in a relationship, and in your opinion unlikely to have children would make it worse if she is upset, so I would avoid using that arguement and maybe claim it is a family name of DH. But if she does have a daughter, I think you will also have to accept she can still use the name Annie.

MaElsie Wed 24-Aug-11 21:09:14

why not just sensitively ask her if she would mind you using it. She may laugh, having forgotten it was a favourite of hers. But it would give her a chance to show whether she'd be upset.

Teachermumof3 Wed 24-Aug-11 21:16:57

My SIL is very similar-age 35, never had a boyfriend and gave me a list of names that were my baby names when I was expecting, and told me not to use them. Luckily they were hideous names otherwise it might have been tricky! She has had strops about other friends who have chosen her names, but as previous posters have said, you don't own a name!

Do it.

evamummy Wed 24-Aug-11 21:20:31

Ask your friend.

silverfrog Wed 24-Aug-11 21:27:00

I would use it.

dh and I wanted a (slightly unusual) name for dd2, which had been dd1's godmother's sister's name - sister had sadly passed away a couple of years earlier.

we asked dd1's godmother if she minded if we used it (she was then childless). she said (after long deliberation) she wold rather we didn't, as if she ever had a daughter, she would want to use it (implication being as a first name)

18 months later, her dd arrives, and she used it as a middle name. which annoyed us a lot, as it would have made no difference whatsoever if her dd's middle name was the same as our dd2's first name (I could have understood her reasoning more if she had used it as a first name).

so I would, given my time again, go ahead and use it without asking. no one owns a name.

firsttimemama Wed 24-Aug-11 21:27:19

Although I go along with the others about not "owning" names I wouldn't use it. There are many many nice names especially girls names and you and your DH would find another.

deste Wed 24-Aug-11 22:23:14

I agree with firsttimemama. There are thousands of names why do you need the one she likes.

MsChanandlerBong Wed 24-Aug-11 22:49:18

How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot? I would have a sensitive chat with her and explain the situation, and see what she says. Of course she can't 'own' a name, but she does have the right to be offended if you name your dd it without at least mentioning it to her in advance.

What a difficult situation - you have my sympathies fwiw!!

HerdOfTinyElephants Wed 24-Aug-11 23:04:15

The names I liked as a single person are not the names my DCs actually have. Naming a child is a collaborative process unless you are a lone parent from the outset, and generally there's a fair amount of compromise involved. I love my DCs' names now, but if anyone had told me when I was in my mid-20s that that was what my future children would be called I would probably not have believed them -- and if I'd stopped people using "my" names so that I could use them later I'd look bloody silly now.

I do think there's a difference between a name favoured by a couple as a name for a child they are actually TTC but where you happen to be pregnant first and a name that an individual on her own decided that she liked when she was a teenager but that there's no real prospect of her using.

If you can find another name that's an alternative to Annie, then ask her about Annie. But don't ask unless you're prepared to not use it if she says "no". That's far worse than not asking in the first place.

TillyIpswitch Thu 25-Aug-11 01:37:11

The only decent course of action is to ask her and be prepared not to use it if she has a problem with it.

Nobody owns a name. But - it's not as simple as that. If we were all able to be completely detached, robotic, rational decision-makers all of the time the world wouldn't have half the problems it does. Emotions come into it whether we like it or not and while her rational mind might agree that she's being unreasonable by claiming the name, that might not be enough for her to still be pissed off and resent you.

So - is it really worth it?

There are so many girls names out there (and if I'm honest, Annie is nice enough, a bit meh, and certainly not worth falling out with a friend over IMVHO wink).

Go back to the drawing board and see if the two of you can't come up with something even better. smile

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 25-Aug-11 03:06:58

If she's loved it for twenty years, don't use it. Of course you can't steal a name, but they're powerful things. To me, the names I always thought I'd use for my children were not just about the names, but about the children themselves and who they would be, and about my life and how it would be, and the whle package.

If my best friend was married and having a child and I wasn't and wanted to be AND then she used the name that she knew I'd planned for twenty years, I'd feel really hurt. Like she had everything. I do know that sounds melodramatic, but baby names are, for some reason, powerful things for a lot of people. And if she's wanted this name for twenty years, then it's clearly important to her, even if she never uses it.

