I mentioned this week that my sister has recently decided to declare dibs on the name Edith. To put this in context, Ebs and I have – in a light-hearted manner – been calling dibs on a variety of names over the past few months, without input from our other two siblings. To be honest, I mostly went along with this at the beginning just to see what kind of naming style my sister has.
The idea of someone ‘stealing’ a name previously dibbed by a friend/relative is a frequent point of contention on name boards – for example two cousins are pregnant at the same time, and both want to use Emily. In terms of my sister and I, I’m actually surprised that so far my sister and I haven’t really clashed – although we did both initially call dibs on Beatrix, but Ebs happily claimed Bellatrix instead as a compromise. That said, we’re not exactly taking this entirely seriously at the moment – probably because neither of us are planning on having children in the near future.
In terms of the whole idea of ‘name stealing’ I personally find myself mostly with no qualms about the idea of my child sharing a name with the child of a friend or distant relative. This could be because I take a relaxed approach to life, but I guess it may also be because I know that since I employ a variety of nicknames for everyone I’m close to, in all likelihood if I were to have a child named, say, Dexter, I doubt I’d ever call him Dexter during day-to-day life. I can’t actually remember the last time I called my sister Heather to her face – she’s always Ebbie or some variation of that. I accidentally referred to my other sister as Sippy to a friend the other day, leaving her thinking I had a pet rabbit I’d never mentioned before, until I realised otherwise.
Some people say that they prefer to keep the names they especially like quiet, so that there’s no chance of someone taking a liking to it and then going on to use it. Some say the opposite – that if you announce your intention to use Emily for a future daughter that lessens the chance of anyone close to you using it as well.
Something else to remember about this is that if the name you like is at least the Top 100, I think it’s important to stay open to the idea of other people using it – especially when you get to names in the Top 20.
I’d love to hear your opinions on this matter, since I’m mostly indifferent about it at the time being. Oh, and for the time being, here are some of the names Ebs has called dibs on: