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Nicknames - I know I shouldn't let this bother me but . . .
~ A message board archive

skm ~ DH has started calling Ariella "Ari" (ah-ree) . Fine with me until I found out he started doing it because one of his friends did it first. I don't even know why this bothers me so much. Personally I prefer using her whole name but I figured with a name like Ariella it would eventually be shortened to something. I just assumed it would be by mine and dh's decision or by her own decision when she's old enough to care. I haven't mentioned it to anybody else since it seems so silly. I mean, big deal if someone else did it first. If it doesn't bother dh, it shouldn't bother me. Right? Please convince me.

Oh, and why don't people pay attention to how parents pronounce their children's names? We pronounce her name ah-ree-ella . I hate to pick on the in-laws again but they are so bad about pronouncing it wrong. I know it can be a mouthful but after 7 months you should have enough practice to get it right. Even MIL sometimes calls her air-ree-ella. Grrr . . . Pay attention folks!

tallsmurph ~ I had to jump right in on this one . . . people NEVER pay attention when we tell them dd's name. It is Emeliann, pronounced emily ann, but all one word because we like those names together. Every time we introduce dd, everyone says, "oh, what a pretty name, Emily." ARGH!!!!! That is NOT her name. We have given up on correcting people. Even dh's friends call her Emily.

Sorry to butt in on your vent here. This has just been really bugging me lately.

About the nickname thing, it would kind of upset me, but not so much that I would lose sleep over it. Maybe you should come up with your own special nickname. I call dd Neenee, and I'm the only one that calls her that. It's kind of a special mommy/daughter thing. Just an idea . . .

SamBebe#2 ~ I can relate a bit. My oldest (sounds weird saying that . . . still too new!!!!!) is Katelyn. I really never wanted her called "Katie" but EVERYONE just used that from day one. However, I called her Katelyn and now that she is 5 and has an attitude, she says "My name is KATELYN not Katie" to anyone who calls her Katie. My special nickname for her was alway "Pooka." no one ever used it but me. She is too old for it now; I get the "My name is Katelyn" response when I use that too.

huntergirl ~ I thought long and hard to name my children, and I think it's only right to call them by their given names. Alison is not Allie and Zachary is not Zack. My sister *always* calls her girls Deb and Kim and I wonder why she bothered writing out Deborah and Kimberley on their birth certificates. I just don't get the "shortened" thing, but that's just me.

However, I think there's a difference between "shortened" names and "nicknames." I love nicknames! Each of my kids has a special name that only DH and I use for them. They're silly, like Deezer and Winky, and it's kind of like a family secret! But coming up with a good nickname isn't always easy; when the boys were newborn, DH started calling them collectively "Tic and Tac" which drove me crazy and I eventually put an end to that. He came up with other, individual, nicknames for the boys, and everyone's happy.

My mispronunciation peeve: My MIL (for three years now!) adds an extra syllable to Ingrid's name -- Een-ga-rid. How'd she come up with that? But it really doesn't bother me, I figure if she had a European accent she'd pronounce it like that anyway. It's her own little twist, and better than shortening it to Inga or something.

SusanH ~ Susy J has about a zillion nicknames, most of them started by me. Susy J, Lollapaloozi J, Little J, J, Susy-paloozi - I call her just about everything except Susanna. Lately I've made an effort to use her real name on occasion just so she'll recognize it. Anyway, Hunter asked what the point of a long name is if you are always calling the child by a shortened name. My reason for giving a long name is that it sounds far more adult than the nickname, and far more complete. I can't imagine a 50 year old lawyer named Susy J, but I can picture one named Susanna. It gives the child more options if he has a full name. So if we have a boy, he will be named Samuel even though I have every intention of calling him Sam 99% of the time, and I never considered naming Susy anything but Susanna.

Back to the original vent, I can see why it would bother you but Ari is such a nice nickname that I can't blame your husband for using it. I like the suggestion to choose your own nickname or perhaps you could just continue calling her by her own beautiful full name!

lolly ~ Funny! I never was bothered enough to notice, but now that I think about it, people seem to want to shorten "Elliot" because it's 3 syllables. I don't mind a nickname at all. I mean, I never call my husband by his name unless I'm on the phone and I ask for him! He's "babe", so am I. DS is darlin', sweetheart, blue eyes, goofy guy (when he's being extra silly) and others. But it grates my nerves when people call him "Ell" or "Elly" for short. I don't know why, but it does. My name is a double name (but no hyphen), and only my family call me by the whole thing. I kind of like how that's intimate.

midwifetx ~ My children are Elizabeth, Andrew, Abigail and Evelyn. They are all names that people LOVE to shorten. I don't. If I had wanted Lizzie, Drew, Abby and Evie I would have named them that! Sigh. My husband's name is Stephen, and I call him Stephen. His whole family calls him by his full name, but his coworkers call him Steve. His brother said that was how he knew that I was going to be the one he married, because I used his full name My oldest daughter's best friend calls her Lizzie, but Elizabeth says that is fine because she is special.

