Nicknames

63

Wito started first grade today. Well, he started his true first day of 1st grade in July, but with our impending move, we changed school districts, and now he’s starting his SECOND first day of 1st grade today at the new school. Crikey. As you can imagine, mama didn’t get much sleep last night. That’s the great thing about moms, though – we worry enough so our kids don’t have to.

I don’t think I’ve written about it before, but Wito has never been called his given name. We bestowed a completely random nickname to him while pregnant (not Wito, thank goodness), and although we never expected it, the nickname just stuck. Soon after his birth, we started receiving items monogrammed with the nickname, and we quickly realized it would be around for awhile, even though the nickname itself is not a derivative of Anders nor has any similarities. Fast forward 6 years, and the child has never been called his given name by family members, friends, or teachers. In fact, I don’t think he was aware of his given name until last year.

I have to be honest. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I obviously named him Anders for a reason. I love that name, and it makes me a little bummed to know that it might never be used. So when we found out about the house and knew we would be attending a completely new school district, I brought up the discussion of starting new with his given name. It was the perfect time, really…I mean, he didn’t know anyone at the school and it could be the perfect fresh start, right? Wrong.

As you can imagine, it’s not that easy. My child has been known solely by his nickname his entire life. What kind of mom would I be to pluck my child out of the school with all of his friends and comforts, place him in a new school with complete strangers, AND expect him to change his name? Witness Protection Program, anyone? It’s complicated, peeps.

Wito and I have had discussions about this situation over the past month, and bottom line, he prefers to be called his nickname. I don’t blame him…it’s his identity. It’s him. He will always be able to change it as he matures down the road, as the nickname does have a childish quality, but that should be up to him.

So when his lovely teacher approached this morning to introduce herself to the boy she assumed was “Anders” from the roster, I let her know that he prefers to be called his nickname. And like I always do, I grabbed his slip and put those two increasingly familiar quotation marks next to his name.

What do you think about nicknames? Do you use one for yourself or your children? Do you have any regrets? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.



COMMENTS (63)

Comments

  1. My given name is Elizabeth. There are thousands of nicknames for it. My mother chose Lisa back in the 70s and it stuck. I remember trying out the full name growing up here and there (if we moved to a new school I might be Elizabeth, only to return to Lisa after the next move). As an adult I wish I would have found the right time to change to my formal name (college maybe), but now mid-thirties it’s a little too late (to say the least). My business cards, resume, etc. don’t even refer to my given name (it would be even more confusing than a last name change mid-career), maybe if I was a Liz or Beth it would be simpler.

    Oddest complaint is my monogram doesn’t reflect my nickname (darn first letter change). So it can confuse people and then you have to do the explanation story for each new person.

    My not so secret wish is that my future granddaughter will be an Elizabeth outright.

    That said, both my girls have nicknames (two each shortened versions of their names for friends and their pet pregnancy names we use at home)

    • Oh, yes. We deal with the same monogram issue as well! And like I wrote, his nickname is not even remotely similar to his given name, which totally confuses people.

  2. I completely relate. My daughter’s name is Eleanor, and she has been exclusively called Roma for her 5.5 year long life. I’m not entirely sure how it happened. Roma is her middle name, and maybe it suits her more than Eleanor. We spoke with her about on her 5th birthday, and decided with her help to officially change her name. She’s just Roma now, I can’t imagine calling her Eleanor. My initial thought was to reverse the two names, and make Roma her first, Eleanor her second. But Eleanor felt done to me, so we chose a new 2nd name when we filed paperwork to have her name changed. So, I get it. I didn’t want to always have to explain her name in school, and work to be called the name she wanted. I also have a close friend who was always called by her middle name. When she married and took her husband’s last name, she officially dropped the first name she never used and listed her missile name. Confusing stuff. I love Anders, though. Hope his nickname is as cool!