IWouldNotCouldNotWithAGoat Thu 25-Aug-11 03:36:52

Silverfrog, while nobody 'owns' a name, surely it is different if it is the name of the other person's recently deceased sister? Or have I misunderstood you?

InsomniaQueen Thu 25-Aug-11 03:42:59

I had a name picked out which I loved but unknown to me my SIL had decided on the same name......I had lived the name for 15 years and when I met DH nearly 8 years we discussed and agreed on this name. I ended up having an MC and so the loss of the pregnancy and the name left me gutted. I cried for ages over her "taking my name".......but my DH said "it's your niece so really she is like your daughter and you love SIL so we have to try to be brave". Fast forward a few months - niece is due in the next few weeks and we are again pregnant, during this time we have found another name which we utterly love so it's all worked out well.

What I'm trying to say is that you should tell her about your plans - she will be hurt, will most likely cry but she will get over it and as your best mate and likely god mother (I assume) she may not call her daughter Annie but she will be able to call her god daughter that which is close!!! Xxxx

silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 08:10:18

Icouldnotwouldnotwithagoat - yes, it was the name of her sister. They were family friends (the sister was childhood and lifelong best friend of dh's)

If the answer had been "no, sorry, too raw. I would find it difficult" then we would have understood the reasoning.

But her answer was that she wanted to use it herself if she had a daughter. And then when that daughter came along, used it as a middle name (her dh mentioned that they had trouble choosing a first ne to go along with the middle name "we knew we were going to use, of course"

And that was why it annoyed us. She didnt want us to use the name as then her daughter would have had the same middle name as our dd2's first name. She was delighted we had asked, and very touched that dh wanted to remember her sister in this way (genuinely - not it something she was saying to cover up her feelings. You'll have to trust me on this)

We got over it, of course.

LittleDoe Thu 25-Aug-11 09:37:29

Thanks everyone, I'll ask her as it's the decent thing to do. I know it's not the most original or unusual name in the world but that tends to be the sort of names DH and I go for. Simple and pretty but not overused (where we live anyway). I certainly wouldn't be bothered if she or anyone else used it as well though. I personally don't feel like I "own" any names and if a close friend picked our DS's name I think I would feel flattered in a way that they also liked it!

But also don't want to "rub it in" that I have a husband and a DD (potentially) called Annie if this is what she wants most in life as I imagine that would be pretty tough to take.

TrillianAstra Thu 25-Aug-11 09:49:54

If you choose a different name, one you like less

and then she goes on to have a daughter but doesn't call her Annie (because she doesn't look like an Annie or because the baby's father doesn't like the name)

will you feel a bit put out?

LittleDoe Thu 25-Aug-11 10:15:31

TrillianAstra - I imagine I would have forgotten all about it by then! But even if I hadn't, I'd get over it pretty quickly.

If I'm honest, it is a name that both DH and I really really like, it goes well with our surname and DS's name etc and we would definitely choose it if there were no "barriers" to choosing it (if that makes sense). But would I be absolutely gutted if we couldn't use it? Don't think so.

It's just there are not that many names out there that we both like and that tick all the boxes IYSWIM!

Cereal Thu 25-Aug-11 18:00:33

I'd use it anyway, but mention it to her beforehand.

Even if you use the name, it doesn't stop her using it in the future.

BikeRunSki Thu 25-Aug-11 18:09:17

My sister deliberately didn't use a name she knew I really liked, even though I had no children at the time and she was on her second.

Now that I am expecting DC2, and it's the right sex for the name, we're not going to use it as some very good, very nearby friends have a 6 month old DC who has this name. Feel a bit gutted that my DSis missed out.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 26-Aug-11 04:43:13

I do think that once the name is passed over once, it's fair game. I avoided some names favoured by a good friend of mine for DD, because I knew they were her fantasy-daughter's names. She had a girl a year after I did in the end, and didn't use the name.

So now we're both expecting again, I consider those names absolutely up for grabs.

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