Baby Names

A nicknaming question.

I've noticed a lot of people on this board are just as obsessed with finding a nickname as they are a real name. I'm having trouble phrasing this... hmm. A few years ago I worked at a preschool and we had twins named Joseph & Caroline, when they first started with us they were 1 and went by nicknames, Jojo and Kay-Kay, as given to us by their parents. When they entered my 3 year old class, the mother was adamant we not call Caroline Kay-Kay anymore because she thought it was confusing her as to what her name actually was. She had no concern for Jojo though. And now at my current preschool, I have a David in my class that has been listening to his nickname, Bubba, for so long that he didn't even respond to his real name at all until I would only call him David, it took about a month for him to realize I was always speaking to him when I said David.

I also have a few parents who have made it clear we not call their children (Samuel & Joshua, examples) as anything but their full first names. And when I was little my aunt refused to let people call my cousin Cait, short for Caitlyn.

So, do you think it would ever be concerning to you that your or someone elses child could be confused as to what their real name was or would it just be something they grew out of as they got older?

I don't know if I'm making sense, just wondering what other people think about all the nickname craziness, I guess. 

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Re: A nicknaming question.

  • Personally, I name my kids what I am going to call them by. They might end up being called a shortened version of their name here and there but, 70-80% of the time it's their given name.
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  • Well, I may be in the minority, but I am not a big fan of nicknames. With that being said, I could care less if a person wants to have a nickname for their child; I just feel some really push them rather than have them come about more naturally. if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what I was going to call my DS or if he'd go by Eli I'd be rich. It seems like anymore it's weird to go by your given name. So I guess what I am saying is nicknames are fine, just not mandatory as far as I'm concerned. 
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  • To PP, yeah with my girl name I'm pretty much on the just call her "Marlena" that's her name not Lena or Marly. However with my boy name, Gianluca, I will more than likely usually refer to him just as Luca, the prefix is just an honor to DH's name (Giancarlo) and everyone just calls him Gian. So, that makes sense to me. 

    So for the most part, I'm with the "Name your child want you want to call them" unless it's something ridiculous like "Booboo"
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  • katagskatags
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
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    I don't have a problem using a nickname with young children, but it is a little weird when parents INSIST their kids go by a certain thing. I am Katherine, and was called Katie from the day I was born. My mom thought Katherine was a good name to eventually grow into. Since my parents called me Katie, everyone else did too. That's how she introduced me, etc. It was all very natural and normal. Then when we were registering for kindergarten, I asked if I could go by my "grown up name"... You know, because I was all grown up going to kindergarten. She told me later that she wasn't even aware I knew my name was Katherine, but I obviously did.

    But the rational makes sense to me completely nicknames are a good way to shorten long names with children especially when they're learning to write and spell and just be kids. They always will have an option later to go by another nickname or more formal name. But I do think it's ok for it to happen naturally and not force the issue. If kid goes by Bubba, there's no reason to call him his formal name unless they request it.
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  • I know a family who really struggled with this.  They have 2 kids, a daughter and a son who is just a year younger than his big sis.

    When big sis was one and he was a baby, she called him "Bubby."  The parents thought it was cute, and Jonathan was exclusively called Bubby from birth until he was ready to start kindergarten.  He sort of knew that his name was actually Jonathan, but he didn't answer to Jonathan.

    The 4s preschool teacher asked the parents at conferences if they intended to continue using "Bubby" in elementary school.  When they thought about it, they realized that, although they still liked the nickname, t would be unfair to send him to elementary school as Bubby -- and that it would be a heck of a lot easier to make the switch before he started kindergarten than during elementary school!

    My own son's name is Timothy.  On paper he's always Timothy.  He writes "Timothy" on his school papers. When we meet new people, we always introduce him as Timothy.  At home, we shorten it sometimes to "Tim."  As friends, teachers, and coaches are around him, they come to learn that he also responds to "Tim" and they will use it sometimes as well.

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  • I COMPLETELY agree!  I hate nicknames, and I purposely chose a name for my daughter that didn't have an obvious one.  I have a name that is like the Katherine/Katie example, and it caused me a lot of annoyance over the years.  I was really shy in school, and I dreaded people asking me which I preferred.  Also, as I teacher, I find it annoying to go through the roll at the beginning of the year and have it sound like this:

    Nicholas?  

    I go by Nico.

    Jennifer?

    I go by Jennie.

