Are nicknames really necessary?

I noticed on this board that a lot of people choose names based on how many nn options that name has. I’m all for nicknames, but seems to be the deciding factor for some. My son is named [name]Michael[/name] and we call him…dare I say it- [name]Michael[/name]. Not [name]Mikey[/name], not [name]Mike[/name]-[name]Mike[/name], just plain old [name]Michael[/name]. What are your thoughts on the importance of nicknames?

I don’t think it’s important at all it’s just ones preferance. Using nicknames is just an endearing way in to which refer to your child.

I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s a matter of opinion. Some people love nicknames, some hate them.

Nicknames (for me) are a BIG deal!
If I find a name that is long & lovely that doesn’t have a nn I like, it is not at the top of my list (if you know what I’m saying:)
[name]Long[/name] names with lots of nn are great because it can give your child a choice that makes them feel special, it doesn’t change who she/he is, it just makes them feel more themselves (for example, my name is [name]Isabel[/name] and sometimes my sister calls me Iz, that makes me feel really special and fuzzy. [name]Even[/name] if there are tons of other Isabels:)

Iz :wink:

I think that, while a name with nicknames is not necessary, they give children more options to find a “name” that they think suits themselves. For example, my best friend’s name is [name]Katherine[/name]. At school, she went by [name]Katherine[/name] (never [name]Katie[/name], [name]Kate[/name], [name]Kathy[/name], etc.), and now in the workplace, she continues to go by [name]Katherine[/name]. However, her family and her high school soccer teammates (many of whom she is still in contact with) all call her [name]Katie[/name]. Her grandmother calls her [name]Kate[/name]. When I asked her which name she prefers, she said she doesn’t care - they all mean different things to her. It would be weird for her to have a teacher or school friend call her [name]Katie[/name], but she loves when her family calls her that.

Nicknames just provide options, and some people prefer this. I don’t think they are necessary, and a child with a traditional nickname name can definitely go by the full name.

  • [name]Sydnee[/name]

I love the name [name]Michael[/name], but definitely not its nicknames.

My mom has 3 daughters: [name]Marissa/name, [name]Sydney[/name], and [name]Lexis[/name]. We’ve never been called a nickname [name]EVER[/name]! When I was younger, I was jealous of my girl friends who had nicknames. Now, as an adult, I’m so glad I haven’t been called [name]Rissa[/name] or [name]Missy[/name] my whole life and then having to make the transition to [name]Marissa[/name] later in life.

I don’t I’ll be using nicknames for my kids. Hubs and I love [name]Vivienne[/name], but hate the nicknames [name]Viv[/name] and [name]Vivi[/name]. I’d rather give my kids a cute pet name that suits them instead of shortening the name I love. But, if the nickname is a name I love as well, like [name]Rosalie[/name] nm [name]Rose[/name], I might use that, but as the exception, not the rule. =]

I sometimes fall in love with full names (like [name]Evelyn[/name]) and sometimes I fall in love with ‘nicknames’ names ([name]Theo[/name]).
I do have to say that having a ‘good’ nick name chosen for your child’s name may cut down on horrible name shortenings. I know a woman who named her son [name]James[/name] and then everyone shortened it to [name]Jimmy[/name]… which she hates. With her second son she named him [name]Alexander[/name] and nick named him [name]Alex[/name] even though she called him [name]Alexander[/name] so that when people called him [name]Xander[/name] or [name]Lex[/name] she could correct them. Some people just have an uncontrolable urge to shorten (or lenghten as the case may be) other people’s names.

I call [name]Evelyn[/name], [name]Lenny[/name] and [name]Theo[/name]'s full name is [name]Theodore[/name], but I still love [name]Evelyn[/name] and Thoe more.

I like nicknames so much that I’d almost say yes, they’re necessary. I wouldn’t give my child a name without a nickname option.

My mother had a long elaborate name that she disliked. She chose short, perky names for her daughters which - wait for it - we disliked. The only one who is neutral on her name is the one with a longer name.

The [name]Katherine[/name]/[name]Katie[/name]/[name]Kate[/name] example is a great one. It’s just nice to have a name that ages with us and gives us options. And as for [name]Michael[/name] - yes, it is a great name. But it is a fairly common one, too, and it’s possible he’ll end up known as [name]Michael[/name] H. or Tall [name]Mike[/name] or [name]Mitch[/name] or [name]Mo[/name] or … you get the idea … at some point in high school or college.

I don’t find nicknames very important at all. My name doesn’t lend itself to one, but my parents had endearments (Haleybell, Haleybug, etc) that they called me. [name]Phoebe[/name] doesn’t have many nicknames, but we call her Pheebs, Pheebalicious, Buggy, etc. So I guess my point is that nicknames will always come about, whether they are actually short for the name itself. The only difference for me would be if I preferred the nickname to the actual name, For instance, I plan to name my son [name]Thomas[/name], but it’s really [name]Tom[/name] that I love.

I agree. I wouldn’t choose a name based on it’s nickname. If I liked the nickname I’d just use that on the birth certificate.

I love nicknames! I’ve never been called a nickname, because my name doesn’t have any, but I wish it did! For me, if a name is two syllables, it doesn’t have to come with a nickname. [name]Dinah[/name], [name]Gemma[/name], [name]Daphne[/name], [name]Phoebe[/name], etc. [name]Even[/name] some three syllable names like [name]Sophia[/name] or [name]Diana[/name] are fine without nicknames. But I wouldn’t be able to name a girl [name]Genevieve[/name] or [name]Francesca[/name] or [name]Georgiana[/name] or [name]Gwendolen[/name], etc. and not use a nickname! For instance, I [name]Georgiana[/name] in full, but not so much any of the nicknames, but I know I wouldn’t be able to say that day in and day out, all day long. So I wouldn’t use that name.

I don’t think a name [name]Ike[/name] [name]Michael[/name] needs a nickname at all. Same as my son’s name, [name]Dashiell[/name]. But I do call mine [name]Dash[/name] most of the time. I like calling boys one-syllable nicknames, I don’t know why. I think it’s seems strong and masculine for some reason.

This is an interesting post for me because it’s the nickname question that seems to be giving us the most trouble in choosing a name! My husband likes names with lots of nn potential, whereas I’d much rather choose a name that doesn’t lend itself to nicknames at all. We speculate that this is because I am named [name]Alexandra[/name] and when I was kid, people just started calling me [name]Alex[/name] without ever really asking if I liked it or not (I much prefer my whole name to the nickname). Now the nickname feels so entrenched that I am [name]Alex[/name] to more people than I am [name]Alexandra[/name] and I don’t think there’s any way to change that. I’d prefer to name my kids names that will actually be used as they are, but this is causing a lot of difficulty in settling on a name we both like!

It just depends on your personal preference. To me, nicknames are really important, as I hardly ever use anybody’s full name - maybe for one person of every fifty I know. I think it might be a very British thing, always using nicknames.

I wouldn’t pick a name I don’t like just to get to a nickname, but equally it would oust a name to the middle slot if it couldn’t produce a nickname that I love. Sometimes it’s a long process for me, finding the perfect name. I know, for example, that I like [name]Nola[/name], but I don’t love Finnola. So [name]Nola[/name] is there at the back of my mind, and then maybe months later I’m walking around a garden centre and I see ‘[name]Magnolia[/name]’ and suddenly the name slots into place and everything is good in the world :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing all your thoughts. I just find the nn topic very interesting. I personally think nn are nice to have but I wouldn’t choose a name soley because of it’s nn options. I think as your childs personality develops, that nicknames have a way of just attaching themselves to your child that have nothing to do with his/her name. For example I have a little cousin who wouldn’t eat any fruit except peaches until she was two, so you can guess what her nn ended up being, - [name]Peaches[/name]. She is now 40 years old and we all still call her [name]Peaches[/name], I cant even remember what her real name is.

Bottom line, nn are fun and nice to have, but nothing to stress over and definatly shouldnt stop you from choosing a name you love just because a name doesn’t have cool nn options.

My parents thought about my nickname, only because my dad thought that they would call me [name]Izzy[/name], which they hate.
It depends, because people will try to shorten it. [name]Rose[/name] will probably be shortened to [name]Ro[/name] sometimes, like it or not. My nickname ussually is [name]Bella[/name] at school, but my grandma calls me Iz, and my parents and I hate it.

It depends if you like the nn that are possible. If you love [name]Abigail[/name] but hate [name]Abbey[/name], then forget it because obvously people will start calling her [name]Abbey[/name]. If you like [name]Penelope[/name] and hate [name]Penny[/name], then dont name her that. If you love [name]Jessica[/name] and hate [name]Jessy[/name], then forget it, because theres always going to be someone out there that is close that will call her that.

I agree completely, because I’m the same way.
I love the nickname [name]Jenny[/name], and I have for quite a long time, but it was really difficult to find a full name for a [name]Jenny[/name] that I truly love (now I love [name]Genevieve[/name]). I could never name a child just [name]Jenny[/name], although it was on my list for awhile, just because I love the nickname. Like literaturegeek said, sometimes you fall in love with a nickname and then find a full name. Or the other way around.

So nicknames aren’t necessary, it’s just a matter of preference.

