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  1. #1

    Call son family name or shortened version

    We are considering naming our son my maiden name, or alternatively a shortened version, which we plan to call him by either way. There are two concerns. 1. My maiden name is not a "normal" given name - it is a surname only. 2. The shortened name (we plan on using as his name day-to-day) is pretty popular in the past few years (top 20 or 30 boy names). Just last month, a sister of a friend named her baby this name.

    Background, I'm from the South (my husband is not), and I knew tons of people who went by names like "Whit" and "Field" and "Chaz" because their real names were Whitmore or Whitfield or Charlesworth, etc. I also knew many people, including myself (!) my father and other friends, that have always gone by their middle name - never had a choice - and don't mind or even prefer going by a middle name (because it's like having a secret alias only used by doctors, administrators, and telemarketers). So, I don't think it's a weird idea, BUT I don't want my son to hate me for giving him this name that isn't really a first name. I DO want to give him my name, though, and the shortened version (if that's what we use for his whole given name) is not the same as giving him my maiden name.

    Question: maiden name or socially more acceptable but popular shortened name?

    Thanks!!

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Texas, US
    Posts
    146
    It's really hard to say without knowing your last name. Whitmore is a common last name but sounds fine for a first name, almost posh. Rodriguez is a common last name but might be strange as a first name.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    962
    I agree that it's tough to say without knowing the name in question. I totally understand not wanting to share it online, but if you could describe it somehow without quite saying what it is that might help in this dilemma. Or if you could just share what the shortened name would be, since you say it's pretty popular anyway. (If you don't want to do either of these things that's totally fine - please don't feel that this I'm pressuring you if you're not comfortable!)

    Without knowing the surname in question, I'm going to pretend that it's Jackson (I assume it isn't, because Jackson is seeing lots of use as a first name) and the shortened version is Jack.

    Working just with your post, it sounds like you really want to use your full maiden name for your son's name, in which case I say you should use it somewhere. If you decide it's too unusual to be a first name, you can use it as a middle name. However, if it's an unusual name that can easily be shortened to something quite popular, a person could argue that you'd have the best of both worlds - on paper it's an unusual name, so he'd stand out from his peers and be probably the only Jackson in his class instead of being one of three Jacks, but practically speaking, if Jackson turned out to be a tough name to wear and use, he could just go by Jack. And you'd have used your full maiden name, which sounds like it's important to you - a win/win/win.

    So, my short answer to your ultimate question: use your maiden name, and if he wants to or you want to, call him by the shortened version as a nickname sometimes. And if you decide your maiden name is too strange to have as a first name, use it as his middle name.

  4. #7
    Okay, I caved. The shortened name is Owen. And my maiden is not something as simple as Owens. It's more akin to the "Rod" and "Rodriguez" scenario posed by Lisaskye.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,802
    I have known someone with name Rodriquez. He was called Rod and it was never a problem.

    I would use your full maiden name. Surnames as first names are common and I don't think it would be an issue.
    I like simple yet versatile names that work well for the athlete, the comic, the genius, and the judge.

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