7 Ways To Politely Avoid Naming Your Child After Someone You Know

So you’re pregnant, and it’s dawned on you that you get to name a baby. Or maybe your feeling is more like you have to name a baby. Either way, the baby must have a name, and it’s up to you and your partner to supply it. Once it gets out that you are with child, there will instantly be questions about what the name might be. Aunt Apple will be sure you’d just love to name your baby girl after her– wouldn’t you? How do you politely avoid naming your child after someone you know?

This can be a delicate situation, with people being insistent and you becoming frustrated. Most of the time, people people will back off once you’ve politely declined their name offer, or simply agreed to "think about it." (At least that's what you hope.) But for those situations when someone won't take no for an answer, you may need a strategy — a way of kindly explaining why you just don’t think Hubert, Moxie Crime-Fighter, or Champagne is the right name for your little one. Even if the name is beautiful, it still might not be right for your babe. After all, it used to be popular to name babies after presidents, and that’s come to a halt. Naming trends change, and you can explain simply that you have your own idea about what direction to go in. We’re here to help supply some ideas– let us know if we’ve missed any!


"I Want My Child To Have Their Own Identity"

Explain that you want your little one to be their own person, and not pressured to live up to their namesake's legacy. You want them to see themselves when they look in the mirror, and that's totally legit.


"I Want To Go For A More Traditional Name."

If the person offering their name has a unique moniker, like Apple, you can claim that you are sticking with more classic names.


"I'm Looking At Names From The '90s"

When Great Aunt Hilda wants to pass her name to your little one, you can explain that you’ve picked a decade to choose names from, and unfortunately, Hilda wasn’t a popular '90s name.


"I'd Love To Use A Gender-Neutral Name"

Share that you love and are leaning toward names like Elliot, Dylan, Dakota and Blake; in other words, names that are gender neutral.


"I Was Hoping For A Name Starting With The Letter ___"

Maybe you want to start a new tradition, like naming your child with a specific beginning letter. I’m sure Grandpa Hal will understand that H is just not your letter.


"I'd Love Something More Unique"

I love unusual names, and all four of my children have names that go from the downright rare (Ever) to uncommon (Lola). If this is you, there’s your polite decline to Cousin Jane or Jack.


"Isn't That Bad Luck?"

Explain that you read it's bad luck to name a child after someone still alive. No one will blame you for wanting to start your child off on the right path.

Whatever excuse you use, make sure you stick with it come baby's arrival. Otherwise you'll have to have a whole other conversation.