Nicknames: Love ’em or loathe ’em?

Most baby namers have strong feelings about nicknames–pro or con– liking them on their own, liking them as short/pet forms, or wanting to avoid them altogether.

The question of the week is: Where do you stand on nicknames?

  • Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
  • Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
  • Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname? 
  • Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?

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44 Responses to “Nicknames: Love ’em or loathe ’em?”

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SG Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:42 am

I love nicknames for kids. We named with the intention of using a uncommon but not unheard of nickname. We used the formal name for the birth certificate and we introduce him as his formal name but mention that we refer to him by his nickname.

Laura Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:46 am

we named our daughter Evie – because that’s what we’d like her to be called. We thought about Evelyn or Eve as a formal name – but stuck with Evie. I’m so glad we did! The cute & energetic name suits her well 🙂

devinjes Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 1:12 am

Q:Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
A: I wish i could like this! I feel like there are some names where its easier to just use a nickname, such as Evie or Brynn. However i dont much care for the idea because foe whatever reason i think a name needs to be longer. It doesnt sound right. However i think alot of this has to do with having other names that arnt nicknames. Like, if you have all your children with nicknamie names then it works better. For me i could never have Alice (not Ali), Bridget (not bri), Scarlett (not Carly or Lettie), and then Hattie. It just doesnt flow.

Q:Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
A: If i liked the full name as well. This is my delema with Hattie. I love the nickname Hattie. But i cant come around to Harriet or Henrietta.

Q:Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
A: Hmmm. This is hard to say. I have never ben in this situation with a name. However i would say if for whatever reason i liked Gaylord, i wouldnt use it because of the nickname Gay.

Q:Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
A: Yes. I want my first daughter to be Alice. Not Ali, or Maddy (from her middle name), but Alice. Alice Madeleine Louisa. Alice. I had to put my foot down to one of my friends who said she would call her Maddy because she didnt liek Alice, and i said no, her name is not Maddy or Madeleine, her name is Alice.

All in all, i do tend to follow the ‘use a formal name just in case’ sort of thing. However in reality i think any name will suit a child. And if it is always there name, they will be used to it, and in any chance (from Elizabeth to Perspherone (sp) ) that your child could HATE their name, and go by a middle or a name they just prefere. I think options are always good, but if you love a name, hopefully your child will too. There is really nothing you can do to change their mind when they grow up.

I do however think people should be mindful of, well….inuendos. Or other name sthat can be pronounced to sound profane. A name like sh*thead isnt nice to any child. But i have ventured away from the originial topic.

Nicknames, to me, and to my husband i believe, are only for some names. And are typically more cutsey and personal, so we think they should have a ‘professional; or ‘backup’ name. 🙂

Mazianna Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 5:56 am

I would never use a nickname as a fully name. My husband was given a nickname as his full name and has always hated it, because he gets people calling him for the full name regardless and always has to say no its just ‘jamie’ and people give him a weird look. It is odd to have a nickname on something like a resume or if he was ever to write a book. Anyway, that is the main thing that has convinced me. Whenever we are discussing names the nickname is key as I really would not want to call my child a name with an obvious shortening that I hate. Barnaby falls into that category for me, love the full name but can never really see myself with a little Barny for a son which he is bound to get and do not want to go through life correcting people. If I love a nickname then I have to like the long version or it is out for me and if a name has an obvious shortening I have to like that too. Susannah is an example of a name I love and while I think I would use Susannah most of the time am happy with Susie, Sanna or Sukey as shortenings.

Abby Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 6:01 am

My preference is to give a formal name that has plenty of nickname options built in. But then, I grew up with a very popular nickname-proof name and felt trapped.

I want my kids to be called whatever they want to be called. There are nickname possibilities I like more or less from their names, but they’re welcome to use any of them.

