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Decoy Baby Names?

People keep asking about baby's name and I want to keep it a surprise -- should I use a decoy baby name?


People keep asking about baby's name and I want to keep it a surprise -- should I use a decoy baby name?

The Bump Expert

Maybe! Using a decoy baby name means telling everyone you're planning to name the baby one thing (Angelique) -- when all the while, you know it's going to be something else (Sophia!). This is a trend that's been picking up speed -- we've noticed Bumpies on The Bump message boards talking about decoy names more than ever before.

So why do people choose a decoy name? When everything about your baby-to-be is so out in the open (think: your pregnancy announcement, your baby shower and, well, your obvious, growing bump), sometimes it's nice to have something that just belongs to you, your partner and baby. Plus, who really wants to hear everybody's opinion on which name is best for baby and why? Not you, that's who!

A decoy name is one way to dodge those pesky (and overly personal) naming criticisms. If you don't want anyone pooh-poohing your favorite name, keeping it to yourself is one way to go, but going so far as to create a decoy name will keep curious people from continually asking. It's not for everyone though. We asked moms to weigh on on why they opted for a decoy name. Some were for fun (and they're pretty hilarious!), some were for privacy purposes and others, well, you'll have see for yourself:

"My husband and I decided we're going to keep the names we choose secret. We decided to have some fun with it, and whenever people ask us if we choose names we will tell them fake names: Thaddeus for a boy and Argentina for a girl." -- Lesliejay98*

"I told my husband that we are not telling our families the names we pick until baby is here. I said that I will probably tell people who ask that we're going with historically significant names. (I'm a huge history buff and have two degrees in American History!), I'll tell them it's Pocahontas if it's a girl and Opechancanough if it's a boy!" -- REL1776

"When I told my mother-in-law what name we were going to give baby, she told me it was awful. And when I said I was going to give baby the same middle name I have, she told me I couldn't do that! That was the last time I told anyone baby's real name." -- HiliariaT543

"We've decided not to tell anyone the name we've picked out. My father-in-law asked this morning because we just found out the gender yesterday, and I told him we weren't sure yet. But he kept insisting. So I told him we liked Margaret and Ann because it wasn't a total lie. He literally cringed at both of them." -- mae21376

"When I was pregnant with my daughter, I loved the name Clara Jane. And all my well-meaning mom could talk about was my mean great-aunt Clara and she'd say, 'Oh my gosh! Why would you name my child after such a mean woman?!' I never even met the lady, but she ruined the name for me. So I have nothing but awe for people who are able to keep names a secret. I know I learned my lesson. Decoys are the way to go!" -- Rachierach5543

"We have used a decoy name for both pregnancies. We're not telling anyone this baby's name because I don't want to know how much they hate the name. And once the baby has arrived, it would be rude of them to tell me they don't like his name." -- elenarichmond88

"We didn't want to tell anyone, so we used famous male/female couples. We even gave the names to friends with straight faces and waited for person to realize we were not serious. It was fun!" -- LesleyKnopp

"We tried telling people that we hadn't decided yet, etc. But they still asked what names we were considering. I didn't want to hear their feedback, so we started to use decoy names. It was our decision, so what did it matter what everyone else thought?" - Galeporter76

"I wish I'd had some decoy names. My mother-in-law asked me once in front of several people what names we were thinking of, and I said that we weren't telling anyone yet, so she snapped at me, saying to just tell them! I did, but only because I didn't want to start a fight. I really wish I had had some decoy names now. I'll probably use them next time -- see how much my mother-in-law likes that!" -- LilMissVirginia21

"We picked out a nickname and called baby that until born. Actually we still occasionally call her the nickname."

"My friends knew they were having a boy and would tell people they had a name but didn't tell them what it was. Well, that pissed a lot of people off, and everyone was constantly hounding them about letting them in on the secret. They used decoy names just to get everyone off their backs! I felt bad for them." -- Rebecka01

"Our decoy name became baby's nickname! It was the best idea we ever had: it kept noisy people away and it also gave us a chance to pick a name we really loved -- and only because we loved it! We weren't influenced by what anyone else thought. Plus, we got the most perfect nickname for baby!" -- KristinG

*Some names have been changed.

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Pick a Baby Name Without Picking a Fight

A No-Stress Guide to Baby Naming

Top Baby Names of the Decade!

Kylie McConville

Decoy Baby Names?

We're waiting a little longer to tell anyone that we're having a baby, but I have a lot of friends who hated Twilight, so we're thinking we'll use Edward Jacob and Bella Renesmee as decoy names when they ask. ;)

jenden1978 |

Decoy Baby Names?

