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We All Want the Same Baby Name!

There's only one name in our family that is considered ideal -- by every single person of child-bearing age. It's a family name that has become quite popular and trendy without being annoyingly common. Is it weird to have multiple cousins sharing a name? Should it be first come, first served?

- Competing cousin

Ah, family! Isn't it wonderful to have those shared roots, shared memories and shared tastes? Of course, you have to be willing to share.

Most families today do follow the "first come, first served" rule. The first-born female gets to be Great-Grandma Emilia's namesake, and everybody else has to accept it with good grace. But it doesn't have to be that way. If everybody really, really wants the same name, it's possible for everybody to use it.

Why not? In societies with strict family naming traditions, shared names are routine. A father of five may find himself with five first-born grandsons, all named in his honor. In places like Greece, families lean heavily on nicknames to distinguish among an extended clan full of Petroses and Anastasias.

The real obstacle then, isn't propriety. It's the same thing that draws you all to the same name to begin with: Style. Your family, I presume, has plenty of ancestral names. This one leaps out because, in your words, it's "trendy without being annoyingly common." Would the name lose its attraction if three other cousins already shared it? If not, then your family can agree to open the name to all comers. But please do notice that key word, "agree." This is a deal that should be hammered out before any babies are born. No family name is worth starting a family feud.

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