    Stephen?

    I go by my middle name, Connor.

     ETC., ETC.

     

    It makes learning 120 names into learning 240.   

  • I only like naming a child what you are going to call them but I have a similar story. My parents were calling my sister "Bobo" or something like that. I can't remember exactly what it was and one day my mum called her by her name, Karen. I think she was 2ish and she said " I not Karen, I bobo" from the on my parents started calling her by her name haha! I think it can be really confusing to kids. 

    I really don't get naming your kid something like Annabelle but always calling them Anna, since Anna is a name in itself or Charlotte nn Charlie (it is the same length!) Idk that's just my opinion. Adelaide nn Addy makes more sense because imo Addy isn't a formal fn

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  • image katags:
    I don't have a problem using a nickname with young children, but it is a little weird when parents INSIST their kids go by a certain thing. I am Katherine, and was called Katie from the day I was born. My mom thought Katherine was a good name to eventually grow into. Since my parents called me Katie, everyone else did too. That's how she introduced me, etc. It was all very natural and normal. Then when we were registering for kindergarten, I asked if I could go by my "grown up name"... You know, because I was all grown up going to kindergarten. She told me later that she wasn't even aware I knew my name was Katherine, but I obviously did. But the rational makes sense to me completely nicknames are a good way to shorten long names with children especially when they're learning to write and spell and just be kids. They always will have an option later to go by another nickname or more formal name. But I do think it's ok for it to happen naturally and not force the issue. If kid goes by Bubba, there's no reason to call him his formal name unless they request it.

     

    DD is named after DH`s grandmothers. Her name is Katherine Hazel. We call her Katie and always planned to. I think that as a full name, her grown up name is better. I also didn't want people to call her Kathy. We are teaching her what her name is and most of the time she tells you her name is Katie but every once in a while she says Katherine. I am a teacher too and I still don't care about nicknames.  

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  • Yeah. I'm big into avoiding nicknames. I named DD1 Natalie and she goes by Natalie. DD2 will be Caroline. I briefly pondered "Cari"... but no. It's Caroline, period.

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  • ZimgerZimger
    5000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Second Anniversary
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    I can take or leave nn. It's not a big deal to me.

    Sometimes people worry too much about a nn. They stress over something that is supposed to be a pet name, an enduring name given by family.

    My son has a nn that has nothing to do with the name I gave him.

    That being said I have taken some names off the table because I did not lilke potential nn's for one reason or another.

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  • a nickname isn't a huge deal to me, but I will probably just call call my daughter "Lily" but I don't think it's mandatory.
    Liliana Seraphina born 9/5/2103


  • My family has always had a nn for each of us. It was usually a shortened version of our name. I personally love nicknames because, it seems more intimate if you will. My family and good friends call me by my nickname. In my opinion, it seems to be a way to show that you know someone well or are close to them. My husband feels the same way, but it could be our families or maybe a Midwest thing. Either way, nicknames don't bother me at all.
  • image chapstix7:
    Well, I may be in the minority, but I am not a big fan of nicknames. With that being said, I could care less if a person wants to have a nickname for their child; I just feel some really push them rather than have them come about more naturally. if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what I was going to call my DS or if he'd go by Eli I'd be rich. It seems like anymore it's weird to go by your given name. So I guess what I am saying is nicknames are fine, just not mandatory as far as I'm concerned. 

    Agree with this, 100%  

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  • I'm a nn person. I don't care if other people nn their kids, but I prefer nns for mine.

    I'm a Jennifer who always went by Jenny/Jennie. In college, I started using Jennifer and now go by Jennifer professionally. My close friends and family call me Jenny still.

    My brother did the same thing with Robert/Bobby/Bob. My cousin did it with Amanda/Mandy.

    My DH however is Wesley nn Wes. Only close friends call him Wes. Family still calls him Wesley. My cousin Jonathan did that with the nn Jon.

    For my own kids, DD1 is Mary Adeline nn Addie. I always introduced her as a baby by saying, "This is Mary Adeline. We call her Addie." She now chooses to introduce herself as Addie. She does however know her full name, answers to it, and can tell you it if asked.

    DD2 is Martha Rose. Originally we intended on calling her Rose or Rosie. However Martha Rose just fits her better. She can go by other variations if she wants as she gets older.