Would I ever put Charlie on a birth certificate? Nope. I know a now nearly-50 man named Danny – just Danny. I fell over backwards when his wedding invitation came in the mail and I realized it wasn’t just a boyish nickname he’d never given up, but the only name he has for all of life’s occasions.

km903 Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 6:53 am

I grew up with one of those names that has several possible nicknames, so people felt the need to constantly bestow random ones upon me, which annoyed me to no end. I’m also in a profession where our names end up on a lot of official paperwork, so some of my colleagues with more nicknamey names end up with the opposite problem: Charlie Smith will get paperwork for “Charles Smith,” even though that isn’t his real name. That perspective informs my answers.

•Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?? I don’t think that I could do this. I think that Evie is cute, but if my kid wants something more formal, I want them to have that option. And like above, I’m not sure that I want to create confusion.

•Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like? I’m not a huge fan of nicknames in general, due to my experience with “my name is*not* K__i, dangnabit!” There are a few exceptions, but none of them are names that I can really use. Like, for some reason, I think that Chet/Chester are kind of adorable, but that’s also the name for a horrible murder-filled suburb of my city, so it has some bad connotations around here. I like Dot for Dorothy, but several of my friends have used variations of Dorothy, so it’s off my list. I thought about Cora as a nickname for Cordelia or as a stand-alone name because they were both “real” names that seemed rather uncommon… but then a girl at work just had a Cordelia a few months ago, and another friend of mine had a stand-alone Cora. There aren’t that many other nicknames that I like, for whatever reason.

•Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname? Absolutely. I’ve actually tried to avoid names with *any* obvious nickname, due to my own experience in forced nicknaming. But I have considered Tamsin, which I love, and I keep rejecting it because I am very concerned that she will end up being Tammy. Tams I could deal with, kind of, but I couldn’t take Tammy.

•Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name? I would until the kid was old enough to have a say. At that point, if s/he wants a nickname, I’m not going to stop them. However, I might not adopt the nickname myself.

ycw Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 7:42 am

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
Probably not. There are a couple (very few) names where I like the nickname and not the full names–particularly Abby–but they aren’t high enough on my list I’m likely to use them. Even if I did I might go with a full name anyway.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
Not directly. I love all the full names on my short list, but sometimes a nickname can make me like them better–I was thinking of using George for my husband’s grandfather, but didn’t love it until I came up with the idea of calling him Geordi, and now I can’t wait to use it. I like Charity, and like it even more for the nicknames Kitty or Cat. But I wouldn’t use Abigail because I don’t like the “gail” part, or Tabitha because I don’t like the “tabby” part, even if I do like Abby (if I ever did go there, I’d probably go for Abitha).

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
I’d move it to the middle. I’ve decided not to use Josiah as a first name because I don’t like Joe, and Jeremiah because I don’t like Jerry and DH doesn’t like Jem. Gideon is falling off my list in part because it’s too long to not have a nickname, and I’m not sure Deon is doable.

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
My son is Peter III, and I didn’t think I’d ever call him Pete, which I don’t care for–and is also what I often call DH–but I do call him Pete sometimes now. So I don’t think it’d happen with a commonly nicknamed name. I do want to name a son John Ernest and call him John Ernest, but I wouldn’t insist he always be called by both names. My daughter is Hannah Jane and I sometimes (but not always) use both names.

stacy Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 8:02 am

I wouldn’t put a nickname name like Gracie on a birth certificate. It’s easier to just have a more formal name, even if the person never goes by it, having the more formal name gives some options. I know plenty of people who have always griped because they’re named, say, Judy and some people insist their name is Judith. I had a friend in high school named Vallie and she would get so angry when another classmate insisted on calling her Valerie!

I’d probably use a name to get to a nickname I like, but only if I liked the formal name, too. An example: I am currently in love with Margot. Margaret has been on our list and is a family name, but I’m very picky with the nicknames. And I don’t think my husband would go for Margot. But I could get there via Margaret and make everyone happy. But the key is liking the formal name, too.

