Am I the only one who hates nicknames?

I really and truly hate nicknames. It drives me crazy and is ruling out plenty of great names for me. I feel like if I name my daughter [name]Penelope[/name] and want her to be called that, people should respect it… but they won’t. She’ll be [name]Penny[/name] or some other nickname.

Maybe I’m pregnant and overemotional or whatever, but sometimes I wonder why I try so hard to find the perfect name, when people will call her what they want anyways.

My daughter’s name is [name]Gretchen[/name]… which, you would THINK is nickname proof. Nope. My mother calls her Gretchy (Nails on a chalkboard!) and my father calls her Scooter. I don’t just mean occasionally, I mean every time they talk to or about her. It’s like that with other people in our lives as well. Gretchy, Gretch, Scooter, G, etc.

I feel defeated. I’m due in [name]September[/name] and am so unmotivated to even name our second daughter because it seems so pointless. I’ve posted some ideas on here and gotten some great suggestions as well… beautiful names… but at the end of the day, why fall in love with [name]Josephine[/name] if she’ll just be [name]Josie[/name]?

Insight please? And you can say I’m being hormonal and upset :slight_smile: This just stems from the deeper issue of people not respecting boundaries when it comes to kids (I’m sure some of you have parents/in-laws/family who thought it was “cute” to try and feed a young baby something inappropriate or whatever)

Unfortunately you will come across some people who will give your child a nickname, regardless of your feelings. It’s almost inevitable. My name ([name]Eleanor[/name]) has lots of established nns. I have occasionally been called [name]Ellie[/name] by various people even though my parents made it clear that my nn would be [name]Elea[/name] ([name]Ella[/name]) or [name]El[/name]. It doesn’t bother me so much though. Similarly, I get people who will only call me [name]Eleanor[/name] and just won’t use my nn.

For the most part, if you are clear and firm, people will respect your preferences with regards to nicknames. I know plenty of ‘[name]Joshua[/name] not [name]Josh[/name]’ and ‘[name]Elizabeth[/name] not [name]Lizzy[/name]’ etc.

[name]Bear[/name] in mind that your daughter might actually want to go by an alternate nickname of her choosing (like [name]Penny[/name], [name]Poppy[/name] or [name]Nell[/name]) when she grows older. It can be part of exploring as you grow up, a way of finding your own identity. I remember experimenting with pronouncing [name]Elea[/name] like [name]EL[/name]-ee-ah. I thought it sounded exotic. And when I was 14, my friends started calling me that. It didn’t last long (I grew out of it), but I liked having that freedom. I have always appreciated the freedom that my name offers me.

[name]Don[/name]'t think about how much you don’t like the nicknames, instead think about how much you like the name, and how much flexibility and opportunity you are providing your daughter with by giving her a name with lots of potential nicknames.

You’re giving her the gift of choice.

I don’t have a problem if, say, I name her [name]Penelope[/name] and she decides at some point, she’d much rather go by [name]Penny[/name] or [name]Nell[/name]. It’s more that people take it upon themselves to rename your child at will. It just seems… disrespectful, I suppose?

I’ve tried being firm. I’ve tried being nice. I’ve tried joking. I simply cannot get our families to call my daughter [name]Gretchen[/name]. It really doesn’t seem to matter what approach I go with. It’s really ruined the naming process. And really, I used [name]Gretchen[/name] (over [name]Cordelia[/name], which was my front runner last time) solely due to the nickname factor.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just our families.

I’m not a big fan of nicknames. I thought there had been a big name trend away from nicknames, and small children going by their long full names, but I guess that didn’t happen or happened very quickly, or the effort was made but failed incredibly?

I knew a guy named [name]Michael[/name] in college who always corrected people who tried to call him [name]Mike[/name], and not seem annoyed by having to say it either. I know a [name]Susan[/name] who calls herself [name]Susan[/name] but nobody else does. She will tell someone her name, [name]Susan[/name], they will go on to introduce her as [name]Sue[/name], so everyone calls her [name]Sue[/name]. That has got her too beat to contest.

I like some names, and I like some nicknames of such, I wonder what all it is about a name where some people like a nickname better and search for a plausible formal name, or think of a formal name they like and plan to use some nickname. I dislike a lot of the nicknames, especially if they seem convoluted and not intuitive (like if you are named [name]Caroline[/name], but want to be called [name]Olie[/name], not [name]Carrie[/name] - nobody seems to have suggested it, but I see similar inventions).

I have a non-nickname name and always wanted a nickname in high school, for a change, a chance to be sort of different. Nobody gives me a nickname or has to ask how my nickname even partially resembles my formal name.