With our first LO we picked a name and told people we were keeping it a secret the funny thing was that it was strangers that hounded me the most. "Oh come on you don't even know me just tell me your babies name..." Really? What sense does that make?!

MorePuppies |

Decoy Baby Names?

Early in my pregnancy we threw around a couple names we were thinking of to family and friends and always had somebody give us reasons they hated them. When my husband and I finally decided on two names we liked we decided not to tell anybody. My sister actually created the decoy name that we have used by calling him 'George'. I do agree with the previous post though, since I work in retail, it has been total strangers that have tried to insist on knowing the name since 'I don't know them'.

Einer |

Decoy Baby Names?

I am thinking about using a decoy name because i have had one of my names stolen already and i have a cousin who would probably take the name and is due a few days before me.

utopianaurora |

Decoy Baby Names?

We were sick of people asking us names we started telling everyone we were going to name our boy Artemus Newton Craft (Art N Craft). Then we would say...of course we wouldn't do that to our child, so we'll let you know when he's born, and I'm sure you will just be thankful we didn't name him Art N Craft. ...they shut up after that.

sccrem01 |

Decoy Baby Names?

We are not finding out the sex of the baby and are keeping the names a secret. We have a boy name picked out and when asked we just say "the middle name is Michael (after my husband's middle name) and you can find out the first name if it is a boy at the hospital". I don't want to hear people's opinion's of the name or "you should name it this". People can get angry if they want but they will get over it.

Allie429 |

Decoy Baby Names?

We are not finding out the sex of our baby and are keeping the names a secret. When we are asked, we do tell people that the middle name will be Michael (after my husband's middle name), but they will have to wait to see if baby is a boy what the first name will be. I don't want to hear people's opinions or "you should name it this" b/c it will only get me upset/angry. I'm not even worrying about a decoy name b/c if they wanna get angry over it that is their business and they can get over it.

Allie429 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I would be careful. I am glad we didn't use a decoy because we have received a few monogrammed hand made baby gifts.

Kzhowell |

Decoy Baby Names?

WE have been giving everyone 3 names that are a possibility. Yesterday we pretty much decided on a completely different name that no one knows about at all. Due any day and the name anticiapiation is killing everyone!

kaari83 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I feel like you should tell everyone, one just to hear it in use and know you love it. But also to stake claim, so you don't wind up picking the same name as someone you know due a month before you.

has615 |

Decoy Baby Names?

The ONLY issue I think you'd have would be if people decided to get you personalized gifts for the baby....What if someone got you an embroidered blanket with the decoy name? My cousin told everyone her babies first and middle ititial...BRILLIANT! I will do the same.

hotrodvixen61 |

Decoy Baby Names?

My family are the type to buy personalized gifts for baby. We are having a girl and only telling a select few people her name. My grandmother has some strong opinions about what her name should be. I guess I'm more blunt than some, because I said the name is a secret until it's on the birth certificate because I don't want anyone's opinion. They aren't the ones having the baby, so I really don't mind offending them.

deejohn2012 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I have to say that although I realize the touchiness of the subject, I can't believe people use decoy names. This isn't the only potentially unpopular choice you are going to have to make as a parent and if you can't say it a be proud and tell people to get over it, then you have to wonder how they will affect the way you and your partner handle other situations. Our little boy's name is going to be Gideon. Upon hearing this my mother-in-law hated it and was very vocal about it. I respect that she has a right to her decision but we didn't pick the name to upset her so we don't have any qualms about standing behind it. She asked if she could call him Eon and I very politely told her that she could call her grandson whatever she liked but that his name is Gideon and that is what he will grow up hearing. People only make a big deal out of it if they feel like they can get away with it.

flanire12 |

Decoy Baby Names?

We currently call her "Cletus the Fetus." It's actually proving to be a great way to condition the grandmothers...anything's better than "Cletus" for a girl.

fritz799 |


Rocking the decoy name/names...ours tend to feature comic book superheros and random pop culture references. We have 3-4 joke names and the practice horrifies our parents. Its hilarious! DH and I have had a name chosen since before I got pregnant, but we wanted something to be privatr and we wanted to see her first.....I was also a little superstitious too because we suffered a miscarriage before this baby. I do not particularly care what anyone thinks of the name, but I dont want to hear the knee jerk criticsm either.

Sarra21 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I'm 7 weeks pregnant and am just now hearing about decoy baby names. We haven't even told anyone we're pregnant yet but we've had names picked out for a while. I would totally use a decoy name...but I would make it something so off the wall (ex the person that posted before be using the name "Cletus the Fetus") so that everyone would know you were joking and hopefully they wouldn't get you monogramed items with your decoy name.

AndyandKatie2011 |

Decoy Baby Names?

