Does Claiming A Baby Name Long Before You’re Preggers Really Hold Any Water?

Shayla was Charlotte's secret baby name that was almost stolen!

When my friend Amy found out she was pregnant with a girl, she narrowed the name options down to two: Daisy and Cassidy. Knowing that my love affair with The Great Gatsby might eventually make me want to name any possible offspring Daisy, she went with Cassidy. I never asked her to do so, and since I wasn’t emotionally tied to the name, I found the gesture to be very kind but unnecessary. If she loved the name and she thought it would fit her daughter, I wouldn’t have been upset in the slightest.

As more and more people around me start looking toward their vagina and thinking it might be a great idea to procreate, the claiming of baby names is getting a bit ferocious. So ferocious, in fact, that I received a mass email from a friend, who isn’t even married or pregnant, listing all the possible baby names she’d like for her future children in order of “fondness.” Of course this evoked an email war that we can simply title “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?”

I stayed out of the back and forth emails between this friend of mine, our mutual friends and some of her friends I had never met. Those who already had kids were extremely sympathetic, while the single ladies were calling her out for being insane because, she’s also single and hasn’t been in a relationship for awhile, so they felt she had zero right to claim a baby name as only belonging to her. When I got bored with the drama, I asked that they remove my email address from the feed, which they did. But I guess the email fury didn’t end well, because this friend in question then posted her intended baby names on her Facebook wall to really insure that no one tried to use them since they were right there for everyone to see. That’s right, in order of fondness once again, is her baby name list just glaring back at all her Facebook friends. Some of us have suggested it might be time for some therapy sessions.

But is this friend really crazy, or is she actually being smart in procuring a baby name years in advance? I’ve heard that this is the type of thing that ends friendships if someone swipes a name that a friend has already chosen. I’m just happy I invented all my baby names. It’s not like someone would want to name their kid Bernikka-Raani-Claussetta anyway.

Sorry! This poll is now closed.


Photo: Baby Name Wizard

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    • Eileen

      Honestly, I don’t even believe in “claiming” names in general. If you have two children, they should have different names (I’m looking at you, George Foreman and Michael Jackson). Other than that, who cares? My name has NEVER been popular, and I’ve still managed to have friends named “Eileen.” We got along just fine, because it’s not your name that makes you an individual. Even if I named a kid the same thing as my SISTER (let alone one of my college friends), the cousins would still be different from each other. And they likely wouldn’t give a shit, so why should I?

      • ktree

        This. Seriously, even if my best friend wanted to name their kid my kid’s name, I wouldn’t care. It’s a good name. We would probably laugh about it.

    • Kimberly @ Twen-Teen

      I’m single and don’t plan on having kids for a long time and while I’ve certainly “shopped” for baby names I definitely haven’t claimed any. That email chain sounds high-larious and also insane.

      I think the rules are a little cloudy, but if your close friend or relative has their heart set on the name, it’s kind of douchey to up and steal it from them. A whole list though? That’s weird. But whoever has the baby first, wins.

      • Alexis H

        Agreed. You can’t claim dibs on a name, but it’s also rude to steal your friends favorite name (not to mention embarrassingly unoriginal).

        I had a special name picked out for my potential offspring and I just kept it a secret to avoid name-snatching. I mean, that seems really, really obvious, right? Not blabbing your special name to ensure it remains yours instead of dangling it in front of your crazy friends’ faces? I now have a kid and all I did was wait to announce the name until I was far enough into the pregnancy that I could be sure that if any of my friends were pregnant, I was still further along. No one can steal the name when you’re closing in on the finish line, right?

    • len132

      Yeah, that’s a little nuts. I have a few names that I like, and would probably be disappointed if for some reason I couldn’t use them, but I’d just pick another one.

    • Shayla

      I think the whole baby name thing is quite silly…but this is coming from someone who doesn’t intend to have children.

      On another, more amusing note – my name is Shayla :) And it’s always interesting to see it pop up on Sex and the City and on places like here, because it’s really not that common of a name for girls my age.

    • Amy

      That email sounds insane and fun!

      I don’t think you can dib on names unless you are already pregnant and if a pregnant friend asks you for YOUR favourite baby names, you should tell her super odd ones.

    • Larissa

      There was an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” (my guilty pleasure…don’t you judge me!) where these two sisters both loved this one dress, but the sister who was getting married wasn’t even allowed to try it on because the other sister, who didn’t even have a boyfriend, let alone was engaged herself, had “called it first”. This reminded me of that. It’d be dick to take it…but it’s also kind of dick to “call it” when you have zero reason to use it yourself. For the record, the sales people on “Say Yes to the Dress” were like, “Are you kidding me??” so I would imagine they would say reserving baby names is absurd. If you care what they think. Not that I do…no, really, I swear!

    • Amy

      I wish there was an option in the poll for “calling” or “claiming” a name being completely childish and ridiculous. If you’re not pregnant, don’t worry about names, even if you are pregnant, unless you actually made up the name chances are someone in your kid’s class will have the same one, so what’s the big deal?

    • Lynda

      Please post the list of said names I know a couple of wombs that need labeling :)

      • Amanda Chatel


        – this would be the girl list.

    • Amy

      To be honest, until the child in question has wriggled out of your vagina you have no claim over a baby name. If someone likes a name enough to give it to their child, then you ‘claiming’ it means absolutely nothing. Who on Earth is arrogant enough to think that their liking a name overrides anyone else’s right to use it, just because they mentioned it first.

      I don’t even want kids, but I know what I’d call my daughter if I somehow had one. If someone else told me they’d claimed the name, I’d tell them where to go. Just because someone doesn’t say out loud what their dream name is, doesn’t mean they are any less attached to it.

    • holleeta

      I think women are generally completely psychotic when it comes to weddings and babies and I want nothing to do with it. I hope I’m not like that.

    • Sam

      So many people have the same name, I think it’s crazy to expect anybody to have a completely unique idea for one that can never be duplicated. That said, I’m naming my kid Lightswitch Mattresspad Automaticclosetdoor Opera.

    • Lisa

      I think it’s dumb to name a child before the birth, and even more dumb to make your selection (or your list of favorites) known, since the likelihood of someone else picking anything but the most common names are very low (although she picked some trendy names, so she’s out of luck. Addie, KALEIGH? Really?)

    • M
    • mesobreezy

      See, this is why I like grandma names! Nobody fights over them.

      Ideally, I would like to give my kids names that are easy to say, easy to spell, but not so common that they have to use their last initial or a descriptor (ie. “I fucked around with Tommy this weekend!” “Oh, freckle ears Tommy or Tommy G?”) I love my own name for these reasons, but it seems weird to name my daughter Wendy also.

      Old-timey names are perfect for meeting these criteria. Doris, Betty, Pearl, etc are good to go, and I don’t really have to claim them because nobody else wants them. Although I have mentioned my top choices to close friends and family, I don’t think it’s reasonable to mass email your friends and call dibs on an imaginary baby.