I think nicknames are a fact of life. If the name were only used by you, then it would not be a needed consideration. But a name is functional, flexible tool used by your child for their whole life, as well as by outside people. Your child may not share your enthusiasm for their full name. Working with children, I have known many of 6-year-old boys who love to be called [name]Mike[/name] or [name]Mikey[/name] specifically. You may try to encourage them to keep the name you prefer, but at a certain point it is beyond your control. I think that choosing one specific nickname over another can help - if you guide [name]Elizabeth[/name] to be [name]Liz[/name], she will probably not become a [name]Beth[/name]. But even that is not sure-fire.

As an adult, if your child has a strong preference ([name]David[/name] not [name]Dave[/name], etc) they can usually control that by correcting people who nickname. But I also know a [name]Francesca[/name] who was so happy to finally be out of college and ditch [name]Frannie[/name] for what she called “her big girl name.” It stuck with her co-workers, but the kids she works with couldn’t handle it, so she sighed and went back to [name]Fran[/name].

I find it interesting…when I see a post like this, I always think “I bet they have a [name]Michael[/name],” and I’m right most of the time. I think [name]Michael[/name] is a short, handsome name that parents think they can control (it’s only two syllables, after all!), but I personally cannot think of a name more likely to be shortened. [name]Mike[/name] is just too much an entrenched part of society.

My DH is [name]Michael[/name], and I use his full name. I HATE “[name]Mike[/name]”, all of his friends call him [name]Mike[/name] and it just irks me.


A name is a name - and I think that most should be able to be respected as full names, whether or not they’ve a nickname. I do like nicknames, but that’s not the point–they’re not exactly going to be called by a nickname in their profession, etc., and thus I don’t think that nicknames are an absolute neccesity.

I don’t think that you should choose a name based purely on the fact of how many nicknames are available with it, if it has a nickname you like, etc.; but that’s just me. ^-^

My answer is: yes and no. For example I think [name]Edie[/name] is a really cute nickname, but I don’t like [name]Edith[/name] that much. I don’t hate it, but I can imagine calling a future daughter [name]Edith[/name]. So in that case I would chose a name just for the nickname. For a different perspective, I really like [name]Henry[/name], but I would only call him [name]Henry[/name]. I don’t dislike [name]Harry[/name] or [name]Hank[/name], but [name]Henry[/name] is what sold me on the name. And finally I like [name]Susannah[/name], and would probably nickname her [name]Annie[/name], but that’s a name I could see myself using both. It really depends on the name and the person.

Nicknames come about for two reasons as far as I can see. The first one is for long names that are pretty, but inconvenient to say a lot. For example I think some one on this said her name was [name]Alexandra[/name], and she preferred to be called [name]Alexandra[/name]. I think [name]Alexandra[/name] is a wonderful name, but I just couldn’t say that all the time. That’s why I nicknamed the girl I took to prom [name]Lexie[/name] against her will haha. Because I dislike [name]Alex[/name] on a girl, and because I didn’t want to say [name]Alexandra[/name] every time I talked about her. For names that are 3 or 4 syllables nicknames come up a lot because either the full one is tiresome to say, or it’s just such a big name it’s hard to really connect it to the person.

The other reason is when a name is super common. For example, your son’s name, [name]Michael[/name]. I dated a [name]Michael[/name] until [name]May[/name] this year, and while I don’t have anything against [name]Michael[/name], it was just hard to connect him to the name for me. [name]Michael[/name] is such a super common name, that all the links to [name]Michael[/name], [name]Mike[/name], [name]Mikey[/name], and [name]Micah[/name] were already taken up by other people I had met. Therefore I called him [name]Mick[/name] or [name]Mickey[/name] a lot. He hated it, but eventually learned to accept it as long as I didn’t call him either in front of his friends. His name was so common and sterile to me because of so much I had seen it that I need to make it into something else for me to connect with it.

And I don’t think giving you child a name with a lot of different nickname possibilities is a bad thing. When you’re a kid you always hate your name at some point. Or you hate that your name isn’t enough like everyone else’s. Or you hate that your name is the same as everyone else”s. If you like a name with a lot of nickname options then you give your child a lot of breathing room. If your little [name]Katherine[/name] likes to fit in, then she can be [name]Katie[/name]. If she is the type to stand out she can be [name]Kitty[/name]. If she”s a bit of a tomboy she can be [name]Kay[/name]. I was given a name with zero nickname opportunity: [name]Clyde[/name]. And I hated my name as a kid. I wanted to be a [name]Matt[/name] or a [name]Chris[/name] or a [name]Joey[/name] like the rest of the boys in my class. I felt that [name]Clyde[/name] was a stupid name, and I didn”t have anyway to get away from it.

Luckily I grew to love my name just the way it is, and yeah I am sort of grateful I don”t have to worry about people calling me Cly or [name]Clydie[/name] or any other sort of nickname, but some kids never grow into their names, and having some options to fall back on can be helpful. So I guess in summary nicknames aren”t good, or bad. They just are.