  3. My son was named after my husband, so he’s Leighton Andrew Jr. Just around the house we called him “Buddy” as so many people call their little boys (at least in the south!) When he started preschool at age 3 I explained he would be “Leighton” at school and we’d call him Leighton and Buddy both at home. He FREAKED. Said “NO! Me BUDDY. Not WAY-TON!” So Buddy he is. To everyone. And it suits him. :) But yes, the monogram LAH is confusing- especially as we went to order his new Lands End back pack for First Grade. We settled on a single B.

    • This made me chuckle because we JUST went through the exact same backpack debacle – we went with his true ASD monogram for the backpack, and a single ‘D’ for his nickname on his lunchbox. I mean, we are all sorts of confused over here. ;)

  4. He’ll change it if he wants to as he gets older. Our kids don’t have nicknames and we named them certain names that literally can’t be shortened. That bugs me. My oldest is in 7th grade and a lot of his friends are going from Jeffrey to Jeff, Nicky to Nick, and Johnny to John. You get the idea. The kids themselves have initiated the change and remind people of their more grown up name. My sister’s name is Margaret. Many people wanted to call her Maggie, Peggy, Margie and she would NOT have it. She’s been Margaret since birth. :) He’ll figure it out!

  5. When I was really little, I accidentally nicknamed my brother “little boy” in a foreign language. He’s now out of college, and anyone who knew him when he was little (including his girlfriend) still refers to him by that nickname. That being said, he decided on his own to start going by his nickname when he changed schools for middle school, and that’s what the majority of the world calls him, so I think there’s still hope for Anders. He just needs to make the choice himself.
    The Tutugirl recently posted…Road Food: Cheddar and Mustard Crackers

  6. My given name is Marie Victoria. I have never ever been called Marie (except when my parents were mad…). My parents have always called me Tori, which is short for my middle name. I will confess that it has been a point of frustration in my life & I even considered legally changing my name to Victoria Marie because I just don’t identify as Marie. Marie means absolutely nothing to me. I have to remind myself at doctors offices that they’ll be calling Marie, not Tori or Victoria (which I barely respond to, anyway).

    It was irritating in school & I slightly dreaded that uncomfortable first day of class where my name would be called & I’d have to say “please call me tori”. Sometimes they’d leave it at that (which was a relief), sometimes they’d ask how is it I go by tori (which led to me explaining my middle name nickname), and sometimes the teacher thought I was messing with them. Once the first few days were per with it was fine, but I can’t deny that it’s been a pain in my butt.

    My grandpa & uncle only went by their first names professionally as adults, so I had some example in my life so I didn’t feel weird. But professionally I go by Tori. It’s just “me”, like it is for your Wito.

    In summary: it’s slightly annoying, but I identify by my name and the annoyance is worth it.

  7. “What kind of mom would I be to pluck my child out of the school with all of his friends and comforts, place him in a new school with complete strangers, AND expect him to change his name?”

    My mom did the first two-thirds of this. I finished it out.

    While I was on vacation with my father less than a year after my parents divorced, my mother packed up our things and moved us 200 miles away. I got off the airplane, she picked me up and told me we had moved. At 5 am the next morning she left me (alone, in our new apartment) to attend a 2 week training course across the country. I started high school 5 days later and when they read my first name in role call that morning, I changed it, completely spur of the moment. I replied that I “went by” my middle name instead, a name I had previously paid zero attention to. It was the only thing I could control and of course, I knew my mom wouldn’t like it and that by the time she figured out it had happened there would be nothing she could do.

    All that is to say, yeah. Good decision I think. Let him keep “his” name. It’s big stuff.
    Mae (Life’s Candy) recently posted…First World Problems

  8. So my husband’s name is John but he thought that his birth name was Johnny. All of his family called him Johnny so it must be, right. When we registered for our wedding license we used Johnny but when we went to get our passports his birth certificate said John. I was so surprised that he didn’t know what his real name was. When we were pregnant and picking out names I wanted something that could not be shortened. We selected Levi which met all of the requirements of not being shortened or could be made fun of and was connected to family. When we started daycare they started calling him Levers. I do not endorse this at all but have adopted the “what will be, will be.” As his personality develops I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to be called dinosaur or dog in the near future.
    Likethewrap recently posted…Stalemate

  9. Not only does our child not go by his first name, he goes by a derivative of his middle name. I am all too familiar with the quotation marks. I fear they will be a part of his life always. Subsequently, I feel any future children should have the same punishment – a derivative of their middle name. If we’re gonna suffer, we’re gonna suffer together!

