Re "name napping" is it wrong to use the name of friend's baby in naming your child?

Re this article

Name Napping is So Wrong, But I Got Nothin’

Is using the name of a friend’s baby really all that wrong? It’s kind of a compliment in a way.

I think it kind of depends. If everyone in your family (dad, uncle, brother) is named Mike, and you decide to call your child Mike, I don’t think it matters if you have a friend who named their child Mike as well.

However, if your friend names their kid Jahosaphat (for instance) and then suddenly you name you kid Jahosaphat despite never having met anyone with that name…well, that seems a little rude.

In the big scheme of things, who gives a crap, but maybe choosing something different could keep the friendship running smooth.

I don’t get what’s rude about it. You aren’t preventing them from being able to use the name anymore, and it’s really not their business what you call your own kid. It does them no injury. If they complain about it, then they’re being rude.

It’s not a big deal, but it’s a small deal, and it’s 100% avoidable (we’re talking about deliberately choosing a name that you know someone else has chosen, not mere coincidence). There’s a jillion possible names out there. Why pick one that chips away at whatever degree of individuality your friend’s baby might have had within your circle of friends?

Now, if you have arrived at a name through your own thought process despite it being one your friend chose, I wouldn’t fault you for using it. But if you latch onto it because your friend chose it – and I include “oh, that’s a cool name, let’s just use that instead of actually thinking about it ourselves” with that – I do think it’s disrespectful to your friend’s efforts in selecting a name. Plus there’s the matter of having five Claires in the same playgroup.

A friend of mine and I had our daughters a week apart. We had independently chosen the same fairly unusual old fashioned name - and both for meaningful family reasons. We both kept it. Her daughter goes by the long version, mine by an unusual diminutive.

I think it does depend on if you came up with it on your own or “name napped” it. If its meaningful on its own to you. And how close you are. I’ve heard pregnant women have fits because their name was name napped by someone they work with - I’ve never met my coworkers kids, I don’t care what they name them. If my cousin who I see twice a year wants to name her kid the same as mine, no skin off my back. If my sister does it - that becomes a confusing proposition without agreeing on nicknames.

I guess I don’t see what the injury is even if it’s flat out ipped off. So your kid isn’t the only person with that name? So what?

I gave my youngest daughter a fairly unusual name, but I wouldn’t care if anyone stole it. Steal away. I would think it would make a kid feel better to know that someone else had the same name.

I think some of it can be time and geography related too. If you and your best friend are having babies at about the same time and live close together, run in the same circles etc. then it feels ruder to me to “name nap” particularly if the first namer is looking for something unique (this does not apply to family names or common names). If there is a good chance that the children will be together in school and/or in the same social circles I think you might also run into the second-named child either feeling or being considered a bit inferior in that his/her parents “borrowed” the name instead of being original.

That said, I don’t think it is a heinous crime or one that will doom a child to a life-long inferiority complex or anything like that. Something about it just seems a bit “not right” to me. I have a few friends who all gave birth within months of each other and all named their daughters Jessica…that name was in the top 5 girls’ names that year and each had their own reasons fro doing so, and there was no problem with that and no hurt feeling or accusations of being ripped off…My own son has a unique name (actually a surname) that I took pains to find (something unique but not unusual and still a “normal” name that could be pronounced and spelled and sounded like a first name) and I think I would have been offended if any of my friends had given that name to their own children in the same age range.

In my case the point was moot though, as I had picked out two different names that I was going to name my son, but then within minutes after his birth I knew those names were “wrong” for him and named him something I had never even discussed with anyone before (including my husband who was surprised to learn his son had a different name than he thought he would :)).

Why would you have been offended if someone else had “stolen” the name? What’s offensive about it?

We had a neighbor that got irritated with us because we named our dog Charlie, having forgotten that her cat was named Charlie.


It’s not like you can even use the “calling their name confusion” excuse for that - the cat wouldn’t come when called, regardless!

I don’t see what the big deal is or why anybody would give a shit what someone else named their baby. Some people just have too much time on their hands along with a propensity for drama.

Its not offensive, its just extremely tacky. Do people really think that it isn’t tacky to name your baby “Jahosaphat” if your friend also has a child named “Jahosaphat”?
The question isn’t whether its wrong to be offended of upset if someone else does it, its whether one should do it or not.

Why is it tacky? Is their name written on it? (haha) I really don’t see why it’s a problem, unless they’re going to live in the same house and it would be confusing, but that’s hardly the case. How is it even anyone’s business what people name their kid?

I think I would have been, but I am not sure why. It isn’t really an offensive thing to do but it just rubs me the wrong way I guess. It’s not something I can explain, it just feels wrong.

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where a couple steals George’s idea of using the name “Seven” in honor of Mickey Mantle. George wasn’t having kids anytime soon, but it was still seen as a pretty rude act.

Its tacky because if its a highly unusual name, your friend likely chose it because they wanted their kid to have a unique name. And if you use your friend’s name choice for your own kid, you are going out of your way to thwart your friend’s wishes. Which, whether your friend is actually annoyed or not, a pretty tacky thing to do to a friend.

People are just weird.

Story 1: My g/f’s sister got mad when she named her dog Kaleb. Apparently, sis was going to name her future yet-unconceived child Kaleb.

Story 2: My aunt and uncle with whom I had nominal contact with growing up visited me one day after both of my parents had died to tell me that my mom name-napped the name that they wanted to use for their first daughter’s name. I came first so I got the name. They chose another name for their daughter two years later. For some reason, 50 years later they felt the need to share this information with me why?

This kind of nonsense makes George Foreman look more sane every day.


People are nuts.

How is it thwarting their wishs? They can still give their kid that name. I don’t understand this at all. It strikes me as being about some kindergarten desire to get the credit for thinking of a clever name. Who cares?

I think the grounds for complaint have even less credibility if there isn’t even a kid or a pregnancy, and it’s just somebody’s idea for a future, hypothetical kid. That’s just way too self-absorbed.