Hypothetically: How does someone go by a nickname of their middle name?

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] everyone!
I’m just wondering, how does someone go by a nickname of their middle name?

E.g. [name_f]Samantha[/name_f] [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] wanting to go by [name_f]Libby[/name_f] (a nickname that’s pretty intuitive and totally works but not the first thing you’d think of)

Would she introduce herself as:
A) [name_f]Libby[/name_f]
B) “Elizabeth but you can call me Libby”
C) Going by her middle name [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] but you can call her [name_f]Libby[/name_f]
D) [name_f]Samantha[/name_f] [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] but you can call her [name_f]Libby[/name_f]
E) Something else

Also, would it be as simple as announcing to people that she knows that she’s going by a nickname of her middle, [name_f]Libby[/name_f]? [name_u]Or[/name_u] better to say that she’s just going by her middle name [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] and then that she’ll be using the nickname [name_f]Libby[/name_f].

Thank you so much! :blush:

In general, I think she would just introduce herself as [name_f]Libby[/name_f]. I think the other ways would add unnecessary confusion.

In a situation where the person already knew her first name was [name_f]Samantha[/name_f], like in a doctor’s office or with a new teacher at school where they have her legal name on paper, then I think she could just explain “I go by [name_f]Libby[/name_f], from my middle name”. Maybe some people would ask how or why that came to be, but in general I think most would just accept it as is.


I definitely agree she should just introduce herself as [name_f]Libby[/name_f]. Yes it’s a nickname, but it’s still her name because it’s her preferred name.

[name_f]My[/name_f] grandmother actually goes by a nickname of her second middle name. She introduces herself as that name and no one questions it.

However, her doctors call her by a nickname of her first name, but that’s it. She doesn’t mind it, but if [name_f]Libby[/name_f] does, I guess she just needs to tell them her preferred name.

Yes it’s slightly unorthodox, but not overly strange. I think she would just need to decide how much it will bother her if certain people (such as family members or doctors) call her by her first name or a nickname of her first name.

It’s not quite the same, but there are people who prefer their full name and don’t like it shortened. For example, [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] doesn’t like being called [name_m]Josh[/name_m], only [name_m]Joshua[/name_m]. [name_u]Or[/name_u] [name_f]Alexandra[/name_f] doesn’t like being called Alex/Lexi, only [name_f]Alexandra[/name_f]. If it really bothers these people when people shorten it, they have to correct them :woman_shrugging:.


[name_f]My[/name_f] father-in-law goes by a nickname of his middle name and has his entire life. He just introduces himself by that name and doesn’t explain anything further. For his signature, he includes his first initial (e.g. T. [name_m]Matthew[/name_m] Smith) to prevent any potential problems.


Thank you!
That seems quite straightforward, actually!

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Great to hear from firsthand experience, thank you!

I am someone who goes by a nickname 99% of the time, I dont think there’s too much of a difference in going by a nickname based on your first name or your middle as its not your legal name either way, and most people dont question.

I would say she probably will just introduce herself as [name_f]Libby[/name_f]. Then as people get to know her she could explain her whole name, but they would already know her as [name_f]Libby[/name_f].

In a situation where they dont know her and only know her legal name, like a Dr.s office, she knows her legal name and could determine based on the situation whether or not to correct them and ask to be addressed by her nickname, or just respond to her legal name. And tbh I dont think most people would ask why she wanted to be called libby, they would probably jist call her [name_f]Libby[/name_f].

Personally [name_u]Ive[/name_u] never struggled with going by a nickname.


[name_f]My[/name_f] grandmother went by a nickname of her middle name. Her first name was only on her driver’s license, and she went by her full middle name on all other formal documents. Then she told people to use her nickname.


I think it depends on the circumstance.

If she’s introducing herself to someone completely new, who doesn’t know her name:


If she’s introducing herself to someone who has read her name beforehand (ie. a new employer, tutor/teacher, doctor etc):

My legal name is Samantha Elizabeth, but I go by Libby

If, in either of these situations, she wants to have a fullname:

Hi, I’m Elizabeth - people call me Libby (or I’m Samantha Elizabeth, people call me Libby)

I’d say, it’s probably easier for people to understand if she was to say she was going by her middle, with the nickname Libby. I think, just from an understanding perspective, it’s a bit clearer - like, oh, she’s using her middle (people have probably encountered someone doing that before), and she’s using Libby, as a nickname to a pre-established, existing part of her name.


That’s amazing, thank you. Quite straightforward actually, but great to clarify with someone who’s read the full name before hand.

I love this wording! You’re right, it’s definitely clear this way. I love how it establishes that it’s her middle name that she’s going by and that she’s using Libby as a nickname for it, definitely making the change feel connected to her legal name.
That was incredibly helpful, thank you! :blush:

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[name_m]Hi[/name_m] there.

I go by a nickname of my middle name and have all my life to the point that I have no emotional connection to my actual middle name. I normally just introduce myself by my nickname, but if someone only knows my first name, I just tell them “I go by [name].”

I’m so known by that name that some people are shocked to find out it isn’t actually my first name. [name_u]Or[/name_u] my middle name.


i suppose she would just say “actually, i go by libby!” in the event that someone asked, of course, she could probably explain how that came to be. but most of the time people will just accept things for the way they are, especially regarding names.

I had a friend in middle school named J@mes @nthony who went by T0ny. he just introduced himself as T0ny, and when teachers called him J@mes on the first day of school, he would just explain that he goes by T0ny because his middle name is @nthony.

no one questioned it. I think for the example of [name_f]Samantha[/name_f] [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f], she would just introduce herself as [name_f]Libby[/name_f], and I doubt anyone would ask a follow up question.

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I’ve known many people to go by middle and this explanation is how they normally do it.

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i think she would introduce herself as libby!! if libby was more of a casual nickname for friends and family (in which case i could see “…but you can call me libby”) i would assume she was going by elizabeth as her ‘full’ name (i think it’s pretty normal for someone to go by their middle name, i wouldn’t question that). i would, definitely question if she was going by samantha as a ‘full’ name, but libby as a nickname. elizabeth “libby” feels totally normal, samantha “libby” feels quite silly. (i have a friend who goes by his second middle name full-time, but usually gets called by a nickname for that around friends!! it feels normal to me, but i would struggle if he went by his legal first name around others)

[name_f]My[/name_f] recent group presentation included someone who preferred to go by her middle name, she just liked it better


Her middle name was Lou!see, and since she preferred that and went by that, nicknames like [name_u]Louie[/name_u], and lulu just came naturally

Similar to other replies - my sister’s nickname is [name_f]Rosie[/name_f], from her middle name [name_u]Rose[/name_u]. She introduces herself as [name_f]Rosie[/name_f], which means that a lot of people don’t know that her first name is something else entirely. This doesn’t cause any problems for her at all, it ends up being just an interesting piece of trivia!
Although if anyone refers to my sister using her first name, my dad always takes a few confused minutes to work out who they are talking about, even though he’s the one who chose her first name!

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