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Mommy Dearest: Namesake Etiquette

Mommy Dearest,

We're finding out the gender of our baby in two weeks. If it's a girl, we're naming her after the woman who set us up on the blind date where we met. My husband and I disagree on the protocol of how we should tell her. I think we should ask our friend's permission first, but my husband thinks we should name our baby and let our friend figure out that she's the namesake after. What is the etiquette for naming someone after a friend or family member?

Appropriate Way to Bestow a Name?

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Appropriate Way to Bestow a Name,

Congratulations on your baby-to-be! I agree with your plan of asking or informing your friend before the baby is born. I think it's an honor that most people find incredibly flattering, but talking to her first eliminates any awkwardness that might occur if she were put on the spot after your bundle of joy arrives. Since you didn't mention the name, I'm assuming it's not a very common one. If it is something like Sarah or Katie, you probably don't need to consult her.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this feature at the Mommy Dearest Group on TeamSugar.


Stephanie-Marie Stephanie-Marie 5 years
Is it rude to name a child after my dad, but not after my husband's dad? His Name is Kip, so i'm not really keen on passing that on.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 8 years
I have an unusual name and would like to keep it that way (rare), but I would be flattered to have a friend name a baby after me. Because of these conflicting feelings, I agree with LilSugar - ask ahead of time.
imcs imcs 8 years
flatering but i wouldn't want to be named after someone or have someone named after me. i know names can mostly never be unique, someone else is bound to have the same name as you, but your name is yours!!! and when you have to share it with someone else in the same family it stops being yours, and it starts being "which one are you talking about?" etc.
mstrauss mstrauss 8 years
You can always wait and ask your friend once the baby is born. You don't have to announce the name right away anyways. If this person is worthy of naming your baby after them, I'm sure they will be on the top of your list of friends to call once the baby is born anways.
sham28 sham28 8 years
You don't have to ask permission if you're going to do it anyway, but to TELL her is a courtesy. You can name your baby whatever you want. If she doesn't like the association with her for whatever reason, cool, no problem, she's not raising your child.
Jessie-M Jessie-M 8 years
My sister named her son Jesse after me, but chose to keep it a surprise until after he was born. I did feel put on the spot a bit, especially since she told me in front of the entire family (who already knew) and everyone was looking at me to see my reaction. I was very happy but felt a little awkward being told in front of everyone. My advice would be to ask her discreetly before the baby comes, to avoid any kind of awkwardness later. But it is amazing to have a child named after me, and I can't imagine her saying no!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I think it's v. flattering! and would say to hear "husband and I would love to name our little girl YourName, to honor you for setting us up" and gage her response.
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