    As a teacher myself, I never get the issue with nns at school. I am one of those teachers who has a seating chart from day 1. I greet my students at the door and change their name on my seating chart if necessary. No big deal. We all move on. This year I ended up taking over another teacher's classes a month before the end of school. I learned over 300 students names this year and it was no big deal to use a nn if they asked. It's such a nonissue.

    In short use nns if you want. Don't use them if you don't. It really doesn't matter one way or another.
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  • image countrymice06:
    I have a name that is like the Katherine/Katie example, and it caused me a lot of annoyance over the years. nbsp;I was really shy in school, and I dreaded people asking me which I preferred.


    I hated this too. Eventually I got sick of correcting everybody and decided to switch to my "formal" name in college. I also didn't like being stuck with a cutesy nn as an adult. Getting family and friends who were used to calling me my nn to switch was difficult and most still call me my nn, which I don't really like but it's hard to switch names at adulthood, you can't control what others choose to call you.

    What I've observed from people I know is that it seems like most friends who didn't have a nickname growing up give their kids one and those who did do not give their kids one. We both had nns but our kids go by their full names. I guess the grass is greener ...

  • I'm in Australia. Everyone gets a nickname. We also shorten names chronically. I wasn't nuts about Ellie or Ella, so she's Norah. Even that gets shortened and nicknamed!
    I prefer Nellie to Penny for 2 but not as badly as with 1.
    DH really wanted them to have an adult name. It's all about options for us.
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  • image cmw&tdm:
    image countrymice06:
     
     I guess the grass is greener ...

    I think this is true.

    I always hated the fact that my name (Kelly) didn't really have much in the way of nicknames. That's one of the reasons we named our daughter something that could be shortened. Right now we call her Emmy as much as we call her Emilia. I'm not too worried about her not knowing her given name. I think she'll figure it out pretty quickly. I have an ex whose family called him Bubba his entire life. He always knew his real name was Brian. It wasn't a big deal.

    I'm also a teacher. I always ask my students when I meet them what they prefer to be called, and I make a note of it. That isn't a big deal either. 

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  • I did not know my name was Rebecca until I was 7. Honestly. Everyone had always called me Becky. I was pretty angry when I found out and I refused to acknowledge anyone who called me Becky. I started going by Rebecca from that point on.

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  • I have also been a preschool teacher and have never had a kid so confused by a nickname. Every kid I knew has always responded to both. We commonly call my DD2 a nickname that has nothing to do with her given name really but by 2 years old she could tell you what her real name was and responded to either one. She'll even respond to just her middle name. My student called Sebby also responded to Sebastian without issue.

    On the flip side I am avoiding names that have obvious nicknames that I dislike because I don't want to be "that" parent and when the kid is older they might choose to go by it. For example, I won't consider any boy name beginning in Al--, Or Jo--. 

    My 2 girls, both born on a Friday the 13th, are exactly 2 years, 2 months, 2 hours and 2 minutes apart! And Baby Boy joined us October 11, 2013! image
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  • I personally want my kids to feel a connection to their given names. I know of plenty of folks who have zero connection to their given fn because they've been called a nn (or their mn) since day 1. So I insist my son is called by his full fn (he's only 8months, so we have years ahead of me insisting on this, haha. But at 8 months, he definitely knows his full name, so I consider that a win). If he shortens his name later, that is fine. But he may want to ditch the nn later on - like when he enters the job market - so I want him to still feel like his original fn is "his" so he has options.
  • image t loves r:
    My family has always had a nn for each of us. It was usually a shortened version of our name. I personally love nicknames because, it seems more intimate if you will. My family and good friends call me by my nickname. In my opinion, it seems to be a way to show that you know someone well or are close to them. My husband feels the same way, but it could be our families or maybe a Midwest thing. Either way, nicknames don't bother me at all.

    This is my take on nn's too (generally. There are always exceptions). This is why I find it a bit obnoxious when people I barely know shorten my son's name (Nathaniel). Of course, it would be different if I introduced my son as "Nate," but if I introduce him as Nathaniel, then random-person-we-just-met needs to respect that.

  • In my culture, nicknames are terms of endearment. You just don't call a child, a sibling, or a SO by their full name, it's way too formal! Nicknames may shorten or lengthen the name, e.g. Sasha is shorter than Aleksandr/a, Verochka longer than Vera; different endings indicate the degrees of familiarity/intimacy between people :D
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  • Personally, I think people take this nn thing way too seriously - whether you like them or hate them. I understand why people would want to name their kid a full 'grown-up' name and then call them some version of it, and I understand why others would want to give their kid a name and only refer to them as the full name. 