I also like shorter, simpler names also, might have something to do with it. When people are calling you or talking to someone else about you, nicknames are short tags. File these reports with [name]Don[/name], then get the rest of the receipts from [name]Andrew[/name] ([name]Andy[/name] never gets shortened to And like [name]Donny[/name] to [name]Don[/name], just goes back to [name]Andrew[/name]!). I once worked in an office with a [name]Giulietta[/name], an older woman, nobody every shortened her name, and it wasn’t weird or time-consuming to say her whole name. I also worked with [name]Thomasina[/name] who said she never went by [name]Tommie[/name] or [name]Tammy[/name] her whole life, she was [name]Thomasina[/name], not weird or time-consuming, that’s just her name.

You do have a shot if you make the effort to enforce it, and enforce it with your daughter. She may be like me and want to have a nickname later, but I couldn’t make it stick, and I’m glad now. I think past a certain point you get used to your name that it becomes odd to start having a nickname, but some people if they have a preference, go through it until their nickname (or in some cases, a changed name or middle name preference) sounds as normal as the name they were called all the earlier years. Once you accept you have a long name that is suggestive of various nicknames, I think you get very protective of it. I think in the case of [name]Penelope[/name], if she says she is [name]Penelope[/name], people will call her that. Some people will call her [name]Penny[/name], nobody will be clever enough to create interesting nicknames as a parent would, and if she really hates [name]Penny[/name], or you do in her defense before she can say so herself, just correct people who do that.

As for [name]Gretchen[/name], a pet name is different from a nickname. Some people just think children are so small and undeveloped a big name just is too adult they have to grow into it. Gretchy is kind of yucky for a diminutive, but some people just can’t help it. Scooter is kind of eh. Are people saying they just don’t want to call her [name]Gretchen[/name]? Or are they trying to be cute? This came up with someone else whose niece has that name, whose own parents call her Gretchy and this poster tried to think of something else.

I really think this is mostly a non-issue in life. [name]Will[/name] [name]Penelope[/name] or [name]Gretchen[/name] go to school with Millies and Evies, and Poppys and Livies, and their friends will say, ‘yeah, but what’s your nickname?’ like it’s weird not to have one. They can just have their name and tell people to call them that. It should work.

To be perfectly honest, I think this will happen whatever name you choose. [name]Even[/name] if you used [name]Faith[/name] (which I can’t think of any nns for) she ould probably be given a moniker like ‘pumpkin’ ‘fairycakes’ or ‘poppet’ that has nothing whatsoever to do with the name itself.

As annoying as it is (and it definitely is – my sister is threatening that if I call my son [name]William[/name] she will call him [name]Billy[/name] – arggg!) in a way, your family are using petnames as an affectionate thing. A way that distinguishes them from all the other people who will simply call her [name]Gretchen[/name]. I’m sure they think of it as ‘their special name’ for her.

I’m not saying that what they are doing is right, or that you don’t have a right to be annoyed about it – I’m just trying to focus on the positive aspect :slight_smile:

I know you’re right. I know they think it’s cute and special or whatever. I guess I’m just having enough trouble picking out a name that I have to take all the possible silly names they’ll c ome up with into account.

And [name]William[/name] is a wonderful name… why would anyone ruin it with [name]Billy[/name] !!!

I’m not sure if they think it’s “cute” or whatever, but despite my insisting, they continue to call her ridiculous nicknames/pet names. I think that’s where my problem lies, is just being disregarded and ignored.

My husband hates nicknames. I really want to use [name]Joseph[/name] if we have a son to honor my grandfather but he hates [name]Joe[/name]. And [name]Pete[/name] and [name]Dave[/name]. I’m a teacher and I taught a [name]Peter[/name] who has only gone by [name]Peter[/name]. I’ve never heard anyone call him [name]Pete[/name], which may be because he’s been at the same school since he was 5 (he’s now 14).

I agree with you that it’s annoying for someone else to rename your child, but eventually she’ll be able to speak for herself. In middle and high school I was known as [name]Dot[/name] and in college I went by D, but after college I just started introducing myself as [name]Dorothy[/name] so I controlled what I was called. You might just have to be patient (as annoying as it is) until she is old enough to insist upon being called her full name… or a nickname of her choosing.

I agree with the [name]William[/name]/[name]Billy[/name] thing. My husband has many Bills/Billys in his family and we want to use just [name]William[/name] and [name]Will[/name]. I don’t get it at all!

