Nicknames: Organic or Planned?

I have twin girls, age 2.5. One twin is named [name_f]Miriam[/name_f]. We call her [name_f]Miri[/name_f] and [name_f]Mira[/name_f] for short. Her twin calls her [name_f]Mia[/name_f]. It started because she couldn’t say her R’s.

It’s honestly adorable the way [name_f]Leora[/name_f] calls her sister “Mia!!!” We were at the playground today and I kept hearing “Mia! Over here!” “Wait for me, Mia!” and “Mia! Come on!”

I’ve started to join in and call [name_f]Miriam[/name_f] “Mia” too. But we picked Miriam/Mira/Miri because it’s more unusual and [name_f]Mia[/name_f] is so popular! Should I stick to my planned nicknames or give in to the nickname that came organically?

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For nicknames? Stick with what comes organically…. This example you describe is just proof that when it comes to nicknames we only have so much say as parents to what the lasting nickname for our kids will actually be.


I don’t think it matters particularly either way. Planned nicknames are great, but organic ones can be more special because of their meaning and connection. I think you could use a mix of all those nicknames and it would be fine. I get called a handfull of nicknames by different people and I like it because each one is unique and means something to each person.

[name_f]Mia[/name_f] is very popular, it’s true, but that’s not why it’s her nickname. It’s because of her little sister, and that’s super sweet!

We have planned nicknames for all the names on our list, but I think it will be fun to see what nicknames also evolve naturally.


From experience, it’s hard to fight organic. I have an [name_m]Atticus[/name_m] and tried desperately to make [name_u]Kit[/name_u] happen. It didn’t happen. He’s [name_f]Atty[/name_f] now.

I think the story behind [name_f]Mia[/name_f] is cute! You could always continue referring to her as [name_f]Mira[/name_f] and allow her twin to continue calling her [name_f]Mia[/name_f]. Does she have a preference herself?

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Whether you choose to join in and call her [name_f]Mia[/name_f] is up to you but I would 100% let her sister keep calling her that! The adorable sister connection means more than popularity, in my opinion. For what it’s worth, my younger sister did a similar thing when she learned to say my name and she still calls me it. I love it! Everyone else calls me my name but I adore that little connection to when we were kids.

Anyway, forced or planned nicknames are tricky. I absolutely get having a preference but, once the child enters the “real” world and has peers or even just grows to have their own preferences, the ability to control the nicknames lessens.


I don’t think she has a preference! I asked her today and she just laughed and went back to playing. She’s only 2!

I definitely won’t stop her from calling her sister [name_f]Mia[/name_f]! I think it’s adorable

[name_f]Mira[/name_f] is gorgeous, I can see why you might want to stick with that! But sometimes organic just happens? I think it’s absolutely up to you.

For our daughter [name_f]Robyn[/name_f], I’d thought [name_u]Bobbie[/name_u] was kinda cute. But we’ve ended up with everything but: Bobbin, [name_u]Robbie[/name_u], Robster Lobster, Robbie-Roo, Robbie-roodle-chicken-noodle… :sweat_smile: and I feel like [name_u]Bobbie[/name_u] would feel so forced now that it’ll probably never happen? It feels unnatural if I try to say it.

Totally agree! It’s so fun when people have a particular nickname which only one or two people use. My dad uses a different nickname to the rest of the family and it feels like a really special connection (so much so that I gravitate towards names where my husband and I prefer different nicknames!)


This is absolutely true. Out of our four children, Leonid is the only one who gets called by the nickname we planned in advance (but he has several other nicknames too). We swore our Barnabas would never be a Barney, but… :person_shrugging:

You can always stick to the planned nickname yourself, but it’s very hard to enforce it on other people. Some will use the nickname you use, others will use a different one they like better. You can correct them, but I know from experience it probably won’t help. And as she grows older, she might prefer Mia to Mira, or go with another nickname entirely.

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I agree with the general consensus! It’s hard to fight a natural nickname. I’ll use the names of my babysitting charges (six sweet girls!) for reference. I’ve tried thinking of and giving them special nicknames, but… none have stuck at all. :sweat_smile:
Sarah-Cla!re will never be SC or [name_f]Essie[/name_f]. I can’t get myself to make them work! She’s just Sarah-Cla!re!! El!se will never be [name_f]El[/name_f] or [name_f]Ella[/name_f], when it is Elisey and Leesy which have stuck and are her.
R0yce is Roycer, not Roo. Marg0t is Maguna, not [name_f]Maggie[/name_f]. Charl0tte is Char-Lottie, not [name_f]Lottie[/name_f] or [name_u]Charlie[/name_u] (yet!?). And N0elle is Noelley-Belly, not [name_f]Nell[/name_f] nor [name_f]Belle[/name_f]. I love nicknames. And while I do sort of wish I could get the ones I choose and plan to stick… seeing what comes naturally is so personal and beautiful.

Side note: your girls’ names are beautiful. And [name_f]Miriam[/name_f] nn [name_f]Mia[/name_f] is absolutely inspired! I just love that! :heart_eyes:

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My mum calls me one thing, my dad uses another, and my husband uses another… and you’re right - it creates a really sweet connection with the names when it only “belongs” to a couple of people. :blush: