nicknames that aren't obvious

I’m quite intrigued by some of the nickname/name combos that nameberries come up with. I live in a nickname heavy culture (country Australia) where many if not most people go by some kind of nickname.

I don’t really understand though how it works to say name someone [name]Calliope[/name] and then say ‘nn [name]Lola[/name]’ (I’m trying to find an example I haven’t seen on the boards so that I don’t offend anyone).

To my mind no matter what you say the child will eventually end up being ‘[name]Calli[/name]’ or ‘Cly’ or even ‘ope’ as people generally form nicknames with obvious sounds or associations from the original name.

Does it actually work to try and take charge of your child’s nickname? Considering that nicknames are generally endearments of some kind and often grow and change organically? What about when they are at school and beyond?

[name]Do[/name] you think we are being a bit misleading thinking that you have so much control over nicknames and perhaps parents might regret not going for the end result they want from the start (ie [name]Lola[/name] instead of [name]Calliope[/name]) if their preference isn’t the intuitive option?

I’d love to hear your opinions,

I am an Aussie too. I know what you mean about nns. Australians do seem to use the obvious ones.
I think if a [name]Calliope[/name] was introduced and called [name]Lola[/name] by the parents then most Aussies wouldn’t even realise her name was something else.
To be honest even a [name]Lola[/name] would probably end up with nns for the nn- eg Lols or [name]Lolly[/name].
If people found out that [name]Lola[/name] was actually named [name]Calliope[/name] they would no doubt shake there head in a quizzical manner and wonder why you didn’t just call her [name]Lola[/name] since that’s what you call her.


My mother’s side is from a place where tons of people have a second name that they go by which is not related to their actual name at all.
My grandfather: [name]Hilton[/name] Ethelred, but he’s always been called and gone by [name]James[/name] nn [name]Jim[/name] since he was a child.
My cousins: [name]Annika[/name] goes by [name]Grace[/name], [name]Joan[/name] goes by [name]Tash[/name] etc.
It’s just their culture.
My brother goes by his middle name. etc.

So I’m personally very open to nicknames, but I do think the way my mom’s side tends to go is a bit…unnecessary.

[name]One[/name] of my favourite nickname is [name]Ari[/name] for the name [name]Gabriela[/name]. I’ve had compliments on the idea, and criticisms. shrug Same with [name]Henry[/name] nn [name]Rio[/name].
Some people don’t understand how on earth I get [name]Rio[/name] from [name]Henry[/name].

As a general rule, I think that if the names are so unrelated to each other that they could be siblings, it’s stretched too far. For instance, [name]Olivia[/name] nn [name]Ivy[/name] is one I’ve heard on Nameberry. To me, [name]Olivia[/name] and [name]Ivy[/name] would make lovely sisters, so [name]Ivy[/name] is far too much of a stretch as a nickname for [name]Olivia[/name]. It actually really annoys me. [name]Violet[/name] nn [name]Iola[/name], [name]Genevieve[/name] nn [name]Gemma[/name], [name]Katherine[/name] nn [name]Annie[/name] are all other examples.

In the UK nicknames as first named are far more accepted. I know lots of little girls named [name]Evie[/name] or [name]Millie[/name] simply as their first name, however on Nameberry most people seem to think it’s unacceptable to name your child [name]Evie[/name] unless they’re fuller name is [name]Evelyn[/name] or [name]Evangeline[/name] ect. I also know loads of little boys named [name]Archie[/name] or [name]Alfie[/name], which I know are both seen as too ‘nickname-y’ on Nameberry (in general, of course).

Sorry, double post :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for these replies, they seem to substantiate my thoughts. I was starting to think that I was missing something obvious.

Having an entirely different name is not such a stretch in Australia either (eg my grandmother [name]Harriet[/name] was known as [name]May[/name]) but there is usually a long story about how this came about.

