As if anyone needed one more family feud…


Calling dibs on a baby name before you even have a due date is borderline literally counting your chickens before they hatch. We get it, when you've got a good family name you want to pass it on—and you want to be the one to do so. You've always dreamed of your own little Frances, Grace, or Beau. Or maybe you're more of a Mary Frances, Anna Grace, or Beau Alexander type. You've got them all typed out (with middle names!) in the notes app on your phone, and a handwritten backup stashed at the back of your planner. There are plenty of nice names, but only a few that remind you of favorite family members.

But don't let your love for Aunt Louise's monogram blind your decision—if you're way down the road from baby showers and baptisms, calling dibs on a family name is putting your flag in land you don't even own. It's a bit unfair to expecting siblings and cousins to ask them to make a decision about their reality based on your hypothetical. You may end up with all boys, and no one to name Elizabeth. Or all girls, and no one to name George.

It's certainly fair to mention that one day you'd love to use so-and-so's name. Or that you would love to honor the family when naming your future children. But to lay claim and demand that no one else use them—that's just downright selfish. Not very considerate, or Southern.

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In an ideal world, there'd be enough family names to go around that you can claim your favorite when the time comes. But should it get snatched up, consider other ways of honoring that family member—maybe using their middle, maiden, or last name.

But for heaven's sake—please refrain from stealing close friends' and family member's actual baby names. Definitely not for pets. It's just a little too close to home.