They STOLE Our Son’s Name!

Dear Mamas,

Help! We have dear friends who live in Texas and just had their first child.  I was completely shocked to learn that they copied our firstborn’s 1st AND middle names.  Maybe I’m over-reacting, but I’m a little upset.

I don’t want to say anything to them since this is such an exciting time in their lives, but isn’t it a little weird?  I know we don’t live in the same state, and our kids are 2 years apart, but we’re still close and share mutual friends. Any words of advice?

Rose in Rhode Island

Dear Rose,

What a nice problem to have! I’ll bet your friend used to borrow your clothes when you were young.

I’m not sure whether you’re upset over possible  confusion about who’s who, or about sharing something as deeply personal as the name of your eldest child (I suspect the latter), but whichever it is let’s call it imitation as the greatest form of flattery.

I would guess that your admirer fell in love with the name after you thought of it two years ago.  She may have been waiting to ‘borrow’ it ever since, but just never told you.

When Ellen and I read your question we had two different responses, which just goes to show that even the Mamas don’t always think alike.

I think it’s probably important for you to address the ‘name caper’ with your friend so it doesn’t become the elephant in the room. If you say nothing you run the risk of hanging on to your resentment, and this could damage your friendship. If you raise it in a lighthearted way you’re more likely to defuse it and put it to rest. For example, you might say something like …

” I was really surprised and flattered that you named your little peanut after my Seymour Alvin … I didn’t realize he was such a role model!”


“Did you know Seymour Alvin was my mother’s great-grandfather’s name? He’d be so happy to have two namesakes instead of just one!” You get the idea.

Ellen, on the other hand, took the high road (as she does) and suggested the ‘accept the compliment and move on’ approach. Your friend obviously loves you and looks to you as an example. Whichever approach you choose, you need to feel comfortable so the friendship can flourish. In either case, it’s a win-win all around. Who doesn’t want to be the trendsetter?

And by the way, we’re dying to know … what’s that name? May I suggest it for my first grandchild?

Email This Post Email This Post

Rachel Zahn, MD is a pediatrician turned health writer who had three kids during medical school and pediatric training—crazy, huh?

Warning: Illegal string offset 'echo' in /home/mamasonc/public_html/mama/wp-content/themes/hybrid/library/extensions/custom-field-series.php on line 157

4 responses to “They STOLE Our Son’s Name!”

  1. Allison

    It’s very fun to hear both of your responses! Can we hear more she said/she said!?

  2. MPK

    Rhode Island – Texas. Not so close, so no one in their school/street/daily lives will know.

  3. Jfever

    This happened to my friends too, except they live Very close. The gal with the older boy was steamed for a while, then just (kinda) let it go. The older child’s mom talked to a neutral third party (me) but never the name-grabber.

    At least I know what NOT to name a son…

Leave a Reply




With One or Both of Us

Go to & for the scoop!

Phone • Internet • Your Home or Group

Listen up

The Five Second Rule: True Or False?

If you pick it up within five seconds, you can eat it, right?

Watch This!

Teach your kids to step in and step up when they see a classmate being teased. Show them how to respond and tell them what to say. Let's try to make our world a little kinder and a little warmer. Please?

What You Said

  • Chelie Belie: AND up the street there’s a psychotic IT that is awe-struck by me! Walks by my property carrying...
  • Chelie Belie: I live next door to Ned Flanders–how would you like that??
  • Maggie sullivan: I have a neighbor, will holler and wave at me if i am near porch but if i try to sit in the yard, or...
  • Ellen Schrier: Thank you so much! Please come back often!
  • Ellen Schrier: Hi Lisa, Sorry for the very late response. We are sorry to hear about your daughter and are sure that...
  • Lisa jacobs: My daughter was in a car accident and now has a concussion. She is plan to go to Mexico City which is a...
  • RF: Well my baby had her first two bottom theeth at 10 months old and i tought so far so good and then now at 11...
  • ofertas cine: That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Thanks...
  • Commercial Real Estate: Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to...
  • actualite: Hi to every one, the contents present at this website are really remarkable for people knowledge, well,...

Just so you know

The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.