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My Car Stole My Sister's Baby Name!

My sister has loved the name Mia since she was a child. When I turned 16 I was given her old car and decided to name the car Mia, naively thinking that I knew my sister would like it. She was horrified when she found out and demanded I remove the name from my car but at that point my whole family was calling the car by name. It has been 6 years and Mia the car is still in the family. My sister is now expecting and feels that I have "ruined" her favorite name. I assure her that the name is still open for her child but she is holding a grudge. Is Mia the car going to overshadow Mia the baby?
- Guilty Name Thief

Good heavens, our most cherished baby names are under assault from all sides! As if it weren't bad enough dealing with friends and relatives who "steal" the names for their own babies, and neighbors who bestow them on their pets, now even our cars are getting into the act. Is no name safe?

As silly as a car vs. baby name showdown may seem, there's a serious heart to this question, Ms. Thief -- one you don't seem to be taking very seriously yourself.

A name is much more than just a string of letters. It's a collection of images and assocations, a feeling the name evokes when you hear it. For your sister, the name Mia used to summon a sweet dream of a future family. But not any longer. Now it's just your car. That's what your sister means when she says the name has been "ruined" for her.

It's a shame that you were unable to nip this in the bud back when she first begged you to salvage her favorite name. I'm sure you didn't mean to cause her pain. Perhaps you had never fallen in love with a baby name yourself, so you didn't realize how much this meant to her. But you're compounding the problem now by declaring your sister's feelings invalid and saying she's just "holding a grudge."

Whether or not the name Mia can still be saved, it's time for a sincere apology. Explain that you didn't understand how serious the situation was; to you, no mere car could ever put a dent in the beauty of such a perfect name. If you sense that she still wants to reclaim her lost love for Mia, talk up its many virtues. But if she's determined that the door has closed on that name, don't argue. Encourage her that there's another name out there ready to be the Mia of the next generation, and to claim the whole of her heart.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

April 8, 2013 11:11 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The name is not ruined. Tell your sister you are sorry and that she should still use the name she loves. Then change the name of the car. It's not going to be around forever anyway.

Yes, this is a bit silly. But it does seem odd that you would use your sister's favorite name for something that belongs to you, so I can see her point.

April 8, 2013 9:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Why didn't you change the name when you found out that she was in fact, horrified, that you used her favorite name for your car?

No one owns a name, so you can use any one you want. But it's not like you chose it for your child. Cars don't care what name you call them, so tell her (and your family) you're going to call the car something else from now on.

April 8, 2013 10:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm glad I don't have a sister if they can be as passive-aggressive as Name Thief.

April 8, 2013 11:54 PM
By KF (not verified)

You know, as silly as it sounds, naming a car really makes you anthropomorphize it, so it would feel very wrong to just change the name of a car after you've been thinking of it by that name for a little while. However, I agree that the letter writer should have changed the name immediately upon learning that the choice upset her sister, rather than pleasing her.

But I also understand why they both feel like the name is now strongly linked to the car and that it would feel odd to now give the name to the baby. Once named, cars develop personalities and can sort of take on the feeling of a big, shiny pet that you feed, take out for drives, wash, encourage up hills and through snow, etc.

April 9, 2013 2:23 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I am a naming junkie, but I am the odd one out here. I think the pregnant sister is perhaps experiencing some sort of pregnancy-induced hormonal insanity. Or, perhaps she is just generally crazy. I've been in love with names before, and I don't think this would bother me. In fact, I think it's kind of funny. In order to preserve the peace, though, perhaps younger sister needs to take this seriously and try to keep a straight face through her apology... if she can.

Also, can't wait to see what associations ruin other names for the older sister. Maybe someone has a neighbor's cousin's uncle's dentist named "after" another of her favorite names. The horror! If she wants an unspoiled, virgin name, she had better start getting REALLY creative.

