Etiquette? — The Bump
Baby Names


My DH has a cousin, who I have met once in 5 years. That was the only time he's also seen her in 5 years...we just don't go up north often. I know all of his other 'up north' cousins pretty well, but this particular cousin is more involved with her husbands family. Anyway, she named her son Liam. Liam has been my favorite name for a boy for as long as I can remember. I mentioned to my MIL that I liked the name, and immediately she says "Oh, you can't do that, 'cousin' named Liam that." I mean, she is closer with this cousin because cousin is her niece, so I see where she's coming from, but I hardly know the woman...and DH is admittedly NOT close to her at all.

What would you guys do? I doubt I will see this woman again in the next 5 years, but I don't doubt that I wouldn't get crap from my MIL for years to come if we chose Liam for a boy's name. She is just that way.

Re: Etiquette?

  • I would feel conflicted too, but I don't think I would hold back from using the name. It's not like it's some kind of intricately/inventedly spelled, random name that you copied. It's a legit name that is free game
  • No one owns a name. You name your baby whatever you want, particularly since this woman and her kid are hardly in your life at all. MIL will get over it. (For what it's worth, I think Liam is a fabulous name.)
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  • I don't feel this is a question of etiquette at all. My DH and I almost had the same issue earlier in my pregnancy with the possibility of having a son. My father has a very common name that I planned to use as a MN and my DH's family especially FIL had to make mention of his nephew with the same name. It may sound unreasonable to some, but I totally disregarded his comments on the matter. My DH rarely ever sees his cousin and I've only met him twice, so in the future we will name as planned and so should you!

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  • I feel the same way with family members. DH and I both have large extended families. Most of which we never see/hear from. But our parents still somewhat keep in contact with (normally through older relatives).

    I would say that yes, it's uncomforable. However if you had to name your child something no one else has then the child probaby never would be named! There's always going to be those circumstances where "so and so's name is that". If you aren't close to these people and don't plan on seeing them at every holiday I don't see why you can't name your son Liam. It's your name to pick. Who cares about MIL!

  • Regarding ettiquette, there is no rule here and you have every right to name your son what you want.

    That said, if I had to hear "so and so named their kid that" from every family member, it would spoil the name for me, so I'd find something else.

    If you really love Liam, you could always go with William and introduce him to family members as that, but call him Liam for short.

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  • I don't think that you should worry about it. Liam is a legit name (one that I love btw). And you shouldn't name your kids based on what family members think.

    Faolan is almost 2 and I still get shiit from my grandmother for going with my DH's traditional Irish heritage. I don't regret naming him what we did because it fits him and it is special to my DH. Your MIL will/can get over this. Use the name you love, only you and your DH know the right name for your kids. 



  • We are in a very similar situation.  My husbands cousin has an almost 2 year old named Donovan and that has been my favorite boys name since I was about 12.  We see her about once every 2 years, but his parents definately see her and the rest of the family more.  We won't be sharing the name with anyone (except maybe said cousin) before the baby is born, but if this baby is a boy, his name is Donovan and I could care less what everyone else on my husbands side thinks.  I also know that we will get comments, but like I said, I don't care!  It's my baby, me and my husband both love the name and nobody has naming rights to any name in particular!

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  • If you and your DH like it and don't have a problem with sharing the name then I would absolutely use it. 

    Our top girl name is the same as one of DH's cousin's daughters so the girls would have the same fn & ln. One of our top boy names is the same as a different cousin's son.  Again the boys would have the same fn & ln.  But we go several years between visits and the great grandparents these children have in common are deceased so there isn't confusion.  I honestly wouldn't worry about it.

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  • I see no reason why you shouldn't use the name if you and DH don't have a close relationship with her and it doesn't bother you.  Your MIL should (in a perfect world of course!) have no opinion on this..  Its not that uncommon a name and there is a 5+y difference in the two kids as well.
  • Liam seems to be popping up everywhere around me lately, but if you love it use it!

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  • Use Liam.  It is YOUR baby, your choice.  Your MIL will have to get over it. 
  • Who cares?  Especially if you don't see her.   

    My DH likes the name Brandon but I poo pooed it because my aunt and uncle named my little cousin Brandon - then I realized I don't even see them once a year.  So it's back on my "ok" list 


  • imagepinklily1618:
    I would feel conflicted too, but I don't think I would hold back from using the name. It's not like it's some kind of intricately/inventedly spelled, random name that you copied. It's a legit name that is free game

    This is pretty much what I think, too.  If you wanted the name your son the same first and middle names as the cousin, strictly because they sounded good together, I'd tell you otherwise.  In this case I think you're fine.

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  • Thanks for all the input, ladies! DH agrees with all of the replies, so we'll consider it :) His only thing is that he 'just doesn't love' the name Liam...time to convince him!
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