As for avoiding names… yes. I made finding a boy name (thank goodness we had a girl!) very difficult because I hate so many of the obvious nicknames. I love William, but hate every nickname save Will and Liam. Daniel.. I hate all nicknames. Same with Thomas and James. I love the full names, but if I didn’t like the most obvious or common nicknames they wouldn’t make the list, since I didn’t want to be correcting people all the time. We did consider Edward when the only nickname we liked was the not-as-obvious Ned, but that was because Ned is a family name.

And if need be, yeah, I’d insist on calling the child by their full name. A friend of mine named her son Gabriel. And he is Gabriel, never, every Gabe. They both hate Gabe. But we mostly avoided that by not picking a name with many nicknames we hated!

Danni Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 8:42 am

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
There are some nickname-type names that I think are fantastic, from the older Harry to the fresh Jolie to the so-cool trend of Sam(g/b), Jack, and Emme, to others like Elsie, Kate, Milo, and Jace (b). My general rule of thumb is: why put a name on the birth certificate that your child will never go by? There are some “formal”-type names I would use, but because they honor important people in my life, ex: Emmeline, Brighton, Margaret. However, I find myself drawn to shorter, more informal names, so yes, I would use more-than-likely use one on the birth certificate, but probably not something as obviously nickname-y as Gracie or Charlie.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
In general, no. If I like a short name, why muster up some name that is loosely related as a “legitimate” path to the name? That seems pretty contrived and fake to me. However, I did find myself saying just last night:
“I really like the nickname Jed or Jeddy. But I hate Jedidiah and Josiah. How else can you get Jed?” Then I realized that if I ever fell in love with Jed, then my child would be just Jed. I wouldn’t use a name I hate (i.e. Jedidiah) just to call him Jed at home.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
I’ve never really run into this particular problem before. I would say the closest I have come to this is that I will avoid naming my child a name that has “sam” in it, like Samara or Samuel, because my sister is called Sam within our family.

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
Yes, potentially. Other than Margaret, I really don’t like “traditional” names that have obvious nns, like Elizabeth, Peter, or Timothy do. If I ever chose one of the longer names I absolutely love that doesn’t have automatic nicknames, I would insist my child be called the full name. Names like Griffin, Caspian, Ariadne, Juliette, and Brighton. Most of the other names I adore are shorter anyways, so it would not be all that difficult to get people to call them the full name.

Jenny Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 8:43 am

I like a full name with lots of nickname possibilities. Even if some are terrible. Quite frankly, people will always make up nicknames. My friend Stephanie has been Steph, Stephie, Stepho, Stephers, Step-on-me and Fanny. (And my other friend Stefanie became Stefaneenee, and then Just Nee Nee.) I say my serenity prayer and accept it.

Marissa Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 9:14 am

I don’t really like the idea of giving a child a nickname on their birth certificate cause it may me cute when they’re a kid, but once they’re an adult, that “Gracie” probably will wish her name was just Grace.
For example, I love the name Gabe – but I would never name him Gabe. He would be Gabriel.

Andrea Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 9:31 am

I’ve always found parents who try to insist on a full name kind of silly. I had a classmate whose full name was Matthew. Everyone in the class called him Matt in grade school and his mother would correct us … “MATTHEW is here.” As far as I know, he still goes by Matt. Names and nicknames should be left up to the child. You give him or her a name you like and you call him what you want, but let family and friends call the child what they will and the child will eventually correct them if he doesn’t like it.

rosypoesy Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 9:44 am

i love nicknames. i think its absolutely silly to put a formal name on the birth certificate if the child is going to go primarily by their nickname. if we ever have a girl, her name will be maisie. DH and i both hate the name margaret, so she will just be maisie. i think in today’s naming trend of lucy’s, chloe’s, lily’s, emma’s a maisie will not stand out as a “nickname” but blend right in!

Heather Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 10:32 am

My daughter is Margaret, but we usually call her Maggie. I like the formal name because it honors a family member, and when she gets older, she can use another nickname like Meg or Greta or Margo, etc. if Maggie is “too cute” at that point. I would never use a nickname on a birth certificate.

