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Using a similar name to cousin - can it be ok?

(21 Posts)
NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Fri 16-Jun-17 04:03:29

DS due in a few weeks; dh and I have the same favourite name which is also a family name on his side with a lot of sentimental reasons for him to want to use it.

We've always wanted this name for a son and have been trying for around six years now.

Problem is, my sister called her son a very similar (shortened version of the) name about four years ago. (Think John/ Jonathan or Will / William).

I had told her before she had her son or named him that this was our chosen name if we ever had a son. I've no idea why she chose the name, as it was never a name she'd mentioned, but of course she can use any name she chooses and I certainly had no right or intention of "reserving" the name.

(if its relevant, she also used our favourite name for a dd for her dd too, but was quite open that she'd loved it when she heard me mention it and chose it as a result. Which is fine, it suits her dd perfectly and we chose a very different name for our dd - which we didn't mention to a soul until she arrived - lesson learned, better late than never!)

So now we have a dilemma - can we call our ds William* when hers is Will*? We can't, can we? We live quite a distance apart so they'd only see each other a fee times a year, but even so....

SofiaAmes Fri 16-Jun-17 04:09:06

There have been other threads on this topic...google it. The gist of them is that it's perfectly fine. My dd and 2 of my cousins' dd's have the same name because our dd's are all named after a beloved grandmother. The girls love having a shared name and it actually brings them closer together. My dd and one of the cousins are very close in age and socialize together. They have different nicknames, but really it wouldn't matter if they didn't. Similarly, I have the same name as a first cousin as we are both named after the same grandmother. My ds has a name that occurs multiple times in every generation in our family. It's totally fine.

blahthisistoohard Fri 16-Jun-17 05:34:00

What would be your sisters take on it? That would be the only thing that would worry me. If she is likely to be very upset by it then probably not worth ruining a relationship over. We had a similar situation whereby a name we liked was similar'ish (not really the same at all) to SIL's DD and my DH knew she would go crazy so that ruled it out sad.

Other than that I really don't see a problem, like you said they would only see each other every now and again and wouldn't have shared friendship groups etc.

flippychick Fri 16-Jun-17 05:48:08

We have lots of versions of a particular name in our family. My brother and cousin have versions of the same name, as do 2 of my nephews. I think if it's a classic name such as John or William it's fine, but if you are looking to call your son a variation on something more unusual such as Kai or Cody it may be more of an issue.

Firenight Fri 16-Jun-17 05:52:02

It's fine!

My brother changed plans for their kid's name because it was similar to my child's born just before. They really didn't need to and as we don't shorten our one it wouldn't have been confusing.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Fri 16-Jun-17 05:53:47

I'd usually say to choose a different name but given that you told your sister in the first place that it was a name you loved, and it has sentimental attachment in your husband's family, I would go for it. Maybe just let your sister know before the birth, so if there is any drama, it's not on the day of your son's arrival.

ArtemisiaGentilleschi Fri 16-Jun-17 05:58:22

It's fine.
People who go off on one thinking they own names are batshit.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Fri 16-Jun-17 07:53:47

You absolutely can, nothing surer.
Go for it OP.

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Fri 16-Jun-17 09:32:53

Thank you all, it's good to hear others views as I've been trying myself in knots thinking and rethinking it.

I think my sister would be ok with it, although I can't see her face to face until closer to the birth (due to her work commitments) and would prefer to speak properly about it, rather than text which is the only alternative. If she hated the idea we'd chose another name, it's not worth falling out over. I suppose I wanted to be sure it wasn't awful to even suggest it in the first place, so am reassured on that front at least. Thank you! flowers

GoneDownhill Fri 16-Jun-17 09:35:30

Absolutely fine 👍🏻

2014newme Fri 16-Jun-17 09:36:40

I wouldn't personally do it but there's no reason not to.

isambardo Fri 16-Jun-17 10:47:26

Absolutely fine op. I have three nieces with the same, or shortened version of the same name. Not even a family name, they all just happened to like it! No one is bothered, not a problem.

MrsJayy Fri 16-Jun-17 10:50:18

I have an uncle , boy cousins (and their sons) with same names it is fine imo they are named after my grandfather

Mrstumbletap Fri 16-Jun-17 11:02:20

I really like my DS's cousins name, and probably would have used it had it not been taken within the family.

But I would have found it a bit weird when we were all together calling them both. There are hundreds of other names. how often do you see the cousin?

rainsbow Fri 16-Jun-17 12:25:45

In our family we have an Emily, Emilia (my dd), an Amelia and an Amy all in the same generation.

MikeUniformMike Fri 16-Jun-17 12:30:02

It's fine. I would run it past your sister and explain why you would like to use it.
If it was something unusual, I would suggest using as a middle name.

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Fri 16-Jun-17 14:01:22

Thanks everyone.

It's a common enough name, similar to those in the op. We wouldn't intend to use the shortened version (although of course others might, especially as time goes on) so it would be, at least within the family, one John and the other Jonathan for example, not two Johns.

The cousins would probably be together maybe for times a year or so.

MikeUniformMike Fri 16-Jun-17 16:29:34

Go for it. Best wishes for the birth.

Flibbertyflap Fri 16-Jun-17 21:39:37

My dsis named her dd a very similar sounding name to my niece (our brother's dd). Exactly the same sound but with a different last letter. They presented it like ot was a completely new name asking us what we thought etc which we were all a bit hmm at since it essentially sounded the same.

Had they asked us before the birth we all would have said that no, it was too similar. However very soon it was a complete non issue and that little slight different coupled with the fact it is a different child with its own personality makes it sound like a completely different name.

I would say definately go for it. Honestly it really won't matter.

xdestarx Fri 23-Jun-17 22:48:58

I wouldn't worry about it, my uncle called his ds Liam, then my aunt (same side of the family) called her ds Liam two years later!! No one in the family is phased..

Vegangelist Fri 23-Jun-17 23:41:03

My cousin two years old than me has a short version of my name (though imo it's a solid stand alone name (e.g. I'm Elizabeth and she is Beth, and I go by Liz)) - I like that we have a similar name.

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