how to use formal name and nickname?

I am considering a formal name for my daughter (due in 2 weeks), margaret, after husbands grandmother) with the plans to call her greta. i [name]LOVE[/name] the name greta and we had been considering just naming her that, because neither of us prefers to name our child something just to call her something else. but now he is thinking he likes the margaret/greta idea. i don’t want to shoot him down, but i’m uneasy about the whole naming her something we never intend to call her. i know tons of people do this, and i’m wondering how, especially in the beginning… it feels awkward (to me) to say “her name is margaret [mn, not sure yet], but we’re calling her greta.” on birth announcements, how do you communicate this? i hate to just stick “greta” in parentheses. i eventually want to get to a point where i would just be introducing her and referring to her as greta, but is that an awkward transition?

thanks for your help! :slight_smile:

My brother’s name is [name]Benjamin[/name], called [name]Ben[/name]. Nobody calls him [name]Benjamin[/name]. You just say, “This is [name]Ben[/name]! (Or [name]Greta[/name]…)” Some people may say something like, “[name]Just[/name] [name]Ben[/name]?” And then you say, “His full name is [name]Benjamin[/name] [name]Alexander[/name].” See? If they don’t ask, you don’t need to tell - that is my opinion.

The same thing happens in the reverse. “[name]Hi[/name], my name is [name]Catherine[/name].” And a person responds, “Okay, [name]Catie[/name], nice to meet you,” and the girl says, “No, I use my full name, [name]Catherine[/name]. Please call me that.”

I once new a girl who went by R(h)etta, and her name was [name]Margaretta[/name]. She was always introduced as Rhetta M., but I knew that wasn’t her name…I can’t remember how!

yeah, that makes sense… i think part of my issue is that greta is a less “obvious” nickname for margaret. i don’t like maggie as much, so i would just as soon people not even be aware of the margaret part (sounds awful i know), so they would just think of her as greta. in the case of benjamin, if he is introduced as ben, most would probably assume his name is actually benjamin and just not worry with it (as is the case with most nicknames that are just the first part of the full name lopped off, which i would have less trouble with i think). but i like that if people thought her name was greta, they might not jump to the assumption that it is short for something, and i guess i’m trying to gauge how that would go… it just feels weird, but maybe i’ll come around…

i think i’m especially bothered by the birth announcement thing, even considering not sending them because of it… am i a crazy person?? i think maybe so… :confused:

I love [name]Margaret[/name] nn [name]Greta[/name]! (I also like [name]Greta[/name] as a full name).

I don’t think you’re crazy. I was going to say the same thing, that it’s a little different with [name]Ben[/name] and [name]Katie[/name] type names where the nickname/full name is obvious. Your problem would be the same if you were considering [name]Maggie[/name]. However, with [name]Margaret[/name] nicknamed [name]Greta[/name] it’s a little different. If it were me, I would put [name]Greta[/name] on everything - nametags at daycare/preschool, etc. The only place I would put [name]Margaret[/name] is on the birth announcement. And to get across the fact that you’re calling her [name]Greta[/name] without relegating it to a parenthetical afterthought, I would say something like: [name]WELCOME[/name] [name]GRETA[/name]! In big letters and then [name]John[/name] and [name]Jane[/name] [name]Doe[/name] present [name]Margaret[/name] [name]Olivia[/name] [name]Doe[/name] born 1/1/2010 at 8:30, 5 lbs, etc etc.

I think at first - maybe only with the announcements (if you’re doing them) you can introduce her as [name]Margaret[/name] “[name]Greta[/name]” Middlename Lastname.
That way you can convey her real name AND that you plan on just calling her [name]Greta[/name]. Then to the rest of the world, you can just introduce her [name]Greta[/name].
When I was growing up, my nn was [name]Rocky[/name], but my real name is [name]Raquel[/name] ( i only go by [name]Raquel[/name] now). When I introduced myself to people I’d say my name is [name]Raquel[/name], but you can call me [name]Rocky[/name]. I only did that b/c ppl would look at me weird if I said my name is [name]Rocky[/name] - and I’d end up explaining that it was my nn, anyway.
Good luck!