April 9, 2013 6:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm with you, Anon. I grew up alongside my dad's grumpy old cat - Sally Puss. I was named Sally as well. Dad said it was a happy name and he didnt know about me when he named the cat. (I was born a few years later.) Then, Name Thief could always change the car name to Pia, Lia or See-you or Princess Incognita. Or sell the car (expensive solution). Or pledge to buy potential niece a car when she turns 18 (even more expensive). On the whole, I think Sister shows a lamentable lack of self control. Most people like to have a "naming story" and this one is wonderful. "Your auntie and I both loved the name, but she only got to use it on a car. *I* got to use it on the most precious thing in the world!"

April 9, 2013 9:32 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It's a car, not a person or a pet. The whole thing is silly on both sides.

Ask your sister if a name change will make her feel better about the name. If not, then help her choose a new name. Maia is one lovely alternative.

April 9, 2013 9:56 PM
By Debbie S. (not verified)

My husband's car had a nickname based on its license plate letters so as soon as we moved, the nickname had to go too. I say come up with a new name for the car then get a personalized license plate to cement it in the minds of your family members. Being a younger sister I can appreciate taking any chance to bug the older sister, but this is a situation where someone's got to give and it should probably be you.

April 12, 2013 11:34 AM
By Michelle (not verified)

If your sister is no longer interested in the name because of the association with the car, you could suggest some similar sounding names that are also as pretty as Mia:

Mina (or Wilhelmina)
Lia (I've seen it spelled Leah too)

Also Mia means " of the sea or bitter", and there are a huge amount of "M" names with this meaning (Marie, Maria, Marisa, Mariana, etc)

April 16, 2013 12:01 PM
By Allie (not verified)

Or, for Pete's sake. What kid of bitch of a sister names her car Mia ON PURPOSE to get a rise out of her sibling, then encourages her entire family to use the name FOR SIX YEARS. For A CAR. "Let's take Mia to the grocery store." "I have to get Mia's oil changed." How cruel. How pretentious.

You owe your sis an apology. Don't lie and say you haven't been planning this. You named a car, you named a car after a name you knew your sister loved and wanted to use, you didn't change it, your WHOLE FAMILY has been bothering her about it for the better part of a decade (NAMING A CAR?!?!?!), you did all of these things on purpose, and now you deserve whatever anger she's throwing at you.

April 16, 2013 4:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Sell the car. Can replace a car but not a baby

April 23, 2013 7:34 PM
By C. Andrews (not verified)

Out of the thousands of names out there, the pregnant sister can't possibly think of another one to use?

April 23, 2013 10:48 PM
By C. Andrews (not verified)

Also, it's not like the younger sister knew her older sister was going to use the name for a baby someday -- only that she liked it. Younger sister got older sister's car and gave it the name older sister liked. That doesn't really sound mean to me. It sounds like she was just trying to have fun with the name, and the whole family liked it. Older sister needs to get over herself, in my opinion. Why can't the car and the kid have the same name, anyway? It's not like the car will be around for that long.

April 27, 2013 8:22 PM
By Beth (not verified)

I'm disappointed. I thought the sister had named her baby something like Tesla or Lexus, and then the writer had gone out and bought one.

May 5, 2013 5:42 AM
By kerozzi (not verified)

Don't lie and say you haven't been planning this. You named a car, you named a car after a name you knew your sister loved and wanted to use, you didn't change it, your WHOLE FAMILY has been bothering her about it for the better part of a decade

March 19, 2014 7:09 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

June 10, 2014 6:01 AM
By Dextor Leons (not verified)

Its quite funny in my view . Anyways tell your sister that the car is also like a lovable child because we need to take proper care of it. And if she is not getting you then don't worry change that name because the car wont complain regarding this.

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September 24, 2014 1:10 AM
By musical heritage dagar (not verified)

Very Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it.

December 1, 2014 2:47 AM
By Andy Whittall (not verified)

It is very interesting when you talk about such types of topics and the reason is the purpose of the topic itself. Sometimes people name their own beloved cars like their children. In this blog the car name is the baby name of his sister's baby name. Mia name also a popular character name in Fast and Furious series. So it's obvious that she definitely liked her child name Mia.

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