  10. My kids don’t go by nicknames, but your comment about him changing it later if he wants to made me think of Matthew’s brother.

    His brother was named for the purpose of calling him by initials. When I met him, he was known to everyone as ‘B.J.’ As you can imagine, as he got older, he wasn’t too keen on the name. He’s now known to the world as Brandon. ;)
    Angella recently posted…Firsts and Lasts

  11. This is my situation almost exactly. I was never ever called by my given name growing up (unless I was in trouble) and now no one calls me Deanna. Ever. It’s actually a way I can know if I “know” you. If you call me DeeDee, we’re buds.

  12. I have a daughter named Claire. When she was starting a new school there was another girl with the same first name and the same surname initial. I encouraged her to come up with her own nickname so she wouldn’t forever be Claire with the Brown hair, or Short Claire. Now, the other Claire is gone, and she still goes by her nickname — Cece. The only downside is our last name starts with the same sound — Sea — so it sounds really funny when you say them together. And makes me feel like a parent who didn’t think things out when I named her.

  13. My baby sister ended up with her family nickname (Morgan –> Mo) which we always thought she’d want to outgrow. Nope, instead she is now an adult and most people she deals with professionally don’t realize her actual first name until they see her email signature or something. Whether my other sister and I (the two who started calling her that within days of her birth) were especially prescient, or whether she just grew into that name…who knows. It fits her, and though she had lots of opportunities to change, she never wanted to. (my parents, on the other hand, who gave us kids all names that they thought *wouldn’t* get shortened to nicknames weren’t so keen for a long time!)

    My daughter’s name is Iris Emanuelle, but I really wanted to name her Iris Mae. We live in the South, and it just rolls off my tongue. But her father is Greek, we needed a middle name that the Greek Church would recognize when we baptized her, and yadayada we opted for Emanuelle instead, which I really like too, it just is quite a mouthful. But until Kindergarten when they did a section on names, I don’t know that Iris realized her middle name *wasn’t* Mae. It’s what I call her, more often than not, the whole thing — Iris Mae. Our friends have all heard the story, and now Iris knows it well too, but I think she’ll always be Iris Mae to me, and in some ways I like that I have a “special” name for her.

  14. My two best friends (sisters) go by their middle names, always have. They feel that their first names are formal (Susan and Laura) and not “them” (Ashley and Emma).

    My kids don’t go by nicknames but I’ve always been called a shortened version of my name. I just don’t feel like a Patricia, the shortened Trysha just suits me better.

    My husband always went by a shortened version of his name. I can tell childhood friends or people who have known him for years because they call him Tino. Newer friends/acquaintances/co-workers all call him Augustine.
    Trysha recently posted…Oh, Hey

  15. My name is Mary, but I’ve been called Molly since birth. Molly is traditionally a nickname for Mary, but it’s been used independently for so long that people rarely make the connection.

    Not a big deal in childhood but has been a pain professionally. I definitely recommend that Wito make it legal at 18 if it’s still the nickname. Maybe “Nickname Anders MiddleName LastName.” I wish that I’d done this before I had received any degrees.

  16. Heather from NC says:

    I love nicknames and I’ve never had one because Heather is not really nickname-able. Both of my children have nicknames. Elizabeth has been Lizzie since preschool. My son is Paul Robert and we have always called him Bobby since before he was born. They are teenagers now (freshman in college and sophomore in high school) and they both seem completely pleased with their nicknames. I can’t imagine either will ever change to their given names but if they do, I’ll be totally fine with it.

