30 Jun
What’s In A Name?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My friend recently had a baby and used the name that she knew that I wanted to name my daughter. (I don’t have any kids yet). Am I right to be annoyed? It’s an unusual name and I told it to her in confidence. I’m really upset.


Baby Name Nabbed


Dear Baby Name Nabbed,

My lawyers tell me that before I can answer your question I must confirm that your friend has not chosen the name: Decoupage-Rockefeller-Trumpâ„¢ because this would mean a Cease and Desist letter, as well as a huge monetary sum for emotional damages.

(We will proceed on the assumption, though, that she hasn’t infringed on my trademark.)

First, for the sake of this post let’s say your friend has named her daughter Apple. Let’s also suppose your friend goes by the initials G.P. Now, we all know G.P. can be quite self-centered; add that to pregnant mommy brain and it’s quite possible G.P. doesn’t remember where she heard the name and therefore doesn’t realize that she has stolen your coveted moniker.

If she’s a really good friend (I’m assuming that you are Madonna) then after you allow her a period of time to adjust to her new bundle of joy, you should talk to her about how this has made you feel. You can also sit back and observe how her daughter’s name is received by others and use it as a learning experience. It’s likely that when she’s a teenager “Apple” will be the butt of many a teenage boy joke. For instance: “Man, I could take a bite of that!” or “All she needs is a little bit of caramel. Sweet!”

Or, perhaps, you’re more Winona Ryder to her Gwynnie Paltrow and you feel as if she has just stolen something from you that is irreplaceable (hello Shakespeare in Love role).   Then simply move on to other friendships that have never heard of the name Apple and then it’s all yours for the taking.

Good Luck,

Tonya, TMH


21 Responses to “What’s In A Name?”


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

Plus, this is a learning experience for you: never confide ypour unusual moniker to anyone!


Comment by StephanieG.

I personally would shut my mouth and not say a word. If you “found” the name and love it, there’s no rule that says you can’t name your child that. If your friend has an issue with it when the time comes, just remind her that it was “your” name first.

You can’t win by bringing the issue up with your friend. She has already named her child and I bet she wouldn’t change it based on a chat with you.

And while you may love the name, there are a million reasons why your chosen name might not be an option for you some day. You might have only boys. Or no children. Or a man who hates the name you’ve chosen. Since there’s no guarantee that you can even use the name in the future, why stir the pot?

If you’re blessed someday with both a daughter and a baby daddy who loves your special name, give her the name you’ve chosen. I think it would be fun to have two little girls with unique names who grow up to be lifelong friends.


Comment by Kelly.

I probably should have more coffee before posting this but here goes:

I don’t know you or your friend and I still think she is a “Major B” for taking the name. Unless it was her grandmother’s name or something. But mainly: You’re right. She’s wrong. You’re the best. She’s the worst. You’re prettier, smarter, nicer, and cooler.

However, there is no way for you to confront her about this because you’ll look petty and like you are badgering a pregnant woman and OMG, her HORMONES!

Finally, I happen to believe that no one corners the market on a name. It’s not like your future child and her child are going to be with each other their whole lives. If you still like the name when the time comes, use it. And if you get questions about it, say that gracious line about how imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If your friend gets miffed about it, well, then, who’s petty now?


Comment by Plano Mom.

The only person you should confide those things to is the father of your child.


Comment by Marinka, TMH.

Use that name as your daughter’s middle name. And make her first name The Real.

No Ordinary Momma Reply:

Brilliant! I was thinking first name “Master”, but either works wonderfully and drives home the message really well.

Tracy Reply:

Genius. Marinka wins.

Nona Reply:

Marinka always wins. The letter writer should name her future daughter Marinka. Problem solved.

dusty earth mother Reply:

I agree. Marinka always wins.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

What Marinka said. Because I can’t stop laughing.


Comment by KatieTheBlogLady.

Excellent advice Tonya . . . although you forgot to tell her that she should also kick her in the shin.


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I knew this was Tonya as soon as I read Apple.

Good advice.

And Marinka…when you name your next pet Samoyed (self-eater) – I will rename Maui The Real Samoyed. Since she will most definitely still be alive.


Comment by Lady Jennie.

I’d ditch her as a friend. Let her deal with those sleepless nights with no one to rant to.


Comment by marathonmom.

Let bygones be bygones and throw her a fight-club themed baby shower to show her you are not bitter. That always works.


Comment by rojopaul.

My mother told her best friend Kirstin was the name she had picked out for her baby girl. Then mom’s BFF named her new dog Kirstin. My mother was furious. And so she named me Jodi. After all, how could I be named afer a dog?, mom said. I thanked her because I would have been called Kristin my whole life!

Anyway, I say keep your great name if you want. It was yours first. But I did crack up at Marinka’s suggestion. And let me tell you, hubby is a teacher and has has some strange names. The Real [ ] is not really that outlandish. ha


Comment by Tha Real Ken.

I’d be so pissed. That is really messed up. I think you should make up a new name for your friend’s kid and only call the kid that name. When she corrects you, pretend you don’t hear and still use your made up name. It may not help the situation but it would sure make me feel better.


Comment by Cashier.

That’s why I’m not telling ANYONE what I plan to name my kids.

I’d be mad about it and would probably say something to her.


Comment by Lady Bren.

My sister in law actually did this!!!
We were pregnant at the same time and shared our names.
She was due first and used my name.
Now I know she had no control over this but here’s the rest of the story….
not 3 days later we lose our baby at 18 weeks and find out it was a girl. We can’t even grieve for our baby apple b/c here is this new baby apple!! Thank heavens we lived 5 states away. We then politely declined when she called the next day asking DH to be the godfather to baby apple.

That was 20 years ago and still hurts


Comment by Adria.

I have a similar problem, except that someone who does not like me at all (the feeling is mutual) just happened to name her child the same thing I want to name a son if I ever have one. First AND middle names. She never knew that was my chosen name, and I know that we both have very separate reasons for loving the name. But now if I use it I will look like a copycat. GRRRR


Comment by MegL.

Unfortunately you can’t own a name no maktter how unique it is. I know a number of people who have not told the baby name to anyone in advance to keep situations like this or rude comments like “oh you’re going to name him THAT?” from happening. Now that your friend’s daughter has that name you have to let bygones be bygones. You have a 50% chance of getting a boy so it very well could be a non issue when you have kids. If it is a girl, choose the same name if you still really like it. My name is Megan and I’ve gotten by even though there are millions of us out there!


Comment by JR.

Name your baby whatever you and your husband want to name him/her. All that’s important is that you both like the name. Who cares who else has it?

My name is Judy and half the girls in all my classes (including my friends) were named Judy all through school. We thought it was great. The rest were Carol, Sharon, Marilyn, Barbara, Debby, Linda, Susan and Kathy.

There are whole generations of Lisas and Jennifers. Any name “belongs” to whoever has it. Each one can make it special in her own way.

As for unusual names: many people, especially children, don’t like being unique among their acquaintances. There’s also the issue of finding your name on racks of pre-printed cups, keychains, stickers, etc. To some kids that’s very important.

Just use the name you like with pride and don’t worry!

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