Madeleine Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 10:50 am

Requiring “formal names” is a huge pet peeve of mine. If you plan to call your child Max, or Evie, or Millie – then name them Max, Evie and Millie. Why does North America struggle to accept that those are great names all on their own. Suddenly they’re ‘less serious’ or they ‘couldn’t be President’ because their full name is just Millie and not short for Amelia or Millicent, or whatever. Its truly mind boggling to me, especially since nicknames are all the rage in the UK. It seems like in this department North America is a step or two behind.

Pro-Nicknames-As-Full-Names!

ycw Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 10:59 am

Danni: I was contemplating this a few days ago because a Wheel of Fortune contestant was named Jed. I thought Jedediah or Jebediah was unlikely, and came up with Jared as an alternative… but my guess (ultimately) was his real name is just Jed. I’ve also heard of a fictional character named Jedit, but I wouldn’t recommend a fictional character name. I guess you could go further afield to Jordan, or even John or George, if you were so inclined–but you are not 🙂

Linelei Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 11:21 am

I would never use a nickname as my child’s legal name. The good thing about nicknames is that they offer choices, and if you give the nickname as the name, you’re taking away some of the choices. My own name has absolutely zero nickname potential, which was kind of annoying when I was a teenager: while all my friends were finding alternate ways to express themselves within their name, I resorted to just completely renaming myself for a few years.

I also like that names with nickname potential offer formal and informal versions of the name. This means that someone can be Charlie when they’re little or with friends, but can put Charles or Charlotte on the door of their law office, if they end up going a more professional route. We don’t know what our children will do with their lives, and while I am a huge fan of unusual names, I think all names should have an ‘adult’ version, just in case. This might be something different, like Billona, but at least they have the option of something more than Billie. 🙂

Nyx Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:07 pm

* Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
ABSOLUTELY NOT! For me, I’ve always felt that the full name offers more choices to the individual… and no matter what we do as parents, the child does grow up and form their own opinions 🙂

* Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
Yes, but only if I liked both the nickname and full name. I think the nicknames of Teddy and Josie are cute and fun, and I also love the full names of Theodore and Josephine. I couldn’t tell you if I liked the nickname first or the full name… but the names do rate high with me because they have both a full name that I like and a nickname that I like

* Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
Well, I don’t feel that every name needs a nickname. Nicknames are something fun and endearing (and sometimes an easier way to shout out the name quickly!). If I didn’t feel this way about the nicknames available for a name, I just wouldn’t use it. Overall, it might give me pause over choosing the name, but it wouldn’t automatically eliminate it for me.

* Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
My eldest son (age 6) is Matthew. He enjoys being Matthew and gets frustrated when somebody tries to call him Matt. He’s been Matthew since he was a newborn. At first I tried calling him Matt, but Dad didn’t like that as we named him after his best-friend and Matt made him think of the adult. So He’s been Matthew since day 2 or 3…
My youngest son (age 4) is Nathaniel. I call him Nathan as often as not. I told Dad before he was born, that as much as I love the name Nathaniel, it was a mouthful and wouldn’t be used all the time by me. Nathan loves having the two versions of his name to go by, and has gone through phases when HE insists that we call him by one name vs the other.
Overall, I have done both, and found that both work out okay in the end. Just like there is no one perfect name, there is no one right way… and it’s the differences that make us who we are 🙂

Becca Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I think nicknames are ok as a full name.
I also would have names I like that I woundt like the nicknames. For example I really like Lorelei buy I really don’t like Laura or Lori so that’s out for me! On the other hand I like Liam but not William or Charlie but not Charles so it all depends on what name it is for me!

Good question!

Joan Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I love names, so I don’t see why I would give just the nickname, when I could have given both the nickname *and* the full-length version! So no, I wouldn’t put just the nickname on the birth certificate. I think it’s nice to give your child more options as they grow.