  17. Like Wito, I was given a nickname distinctly different from my given name at birth. And the name stuck. I thought about going with my given name at college, then after college, but never did and now its too late. I agree with Molly/Mary, that this has become a challenge professionally. I wish I’d reverted to my legal name before entering the workforce.

  18. Just curious – we know his name is Anders, why keep the nickname a mystery?

    • I know, it’s seems a bit ridiculous, but it’s always been the one thing I’ve kept to myself, in regards to this space. :)

      • I love the name Anders. It means “diverse” in German- which is pretty cool. I just discovered your blog recently, actually. Has Wita’s name ever been made public? Just curious. I can completely understand wanting to keep certain things private. :)

  19. Also, my uncle named my cousin Alexander Jorge but they always called him Jordi (nickname for Jordi in Spain). When he went to school he refused to go by anything else, so they had his name legally changed to Jordi Alexander.

  20. Our kids’ nicknames tend to be nonsensical, which means by about 2nd grade they’re more than ready for us to drop them in public and by about 5th grade they’re ready to drop them at home, too. I really wish I would have thought of this for myself earlier though. I’ve never liked or felt comfortable in my own name, but now it’s probably too late to change.
    Diana recently posted…Easy Peasy School Lunches

  21. My given name is Mary Catherine, but I go by Catherine, and if I really like you, Cat. NOT CATHY. Ugh, that drives me nuts when people just assume I’m a Cathy. Anyway, my brother and I both go by our middle names (our first names are our parents names), and so does my husband, (who actually has 2 middle names–Cristoffer Adhamh Shane–and goes by Shane) so when I got pregnant, we KNEW we would call our kids’ by their first names. I wish I had dropped my first name when I got married and did the name change thing, but it didn’t occur to me. Our kids have pretty simple (and awesome) names, Lucas and Sarah, so they don’t go by nicknames. Side note–I’m DYING to know Wito’s nickname! I’ve been a reader of yours since you were pregnant and it’s killing me!! =)

  22. Before starting first grade everyone called me Mandy (or Mandy Claire depending on how Southern they were). When I started first grade, my mom switched my name back to Amanda. I protested and she told me Mandy was a “redneck name” which it totally isn’t, but whatever. I got over it and as a professional I’m very glad to be Amanda. I will rapidly correct anyone who tries to shorten it! Of course we we going through this now with an Alexander who insists on Alex and an Abigail who is also (though not as vehemently) Abby. It’s a hard choice but I think it works out either way. Anderson could always legally change to his nickname down the road if it was an issue.

  23. Sorry, Anders- iPhone autocorrect strikes again.

  24. I’ve always known my aunt to be “Aunt Angie.” I didn’t realize until about a year or two ago, her actual name is Marie Angela. Same goes for my grandfather – everyone called him Boone, but his actual name was Ivan. We hardly ever call my daughter by her given name Katelyn, she’s really more of a Kay. Or my youngest Olivia, we just say Livi. Maybe just let Anders/Wito decide, though it might be harder in terms of paperwork if the nickname is a lot different from Anders…

  25. Love this post. I’ve always had the name drama :) So my name is Hannah Alyse. I go by them together because my middle name has meaning behind it and I love how they sound combined. But my dad calls me Roberta Anne. They have NOTHING to do with each other. When I was a kid on stage getting awards he would be screaming my nickname and everyone was so confused about who he was talking to. It was a lot to explain. My mom was talking to me the other day and she was saying she doesn’t even think my dad knows my real name LOL. When he shortens it he just calls me Anne which is even more confusing. So I have the confusion of going by two names, everyone wants to shorten it to just Hannah. And my dads nicknames which lots of people think is my real name. I’m 24 now and I love them all. I think it’s true he’ll work it all out :) It’s kinda nice sometimes not to be stuck with one name!

    • I love this comment, Hannah Alyse! I mean, Roberta Anne. Er, Anne. ;)

      I think you’re right – it’s probably nice not to be stuck with just one name.

