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To think that deciding on a shortening/nickname for a DC's name is actually quite common?

(205 Posts)
Thurlow Thu 05-Jun-14 15:53:32

Apologies, this is half a thread about a thread. Or lots of threads.

I feel like I read loads on times on Baby Names comments that 'nicknames develop over time', or how you shouldn't start with a shortened version and work out to a longer name.

Obviously this applies when your child is still known as Moo because she made a noise like a cow when she was a baby... But not when you're thinking that you want to call your daughter Katie, and then work out to decide of they should be a Katherine, Kathryn etc.

Is it just me, or is it actually quite common in RL to decide at the start that you want a Benjamin nn Ben, William nn Billy, Elizabeth nn Libby etc?

(I should qualify that this isn't exactly bothering me. I'm slightly bored this afternoon...)

Thurlow Thu 05-Jun-14 16:20:38

I know what you mean, ThinkIveBeenHacked. But I guess some parents like names that will give their DC options when they are older. Though if DD grows up and chooses one of the suddenly popular shortenings of her long name, I might cry grin

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 05-Jun-14 16:21:15


squoosh Thu 05-Jun-14 16:22:45

The 'options' thing baffles me.

Nocomet Thu 05-Jun-14 16:26:18

I've been shortened all my life. If you use my full name I will assume you are talking to someone else.

The only two people who ever used my full name (a great Aunt and an old HT have been dead for over 20 years).

Conversely I don't shorten DDs name, but she does at school and the NN she uses and how she spells it are her choosing entirely.

Livvylongpants Thu 05-Jun-14 16:26:19

My DS is Robert but has been called bobby since birth. Robert is my late fathers name but felt it was to 'serious' for a young boy. But if he ever became prime minister or a lawyer I felt bobby wouldn't be serious enough

PuppyMonkey Thu 05-Jun-14 16:26:31

Daisy is derived from Margaret - mind blown shock

I think if you want to call your child Moo Moo or SmegFace just put it on the birth certificate and get on with it. They can change it to Jack when they get older quite easily if they don't like it. We've all got the option to do that.

Pregnantberry Thu 05-Jun-14 16:28:31

Basgetti I think you did the right thing, you can stick his birth certificate in a drawer somewhere and have everyone call him Eddie but he will always have "Edward" in reserve for when he becomes prime minister. wink

Maybe he will be glad one day - I have an 'unprofessional' sounding name which I was fine with as a child but I have been known to swap with my traditional middle name on job applications. I also think that 'Edward' is a lovely name anyway!

ViviPru Thu 05-Jun-14 16:29:58

Maybe it's because DH and I have (and are familiar with) longer names with very well-known shortened versions that I am erring away from names like those you mention ThinkIveBeenHacked. I really like having 3 sensible name options and find I use them in different situations.

One of my very favourite girls names is two-syllable but has no obvious shortening and although I love the name, its lack of possible shortened version is dissuading me from using it.

I love the name 'Sam' but not Samuel. For the same reason mentioned above I think I'd err away from just using Sam on its own. A personal thing though and I don't find it has any bearing on my feelings towards others' choices.

Thurlow Thu 05-Jun-14 16:34:02

It's probably personal preference whether you like the shortened versions of names or not. I know an Elizabeth who is very much Elizabeth, with no shortenings appearing 3 years in. I also know an Amelia whose mum keeps stressing that she doesn't know what to shorten it too. I want to say, well, don't shorten it then! If in two years you haven't started using Amy, Mia, Milly then don't force it.

It's the forcing that seems more baffling to me. I thought I'd shorten DD's name more than I do - say from Eleanor to Ellie to Elle - but I don't, I use 'Ellie'. The other shortened version just doesn't actually work.

ViviPru Thu 05-Jun-14 16:35:35

I know an Amelia who is often called 'Milv' which started as a bit of a joke but has stuck - I'm pretty sure that's not what her Mum had in mind originally!

usualsuspectt Thu 05-Jun-14 16:36:08

I think if you want your child to be called Joe and not Joseph, you should just call him Joe.