FlyingFingers ~ I guess I'm just the opposite. My kids' legal names are Katie and Robb. We call Katie, "Katie" most of the time, be we call her "Kate" also. Robb is Robb and that's about it -- sometimes I call him Robb-Robb. I hate it when people try to call my kids Katherine, Katelyn, or Robert, and I detest "Robbie" and so does Robb. He will tell anyone that calls him Robbie that his name is Robb Andrew! LOL. The baby that I am carrying right now will be Brad -- not Bradley or Bradford, but just Brad because that is what we intend to call him.

SelinaB ~ DS is Michael- NOT Mike. I will never call him Mike, and I cringe when I hear other people do this. He is MICHAEL and will always be Michael to me. However, I often call Andrea "Andy" (not "Andie"). Why is this? I take offense to someone not using Michael's whole name, but Andy is fine? Is it because she is a girl and by calling her a boys' nickname, I am empowering her more? Hmm . . . or is it that a really cute, smart guy I had a crush on in high school was named Andy? At any rate, DS is Michael and DD is Andy, sometimes Andrea.

We do have nicknames as well - DS is Padawan (from Star Wars-a Jedi apprentice is a padawan), Sweetie, or Miguelito (Spanish for little Michael). If we are really being silly, he's Michael Duncan Sugar Britches Hoover Boy Burt, but that is another story . . .

Andy is Sugar, Shug, Meshugganah, Plump Dumpling, or Andrea Roly-Poly Pudding (from the Beatrix Potter story).

hedra ~ Ah, nicknames (including the 'truncated full name' versions) . . . In our case, we've got a whole family history of fighting over nicknames. My mom is Barbara. She hated-hated-hated-HATED being called Barb, or worse, Barbie. UGH. Nicknames, in her opinion, were horrible - you had a real name, you should use that name, and so should EVERYONE ELSE.

So she carefully picked out names for each of us that didn't truncate - Hilary, Leslie, Heather, etc. We, in our turn, hated-hated-hated-HATED that we could not truncate our names! Leslie hated it so much that she legally changed her name the instant she was old enough to do so (how's that for a statement on the subject!?). I ended up adopting my sister's nickname for me (hedra), she adopted mine for hers (hilra), and everyone else was stuck with theirs. My mom seemed to have learned her lesson, because she named my little brother Michael, and yep, sure enough, his friends all call him Mike.

What I learned from all that (eventually) is that you only get to pick their formal name - you don't get to pick if they like it, or if they use the full version of it. You don't get to pick what name other people use, either, though you can try (we've nixed 'Gabie' as a nick for Gabriel, thank you very much!). Gabriel, at the tender age of TWO chose to be called Gabe. It works for him, he likes it, and his friends use it. Brendan, we figured, was less likely to get nicknamed, but we liked the name anyway. Well, the poor kid wasn't 4 months old before he became "Bren-bren" or just "Bren" (thanks to big brother Gabe). Sigh. We've adopted the nickname, because it works, and it isn't really worth getting in a twist over, especially since we've adjusted to the whole "Gabe" thing. (which was a shock, and not one I was prepared for - I figured it would be a lot longer before he lost 'Gabriel'... WAHHH!)

BTW, nicknaming is a sign of affection and intimacy. Both shortening ("Bren") and lengthening ("Bren-dee-bren-boy-o"). There was someone at CSU who studied nicknaming behavior, I think - and found that people tend to shorten as far as they can, then lengthen extensively, the better they know you and the more they like you. So it is actually reassuring to have your kids be called by a short nickname at school by their friends (shows that the other kids actually care - it isn't just laziness), and even better if the teachers or family members have silly long nicknames for you. This is also why we tend to be uncomfortable with people nicknaming 'too soon' - before they know you. It is forced intimacy. (But we're usually okay with it if we use that name as our 'use name' anyway - like my brother - if he introduces himself as Mike, or someone asks if he goes by Mike, that's fine, but don't anyone dare call him Mikey-me-boyo or anything else unless they know him very very very very well...)

