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What is the etiquette with name 'copying'?

(49 Posts)
samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 17:15:32

I have never thought a name 'belonged' to anyone else, and gave DS the same name as a good friend's little boy as we had both liked it for years and they just happened to be born within 2 months of each other (they live abroad though). I didn't ask if she would be okay with it or give it a second thought, but it was a traditional well-known name so different to my current dilemma.

If this one is a girl, there are lots of names we like, but none we LOVE like we did last time with DS, and I know it would grow on us but I ideally want one that just feels perfect. I've been thinking of a name for a little while which is fairly unusual, for the sake of example as unusual as Blossom (I don't want to give the real name in case of outing myself!) and I have a local mum friend who's daughter is called it, her and DS go to nursery together.

Although I've since seen it in the name books and on here, I did discover it through her, and she is such a lovely LO that I think it really brought the name to life for me. Being honest, I would totally be 'copying' it as I don't think I would have noticed it if I didn't know her. However no other name seems to hold a torch to this one - I really love it far more than any others on our list.

Would it be inappropriate to ask said friend if she would mind me using it if we decided it was the one? Would do so via message to not put her on the spot, or is it a bit of a no-no as it's fairly unusual and there are no other 'Blossom's' in our extended circles?

What do people think? Thanks

MamaLazarou Sat 24-Oct-15 17:39:17

IMO, if it's an unusual name (Clement, Randolph) it's a bit 'off', but common names (James, Ben) are fair game.

samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 17:46:45

Hmm, that is my fear. Should I not ask then? My hope is that she wouldn't mind at all and be flattered / touched but that may just be wishful thinking!

If it's relevant, she said she wasn't sure about using it as didn't particularly want an unusual name so may not mind me making it a bit more 'common' - however I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable position so may just need to get over my love of it and hope I find another gorgeous name!

FFSYourself Sat 24-Oct-15 17:51:21

Id just ask her on the bases that it's an unusual name. If it was a more normal name I wouldn't ask.
Two of my DC are named after the neighbours dogs and I didn't think to ask permission. grin

samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 17:54:25

Two of my DC are named after the neighbours dogs and I didn't think to ask permission.

^ grin love it.

I agree, I'd never thought about 'asking permission' at all before, but the unusualness and the fact it IS inspired by this LO has made me think I either need to or need to find another name!

pinkyredrose Sat 24-Oct-15 17:57:20

You can't 'copy' a name! Everyone has the right to use whatever name they wish! I wouldn't even mention it.

helensburgh Sat 24-Oct-15 17:57:36

A true friend will be flattered you choose the same name.

If you like it use it. No one else's buisness

FFSYourself Sat 24-Oct-15 18:00:49

(They are not called Rex and Fido wink )

I think it's worth mentioning to the Mum because she may well be delighted and flattered that you love the name so much that you won't to use it.

If you approach by saying that you are just thinking about it then it shouldn't put her on the spot.

Daphnedolittle Sat 24-Oct-15 18:45:32

I probably would choose another name because I would hate someone to think I copied them and I would associate that name with their LO, especially with it being so unusual.
If you really want to use it then text her and ask her, she might be fine with it and you'll be able to tell how she feels from her tone.

AwfulBeryl Sat 24-Oct-15 18:49:46

I don't think you should have to ask. It doesn't matter if 2 children who know each other share a name grin they won't care.
If you want to you could mention that you intend to use it, but you're certainly not obliged to ask imo.

BBQueen Sat 24-Oct-15 18:57:30

I would send a quick text saying something like "I hope you don't mind, but Blossom is on our shortlist if baby is a girl - just hope ours is as adorable as yours!". That way, you're not asking permission but giving your friend time to get used to the idea before the baby arrives.

Mrsindecision Sat 24-Oct-15 19:01:56

I don't think it's an issue at all - they are not going to ever be in the same year group at school. Is she a really good friend or just someone you've got to know via nursery? Is you DS going to be at school with her DD? Personally I would only consider mentioning it if she was a really good friend and someone I knew I would be keeping in touch with long term.

FinallyHere Sat 24-Oct-15 19:05:05

Has the while concept of 'naming after' fallen into disuse? I know who I was named after, dunno that they were asked, but they were certainly aware and, i honestly feel, hugely flattered, even honoured, that their name was to be used someone else. Likewise my sister, and all my cousins.

