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to want people to stop shortening my name? (first world issues!)

(107 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Thu 25-Jul-13 14:02:39

I have a very traditional, slightly long name. Without specifically mentioning it, it's the name of a former British queen who wore black a lot.

So why, without me asking, do people feel the need to shorten it? It drives me mad. For the record, I have no problem with other people who choose to use said name. However, when I was at primary school (oh yes, it goes back that far) there was a girl who was actually called the short form and she was an absolute cow. Since then, I've really hated being called it.

What's worse, is now it's people in a business context doing it. I would never shorten someone's name unless there was an 'oh, please call me xxx' or they signed their emails that way.

AIBU to be irrationally irritated by this?

MrsMook Sat 27-Jul-13 06:37:58

OP your name is my middle name, and I suspect if my names had been arranged differently, I'd have the same problem as I really like the full version.

My first name is much shorter and can only be shortened to something very colloquial. I don't mind when good friends do it occasionally, but it really gets my back up when strangers do it.

My DCs have traditional names. Generally people can handle "John" but our friend was trying his luck with "Johnnie". We thwarted his game by mauling his son's name and singing a song about it in a George, to Georgie Porgie kind of way. Our "joke" was far more annoying and the point was quickly made.

When we were naming "Benjamin" we accepted that he will probably end up being a "Ben". We love his full name and will use it until he's old enough to express an opinion.

When I meet a new class, I always ask as I take the register- Sarah-Jane or Sarah, Thomas or Tom. I do it where there is a common, established short version. It gives the pupils the confidence to tell me what they prefer. I have sometimes said that I would prefer not to call them x as it's too informal e.g. "Iz" short for Isabelle. I once had a pupil who didn't respond to his name at all just Dingle- he and his friends must have been soap fans!

Mixxy Sat 27-Jul-13 05:33:55

I like the longer version of my name but I also like the shortened one too. BUT it depends heavily on who is calling me by the shortened version. All my family call by my shortened name as do my close friends (but not my DH for some reason). If somebody is being over familiar and just assuming they can do it, I bristle. You can't say anthong then though, without saying "I just don't like you as much as I like others".

nooka Sat 27-Jul-13 04:51:06

I have a longish very unusual name which can have a very common (well for those of us born in the 70s!) shortening. My mum trained me very early on to object to that shortening and so I've never used it. I did in my teens try and invent all sorts of nicknames because I thought it was a sign of being popular, but from university onwards have always used my full name. On the whole people have very rarely tried to shorten it, although occasionally I get asked if I use a short form.

I did once have a teacher who tried to call me by the common shortening and was really surprised when I didn't respond, but it's just not my name so it doesn't ring the 'this person is talking to me' bell

My family use a different short form and I've never really had the heart to stop them, although it does feel really strange when I meet someone through my family and they call me that name. I do find it slightly surprising that only one of my siblings has noticed I never use the name (it's been 20 odd years!)

WandaDoff Sat 27-Jul-13 02:47:58

Most people, call me by an abbr. of my name. It has the same amount of letters so not really an abbr. but not my actual name.

I don't mind, as long as the aren't calling me fuckface, or halfpint or fatso or some kind of derogatory term.

My Dad used to go mad if anybody called me anything but the name he lovingly chose for me, & it makes me smile if somebody calls me by my given name now, as it reminds me of him smile

mrssprout Sat 27-Jul-13 01:59:09

Here in Australia it is very much a "mateship" thing to shorten a name. My name doesn't really shorten so in high school my friends found a way to make my name longer so they could shorten it to a nickname. I didn't mind & I'm lucky that I don't get too upset about a wrong name. My married surname is always said wrong & as a foster carer I have been called Mrs..........(insert surname of every child ever in our care) when ever I take a child to an appointment

MaBumble Sat 27-Jul-13 01:57:09

I totally understand. I have a name that cannot be shortened. It just can't. My mother specifically picked lovely names for all off us because she hated her shortened nickname.
A wife of a friend has decided to call me by a nickname that sounds like a French poodle. I have told her that I don't like it. Nothing, still carries on. She's really nice, I understand she's doing it out of affection. I still may kill her.

CalamityJ Sat 27-Jul-13 01:56:57

I always reply how people sign themselves off. Or if no sign off (bit rude) then the name in the email address e.g. if he signed himself Andy he'd get Andy back, otherwise Andrew. My email is the shortened version of my name because I prefer it and passionately dislike my full name But equally you are perfectly entitled to expect people to use your full name if that's what you call yourself. It's your name; you get to decide! There's a woman at work called Elizabeth who is only Elizabeth. I watched a colleague call her Liz. The face that launched 1000 cats' bums!

Tiptops Sat 27-Jul-13 01:45:56

YANBU. That would really irk me.

My parents deliberately chose names for us that couldn't be shortened grin

deleted203 Sat 27-Jul-13 01:30:02

You are not unreasonable! One of my sisters is called 'Ginny' and has had people insist on calling her 'Virginia'. It's actually short for 'Ginevra' which she fucking hates and would not wish to tell people. She gets really pissed off with having to tell people 'Don't call me Virginia - it's not my name!'.

