I have three boys. We’re also planning to adopt one day. My boys have names I picked for several reasons: they have some kind of personal sentiment attached, they’re very Catholic (except my youngest’s nickname — his given name is much more Catholic), and they’re very, very unique. So is the name I’ve chosen for our adopted child. I adore those names. I spent a long time picking them. And the idea that someone might use one of my baby names gives me all the rage. To be frank, no, you can't steal my baby name, and yes, I'll lose my sh*t if you do.
I know that out there in the world, there are other Blaises, Augusts, Sunnys, and Zions. I realize that other people have picked those names, and will pick those names, and my kids will not be the only people in the whole entire history of ever to have those names. I also know lots of people who like those names, too. I hear it all the time: “Blaise! That’s such a cool name!” “I wanted to name my son August!” “Awww, Sunny, that’s so cute!” Every mom likes to hear comments like that. She wants to know her name choice is a good one. But the idea that someone in, say, my social circle, would hear the name and steal it? Not cool. Not at all.
If someone close to me took those names, it would be as if they were denigrating those reasons and memories. Somehow, they’d be stealing them along with the monikers, or at least they’d be making them seem less important. I’d feel a loss there.
This is partly because we prized uniqueness when picking our sons’ names. I grew up as the third Elizabeth in every classroom. I didn’t want that for my kids. In fact, I wanted their names to be so unique that they not only wouldn’t be the only one with their name in the class, they’d be the only one with their name in the school, possibly the whole school district. If I didn’t care about uniqueness, I’d have just named my sons Henry, John, and William, because those are serviceable, decent, and easy to remember. But we wanted our sons’ names to be special. So if someone were to steal their name, they’d be stealing that uniqueness. Which would piss me off to no end.
We also chose our sons’ names to be super-Catholic (like I said, Sunny’s given name is much more Jesus-esque and much less hippie) and have some kind of significance beyond that. For example, Blaise’s name came about not just because we loved it, but because I remembered getting my throat blessed on St. Blaise’s Day. In my second son’s case, growing up, my family was very close to an Augustinian priest — and Augustine was my husband’s confirmation name. When it comes to our future baby Zion, it’s a name I’ve loved from childhood, and have held in my heart for more than a decade, waiting for the right baby. If someone close to me took those names, it would be as if they were denigrating those reasons and memories. Somehow, they’d be stealing them along with the monikers, or at least they’d be making them seem less important. I’d feel a loss there.
It would also just be weird. I’ve met one other Blaise, two other Augustines, but no other Sunnys or Zions. There’s a difference between seeing a kid who already has the same name as my kids, and having someone willfully take my kid’s name to use for their own. When I met the other Blaise I was shocked and honestly a little annoyed; I had never thought I’d see another one. But we were at a Catholic homeschool event, so it made sense. The other Augustines have both been nicknamed "Gus," a name I abhor. So they didn’t bother me. But if someone actually heard my son’s name, then decided based on hearing it that it sounded cool and they wanted to use it for their kid, I’d be angry.
They’d steal the memories that went along with the name. And they’d show that they didn’t care about either one. Who just picks a name because it’s cool, anyway? I’d think people would want their child’s name to have some sort of meaning, some sort of reason behind it.
Because that boils my kids’ names down to sounding cool, and they’re so much more than that. If someone close to me took my kids’ name, they’d steal its uniqueness. They’d steal the memories that went along with the name. And they’d show that they didn’t care about either one. Who just picks a name because it’s cool, anyway? I’d think people would want their child’s name to have some sort of meaning, some sort of reason behind it.
So to be honest, I will absolutely, 100 percent lose my sh*t if you steal my babies’ names. I’ve got good reasons for those names. And your only reason would be that you liked their sound. That’s not a reason. Just name your rugrat Braylynnn and get it over with. Because when it comes down to it, in my immediate social circle, Blaise, August, Sunny, and Zion are mine. And friends don’t steal.