No One ‘Owns’ A Baby Name, So If Someone Takes Yours – Too Bad


I hate to point out the obvious, but baby names are public domain. No one owns them. They are not copyrighted (sorry Blue Ivy!) If someone chooses a name that you’ve had your eye on, or decides on the name you’ve already bequeathed to your child – you’ll just have to get over it. When it comes to naming a baby, there are no rules of ownership.

Look, I know what it’s like to feel robbed. Drew Barrymore totally stole my thunder and named her daughter Frankie. I’m fine with it. We both know my Frankie came first, right Drew? Life goes on. But seriously, I don’t think there is even a possibility that you could pick a name that is completely unique and unwanted by anyone else that you know. Unless you happen to be the parent of Ghostface Lieberman, who I’m pretty sure will be unique amongst his peers.

I don’t know why people get so territorial about their baby names, frankly. It’s a little odd, especially considering that baby name trends are real. If you have a child that is pre-school-aged, can any of you say that you don’t know an Isabella, Mia, Liam, or Emily? Methinks no. And that’s okay.

I thought of this today because of an article I read called, Hey, That’s My Secret Baby Name You Just Stole. The author admits feeling territorial about her names may be silly, but even though she is not pregnant or even trying to get pregnant, she admits she would “cry” if one of her friends stole her name. She says “But I worked hard at thinking of those names (and convincing my husband to like them). And I don’t want any of my friends to use them first.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when it comes to baby names, it’s pretty much first-come, first-served.

I never kept the names of my children a secret. I had known if I ever had a girl I wanted to name her Francesca – it’s the name of my mother’s best friend from childhood who has always been there for her and who she’s managed to maintain a 70 year relationship with. Something about that bond struck me as special – so my daughter’s name is Francesca Haroula – after my mother and her best friend. Had one of my friends chosen the name Francesca before me, maybe I would have felt a twinge of something – I’m not sure because it didn’t happen. But I still would have stuck with the name.

Basically what I’m saying is – yes naming your baby is monumental. But as long as you love the name, I wouldn’t worry about how many other people “get to it first.” Baby names aren’t bars of gold. Stop hoarding them.

(photo: Lars Christensen/ Shutterstock)

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