    As for me, I am drawn to names with, at least, sort of obvious nicknames because my name doesn't have one. I also know that I will end up calling my child nns that just come up organically. 

    I have to disagree with the whole 'I'm a teacher and I hate nns/little kids get confused' thing. Gimme a break.



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  • I'm going to use "Elizabeth" instead of my real name, but it works just as well:

    My parents named me Elizabeth because they liked the name Liz.  They had always planned on calling my Liz and not Elizabeth, but didn't think they should give me a nickname as a name.  As a child, they called me Lizzie.  I knew my name was Elizabeth/Liz/Lizzie and never had any issues.

     

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  • LC122LC122
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    Ok, here are my nickname issues:

    1. Growing up I was pretty shy and hated when I met someone who may/may not go by a nn. For example, a Jennifer whose close friends/family called her Jen. I just met you, do I call you Jennifer when everyone else is calling you Jen? Is that your preferred name or would I be overstepping like Nathaniel's mom feels about calling him Nate?
    2. I don't remember ever being confused by my nickname or even introducing myself by it. Only my family called me that, and really only my Mother's side of the family. But my siblings will still call me that and are teaching it to their kids. My nephew introduced me to his teacher as Aunt Lolli and I was so caught off guard by it that I felt the need to explain to her that my parents didn't put Lolli on my birth certificate and that I had a "real" name.
    3. I was in a prego fitness class and we were discussing names and this lady mentioned that she didn't like names with nicknames that started with a different letter. I asked for an example and when she said Robert/Bob, I realized that I was married to someone like that, a William/Billy/Bill. It does make me second guess any type of monogram because he now always goes by Bill, except from his family, my next point, and my maiden name starts with a W so when I look at a couple's monogram, to me it just looks like my initials instead of ours.
    4. My husband grew up as Billy to his family. At some point, he tried to go by William, his "real" name, and ended up being called Billiam for a few years. So, he was Billy in elementary, Billiam in middle school, and Bill in high school and thereafter. It still weirds me out to hear his family call him Billy most of the time because the rest of the world calls him Bill.
  • image WashingtonQueen:
    Personally, I name my kids what I am going to call them by. They might end up being called a shortened version of their name here and there but, 70-80% of the time it's their given name.

    This.  

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  • We name our kids what we want to call them and what we want others to call them. That said we are aparently nickname people/name shorteners so a lot of times when DS was a baby Martijn turned into Tijn-Tijn and now a days he gets call Tijn pretty often by us. We also use his full name and he also gets refered to as Budy. I would never introduce him or have anyone else call him anything but Martijn though. It has worked the same for DD. They are more terms of endearment than names imo and it wasn't soemthing we thought about ahead of time it just happened.

    Where we live it is pretty common to name the child something and have them go by a completly different name. It is wierd. Like you name them John Smith and then you put on the birth announcement that there name is John Smith but they will be called Liam. It isn't even their middle name or anything. Wierd!

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  • When considering names, j always consider how I feel about the possible nicknames. If I want a William, would I be ok if he decided to go by Will when he's older? Some names yes, others no. I am fine with nicknames though.

    I am Alexandra and I've always been Alexandra. Not Lexi, Allie, Alex, etc, but I've spent my whole life explaining to people. I always get asked what I go by and when I say Alexandra it's like they can't comprehend
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  • image CharlieFox30:

    Personally, I think people take this nn thing way too seriously - whether you like them or hate them. I understand why people would want to name their kid a full 'grown-up' name and then call them some version of it, and I understand why others would want to give their kid a name and only refer to them as the full name. 

    As for me, I am drawn to names with, at least, sort of obvious nicknames because my name doesn't have one. I also know that I will end up calling my child nns that just come up organically. 

    I have to disagree with the whole 'I'm a teacher and I hate nns/little kids get confused' thing. Gimme a break.

    Agreed. 
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  • I really like names with obvious nickname options. I think non are inevitable with a lot of the 3 4 syllable names people use today. I thinks its hard to yell certain four syllable names across a schoolyard. : the other kids will come up with something shorter, so I might as well choose a name that makes it easier.

    I agree with a pop. My name is only 3 letters, not a lot of reason to shorten it, so I'd like for my child to have options as she grows up. She can choose what she likes.
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