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What is wrong with naming a baby after a living family member?

(37 Posts)
AngelaOxford Sun 18-Aug-13 21:19:38

Why do people think it's odd to name your child after a living member of your family?

Our second child is a girl and we decided that we shall call her Mary, after my mother-in-law because we would like to honour our relationship with her. She has really been the greatest support during those 10 years that my husband and I have been married and I feel like she is my mother too. We are so unbelievably excited with our decision regarding the name, only to have this feeling ruined by some of our closest friends who are thinking naming a baby after a living member of the family is a terrible idea.

If you agree that naming a child after a living family member is a terrible idea, can you please explain to me why?

ilovepowerhoop Sun 18-Aug-13 21:24:05

just tell your so called friends to STFU as you can name your baby whatever the hell you want to. It is quite common to name male children after their father so how is this any different e.g. my sister has a child with the same name as his dad and that is fine.

mrspaddy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:25:12

I think it is a lovely gesture. If we have a girl we are calling her Mary (for different reason). If we have a boy it is also a family name.. I don't think it is a terrible idea at all. It is fairly traditional.

Don't worry about what people think.

Bowlersarm Sun 18-Aug-13 21:26:35

I can't think of a reason why it might be a bad idea.

Except what does your own DM think?

trixymalixy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:27:26

Eh? DD is named after DH's grandma who is still alive. No one seems to think its weird.

flummoxedlummox Sun 18-Aug-13 21:28:23

Until my dad died a couple of years ago we had a Daniel, Danny & Dan. There's nothing wrong with using a living family members name, in fact it's an honour for the family member. Your friends are idiots.

eccentrica Sun 18-Aug-13 21:29:29

It's a cultural thing. I come from a Jewish family and for Jewish people, it's never done to name a child after a living family member. That would be weird, like saying you thought that person was already dead and had been replaced.

It is however very common to name them after a loved one who has recently died, or to use the same initial(s). This may also apply to other cultures, I'm not sure.

flummoxedlummox Sun 18-Aug-13 21:32:14

In light of eccentrica's post I take back the idiot bit as I didn't know any culture had a problem with this. Still seems odd to me though.

Breezy1985 Sun 18-Aug-13 21:33:28

I don't see anything wrong with it, I decided while my grandad was alive that if I ever had a son I'd name him after him, as it happened my ds was due on the first anniversary of his passing.

My sister named my niece after our mum and she's still here, me and my mum were there when she was born and my sister said her name, was a lovely moment.

PigeonPie Sun 18-Aug-13 21:34:49

My DS2 is named after my (living) father. DS1's second name was after my DGrandfather who was alive at the time (would have loved to have called him after my Grandpapa as I loved him very much, but didn't think DS1 would thank us for Dudley!).

I have never had any negative comments about this.

KristinaM Sun 18-Aug-13 21:36:46

AFAIK it's only Jewish people who don't do this. It's very common in my culture. Almost everyone I know of my age 40sand 50s, has the middle name of a parent , grandparent or other close relative. 3 of our 6 children have family names

Smartiepants79 Sun 18-Aug-13 21:40:22

I think if there is a generation in between DC and namesake then it's fine and a moving gesture that links your family together.
The only thing I object to is names such as John Jacob Huntingdon the third. Think it's pretentious.

IceNoSlice Sun 18-Aug-13 21:41:21

I would love to name unborn DC2 after my or DH's parents or grandparents. Unfortunately I don't really like any of their names. Fine for them, just not right for a child due in 2014. No issue with the concept though.

Doilooklikeatourist Sun 18-Aug-13 21:41:28

Lots of Williams in my family , each older son of the generation is William
My Dad is William
His father and grandfather are William
My cousin ( paternal side ) is William
His son is ( wait for it ... )
Nothing wrong with it

crazykat Sun 18-Aug-13 21:57:38

I think it's fine. DD1 & DD2 have middle names the same as living relatives, or were when they were born. DS2's middle name was going to be my dad's name but at the last minute we included DBIL name as he died suddenly two days before he was born.