When naming our daughter, we used Helena to honor a Helen (grandmother) and a Lena (great-grandmother), and we call her Lena. We did choose Helena specifically to get to the nickname Lena.

Florence was also on our list for our daughter, and we didn’t use it because I don’t like the nickname “Flo.” I had been thinking maybe we could insist on Florence or Flossie but then we were discussing names with a friend and mentioned Florence and our friend said, right away, “Sure, little Flo!” I cringed and crossed it off my list.

Roux Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??

Absolutely not, although I know a pair of siblings named just Gracie and just Charlie. I absolutely loathe nicknames as full names.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?

Potentially, if I liked the name too.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?

It would depend on how much I like the name and how much I hated the nickname. If possible I’d try and find another nickname that I liked and try and get people into the habit of calling the baby the good nickname instead of the bad one, right from the get-go.

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?

If I really loved the name itself and absolutely could not stand any of the names, maybe, but I don’t think that would happen. I think nicknames should be names used as pet forms or shorter forms of the name itself. I would like a name that has a nice nickname for my child because they would be called their name and their nickname SOME of the time, neither one exclusively. I hate it when people name their child one thing and call it another almost as much as when they simply name their child a nickname. (although I prefer the former).

I agree very much with Joan on giving the child a nickname AND a full-length name 🙂

Shannon Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I remember my friend hated nicknames as full names, and she liked long names so she wanted to name her little girl Julianna and call her Julia(She adored Julia). I felt like saying, then why didnt you just call her Julia. She hated Julianna anyways, geez. Just a thought.

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
Yes, if I didnt like the full name.
Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
No. If I want to name my kid Abbey, then I would just name her Abbey.
Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
No, not if I loved the name.
Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
No.

Vikki Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?? No. I’m a Vikki with a full name of Victoria and while, I’ve always been called Vikki, I’m glad it isn’t on my birth certificate. Victoria looks better on formal documents.

* Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like? Absolutely, I love nicknames. I just don’t want to put it on the birth certificate.

* Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname? Probably.

* Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name? Nope. Names are flexible, but then I come from a family that has always had nicknames that aren’t in any way related to their real names like Slick (uncle), Doogen (uncle), Willie (Uncle), Buckshot (cousin), Sister (aunt), Bubba (uncle), and Bobo (brother). Heck, I call my nephew “Bug.”

Kasey Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Our son is due any day now, and we’re planning to give him a “nickname” name, unless we change our minds at the last minute. The name and nickname are not very common. We thought about using the full name, but figured that we will never call him that. My parents gave me a formal name (Kacia – pronounced KAY-see-uh, not KAY-sha) with the intention of calling me Kasey, and frankly, it’s a pain. I like that it’s unique, but I always have to explain how it’s pronounced, then tell people I go by Kasey and spell it out, since most people would assume it’s Kacey, Kacee, etc.

Lauren Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I am big on nicknames and I have chosen full names to match the ones I like (Zachary for Zac, Natalija for Tally, etc…)
I have to relatives that have nick names on their birth certificates (Kathy and Danny). It is very bothersome to them because everyone instantly thinks their real names are Kathrine and Daniel. This was worse for Kathy. Being in her 50’s, as she was growing up teachers would insist she “Go by her full first name” and wouldn’t believe her when she would insist “I AM!!”

Lauren Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 3:02 pm

As for avoiding a names, I have done that. We originally wanted to name our first daughter Katelyn, but when I told my husband and family that I would insist she be called Kate, they threw a fit. They all said Katie was the obvious choice because Kate sounded too mature. I can’t stand the nickname Katie so I crossed it off the list (breaking hubby’s heart in the process.)
As for insisting on having people call my child by their full first name, it would depend on the name and the child. With my second son, Sean, you are kind of stuck with his full first name. But his grandmother calls him “Shawnee” and I insist she doesn’t do that. Seems pointless to lengthen a name just to make it sound cute.