Here’s a link to a birth announcement that would work for you.

http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/05/22/victoria-recano-shares-emmes-birth-announcements/

It says her birth name (Maximilliene [name]Elizabeth[/name]) and then at the bottom it says introducing [name]Emme[/name]. So no quotes anywhere.

I love the name [name]Greta[/name] BTW. Good luck!

Yes, I know [name]Ben[/name] and [name]Catie[/name] are more obvious, which is why I added the [name]Margaretta[/name], nn Rhetta part…

Anyway, why not name her [name]Greta[/name] or [name]Gretel[/name], then? I do prefer [name]Margaret[/name] nn [name]Greta[/name], though, and I love the idea of doing the announcement with the nickname on top. For this one (http://www.tinyprints.com/product/7866/girl_photo_birth_announcements_vintage_flourish_tea_rose.html#color/1) you could put [name]Greta[/name] in the box at the top where it says [name]Gabriella[/name], and put her full name at the bottom!

I think a lot of the suggestions (esp the way to organize your birth announcement) are really great!
But, I also think that if you feel this much doubt, maybe naming your daughter [name]Margaret[/name] just isn’t the right thing to do (esp. if you’re actually considering not sending birth announcements because you wouldn’t want people to know her real name). I think that strongly suggests that maybe you just really don’t want to name her [name]Margaret[/name], and I think you have to honor your gut feelings about these things, rather than regret it later. I understand you don’t want to disappoint your husband or seem like you don’t want to honor his family, but if you’re honest with him, you might find he doesn’t mind at all just using [name]Greta[/name] and making the connection to your family that it honors [name]Margaret[/name]. Alternatively, you could always use [name]Margaret[/name] or another M name in the middle. But, if [name]Margaret[/name] is on her birth certificate, [name]Margaret[/name] is her name, no matter what you call her. And if you’re not happy with that, don’t do it.

it’s not that i don’t want people to know her name, it’s just that i wouldn’t know how to put it on the birth announcement without 1) making it look awkward and 2) making “greta” look less important or cutesy or something (very well put by pp, “relegating to a parenthetical afterthought” or whatever you said… exactly!). i really like the announcements with examples linked in pp’s so some of those could definitely work. i have been thinking of omitting announcements anyway to save money, so we’ll see.

while margaret wasn’t my first choice, it’s growing on me the more i think about it. my husband is definitely not the typical laid-back “whatever you think, honey” type. when he gets a strong feeling about something he does not easily let go. and i am more willing to compromise than i might be, because he has a family tradition for naming boys that i do NOT want to perpetuate if we ever have a boy, so honoring his family now might be a good opportunity to placate him so i won’t feel as much pressure to acquiesce to his request in the future (he knows i don’t want to do it). and it’s not as if i hate the name margaret, it’s just different from what i had in mind before. again, the more i think about it (and read your posts and ideas), the more it grows on me. i do love the name greta and i’m starting to really like the idea of having it be short for a family name. still, it will go on the short list and maybe baby girl will come home with something totally different! thanks so much for your input… very helpful! :slight_smile:

We had friends name their baby [name]Katie[/name] recently, and we found out later that she was actually a [name]Katherine[/name]. Her parents just introduced her to everyone as [name]Katie[/name] and I think even had [name]Katie[/name] on her birth announcement.

We have a 1 year old [name]Gabriella[/name], who I call [name]Gabriella[/name] and everyone else seems to call whatever they please. I would think if people knew her name was [name]Margaret[/name] they would probably try to call her [name]Maggie[/name] and then you’d have to correct them. I would suggest as others have naming her [name]Margaret[/name] but introducing her as [name]Greta[/name] so there is no confusion.