Should Your Baby Have a Cover Name?

Getting too much negative feedback regarding your favorite baby names? Nurse Barb Dehn of Barb’s Daily Dose suggests giving out a cover name instead:

[H]ave a list of names that you’d never in a million years consider for your precious new baby. Names like Bathsheba, Osgood, Thurston, etc. When someone asks, you can throw that name out and watch their reactions.

During my pregnancy, my patients and friends couldn’t help themselves, there was so much unsolicited advice, comments and suggestions, that finally I announced that we were naming the baby, Sparky. It was plausible enough to stop their comments, and since that wasn’t my real pick, I had no emotional reaction to the range of shocked and un-diplomatic responses.

It worked for me.

I think this is a great idea–especially if your favorite baby names are unusual. A wacky cover name like Bathsheba or Sparky will not only throw people off, but desensitize them so that when you reveal your actual choice (Ptolemy or Alpacino or something) no one is too shocked.

If your favorite names are ordinary, though, I think you should stick with a cover name that’s similar in terms of style and tone. For instance, anything out of the current top ten should suffice.

What do you think?

And, have you ever used (or do you one day plan to use) a cover name?


4 thoughts on “Should Your Baby Have a Cover Name?

  1. Oh heck yes. I made the mistake (although on one point it had good results) of asking everyone I knew about my first baby’s names. So with the second, we just referred to her as Hot-Dog, which was what my already-named daughter decided she liked. Nobody thought it would actually BE Hot-Dog, though, so I guess that’s different.

    But I’m due in January, and we are using more of a cover this time. We know it’s a boy, and Dad’s name is Edward Michael (goes by Mike) and his dad is Edward Jeffrey (goes by Jeff). We KNOW this one will be Edward Something, so we’re just calling him that. I’m never calling him Edward once he’s born, but it will be stuck onto his name.

    We’re also using a cover because I don’t want to get hopes up–most likely, he will be Edward Leo, for Mike’s uncle who died last spring. My mother in law would be so excited if we do this–but January is 3 months a way and I don’t want her set on something that might not happen.

  2. A lot of people I’ve talked to did the same thing you did with your second daughter–come up with a nonsense name that isn’t meant to be deceptive in any way.

    Most of the nonsense names I’ve heard include the word “bean” — Baby bean, Little bean, Lima bean… I can’t even come up with a non-bean bump-name besides yours at the moment…

  3. I’ve heard many different nonsense names for babies-to-be: milk dud, (the) bear, hoot, minnow…and many more.

  4. Our family tends to use out-of-fashion names as cover names. My brother was Horace before he was born (named Kenneth).

    While I was pregnant, we were getting so much pressure about names that we used covers. My DH would tell you “Fatima and Philomena” (and both my Mom and MIL were afraid he was serious). I started saying “Virginia and Maryland” just to get people to laugh while backing off. “Columbia and Anacostia” were also mentioned as possibilities.

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