Hi Duana,

I am currently pregnant with my first child and am having a bit of a name dilemma. The background story is this:

I had made the mistake of telling a girlfriend of mine, L, that I liked the name Chloe, and coming from a European upbringing, this is not a common name.  Well about a year ago, I was at a BBQ with L and her friend M, and M proceeds to tell me that she recently bought a puppy (same breed that I was looking at adopting) and named this dog Chloe! I was flabbergasted and from that point knew I couldn't trust L anymore because she went to M and told her about our personal conversations.

I don't talk to M and only talk to L when social events dictate that we see each other.  The situation was handled maturely, no screaming and hair pulling but a mutual drifting.

So my question is can I name my child Chloe or should I just nix the name completely. I don't want there to be an association between M's dog and my child even though there is no relationship between M and myself.


I never, ever give away information about the people who write to me, but I have to say that the title of this article was the subject line of the email I got, and come on, how perfect is that?

But I have to say that I’m not quite seeing where the name “stealing” is happening.  Seems as though you told L about Chloe well over a year ago. Right? Well before you were pregnant or anyone thought you were thinking seriously about names?  

Furthermore, I’m not sure if it’s a betrayal of trust that M named her dog Chloe. It is a name that’s in the zeitgeist – there are TV and book characters and a million three-year-olds named Chloe. Sure, maybe it’s unheard of where you are but people still have the internet. It’s the #14 name in the US and the #16 in the UK. It’s going to seep into people’s consciousness.

The only place where I feel you is that I know there are people maddened by people (like me, I must admit) who use people names for dogs. I know it would be easier if we called them Muffin and Fluffernutter, so I’m actually sorry about that. But there are so many good names!

In conclusion, I’m not sure L and M actually did anything wrong to you. But I think you shouldn’t name your daughter Chloe. Because she will hear this story over and over again and it will make her resent her name. Choose something you love, that’s only yours and don’t tell anyone before the baby’s named. You’ll feel much more in control that way. Okay?