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Why are some nickname type names more 'acceptable' than others?

(27 Posts)
bluecars Mon 15-Oct-12 16:06:59

I have noticed on here that some nickname type names seem to be seen as not substantial enough to be 'proper' names - examples that spring to mind are Molly, Ellie, Millie etc. However, others which are also shortened versions of other names seem to perceived as ok - Katie, Sophie for instance.

Can anyone explain to me why this is? I genuinely am interested to know. I ask as I really like the name Cassie but don't want to give DD an 'insubstantial', nicknamey name and don't like the longer versions like Cassandra etc. Thanks.

VeremyJyle Mon 15-Oct-12 16:11:25

I had this conversation recently regarding Ben, also when I told DM I liked the name Joey she started sounding out Joseph, Joel and Joanne (I was thinking unisex grin ) it really made my teeth itch I felt like screaming "I said Joey, not any of those names FGS" I held back tho angry

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Mon 15-Oct-12 16:11:32

I think the general view (i.e. the view of those vocal on that type of thread) is that all children should be given the 'long' name. I'm not sure I've seen many people arguing that Molly isn't ok, but Katie is. I prefer long names, but can't get worked up about it personally.

Sophie isn't a nickname?

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:25:16

I don't like any nicknames as full names.

Nicknames are traditionally diminutives/shorter/more informal/friendly, whereas the full version has more substance.

If nicknames become the same as full names then that distinction is lost. Former nicknames will no longer sound friendly or informal.

RedGreenWhiteViolet Mon 15-Oct-12 18:33:47

I thought it was only cutesy nicknames - Millie, Penny, Dolly - that were generally thought to be unsubstantial (not just by people on the Baby Name threads), while Ellie and Molly were only looked down by picky name afficionados. People think that Millie will have a harder time being taken seriously as Prime Minister or a judge than an Emily or Millicent.

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:34:46

I'm a picky name afficionado grin

VintageRainBoots Mon 15-Oct-12 18:39:13

Sophie is a complete name, albeit a French one. I don't think it's a shortened version of anything.

Personally, I prefer the full version of just about any name. Nothing prevents you from calling your child by some shortened version of the name (e.g., addressing Joseph as Joey), but you can't really do the reverse (e.g., refer to Maggie as Margaret when her given name is just Maggie).

We gave our daughter a long first name---10 letters long (she only recently learned how to spell it in its entirety), and we address her with either her complete first name or one of a list of nicknames. As she grows up, she can choose whether to be addressed by her given first name (the 10-letter long one) or a nickname. She has that option.

janey68 Mon 15-Oct-12 18:54:34

Sophie is a name in its own right.
As others have said, I think it's really a case of a child who is given an abbreviation as their proper name, doesn't have the option of having a more grown up dignified version. Eg if you are christened 'Ellie' then that abbreviation is your name.. Whereas if you're christened Eleanor you have the option of the full name, or Ella, Ellie, Nora as abbreviations.
Just seems a little like short changing the child to give them an abbreviation!

Rhubarbgarden Mon 15-Oct-12 18:55:09

I think it depends on how cutesie/informal the name sounds. For example Archie, Charlie, Freddie lack gravitas and they could have trouble being taken seriously in some professions - I find it hard to imagine a high court judge with one of these names, for example.

Short versions of names that are less twee, like Kate, Ben, Sam etc don't seem to suffer from this problem. Kate Adie for instance - as respectable and serious as it gets. But can you imagine her as Katie Adie?

Names ending in Y or IE seem to be the ones to avoid if this sort of thing bothers you.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 15-Oct-12 21:14:25

I don't know, for me some names just sound like proper names and some don't confused

For me Molly, Millie, Katie, Sophie and Cassie are all fine as given names. I'm not keen on Ellie as a given name, but I think that's because all the Ellie's I know have it as a nn for something else so it just seems like a nn to me.

I have a short version of a longer name as a given name and it always really bugged me that I could never have a shorter nn. I'll always try and pick a name that has a nice, useable shorter nn.

Having said that I also think it's mad when people give a name intending to never, ever use it i.e. he'll be registered as Henry, but always known as Harry, completely pointless imo.

Cezella Mon 15-Oct-12 23:02:41

I might be being really stupid here - apologies if I am, but what is Molly short for? Always thought of it as a whole name, didn't realise it was short for anything!

NinePeedles Mon 15-Oct-12 23:19:06

Molly is a nickname for Mary.

1944girl Mon 15-Oct-12 23:52:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

qumquat Tue 16-Oct-12 06:47:39

Cassie is short for Catherine, you could use that? Great name!

tammy234 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:30:00

In my opinion any nickname is that, a nickname of a 'proper' long name.

Why not give your child the long version of a name so that he/she has more choices later on in life? Ellie, Mollie, Alfie etc might sound cute on a little toddler, but will a grown woman or man not prefer the option of Eleanor, Mary or Alfred? I would!

tammy234 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:31:11

And I think Cassandra is a gorgeous, feminine name (much nicer than Cassie, which is cute for a little girl perhaps).

Startailoforangeandgold Tue 16-Oct-12 11:51:24

I think it's sometimes kinder only to give the nn.

Lucy at school was not at all keen on Lucinda. Way 'posher' than anyone else's name and due to her dad having a rather senior job at the local council doubly blush

Minty82 Tue 16-Oct-12 13:26:07

Lucy's not a nickname for Lucinda; it predates it.
Another 'picky name afficionado' (I like that!) I'm afraid...

sonniebonnie Tue 16-Oct-12 15:12:00

But at least Lucinda has the option of Lucy, Linda or Lucinda (which I think is lovely btw and nicer than Lucy), which a Lucy doesn't have. I too would always give the long name - why deny options?

sonniebonnie Tue 16-Oct-12 15:13:45

I also don't understand how some people love a nickname (e.g. Alfie, Archie) but hate the long forms (Alfred, Archibald) - to me they are the same and I would not give my child a nickname of a name I didn't like. (And I don't like either Alfred or Archibald!)

naughtymummy Tue 16-Oct-12 15:17:30

I love the name Cassie. I had an absolutely great kick-ass boss with this name. Noone who ever met her or worked for her could doubt her substance. No idea if she was a Cassandra or Catherine or just Cassie.btw

StrangeGlue Tue 16-Oct-12 15:25:09

It's probably just time. Some long versions have fallen out of use whilst the diminutive remains so, for example, people tend not to say "why aren't you calling her thomasina and tamsin for short" they just accept tamsin.

I think its also the cute factor as someone above said. I find gracie v twee and think grace sounds better on anyone +

StrangeGlue Tue 16-Oct-12 15:25:22


squoosh Tue 16-Oct-12 16:22:27

Some nicknames sound odd. Gracie as mentioned above just doesn't sound like a proper name, more a term of endearment.

Molly, Ben, Jack, Harry - they're all fine as they seem solid enough by themselves.
Alfie, Archie, Millie, Ellie - just seem too childlike and a bit flimsy.

Personally I don't see the point in someone who wants to name their daughter Daisy registering them as Margaret as the two names though connected are completely different.

squoosh Tue 16-Oct-12 16:23:10

I love Cassie too by the way, but don't like Cassandra, just reminds me of Rodney's drippy girlfriend.

Cassia is nice though?

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