      • My husband’s name is James Andrew, but he goes by Andy. He has always been Andy, except for his best friend from college who learned that James is his first name when a hockey instructor called roll, so just because he knows Andy doesn’t like it, he (and his wife and everyone they played hockey with) call him Jimmy. So he’s Andy or Jimmy…neither of which are his given names. His family also sometimes calls him “AD” short for his middle and last names.

  26. First off, Anders is a FABULOUS name.

    But I think with a new house and new school it might put a little one overboard if there was also a new name too.

    I think it’s good you asked him what he wanted to do, now that he is old enough to get it, you can periodically ask him if he wants anyone to start calling him Anders, and when and if he is ready, he will!
    Jen recently posted…I Have a First Grader

  27. I also love the name Anders! I love Scandanavian names in general. And generally unique names, especially ones that are unique without being weird or hard to spell/pronounce.

    The nickname thing reminded me of my aunt, who I have always known as Aunt Beep. Everyone I know, in our whole family calls her Beep (my dad, her brother, nicknamed her this as a baby.) Even her own mother calls her Beep! It’s in her email address and everything. I think she goes by her given name (nothing related to Beep) at work, but completely identifies as Beep. It’s amazing how things like that happen!

  28. bishop stu tu says:

    whOOrl gOOrl,

    In my hometown, my name will always be “Runt”…being so much smaller than my big brother. Still at class reunions, I’m introduced as “Runt” and, frankly, I dig it. ‘Cause I’m proud that I did OK for a runt.

    In fact, when my secty fields a call for “Runt”, she knows to put whoever it is straight through…it’s a fold friend.

    Hell, hurdles make your legs stretch.

  29. 1. I’ve been “Abby” for my whole life, short for “Abigail.” Almost no one calls me Abby. Some people call me Abs, and those really close to me call me Abigail. And I always know when my husband is legitimately angry, because he calls me Abby. Go figure.

    2. More closely related to your situation, I have a friend named Edward who has, for his entire life, been known as Tug. Now in his thirties, Tug is still his name. And he’s made a real name for himself using that name. Sometimes, nicknames are more true to who we are. And our “real” names are like our special inner selves. I think that’s pretty amazing.
    Abby – Bright Yellow World recently posted…Since last I wrote…

  30. First off, *love* the name Anders – possibly because it’s very similar to my dad’s name, which is now my son’s middle name. :) I agree with previous commenters that Wito will figure it out. I never had a nickname (but I always wanted one!), but I’ve watched my dad negotiate it. The family has always called him by his middle name. Friends and professional acquaintances use the correct pronounciation of his first name (Eastern European – not phonetic in English). It does make it easy to screen out the telemarketers, who use the incorrect, phonetic pronounciation! I do think one reason it has worked out as well for him is that both names are his legal names, definitely something to talk about with Wito as he enters the workforce.

  31. I have a brother with a nice, respectable name (Rodney), but he was known as “Bubba” all through school. It even says “Bubba” on his diploma.

    Bubba. I swear to you. BUBBA. whyyyyyy?

    When he finally graduated and got a real job he started going by his real name. THANK GOODNESS.

    • Hahaha, I was going to comment that my fiance’s nephew, his name is Ahmed, but we all call him Bubba. I don’t know which name he goes by in school etc though. He’s only 9 or maybe 10 now

  32. My sister has gone by her nickname (Dewey) rather than her given name (Virginia) since she was a couple of months old. Our parents always gave her the choice to switch back to Virginia whenever she started at a new school, and she always insisted that she was Dewey. Now that she’s a grownup, I don’t think anyone (especially Dewey!) can picture her as anything else- even her college diploma was issued to Virginia Dewey.
    Abbie recently posted…Drunk Blondies

  33. I mentioned Bubba earlier in a response to someone else. I know a couple of people that used their middle name instead and eventually went both ways. And another friend grew up being known as Allie, but ever since she went to college, more people are knowing her as Allison. Maybe your Wito will decide to change it up later, or maybe he will stick with his nickname. Whatever you guys call him, it sounds like it’s his identity. =)

    Another friend, a Hassan, when he started college as well, started introducing himself as Matt. He said the reason he did this was because people could never remember him as Hassan. Other friends believed that it was to prevent racism. I will never know, but I will always know him as Hassan.