Sarai Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 3:34 pm

We know a family that just named their third child Betsy Kate. She follows an Elena Grace and a James Edward. I think it’s safe to say that the nickname-y name really stands out like a sore thumb in that family. I don’t understand why they would give their other children formal names and leave their youngest with no choice of a more formal name to use later in life. To me, I see a Betsy or a Gracie as cute for a young child or maybe much later in life as a Grandma Betsy or Grandma Gracie but I don’t see either of those names looking ‘right’ on a lawyer’s door or medical degree.

Maybe it’s just me but I would have named my daughter Elizabeth (if I was in love with Betsy) and then introduced her as Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Kate.

I also know another family who named their daughter Ashland ( her grandmother’s maiden name) Grace. When they annouced her birth they listed her name as Ashland Grace but followed it up with a line that read *We will be calling her Ashley*

So yes, I would avoid naming my baby a nickname name on the birth certificate.

Jenna Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?? No. We plan on naming our son Alfred and calling him Alfie 99.9% of the time. I don’t really like Alfred, but I want him to have a formal name to fall back on.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like? YES. Actually all of the names on my list of possible future children are ALL nicknames, except for two: Rufus and Cormac (I don’t really like Mac but don’t hate it and wouldn’t be upset if it was used) and Rufus has no nicknames that I know of.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname? Only if the nickname invited teasing. I LOVE Galen, but am too afraid of the GAY taunts to use it. But if I was dead set on using a name like Madeline (not my style) and people tried to call her Maddy (gross) I would just say no, her name is Madeline, and be firm about it.

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name? No! In most cases I’m only using the first name to get to the nickname anyway :]

peach Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 4:14 pm

*Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?
I would. I have a nickname as a full name and I like it. It’s unusual enough that people don’t “know” what my full name would be so they have to ask; When I tell them it is my full name they say “that’s so great” and move on. So it really depends on the name: Flossie and Billy seem too informal but Rick & Maisie are fine. My husband goes by a nickname but has a formal full name and likes that he has both. We’ll probably lean more toward a full name on the birth certificate for our children.

* Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
Not unless I like the full name too. I do pay attention to the associated nick names when considering names but I don’t start there.

* Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
If it was the only nn or a very strong association then yes, I’d avoid a name because of it’s associated nn: I’d avoid Martin because I don’t like Marty. If it is a name with lots of nicknames I don’t need to like all of them. Charlie is great but Chuckie not so much but that wouldn’t discourage me from the name Charles.

* Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
When he/she is a baby I’d encourage family & friends to use the given name to get used to it and to help the child learn his/her own name. Later it is more or less up to the child to decide what moniker to use.

Willow Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 6:47 pm

The ‘nicknames’ we are discussing her are perfectly acceptable first names. It’s not like naming a boy Patch or a girl Poppet (both nicknames of people I know). I have a Sam, not a Samuel or a Samson, but just Sam. We didn’t like the name Samuel at all, so chose not to use it. Ironically he now only goes by Sammy, something that has just organically happened. Same goes for Charlie. I know lots of parents who have put this on their childs birth certificate (not Charles or Charlotte as they just don’t like these names), I don’t see the issue at all.

Honestly, I think some of the ‘formal’ names like Alfred for Alfie, or Archibald for Archie, could be too formal these days for some kids, particularly when they get to high school and their ‘real’ name is revealed. I had a friend at school called Rory (a gorgeous name) but when we all discovered his real name was Roderick he got teased no end.

Just my two cents worth.

British American Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I’m not a fan of nicknames on the birth certificate. So I would put Charles on the birth certificate, even if I planned to always called the child Charlie. He might one day grow into the full name of Charles.

One reason we didn’t go with Oliver for our son, was that we weren’t keen on the nickname ‘Ollie’.

I would choose a name like Margaret because of the many likable nickname options.

Madi Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I love nicknames, but would never give my child just a nickname. My favorite combo right now is Lydie for Elodie. That, or Lia for Lilia.

