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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    OC, Califonia
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    2,851

    Can you guide a child to two different nicknames?

    My example will be my own current question, but it really applies to tons of names. Feel free to give insight about any name!

    When I have a daughter I will name her Elizabeth. I want to call her Betsey, and when she's young, I want everyone else to call her Betsey as well. I understand that with a nickname like that, she may want to change it as she gets older, which is fine with me. Beth would be the obvious grown up version of Betsey, and I love Beth. But it sounds awful with our last name. I love Eliza... I mean really love it! I would love for her to get to be Eliza as her grown up nickname. But will that be too difficult a transition to make? I can imagine knowing someone as Betsey and then starting to call them Eliza... So I'm wondering if I should keep Betsey as her family and close friends name, and have her go by Eliza in school and stuff like that. That makes sense, but I really do want her to go by Betsey all the time. But then on the other hand I really do LOVE Eliza! What would you do?
    Proud mama to two sweet boys:

    Dashiell David Rowe
    and
    Flynn William Warfield


    "Real babies are more difficult than ideas of babies... Or even pictures of babies."
    -James Franco

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    2,790

    Re: Can you guide a child to two different nicknames?

    Lol Betsey and Eliza are kind fo a world apart so I think I would find it odd to suddenly change from one to another. The thing is, these things are normally a natural progression like a Katie becoming Kate but to change from Betsey to Eliza would feel kind of forced to me, like you'd pick a day and from then on her name would change?

    Betsey to Beth would work and I love Beth too but you said it doesn't work with your last name so that's out.

    I think your best bet would be to have both nn's used from a young age so that she could choose which one to continue with when she got older. I know my cousin Francesca has always been Cesc within the family but some people now call her Franny or Fran as an adult. She's not keen on it though, it's almost like people trying to change her name! On the other hand I have an uncle Kenneth who has always gone by both Ken and Kenny, an aunty Suzanne who's always gone by Suzy and Sue, and both are still used now. I know it's not quite the same because both nn's are similar as apposed to Betsey and Eliza but I'm sure it could work! I'm trying to think of an example of someone I know who has two very different nn's. Hmmmmmm.

    Ooo I know a Kayleigh that goes by Kal and Leigh? Both nn's have always been used so I guess it's similar. And a Naomi Gwen who goes by Nai, Naomi, Gwen and Gwenny and always has. I think as you get older though one usually takes over as the favourite so by always using too you'd give your little Betsey/Eliza that option!
    28 year old name addict, dreaming of a future:

    Claudie, Quentin, Lilac, Otto, Mirabelle, Emrys, Thea, Xavier, Angelica, Harlan, Phoebe, Byron, Tabitha, Lennox

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    OC, Califonia
    Posts
    2,851

    Re: Can you guide a child to two different nicknames?

    Dang it! I was about to say maybe she could go from Betsey to Bess, but that works just as bad with my last name! Shoot!


    You are so right that Betsey and Eliza are worlds apart! I think that's the trouble, really. Every single thing about them is different, and so I'm so drawn to both for different reasons! Both of them are special to me for different reasons, and I really want her to have both! I think it's a good idea to just use both from the start. Except the fact that I only want to call her Betsey and so does my husband... Actually, I think I would call her Betsey-Liza (or Bets-Eliza... Pronounced the same way, I say Eliza-Betsey, too, but it doesn't flow as well) quite often because i already do say that in my head, and then I could get her used to both.

    Haha, this issue is so not something I need to worry about yet! But I don't want her to get stuck being Beth Becker or something like that so I want to have a game plan in place!
    Proud mama to two sweet boys:

    Dashiell David Rowe
    and
    Flynn William Warfield


    "Real babies are more difficult than ideas of babies... Or even pictures of babies."
    -James Franco

  4. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    264

    Re: Can you guide a child to two different nicknames?

    My oldest is only seven so I am guessing here. But I am thinking that you probably won't have a LOT of say on what she gets called later on. Betsy will suit her for years and years (and I think the most obvious maturing of Betsy may well be Bet). But she might get called all sorts of things - Lilibet, Lizzie, Liz, Eliza, Schmoo (you never know what can happen), or Betsy might suit her for life. Elizabeth is a great name because it offers so many interesting and pretty possibilities, some exotic, some more ordinary.

    I am Penelope and was always Penny as a little girl and then Pen or Penni as I got older (I changed the spelling when I was 10 - well, it was the eighties!), but as a young adult I started being called Nellup (as in pe-NELLUP-ee) by a boyfriend which stuck and for a long time was my online identity too. Some friends and my husband (different bloke!) still call me Nell. I called myself Eppie when I was a little little girl and couldn't pronounce my name, and my mother loved it and wanted to keep calling me that (there is an Eppie in Silas Marner), but at some point, still little, probably around 4, I refused to answer to it.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    125

    Re: Can you guide a child to two different nicknames?

    I love Betsey! I have a very close friend whose name is Elizabeth and she's gone by Betsy her whole life (she's now 28). I think it "ages" very well, so I'm not sure you would have to worry about using another nickname. "My" Betsy is a exceedingly intelligent and professional woman, who's currently living in NYC and working as a sous pastry chef with Ron Ben Israel (the famous wedding cake designer). I think it's the person who determines how a name is associated, and not necessarily the other way around.

    As for having 2 nicknames, I don't know if that's possible without confusing the child. School is hard enough for a 5/6 year old to get adjusted to, so I don't know if throwing a new name into the mix would be wise. Kids hang onto the familiar when they're in new situations, and I think having her name be different would not help any misgivings she may have towards going to school. Betsey is a great nickname, and while I think you can definitely direct that as her nickname, I wouldn't go so far as to have 2 for her. Stick with Betsey!

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