  34. I was named Kathryn with the express purpose of being called Kate. And while this is a traditional nickname for Kathryn, I’ve always resented it just a little bit, the years of having to explain to teachers that I went by Kate. For about two weeks when I was twelve, I decided I had had enough and was going to go by Kathryn from now on…and no one ever remembered, so I gave up. In college I decided it wasn’t worth correcting the professors, who would never remember my nickname out of 400 other students, but friends and family have always, and will always call me Kate.

    I’m pregnant with my first child right now, and he/she will be getting a name that does not have a traditional nickname option.

  35. 1) Maybe I’m surrounded by very uncreative people but the only nickname ever bestowed upon me is “HB”. H freaking B. So, I must say that I’m envious of Anders.

    2) I have an Aunt Sally. Up until I was about 16 I thought that was her given name which I found cool. I found out later that her name is Ardith Marie but no clue as to why she’s called Sally. I have another Aunt Sam whose name is Edith Marie and…yeah, not sure where that came from.

    3) I feel honored that I know his nickname. And it suits him. And, if he were to ever run for office, his given name is very Presidential but his nickname makes him seem like the guy you want to have a beer with.

  36. When Henry was born, TWO PEOPLE (both close family members) said, “Well, as long as you don’t call him Hank!” when we told them his name. As it turns out, Hank just doesn’t seem to fit him right now, but what if we really had wanted to call him that?

    Anyway, I like nicknames so long as the person with the nickname is okay with it. I think it’s super cute that he’s so fond of his nickname.
    Rhi recently posted…What to Wear Where: Family Photos

  37. Interesting post. Would love to know what the nickname is–but understand your need to keep it private. I think it’s wonderful that he gets to keep his nickname. I think it’s nice he has the option to use his given name if desired when he’s older. You say you used this nickname when you were pregnant. Wondering why it didn’t make the official cut to be a given name–because you say it’s a little childish? Your family is adorably, BTW.
    Courtney recently posted…new adventures with stella & dot

  38. Michelle Baxter says:

    We have Katherine, Ann, and Caroline…”Katie” and “Annie”, no nickname for Caroline – I do call her “Bunny” bacause she has a little stuffed bunny she sleeps with every night, but no one else calls her that. Anders and Malou are the most unique and beautiful names…I just love them! The Bishop Stu Tu and Candy Man nicknames for your Dad are hilarious…

    PS – When will there be a new installment of your Dad as The Candy Man? I have a really funny idea for you…Can I email it to you?

  39. Love the name Anders- makes me think of Ders on workaholics. I fell in love with a guy in college- Duke- it just seemed so cool to have a boyfriend named Duke- I kind of fell out of “love” with him when I found out he was really just Richard who did not want to be nicknamed Dick. My husband is Robert- I weed out telemarketers when they ask for Robert- anyone who knows him calls him Shad- go figure…

  40. We named our second daughter based solely on the nickname, rather than her full name. She’s been called by her nickname (a derivative of the full name) since birth. She is called by her full name when she is being naughty! She’s 6 and recently said she wanted to be called by her full name now-that lasted a day!
    elz recently posted…Friday Favorite-Books I’ve Read

  41. So what about Wita? Was she given a nickname too? Growing up I always hated my name. So I chose to shorten it to Carrie. Then at age 21 I went back to Carrisa because there was another Carrie at work. Now I can’t stand to be called Carrie. I love my name, except for the part where no one ever spells it right.