Happy to learn that this is no longer done, but, if so, interested in the change

samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 19:05:09

Thanks everyone - these responses are just how I feel really. I would be flattered were the situation reversed and not at all expect someone to 'ask' but I know a lot of people feel differently (or according to some threads I've seen!)

BBQueen love that idea - perfect.

Mrsindecision No they will be 3 school years apart and she is 'just' a local mum friend. I really like her but we're not best buddies or anything, and actually we might even be moving to a neighbouring city in the next couple of years so thinking about it, I would probably be mad to not use the name I love in these circumstances?

Wotsitsareafterme Sat 24-Oct-15 19:05:27

If you are going to use an unusual name of a friend's child make sure you understand/can spell it. This has happened within our social circle - this is an example not the actual names; think original child being called Eamonn and the copy child being called Eamo.

Heatethelastrolo Sat 24-Oct-15 19:09:19

I think you should pick another to be completely honest. I probably go against popular mn opinion but I could see how it could potentially pee her off if you 'copy' it and I know friends in RL would be the same. In RL, people I know do tend to avoid naming child the same name a child they see a lot because people do tend to really become their name.

samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 19:13:47

I definitely understand it and can spell it! So in that case, wasn't the 'copy' child actually called something different?!

Heat - Appreciate your opinion - this is the thing - I know people feel differently and though I wouldn't mind, some would. If we don't find another we love I will definitely message her first and as a pp said, will probably get the truth from her tone, even if she says she doesn't mind but doesn't sound keen!

Mrsindecision Sat 24-Oct-15 19:13:58

Yes, I am sure you would live to regret not using your favourite name under these circumstances. I would just use the name and when you announce the name to her just comment that you loved her DD's name from the moment you heard it!

A similar thing happened with my DD's ("underused") name with a friend - I was honestly flattered that she loved the name so much as to use it for her DD.

samjammy Sat 24-Oct-15 19:19:46

That's nice you were flattered, I would be too. She seems very nice and will hopefully feel the same!

Mrsindecision Sat 24-Oct-15 19:24:12

If I was a betting person, I would put money on the fact that, going forward, you will see less and less of this friend once you leave nursery - particularly if you plan to move to a different city in the near future. FWIW, I rarely see any of the mums that my DC were at nursery with as they all ended up in different schools. Even if you end up in the same school, I really don't think it's an issue given that the girls will be 3 school years apart.

Heatethelastrolo Sat 24-Oct-15 19:32:59

To be fair, in your circumstances I would probably just brave it out and use it on the basis that it probably won't matter in a few years! I probably would feel a bit awkward at the time but it's worth it if youll regret it when you no longer see her.

The only thing i'd say to be careful of is that it might not sit as well with your dd and you might be focused on the fact that this little girl has the name and is so lovely. I used a name for my DS2 that I had had on my list with DS1. We were never quite 100% on it and anyway the one we eventually did choose is perfect for him. After DS1 I met a really lovely little boy with the name that we hadn't been 100% on and decided it was definately the one for my next DS. However although I do love the name, it has never felt 100% right on HIM (we use a variant/nickname now which suits him perfectly).

PepperMallow Sun 25-Oct-15 18:08:51

I wouldn't be flattered if a friend chose my DC's name! I look for unusual names and having someone copy would annoy me! No-one owns a name however. It sounds as if she didn't choose it because it was unusual so maybe she wouldn't mind. If someone texted me as you're suggesting, I'd have to consider very carefully how to respond because I wouldn't want them to use it but don't believe I could tell them not to however because of the text I'd wonder if they were asking me if it was OK. I'd probably have to word it something along the lines of "we obviously love the name so can see why you are considering it. No-one owns a name so I can't tell you whether to choose it. One factor which is very important for us is having an unusual name and especially not knowing anyone with the same name....." Then I'd probably add some other niceties.

Don't know if it helps you but it is a slightly different perspective to pps.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 25-Oct-15 18:16:29

I wouldn't be flattered if you just used my unusual dc name. I would be grateful to receive a text first.

elor11 Sun 25-Oct-15 18:18:51

Definitely use it. You love it. Sounds like similar popularity as my daughters name. It would not bother me if one local mum used it.
Texting is not necessary. Would she actually say she didn't want u to use it. Even if she didn't?
Does she know that you only know her daughter with the name. You maybe loved it from an old primary school friend/work friends grandchild ect.
I only knew one three year old when I named my daughter her friend. Wouldn't have thought of the name otherwise. But never thought to ask the mum.

elor11 Sun 25-Oct-15 18:20:43

Delete "her friend"

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