Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Name Game, Part 4: Nicknames


  1. Scott feels strongly about giving our kids names that can be made into nicknames, since he never had one and apparently felt left out. Do you feel that way also?

    I disagree with you about nicknames being childish... that may have been true in the past, but I really never think about it, and a 70-yr-old Katie might seem unusual to me, but a 45-yr-old Katie would seem perfectly normal. Same with all the Bills, Robs and Daves running for office.

  2. Yeah, some definitely work for older people -- Jack, Mike, Sue, etc. It's really the especially diminutive ones, especially those ending in Y or IE that get into trouble. A 50something Bob is no problem, but "Bobby" ... you start to think "grow up, dude."

  3. Hey, No-! (i'm using your new nickname)

    a propos of this, Carl really wants to name a boy Ferd - not Ferdinand ("yuck!" he more-or-less says) - just Ferd. I remind him that it rhymes with "turd" which, oddly, has not fully persuaded him.

    also, my maternal grandmother is "rusty" and my paternal grandmother was "kitty" but i didn't/don't particularly like either of them so i'm not sure what that means . . .

    keep up the good work with the vlog!

  4. Hey No-! (i'm using your brand new nickname!)

    3 things apropos of the nickname discussion:

    1. Carl wants to name a boy "Ferd" - but not "Ferdinand" - just "Ferd." I've pointed out that it rhymes with "turd" (Ferd the turd) but, oddly, this has not dissuaded him . . .

    2. My one grandmother is "Rusty" and the other was "Kitty" but I don't/didn't like either particularly . . . so I'm not sure what the takeaway is there nickname-wise . . .

    3. My name is not particularly nickname-able but people still managed to give me completely cruel nicknames: "hee-haw" in 3rd grade and "turtle" in 7th grade . . . I guess I'm not sure you have the power over nicknames that you may like to think that you do . . .

    Keep up the good work on the vlog!

  5. Well, as I said with my hypothetical friend who likes Gabriel but not Gabe, yeah, of course you don't have control over it. And this doesn't even begin to get into the way kids mispronounce their own names. I called myself "Nah" for a while, then when I learned my middle names were Francis and Emanuel, I shifted to "Sanno Manno"

    I didn't say this explicitly but I was only talking about the "official" nicknames for names -- Jack for John, Bill for William et cetera ad infinitum. There are always the Hatcher families of the world, who name their sone Farley Drexel Hatcher but call him Fudge.