I think it's quite odd to a ''formal' name on your birth certificate.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Thu 05-Jun-14 16:36:22

I use an uncommon (in England) shortening of a fairly classic longer name. I am never, ever called the long version, and it was never my parents plan to call me the long version. However, they assumed that by the time I reached my teens I would want the long version, and I just never have.

Blair's full name is Anthony, so being known by the 'short' version doesn't hamper a serious career.

usualsuspectt Thu 05-Jun-14 16:36:32

have a*

basgetti Thu 05-Jun-14 16:37:09

Thanks Pregnantberry. It's always been my favourite boys name and my Dad is called the Irish version. I'm pregnant again and if this one is a boy too I'll be flummoxed!

Thurlow Thu 05-Jun-14 16:42:29

Having a long name is extremely useful when you want to bellow at them. Different levels of naughtiness in the Thurlow household. We have yet to reach all ten syllables of her full name. I'm reserving that one for the teenage years when she brings a monosyllabic mechanic home grin

Nocomet Thu 05-Jun-14 16:46:01

Indeed, the only time my parents ever used my full name was when I'd been naughty.

On the rare occasions I heard Full first name, long middle name, Surname bellowed up the hall, I knew I'd really
offended someone.

TheSarcasticFringehead Thu 05-Jun-14 16:46:14

I agree in general. But I know a kid called Joshua. Planned nn (and expected nn) was Josh/Joshie. He is known as Ossie by nearly everyone!

Nocomet Thu 05-Jun-14 16:47:57

Yes, 10 syllables for major crimes!

mrsleomcgary Thu 05-Jun-14 16:55:14

I must admit to being a bit baffled when people use the short version of a name, have no intention of ever using the longer version but put the long version on the birth certificate. I nearly called my daughter Beth because I like the name, Elizabeth never came into the equation. Each to their own of course but I always found it a bit odd.

My brother is Jonathan, my mum never twigged he would be called Jonny almost as soon as he started school by absolutely everyone including teachers. Shes the only person that still calls him jonathan now, It drives her mad but as he's 32 now she's a bit late doing anything about it lol!

SuffolkNWhat Thu 05-Jun-14 16:59:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Thu 05-Jun-14 17:01:50

Totally clear what you meant in your OP Thurlow - I was confused by Ghost's answer !

I think there's a difference between a natural shortening or a name (say Ben for Benjamin) and people deciding to use what can be a stand alone, completely different name - say Libby for Elizabeth, or I saw on here the other day someone suggesting 'Kit' for Christopher. In those cases, I'd be inclined to just call them 'Libby'.

It's a good idea to decide if you can live with things people are likely to shorten your dcs name to - there's no point in calling your son Joseph is you can't stand the name Joe, for example, as what they actually get called for the rest of their lives won't be dictated by you anyway, so at least start off with something you don't mind.

Thurlow Thu 05-Jun-14 17:05:08

My mu did that, mrsleomcgary. I used to hear her pointing out stridently to people that his name was Anthony (hard T), not Tony, and if she had wanted a son called Tony, she would have called him Tony.

I have never yet had a bravery to point out that, technically, the spelling Anthony should probably be pronounced An-tho-nee...

kellibabylove Thu 05-Jun-14 17:05:52

I did this with DD1 she is officially Abigail, but we chose it because of Abi, which shes always been known as. She has choices as she grows up which one she would like to use.
Dd2 is Charlotte, and although she we use shortened versions sometimes she is primarily Charlotte.
Total opposites just like they are wink

I am firmly in the birth certificate = long name camp, I like the options later on. I'm very happy for both my DCs to be called by any of the short options for both their names and at the moment so are they, but I wouldn't have wanted to limit them to those later in life. Most of the adults I know with shortenable names have continued to use the short form into adulthood, but a fair few prefer their full name.

I wouldn't have chosen any name I wasn't totally happy with the long and all the regular short versions of.

jacks365 Thu 05-Jun-14 17:11:55

Dd was named after her great grandmother both long name and shortened version used day to day. The problem is that the shortened form could come from various sources and people keep getting it wrong, if you don't know just use the short version.

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