    My cousin recently adopted a daughter and named her Amora Leona and they call her Morley as a nickname. I think it’s pretty cute. I’m all for nicknames. What I don’t care for are Jr/Sr scenarios. Too confusing and they can wreak havoc on your credit report.
    Carrisa recently posted…me and my first world problems

  42. Lorrie Tharp says:

    I have a friend who is know to everyone as Bumper. Her name is Elizabeth. When her mother was pregnant, they called her the “Bump” not knowing what she was. It stuck. She is in her mid-30’s. I think she might use Elizabeth professionally now, but to everyone who knows her, she is and always will be Bumper.

  43. Our son is James and we swore up and down that he would always be called James-not Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo etc. During my pregnancy and when he was an infant I referred to him as my Baybo (Long A Long O..short for baby Boy–I was hormonal and crazy whatever)and now he’s almost 7 and everyone calls him Baybo. He even comes home from school with Baybo on some of his papers.

  44. I was always called a shortened version of my first name. In fact, you can tell who knew me before I turned 21 and moved away and made everyone call me by my full first name. I think nicknames are good, especially if they suit the kid. You never know- Anders might just claim his name when he’s older. My fiance has always been called by his middle name and had a hard time getting people to get that when he was in school since teachers would read off the roster and call him James.
    sizzle recently posted…Now We Wait Some More

  45. When my daughter, Kristina, went to daycare as a child, the caregiver played a rhyming game with the kid’s names and Kristina became Kristina Beena. We thought it was cute and called her Beena at home, then for some reason shortened it to Bean. She’s been Bean for 19 years now. Bean just left for college this weekend! Wah!
    Our other daughter wasn’t as lucky. Nothing rhymes with Alexa.
    My name is Renata which was super annoying in school and a friend started calling me Rene. I’ve been Rene now since grade school, it’s even on most of my ID. Weird!

  46. When I was little, I was called Beth by everyone I knew. One of my aunts called me Beth Ann, which is a combination of a nickname and my actual middle name. Over the years, I wearied of explaining to people that my full name wasn’t Elizabeth. So when I changed schools in 4th grade, I introduced myself to everyone as Bethany, and that’s what I’ve been called by most of the world ever since. If you call me Beth, it means you’re either my dad or my brother (pretty much the only people who still call me Beth) or you’re a salesperson trying to sound like my good friend.

    We gave both our girls unusual names that had easy, fairly common nicknames. When we named Annalie we thought we might call her Anna or Annie, but she’s always been Annalie. And I never planned to shorten Elliora’s name because I love her full name so much, but Annalie started calling her Ellie V (her middle name is Violet) the day she was born, and now we all call her that occasionally.

    I think it’s funny that you say Wito’s nickname isn’t related to his given name at all, because I’ve always thought that it is! Part of the nickname has the same sound as part of his given name. I just assumed you got the nickname partially from that, and that it was just a clever, unique nickname. :-)
    bethany actually recently posted…from Omaha to San Diego

  47. I think this is a funny topic, simply because my oldest and I just had this conversation this morning. His legal name is Jackson, we have hardly ever called him that, we call him “Jack”. Our last name is anything but easy when it comes to names, we could not go with “Jack” alone, it needed more. While I LOVE the name Jackson, he is Jack all the way. He decides year after year what he wants to be called at school, this year he went with Jack {he’s in fourth grade}. I was writing his name on a form this morning and he told me he had decided he wanted to be Jack this year, not Jackson and then went into this long discussion about how sometimes he wants to be Jackson and sometimes Jack, this year he felt like Jack. I love that he has the choice and when it suits him he will choose Jackson, but mostly he’s “Jack”. I always fill paperwork out in his given name and usually for sports we use Jackson – especially if there is another Jack or vice versa, that rarely happens to him but it has, and it’s nice to have options. His other nickname is “Bones” – he’s skinny, always has been and this year in sports kids heard us calling him “Bones” and now they call him that while on the field!
    My #2, poor kid is named Brady, but since birth we have called him “Bird”. It’s just who he is.. not the best nickname and he doesn’t go by this at school, but this year in sports it has started to stick and mostly with his older brothers friends. We were worried it would be awful for him and that he wouldn’t like it.. we were wrong, he loves it. It’s sort of his special thing and when people are close to him, they know his special name. Our daughter is Olivia – could it be any more popular?! I know, but we liked it and went with it, she is now called Lu-Lu. Nicknames to me are always a term of endearment and I love them. All 3 of my kiddos have them and we use them at home for sure and some day they can choose to cut them out or keep them.. but at home they will always be called by their nickname, because they are special and that’s how we roll!

