Close, but maybe too close

How close does a family member need to be, before you feel the need to rule their name out as a possible for your offspring? Do you rule out names similar to theirs as well?

Assuming of course you have no plans to want to name your child after a family member.

So, who do you rule out?

Brothers and Sisters are likely to be the first people who’s names are struck off the list. So if you love the name Emily, but your sister bears the name, I’m afraid it may not be a wise move. Unless of course you wish to honour said Emily. In the former case, it may be wise to strike Emilia and Emilie off the list. Amelie and Amelia may just be more acceptable.

What about if your brother is called Simon Jack, and you wish to name your son Jack? This is a possible. Unless said brother goes by his middle name, it can still be considered an option for your child. Simon may work equally as a middle name, just don’t try Jack Simon. And the feminine form of Simon, Simone, may only work as a middle name.

Moving on, what about parents? Well, this is where things start to get tricky. Lets say your parents are called Timothy John and Susan Jane. If you get along well with your parents and both are still in contact with you, Timothy and Susan will have to be crossed off the potential name list. John and Jane are still free to choose though. But, lets say, your father walked out on your family when you were young, I’d cross both Timothy and John off the list. If your parents were divorced, but said divorce was amicable, the same principle applies as in the first situation. Also, it may be key to note that the names of future partners for either mother or father may not be wise to consider.

As for grandparents. You have two sets, maternal and paternal. That’s 8 possible names. The middles may be used, but the firsts may be a no-no. It wouldn’t be fair really to name a child that has the same name as one grandparent, whilst dismissing the others. This rule can be bent however. For example, you may be extremely close to one grandparent, or even only know one, two or three of the four grandparents. This simplifies things. If you have one living grandparent, it may be nice to give their first name as a middle. As for first name, it may be acceptable if you like the grandparent and wish to honour them.

As for aunts, uncles and cousins. You do run the risk of them believing that you’re naming the child after them, rather than you naming your child that name simply because you like it.

A good rule is that if you have doubts, don’t use the name. Or use a more obscure alternative. For example, if you love the name Ella, but have a cousin called that, and you doubt, go for something such as Eliza or Eloise instead. These names then have the added bonus of being able to shorten to Ella, should you so wish.

On the flip side, if you love the name Victoria, you may be struggling for alternatives. Victoire is a close alternative, but very similar to Victoria. What you could try instead is picking your favourite sound in Victoria and then using that as a basis for an alternative. For example, you like the ‘tor’ sound in Victoria, other names with that sound are: Nestor, Hester, Toriana, Toria, Hectoire, Salvatrice, Salvatoire.

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