Laura Blackwell Says:

September 1st, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I’ve known too many parents who immediately lost control of their kids’ names to think we could avoid having names get turned into nicknames. We did name one daughter Serafina instead of Seraphina so we could call her Fina as a nickname, though. We don’t call her that constantly, but we use it sometimes. That said, I expect that she and her friends will end up insisting on something completely different when she’s a teenager.

Lisa Says:

September 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 am

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?? Never.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like? Yes, definitely but only if I liked the full name too. We did that with our daughter, and now are backpedaling on the nickname, but we still love the full name, so, it works.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname? Yes, definitely!

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name? No. However, I consciously use both nickname and full name interchangeably for our son, so that his nickname is not so fully ingrained in his being that his full name seems unnatural to him when he uses it in formal situations (or when he is old enough to write all those letters easily and wants people to call him his full name).

ycw Says:

September 2nd, 2010 at 10:53 am

Joan-
I like Florrie as a nickname for Florence… come to think of it, any nn ending in -ory is pretty good. I’d never use Flo.

Jenna-
Alfred is a family name for my DH–his grandfather was Alfred Jr.–and I hadn’t cared for it. But then I watched a documentary on the English language–of which Alfred the Great was a really big promoter–and I started to really like it. I’d consider it as a first name now (if the other branch of the family weren’t up to Alfred V–with the same last name). So I’ll stick with George Alfred. Perhaps you’d like it better if you researched Alfred the Great?

Jennifer Says:

September 2nd, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I think having a “formal version” of a name is a useful thing. But people will insist on nicknaming, so you have to deal with that too. Preferably the name is adaptable to both.

I like the name Jacqueline, but you KNOW she’ll never, ever, be called anything but Jackie, which I’m less fond of. (My friend with that name now tries to go by Jack!)

Sara A. Says:

September 3rd, 2010 at 6:51 pm

* Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
No. Grace and Charles won’t be babies forever. While perfectly acceptable as nicknames, “Gracie” and “Charlie” don’t have the same ring in the courtroom or the boardroom.

* Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
We like Margaret for Maisie, Elizabeth for Elsie, Thomasina for Tamsin, and Friedrich for Fritz. So, Yes.

* Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
The down side to Margaret and Elizabeth: Liz and Maggie. I don’t think so…

* Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
No. That is a losing battle. David and Peter will always become Dave and Pete to someone.

Tamsin Says:

September 4th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

* Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
No, definitely not. I want my child to have a name that sounds grown up and professional and not be stuck with some childish nickname for the rest of their life.
* Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
Nope. I’m not big on nicknames. Making sure I love the full version of the name is the most important thing.
* Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
Yes. As much as I am all for using full versions of names, I know lots of times nicknames are inevitable. My child might later choose to go by a nickname and I would want to attempt to make sure that there wasn’t a good chance that I would completely loathe their nickname.
* Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
Maybe at first but, once the child gets older then it’s up to them to decide if they want to use a nickname or not.

yellow Says:

October 4th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??

No. I prefer to give a full, grown-up name so that the “cute” version IS the nickname. I have a nickname-sounding full name (that is indeed a full name in its own right), and I always hated being asked “is it short for anything?” No, no it’s not.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?

Yep. Hubby and I have some favorite nicknames and our list centers around full names that give the same resulting nn.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?

Yep, in fact, I’ve struggled with this with my favorite boy nn, Charlie. Not a big fan of Charles, and REALLY dislike Chuck (though the TV show is helping it to grow on me), but Charlie is just my very favorite boys’ name in the whole world. So, Charles it is… and just hope no one calls him Charles OR Chuck, at least not most of the time.

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?

Nope. I love nicknames.

Beth Says:

November 15th, 2010 at 2:01 am

•Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
Absolutely not. They are only babies/little kids for a small proportion of their lives, and to have to fill out paperwork and introduce themselves by a infantilized name is embarrassing and pointless.

•Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
My parents did this, actually. They wanted to call me Beth, and Mom wanted to use Bethany. Dad decided that he didn’t like it, so they compromised on Elizabeth. I’m glad, actually. I much prefer Elizabeth. I don’t think I would, personally.

•Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
•Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?

Leaving these together because they both apply to the name we gave our son. I’m not a big fan of Gabe, but we both loved Gabriel. He’s always been called exclusively Gabriel, with gentle corrections as need be. He’s old enough now that, if someone calls him Gabe, he’ll tell them, “My name is Gabriel.” I did go into it with the idea that, if he decided someday that he wanted to go by Gabe, that was his choice. However, I’m his mother, and hold on to the privilege of continuing to call him by his fulll name regardless. 🙂

Brighton *Bree* Says:

August 8th, 2011 at 5:10 am

1. I wouldn’t. It would be better to give your son/daughter a name with a cute nickname for when he/she is young, and a long from for when their older. For example, Jamie Lynn Spears named her daughter Maddie, it may sound cute now, but when shes older it would be better to go by Madeline, Madelyn, Or Madison so she could be taken seriously as an adult.

2. It depends on the nickname

3. I would. I want to name my daughter Cassia but I HATE the nickname Cass, Cassie is cute, but Cass is just.. Meh

4. No.

emilymaryjane Says:

December 29th, 2011 at 6:57 am

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
No I would call them Grace or Charlotte
Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
Maybe I love Miranda but it has another fave name (Mia) as a nn as it is the most poipular name in the area (Mia)
Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
No I would just say call her _________
Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
No but only if I don’t like the nickname

Essa Says:

July 7th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Would you put a nickname name like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate??
I’ve been wondering this myself, as I adore the name Evie but feel it’s a bit nicknamey. I also love Lily which may be considered a nickname but I feel like that is fine as a stand alone name.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nickname you like?
It seems so! As I said, I love Evie, but I’m debating going with Evelyn or Everleigh just so I can use Evie even though I don’t LOVE Evelyn or Everleigh. The same with Theodore, I love Theo and Teddy and feel like I could only use both these nicknames if I used Theodore. I’m also considering Liliana with the nn Lily instead of just Lily.

Would you avoid a name because you don’t like its obvious nickname?
Yes! I hate Tom! It is the most boring name ever created but I love Thomas, but I feel like even if I insisted on everyone calling him Thomas that maybe my son himself would grow up wanting to be called Tom and then I couldn’t stop it. This is similar for Samuel and Matthew, although I don’t hate Sam quite so much. I am considering using these names as middle names. Although I know a Samuel Thomas who gets called Sam Tom sometimes, so this puts me off. What if people start naming my child Josh Tom?

Would you insist (or try to) on your child always being called by his full name?
If the full name was what I wanted them to be called then yes. They can’t just name MY child whatever THEY want, that’s not how it works. But obviously I’m a nickname fan so this would generally not be the case.

EmmaF Says:

March 21st, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Would you put a nickname like Gracie or Charlie on your child’s birth certificate?
I think it depends on the nickname. Certain nicknames that are often taken seriously as names in their own right–i.e. Rick, Lee, etc–while others, like Gracie, will always be seen as a diminutive. Someone said once that when you name your child, you should visualize their name with a Ph.D or an “Attorney-at-Law” after it. Charlie Smith, Esq? It doesn’t seem to fit. However someone made a point which seems reasonable–though I wouldn’t name a kid “Gracie” it seems a shame that someone with that name might not be taken seriously in our society.

Would you choose a name as a path to a nn?
Definitely, but only as long as I like the name itself. I love Charlie, but hate Charles; on the other hand I love both Meg and Margaret.

Would you avoid a name because you hate its obvious nickname?
I love Richard, hate Rick; love Madeleine, hate Maddy. (Though Charlie as a nickname for Richard does seem like an alternative.)

Would you try to insist on your child being called by his or her full name?
I believe that once you put a child out into the world, it’s the world that decides if it wants to nickname him. That standing, I would enforce the real name through gentle correction and perhaps never give them a name that could be misrepresented in the first place.

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