We haven't decided on a name yet as we just found out we're expecting, but I think it's a great idea, as long as people know it's not real so you don't risk monogram/personalized things with the wrong name. People tend to be more vocal about names they don't like before the baby is born, because they think they can change your mind about it. If you think the name you love will be 'hated on' by family members/friends/anyone, it makes sense to keep it a secret until it is officially on papers. Once it's on the birth certificate people tend to calm down because it's too late to change. If we decide to use decoys, I'm sure we'll do something crazy like tell everyone who asks a different name off the top of our heads. DH has taken to calling the baby "Zy" as in "zygoat" because I'm only 6 weeks, so we might use that too.

ForrestW88 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I don't want to hear everyone's opinion about the name we choose for our baby! We didn't tell a soul with our first child...until he popped out! My little boy likes the cartoon Caillou and wants to name his baby sister Rosie! Nobody shall know the real name until her birthday! It drives people nuts...oh well! My decision.

ChristyLouise00 |

Decoy Baby Names?

Why would you lie like that? Just say that you'll reveal the name after the baby is born. I know a lot of people that get 'personalized' items for babies before they're born. What if you got a ton of gifts with your 'decoy' name(s) on them? Not a good idea. If you don't want to share the name, then don't.

slappalicious |

Decoy Baby Names?

Yes. Come up with something off the wall and unusual (try an old family name from the 1800's or something) and give that name. People will think its strange, but the ones who are paying attention will realize it will be released in "due" time and stop asking.

bducky1 |

Decoy Baby Names?

I would be afraid of using a decoy name because I've been to many baby showers where they recieved gifts with the baby's name embroidered on it. I think it would be embarrassing to get something with the wrong name on it, both for the giver, and myself. We've actually opted to not find out the gender of our baby, so I think we will give the names we've decided on when we're asked.

ASheaffer11 |

Decoy Baby Names?

My friend recently gave me the best advice. Never tell people what you are naming your baby. If you say "I'm thinking of naming my baby 'Jamiroquai,' they will inevitably begin a barrage of comments you may (or most likely may not) want to hear. But if you say "This is my son, 'Jamiroquai,'" suddenly, they are distracted by your adorable baby, and not your particular name choice. None of our potential names are that... exotic, but we are keeping them to ourselves. It is the first grandbaby on both sides, and we aren't finding out the gender, either. This has spared us multiple conversations in which, while people are more than welcome to their opinion, they actually have very little say in the matter.

TheLittlestDiva |

Decoy Baby Names?

Our decoy name is Luke Skywalker. My sister is even planning a Star Wars baby shower. We are having fun with it!

coowatson |

Decoy Baby Names?

I wouldnt. What if people spent money getting something monogrammed for the baby with the fake name? I would feel bad that my lie made their special gift a waste of money

emd886 |

Decoy Baby Names?

We have a son Named Kenneth, we are expecting a little girl who we refer to as little Barbie. We are going to name her after two of our grandmothers but keeping it a secretuntil she arrives

sparklelikebowie |

Decoy Baby Names?

We say we haven't decided yet, then give a list of about 5 or 6 that we are considering or ones that have come up in discussion. Most of the time, people comment on the one they like best with their approval! I think it helps keep them more positive when they feel like their input actually matters ;)

hjheritage |

Decoy Baby Names?

We referred to our little one as B.O.B. (AKA Baby On Board) until she came. We have a very opinionated family. We shared big lists of names and never really specified how serious we were about them, and kind of exaggerated our level of indecisiveness. "Naming is so hard, she's going to be 5 and still being called 'Baby'." My husband would occasionally drop a completely ridiculous name and try to pass it off as serious, just to see reactions. The key to being safe with decoys is emphasizing that it could change.

TerriDawe |

Decoy Baby Names?

I'm terrible at picking names for even pets, now that my first child is on the way im overwhelmed with the responsibility!! I'm not telling until the baby is born because the name will likely change weekly until its written in ink on the birth certificate. My family knows this about me so I don't think its hard. Still I don't mind hearing suggestions, not like I have to choose one of them! The one thing I did ask was if no middle name would be weird. xP

Zoaea |

Decoy Baby Names?

Are you not worried that people would believe you and give you a gift monogrammed with that decoy name? Southerners love their monogramming, to a decoy is a risky game to play.

weantkm |

Decoy Baby Names?

I like the idea of keeping the decision private, but why not turn it around and ask the persistent friend/relative/stranger on the bus "well what would you name him/her?" thus make the person asking feel special, maybe getting some good ideas, and not have to tell anyone! Also after reading this thread I will now refer to any future pregnancy as "Cletus the Fetus", thank you fritz799 for the brilliant idea!

towwo114 |