Mollie272 Sat 27-Jul-13 01:24:45

My dd is called Elizabeth, but has always been known as Lizzy, which I love. She is named after a Lizzy who was very special to me. However, I HATE It being shortened to Liz. She's only 3, but I'm going to train her to say "Lizzy not Liz" to anyone who tries to shorten it.

WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 23:28:07

YANBU. my name has two shortened versions, one I hate but is most popular, the other I love. No matter how many times I introduce myself as one, I end up as the other. Glad I gave my DC names that cannot easily be shortened.

AllBoxedUp Fri 26-Jul-13 23:20:45

I have a 4 syllable name and it drives me crazy when people shorten it to a name I don't use so yanbu.

It's more common for my name to be shortened to the first two syllables but in Scotland it's reasonably common to shorten it to a version of the last two syllables (I live in England now). I don't mind being called long name or end short name but I think it's rude to immediately shorten a name when you've just met someone. I also don't want to be known as 3 different names and didn't have much choice as to which shortened version my parents chose.

I'd actually rather be known as the long name but it seems about 30 years too late and I think it would seem a bit pretentious. My short name is a bit naff but it's mine - and even though I know this I still get a bit prickly when people tell me it's a horrid name and I should use the long version or a different short. What is wrong with people that they think saying this to someone's face is ok?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 26-Jul-13 22:38:50


My name is only two syllables. I have always hated it being shortened. I live in Cardiff but my friends from elsewhere in Wales really struggle with the idea that shortening it isn't ok. Welsh people - they'll add syllables where they shouldn't be at any available opportunity and yet are damn determined you'll have a nickname is what I've learnt grin

apostropheuse Fri 26-Jul-13 22:34:12

Why don't you just say "We are not amused" with a grim look on your face?

NotMyChashkaChai Fri 26-Jul-13 22:28:43

Yanbu! It's very rude for people to automatically assume that it's ok to shorten your name, especially when you have deliberately introduced yourself with the long name.

OP - as an aside, I love the third shortening of your name! We had your name on our list for dd and if we had used it, we would definitely have used that shortening. The main reason that we didn't use it as we aren't keen at all on the two more common shortenings.

LustyBusty Fri 26-Jul-13 20:59:04

My name is like Catherine. I get called Catherine when I'm in trouble, Cathy day to day (including my work email address!) and Cath by those I like and trust. I'm not aware of shortening people's names by default, but the only person I can think of that does actually use their full name is my little cousin (eg Thomas, not Tom) I was 15 when he was born, and he was introduced as "Thomas. Not Tom, Thomas". He's still Thomas 12 years later! Or have a name like my mums, which in its only possible abbreviation sounds like a delicate, ladylike sneeze! grin

LegoAcupuncture Fri 26-Jul-13 19:39:37

I have a name that can be shortened, along the lines of Melissa/Mel. I prefer the long version, can't even sign my name off the shortened version, it just doesn't look right.

I don't mind people calling me the shortened version if they know me and I hate it when people who are in a professional level or who I've just met call me it straight away.

It's rude to assume someone wants to use the shortened version if they've used the full version to introduce themselves.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 26-Jul-13 18:56:35

I hate name shortening. Out of my whole family (which is about as big as 3 football teams) there is only one person who shortens their name.

Calling someone Matt if they say their name is Mathew i think is actually changing that persons name completely.

ThePowerof3 Fri 26-Jul-13 18:48:23

I agree Yoni

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 26-Jul-13 18:47:46

YANBU! I get the opposite - I have a shorter version of a potentially longer name and for the last thirty-odd years, I've been addressed by the longer version, particularly by people in positions of authority. Honestly, you'd think they'd have the courtesy to respect that I know my own name and consequently introduce myself as such!

Anyway, another one here who feels your pain.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Fri 26-Jul-13 18:43:34

I'm sorry but it does amuse the hell out of me when people say "My DC is called Samuel but no-one may call him Sam because I don't like it."

Yep, good luck with that. You are in for many, many years of seething.

ThePowerof3 Fri 26-Jul-13 18:40:19

It doesn't bother me but I would never do it to others as I know some people can't stand it, it does suggest an intimacy that isnt always there.some people do seem do get disproportionately upset about it though

ArgyMargy Fri 26-Jul-13 18:33:29

YABU. Get over yourself, queenie. I don't give a toss what people call me (as long as it's not rude!).

TidyDancer Fri 26-Jul-13 18:31:49

I have this with my name. It's a long name, which has a reasonably common two syllable shortening. I don't mind people using that, but it's when they use a one syllable shortening that bothers me. My best friend uses it and it's fine, but that's because it's my best friend!

Relaxedandhappyperson Fri 26-Jul-13 18:13:27


I too have a name like that and I am for ever telling people that it's [MY NAME] not [SOMEONE ELSE'S NAME WHICH IS A FEW LETTERS OUT OF MINE]. It makes me very angry that people think they're being friendly. They're not - they're being rude and I automatically mark them down in my personal tally of how nice a person they are.

Though last week I was on a telecon with a shorter version and there was someone getting a bit confused as to who was which and I cut him a tiny bit of slack.

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