I hate nicknames and shortened versions of names, too. Is it really so hard to utter a few extra syllables? I’ve always gone by my full name ([name]Andrea[/name]) and luckily have never had anyone try to call me [name]Andy[/name], but I probably wouldn’t respond if they did because that isn’t my name!

I really hate nicknames too, that why I try to stick to short names like [name]Mary[/name], [name]Ivy[/name], [name]Iris[/name], [name]Fern[/name] that kinda stuff.
[name]Gretchen[/name] was a favorite of mine BTW. I liked it so much that if they gave her a nickname I could care less because I loved it so.
[name]Penelope[/name] is so pretty, I would never call her [name]Penny[/name] or [name]Poppy[/name], it was always just [name]Penelope[/name] to me.

I rule out alot of names to because of that, just like [name]Josephine[/name].
[name]Don[/name]'t let that get you down. [name]Just[/name] be happy with your daughter’s beautiful name.

I think you have to excuse your parents for giving their grandaughter a nickname, especially cutesy ones like Gretchy and Scooter. [name]Gretchen[/name], to me, is a very grown up name, so wanting to baby it up a little bit would be natural to me also. [name]Don[/name]'t get too mad with them, they’re just showing their love for your baby :slight_smile:

I’m with you. I want to name my child what I am actually going to call my child. However, if s/he likes a nickname and is willing to be the one correcting people, then I don’t really care. But I tend to like names that minimize this possibility. Also (and I know that I am super-grouch here), it really bugs me when someone suggests a baby name to me with the nickname already attached. “OMG, you should name her [name]Abigail[/name], so then you can call her [name]Abbey[/name]!” Dude, if I wanted to call her [name]Abbey[/name], I would name her [name]Abbey[/name]. Or worse, “you should name her [name]Charlotte[/name] [name]Abigail[/name], so that you can call her [name]Abbey[/name]!” Why choose a name that you know will require correcting teachers, employers, etc., forever? I think that this concern goes back to my childhood friend [name]Victoria[/name], who was forever plagued by: “[name]Vicki[/name]!” “No, my name is [name]Victoria[/name].” “[name]Tori[/name]!” “NO, [name]VICTORIA[/name] &%$&%#.”

In summary, basically, I’m lazy.

No, I absolutely agree! I hate nicknames also…they ruin so many pretty names! Also, I don’t know why so many people say, “ok. I’ll name her/him this, but call them this…” Then why not just name him/her that nickname? It makes no sense to me and I see it on here all the time!

I have to admit that I am a person who would give a formal name, even if I liked the nicknames because it gives the person more options later. Ie, if you name your daughter “[name]Lexi[/name],” she’s stuck with it. But if you name her [name]Alexandra[/name], she can be [name]Alexandra[/name], [name]Alex[/name], [name]Allie[/name], [name]Lexi[/name] etc. It will be up to her! [name]Just[/name] my 2 cents…

Sometimes I feel this way too! LOL. “Why not just name them the nn???” But I suppose having a “full” name could have its advantages. To each their own.

I don’t know about nn. To me they’re something you’re only called by family and few close friends. I can count on one hand the number of people who call me “[name]Meg[/name]” and that’s just the way I like it.

I always call people by what they introduce themselves as. If you say to me “My name is [name]Susan[/name]” then you’ll always be [name]Susan[/name]. Like my husband - nearly everyone seems to call him [name]Mike[/name] but he’ll always be [name]Michael[/name] to me, end of story.

I love the name [name]Penelope[/name]. If you are insistent, you can get most people to not use a nn for [name]Penelope[/name]. But grandparents do love to have pet names, and chances are that your child will love her grandparents’ nn’s for her.

I very much dislike nn’s as my beautiful, classic name was shortened to a name that I disliked. You would not believe how embarrassing it can be to say on a regular basis, “My name is not [name]Carol[/name], it is [name]Caroline[/name]”, so in the end I just used my mn but it is a bit sad because I love my name.
My advice is to find a one syllable name like, [name]Belle[/name], [name]Fern[/name], [name]Hope[/name], [name]Faith[/name], [name]Joy[/name], [name]Lee[/name], [name]Claire[/name], [name]Eve[/name].

In my family we don’t tolerate nicknames, my grandparents didn’t like them and it just followed. We have: [name]Cathryn[/name] not [name]Cathy[/name], [name]Charissa[/name] not [name]Chari[/name], [name]Bethany[/name] not [name]Beth[/name], [name]Emily[/name] not [name]Emmie[/name], [name]Andrew[/name] not [name]Andy[/name], [name]Abigail[/name] not [name]Abby[/name], ect…