Dear Annie on Baby Name Stealing

One of the letters in yesterday’s Annie’s Mailbox came from a woman whose favorite boy name, Alex, was “stolen” by her sister-in-law.

The response from Annie (who is actually two people) was quite good:

While it would have been nice for [your sister-in-law] to choose another name, the fact remains that you don’t have a monopoly on this one. […] If you still want to call your child “Alex,” by all means, do so. Many cousins share a name. But we hope you will be open to other possibilities.

It’s obnoxious that the sister-in-law would do such a thing, but names are shared by many people. You can’t really “steal” a name.

I think it would be a good idea for the woman to go with Alexander. That way, her son could be known as Alex most of the time, but when he hangs out with his cousin, he could switch over to one of Alexander’s other nicknames. Xander perhaps.

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