I don’t really have an opposing opinion on nicknames as names instead of formal names. I think there was a recent blog about a woman whose parents apparently named her “[name]Peggy[/name]” even though on paper, she was [name]Margaret[/name], who later did not feel like a [name]Peggy[/name] and transitioned into [name]Greta[/name]. I may be getting the nicknames involved all wrong, but you get the point. This is the apparent beauty of not naming your child “just” [name]Peggy[/name], or whatever. Not only can the person derive something out of [name]Margaret[/name], she can just be [name]Margaret[/name], if she grows to find that more professional. Saying you love [name]Peggy[/name], and deciding that [name]Margaret[/name] shouldn’t matter (or you love the nickname but hate the formal name) takes away that leeway later, for the adult your child will become.
However, some names really only have one apparent nickname anyway. Some names, like my name, don’t have an apparent nickname at all. I’ve known people with “nickname” names, like [name]Molly[/name], for example. [name]Molly[/name] is derived from [name]Mary[/name], but established through use as a distinct name. [name]How[/name] different is [name]Molly[/name] from [name]Mary[/name] anyway? [name]How[/name] many “choices” does someone who has [name]Mary[/name] to “fall back on” get? In one way, it doesn’t differ too much from a [name]Peggy[/name]-just-[name]Peggy[/name], in the way that anyone with a name may feel like their name doesn’t fit them, but in another way, [name]Mary[/name] is a lot less nickname-able, and close to [name]Molly[/name], where [name]Margaret[/name] has a lot of nicknames and diminutives, some kind of distant from the sound of [name]Margaret[/name] (like [name]Daisy[/name]), and a full formal name that makes a [name]Peggy[/name] feel like she can stay a [name]Peggy[/name] or go with something completely different.
Take another name, like [name]Beth[/name]. I think someone contemplating “[name]Elizabeth[/name]” might be shy their daughter would become “[name]Liz[/name]” and head it off at the pass (or the other way around - I would categorize [name]Eliza[/name]/[name]Elisa[/name]/[name]Ellie[/name]/[name]Liz[/name], etc. on one end and [name]Beth[/name]/[name]Bess[/name]/[name]Betsy[/name], etc on the other end of preference - most people prefer one half of this name to the other half). It’s pretty normal to like a nickname better than the full name or any other potential outcome of it. So, to the point, maybe calling a daughter [name]Bethany[/name], so they will be called [name]Beth[/name] and definitely not [name]Liz[/name], by anyone. No matter what you call your child at home, if they do have options, they may use them if they feel it’s more appropriate to their personality and personal taste. That I don’t have a problem with. I guess, personally, I would say, I hate certain nicknames and would avoid those formal names just in case, but very few, and I would be open to the growth and self-discovery of my child otherwise and not be too sunk if they changed their nickname. I also think there’s a totally good chance people will continue with their chosen nickname, and those awful nicknames will never arise, so I would put that fear at about 10% unless you absolutely detest the nickname someone else might tag your child with at some point during their lives.
As far as having a “nickname” for a formal name altogether, I’m on a case-by-case basis with it. People tend to feel names that end with an -ee sound, like [name]Mary[/name], even, are too informal. I don’t like using a formal name as a nickname for a longer and more elaborate formal name… I don’t like when I see people like a name like [name]Julia[/name] and get all grossed out because they hate for their child to maybe be called [name]Julie[/name] at some point, or to shy away from other French forms like [name]Sophie[/name] or [name]Sylvie[/name] because they seem too informal from their Latin counterparts that end with an -ah sound. There are a few formal names I don’t think are substantial, and there are a few nicknames I think stand on their own and don’t need to be backed with some “authority” of a formal name. A lot of formal names that are currently accepted are actually diminutives - names ending in -ina/-ine, -ella/-elle, or -etta/-ette may commonly either be the feminized form of a masculine name, or a “pet” name of a shorter feminine name. Making the name longer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s even more formal than the shorter version, and something about that sometimes puts me off. If the formal name in question is X, and someone’s idea of a better formal name is ‘little X’ and then use X as a nickname, it’s backwards to me. [name]Just[/name] being shorter doesn’t make it the nickname of the name - the longer may in fact be the endearment of the shorter name, of which one is supposed to grow out of.
Lastly, I will bring my own name again. [name]Karen[/name]. A while ago, I realized all over again (it had been a while since I thought of it), that my name is a variation of [name]Katherine[/name]. Had I been a [name]Katherine[/name], I almost certainly would have been [name]Kathy[/name] due to when I was born. I don’t have a nickname, and had tried during high school to maybe get people to start calling me [name]Kari[/name] (and how many ways I thought should I spell it???) It was just not coming together on my part, and so this never happened. Recently, I considered just calling myself [name]Kate[/name] and people would call me [name]Kate[/name]. It’s kind of a stretch, since my name is almost already so short, and there’s no T in it. I love [name]Kate[/name], but I don’t think this is going to happen either. If I had been a [name]Kathy[/name] with a whole [name]Katherine[/name] to work with, it might work, and I might have thought of it years ago and gotten used to it. I don’t like [name]Kathy[/name], I’m sure I would have found a way out of it. I do like my name, so maybe I just don’t really feel like I have to find a better name that fits me. Hopefully, that’s true of most people, so I would go back there on a case-by-case basis, and see how important it is to you they have “options” or just have the name you love to call them, and whether or not you’d take an adult with that name seriously.