I do think that some parents will be disappointed to find their child quickly ditches either their chosen nickname or their formal name pretty quickly. I worry that Nameberries live in a bit of a bubble on this site sometimes and may get a shock when they go outside…

As a related thought what is the legal situation for little [name]Lola[/name] who tries to get her drivers license in the name [name]Lola[/name] [name]Smith[/name] when all of her simple identification such as school records show the name [name]Lola[/name] but her formal stuff such as birth certificate reads [name]Calliope[/name]? I used to work in a government department and it was pretty simple to deal with when someone used their middle name but examples such as this where an absolute nightmare and could result in people sitting in legal limbo for a long time while it was sorted out.

I agree with oliviasarah, I think nicknames are kind of…organic. You can’t really choose your child’s nickname unless that’s the only thing they’re [name]EVER[/name] referred to as (so why not just name them that?), but even then in school or wherever someone will probably call your child something else. Like I know an [name]Elizabeth[/name], whose parents wanted her to be ‘[name]Eliza[/name]’, but of course no one called her that, no one even calls her ‘[name]Lizzy[/name]’ as there are so many, she goes by ‘Bunty’ ([name]Elizabeth[/name] Un_ _ _ _ _ _ _) which her parents despise.

From another Aussie - [name]Amen[/name] to that, I agree entirely

I believe in Australia that if you actually use a particular name for a period of time you do have the legal right to use it. But I agree, good luck getting “[name]Lola[/name]” on your passport when all they care about is your birth certificate name.
I admit this was one big appeal of my DD’s name. It is exactly what it is and any nn are not ones she would ever actually write on anything.

It does work if you call your child nothing but her nickname. For example, my 2nd daughter is named [name]Mary[/name] but we call her [name]Molly[/name] almost 100% of the time. Most people don’t even realize that her legal name is [name]Mary[/name]. [name]Molly[/name] is on her school forms - everything except legal forms and insurance. I don’t expect she could ever have her nickname, [name]Molly[/name], on something like a driver’s license or passport unless she decided to legally change her name one day.

I accept that she may decide to ditch her nickname one day and go solely by her first name. That would be OK. I like that she has the option of using both names when she’d like. Of course, as her mother, I’d like to think that I can call her [name]Molly[/name] for as long as I might like. But I understand that this may come up in a discussion with her one day.

[name]Mary[/name] is the name of her great-grandmother and we wanted her to have a more formal-sounding name to use in the future if she chooses. I know quite a few people who are known almost exclusively by a nickname (both in a personal and professional sense) and seldom use their formal first name.

I think it is up to the child. I know a few people who are called by their middle name/ stretched nickname, and they have maintained this by always correcting people when they say their ‘real’ name and introduce themselves with their nickname. There is no way of making sure that a child is called by (or not called by) a certian name once they are in school. I think there is nothing wrong with having an unexpected nickname for your child, but you need to be accepting of the fact that it may not be used outside the home forever (by friends, teachers, coworkers etc. and the child themself).

From my experience here in Australia, most boys end up with their last name or a variation of it as a nickname by the time they are in high school, regardless of their firstname/ other nicknames!

My name is [name]Mercedes[/name] but my nickname is [name]Sadie[/name]. Most people try to call me [name]Mercedes[/name] or [name]Mercy[/name] but [name]Sadie[/name] is in merCEDEs. It’s just easier to spell it [name]Sadie[/name] than Cede but I have had people spell it Cede or [name]Saydee[/name] or Saytee and other crazy ways. I also get “I know a dog named [name]Sadie[/name]” a lot. I think I may be one of the few exceptions where my parents both liked [name]Sadie[/name] but agreed that it needed a longer version so they went with [name]Mercedes[/name] with the nickname [name]Sadie[/name] and [name]Sadie[/name] has stuck for 20 years now. I really like my name and my nickname and it does not really bother me which one I go by but most people have an easier time with [name]Sadie[/name] because my last name ends with “s” which makes [name]Mercedes[/name] sound kind of funny.

I have a [name]Violet[/name], who I call Lo from time to time, but strangers and people we don’t know so well call her [name]Vi[/name]. Drives me crazy. I correct them but its getting tiresome. I really hate [name]Vi[/name] though.