Just days after Blue Ivy entered the world, proud parents Beyonce and Jay-Z trademarked their little girl’s name. But guess what? You can still name your little bundle Blue Ivy if your heart desires (just don’t go using that name on your line of hipster onesies). The point is, baby names are a free for all. Nobody owns the rights to a baby name – not your cubicle mate, your BFF or your very own sister who had the name “Zoe” picked out from birth. And it’s about time people stopped accusing others of “stealing” their baby names. This isn’t high school, people!
Yesterday the Social Security Administration released its list of the top baby names for 2011. As fascinating as the list itself is the fact that some people are actually upset if their chosen baby name happens to have fallen on it. For example, the name Mason is in the No. 2 spot for boys – much to the dismay of parents who believe they personally invented/discovered that name (newsflash: you didn’t!).
One Mommyish reader named Katie shared her own ridiculous baby name-stealing story. It goes like this: girl in daughter’s class is named Isabelle. Isabelle’s mom went NUTS when a fellow mom named her second child Isla. She claims to have invented the name Isabelle and she felt that Isla was just a bit too similar. So Isabelle’s mom flipped out at Isla’s poor mom and accused her of STEALING the name she magically created by combining Izzy and Belle. (Isabelle’s mom, if you happen to be reading this: Get a grip, lady!)
This past weekend, the New York Times devoted space to this very issue. One reader – “Meghan” from St. Louis – wrote in with the following:
“I’m expecting my first child next month. We’re naming our son Benjamin, a family name filled with meaning. I told my colleagues months ago. My assistant is also expecting her first child. She recently announced that she will name her son Benjamin, too. I approached her privately and told her I was upset. She thought I was being unreasonable, and told me she chose the name after me because she thought it was cute. What should I do?”
Meghan, too, was told to get a grip – thank god! (It was even recommended that she consider the name Nenjabim as an alternative, which cracked me up.)
My point is this: If you have an “original” baby name picked out, don’t share it in advance. If you do share it in advance, don’t be upset if someone else uses it. Hate to break it to you, but you don’t own a name.
Another point: If you hear a name that you like, go ahead and use it. Who cares if there are two “Jayden“s in the same playgroup? Chances are there will be two more in little Jayden’s classroom, anyway, and another seven at your next door neighbor’s birthday party.
And one final point: There is no longer such thing as an original name! We’ve heard it all, baby.
(Photo: Arcady /Shutterstock)