  48. Suki is Suki at home and with family and close friends. When we moved to Northern California she wanted to be introduced as Suzan. It gets very confusing when I walk into her classroom and introduce myself as “Suki’s Mom,” because tey have no idea who Suki is.

    Her middle name is Hope, which is what we called her during my pregnancy. (We didn’t reveal her first name until she was born.) It took me a few days to stop calling her Hope after she was born, but Suzan just seemed to old for a newborn.

    When we go somewhere new I ask her if she wants to be introduced as Suzan or Suki. It’s rarely the one I think she’ll choose.

    Wito will know when the time feels right to change to his given name. I like his nickname, I think it suits him.
    cc recently posted…Wordless Wednesday

  49. As someone who’s never gone by my “legal” name I can understand why your son would rather keep his nickname. My legal name is Milissa but I’ve always been known as Mitzi. It’s always been a mild source of frustration for me in situations that require disclosure of my legal name (first day of school, dr., new job, etc) because I almost always end up having to explain why I go by Mitzi as it’s not only unusual but also not the expected nickname for Milissa (and yes, I usually have to explain that it’s Milissa with an “I”, not an “e”). In fact, I don’t even consider Mitzi to be my “nickname” as I really don’t identify with the name Milissa at all, merely a legal formality. Long story short, over the course of my 38 years I’ve learned to embrace my “dual identity” and realize that, at the very least, it makes for good conversation when meeting new people!

  50. My given name is Corrin, but my family has called me Corrie my entire life.

    When I got to college, it became such a hassle to correct people that I started using my given name.

    You can tell who knew me before 1998 by if they call me Corrie or Corrin. My husband called me Corrin and thought Corrie was weird. Friends from HS give me a hard time about switching to my “fancy name.”

  51. My name is pretty nickname proof, which made me sad when I was a kid. All the cool kids (AND MY SISTER) had nicknames. The “nickname” people try to use is HORRIBLE — you are allowed to address me that way ONCE, and then I will correct you, and after that you are DEAD TO ME. ;)

    So I was pretty adamant with my kids that they have names that lent themselves to nicknames that…uh, I liked. :) I have a Theo (Theodore) and a Gus (August) and I adore their names. Oddly, I’m not a huge fan of other possible nicknames like Ted or Teddy, and my husband can’t stand Augie but that one doesn’t bother me so much…so it will be interesting to see what the boys end up going by as teens and adults. The only regret I have is that I don’t really know what to do about monogrammed things for Gus – the A, or the G? But my husband is a Robert who went by Bob or Bobby for his entire childhood, and he doesn’t seem scarred by the monogram issue. :)

  52. I have a cousin who has never been called by his legal name and his nickname, Hunter, has nothing to do with his given names. It’s…weird. Why wasn’t he just given the nickname? Or, at least introduce him by his given name and then say, “But we all call him Hunter.”

    My own two children are being called by their full names, even by we parents, until and unless they tell us differently.

  53. We have always planned to call our daughter, named Nicola, Nico. And sometimes we still do, but mostly we call her Bits (she was teeny, so we called her itty bitty, which became itty bits and pieces, now just bits.). We still introduce her as nico, though.

    I also want to say I LOVE the authenticity of your voice in this post. This voice is why I started reading whoorl. More like this, please! (not the topic – write about whatever moves you! – but I love your voice when it’s something that is non-sponsored.