Name your DD whatever you want and ignore what others think. I think it's lovely you want to name her after your MIL - makes a change from all the MIL bashing.

rootypig Sun 18-Aug-13 22:04:54

I love the name Mary! And see no problem with it at all. I'm sure your DD and her grandmother will share a wonderful bond as a result.

Ignore your friends, I think they're reflecting this idiotically narcissistic individualistic culture we live in.

HidingUnderMyDuvet Sun 18-Aug-13 22:05:13

I'm in a similar situation to doilooklikeatourist...

In DH's family all the first born males are given the same name, and it is expected that I do the same if (hopefully when!) I have a son.

Only problem is I really don't like it! Funnily enough, neither does DH- he goes by his middle name. I plan to negotiate using it as a middle when the time comes!

AngelaOxford Sun 18-Aug-13 22:44:39

Thank you all for your contributions!! As soon as we spontaneously told them to 3 of our friends over dinner, 2 of them thought it was an awful idea, because it might cause issues with my family etc. Well, yes, my DM wasn't really that excited even after we explained the reasons for our decision, but to be fair my son's middle name is the male version of her name and we don't want to have a Simon Frederick and a Frederique Isabelle, if we were to name our daughter after her.

Something significant I forgot to add is that our daughter's due date is 5 days after my mother-in-law's 60th birthday so we're joking that this is our gift to her! My mother-in-law and I work in the same field, and before I was moved to a different department we were working together nearly every day, we still work together on projects every other week. We work in a field that is male dominated and she was my mentor somehow. She's the one that introduced us, and we both my husband and I agreed, that we would like to name our daughter after her. DH has hesitated slightly, mainly because he knows my mother is not very fond of the idea. I was named after my paternal grandmother, but only because she demanded it and my father, being his mother's son, didn't want to have issues with her! So technically, my mother was forced to accept her daughter being named "Angela" and not "Rosalind" as she wanted. Yes, I know we have some MAJOR of issues in my family! :D hahahaha

MrsGeologist Sun 18-Aug-13 22:49:02

Nothing wrong with it IMO. My dad had the same name as his dad, no big deal.

You like the name, it's not something stupid like RoboDong2013, that's all that matters.

AngelaOxford Sun 18-Aug-13 22:58:57

To be honest, I don't really understand how it is anybody's business how I name my child as long as it is not offensive! I think that not even the grandparents should interfere with the decision. Only the parents, and perhaps the siblings if they are old enough and make good suggestions. My sister-in-law, for example, is named Rose, because my husband being fond of roses since he was 2, always run to her cradle shouting "rosie"! Of course, he meant roses, but since her parents couldn't decide on a name, they followed their son's spontaneous suggestion!

SunnyIntervals Sun 18-Aug-13 23:01:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlueStarsAtNight Sun 18-Aug-13 23:02:05

I also have Jewish family and have been brought up to think that you don't name after the living, so I would find it strange, however your reasons for choosing that name are lovely and if your families won't find it weird and you both like it then great and just ignore your friends! I have to say though, if it was my mum, and we'd given DS a middle name reflecting her name, but then gave DS a first name reflecting my MIL then she would be very put out as first name is a greater honour, and she'd likely fester on it for bloody ages! If you think she might honestly be really upset then I'd consider Mary as a middle name instead so it's 'even'.

eccentrica Sun 18-Aug-13 23:05:46

sunny I have (had) 4 Jewish grandparents, 2 Jewish parents and a Jewish education and I can assure you it's the case :-)

TheSecondComing Sun 18-Aug-13 23:12:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Casmama Sun 18-Aug-13 23:12:41

I hate to go against the grain but I think it is a bit lazy and I imaginative. By all means give her Mary as a middle name but won't it be confusing if they are both in the same room and you want to get the attention of one of them?
Ultimately, it is your decision and you should do whatever makes you happy. I would keep my trap shut in real life but you did ask!

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