ScoobyDoo97 ~ I can totally relate! My oldest's name is Brian but for some odd reason, people want to call him Bri. I'll introduce him as Brian and they'll immediately say "Oh I love the name Bri". As for my youngest, after people get over the "odd" spelling, they either call him Nik or Niki. Or they insist on calling him "Nicholas". I even had one lady say to me "Oh his name doesn't sound right, I'm going to pronounce it the 'right' way."

Denise_21 ~ Our ds is ANDREW, not Andy, not Drew, only ANDREW. If other people call him by a nickname it's fine with me, but if someone tries to shorten it to Andy or Drew, I immediately correct them. It does sound somewhat picky, but we like Andrew and that's why we named him that!

Y Thingy ~ Just start another nickname for her and keep saying it. Your DH will switch pretty soon. That's why I like short names. People can't shorten Aiden's name easily, though DH managed to call him "den" once or twice.

Gina ~ Are you sure you really do like Ari? I guess if I, personally, were in your situation, I would only care where a nickname came from if I didn't like it. Were you maybe hoping you would shorten it to something else, like Ella? Our dd is Cecilia. We really debated naming her that because we both detest the nickname Cece, and since it's a long name it is likely to get shortened. So I suggested we shorten it ourselves to Lia (pronounced Leah), using the last three letters. However the reality has been that so far we always call her by her full name. We've had good luck-when we correct people for calling her Cece, they quit doing it (knock on wood). My brother and his family did shorten it to Celia, but that's so close to the original I don't mind. After two years, if we now decided to call her Lia, it would be weird. So it might be good to pick a shortened version and get used to it early, if you really want to use one.

LeeJ ~ Here in Australia it is almost customary to shorten or lengthen names. My name's impossible to shorten. So people sometimes call me LeeLee! Don't know how that got started! Personally I like some shortened names. It depends on what the family thinks though. I always called Madison by her full name. Now at 6 she's asking to be called Maddy. Fine. It's her name. I call Hannah, Hanny sometimes. And Britt rarely gets called Brittany by me. That's her formal name. I write their full names on cards or anything like that.

The mispronunciation would really bother me. Especially from family. Sometimes people say Britney instead of Britt-A-ny and that bugs me.

JenElizabeth ~ I can relate to this, being a Jennifer, not Jen or Jenny! When we told Jeff's brother we were going to name the baby Justine, he complained that it is too formal and you can't shorten it. ???? Two syllables is too much work for him I guess. We didn't ask for his opinion on the name anyway! I don't think I would care who made up the nickname. But, definitely your MIL should be able to pronounce it by now!

Honey Bee ~ Delurking to butt in ~ Hope you don't mind but I thought it was an interesting thread. My DD is Abigail, but we call her Abbie. We always intended to shorten her name but wanted a more grown up formal name she could use when she's older if she wants to. However, my name is Melissa and although I shorten it on these boards, in "real-life" I hate it being shortened. Perhaps it is because people always try to call me Mel which I hate. It drives me mad! Maybe if they called me Liss I wouldn't object . . .

I think Ariella is a beautiful name. Ari is nice too, but not as nice as Ariella.

Sorsha94 ~ As far as I know, the name "Owen" doesn't get shortened. My husband is trying out different nicknames. Yesterday when he was cussing out a driver, he said "Buddy, I'm $%^#!! merging!" into the rearview mirror. After a few minutes, I commented "You call Owen 'Bud' and bad drivers 'Buddy'?" Tonight I noticed he called Owen "Junior" instead of 'Bud' or 'Buddy'. I'm going to let that one go.

eviesmom ~ I agree with everyone about giving your child a longer, formal name but calling them by a nickname as children. We actually started out with the name Evie and decided on Evelyn as the full name (I really wanted Geneva but dh wouldn't hear of it). I just couldn't imagine taking a lawyer/doctor/CEO named Evie seriously JMO. Now that she's here I find we call her Evelyn most of the time. We still call her Evie, Eve, sweet potato, gremlin, babygirl etc. but more than anything its her full name.

Of course if I didn't like those nicknames I would be quick to correct someone. It's my right after all, I named her.

JennB2 ~ My mom let my dad name me Jennifer with the condition that I would never be a "Jenny". Sure enough, she even sent a note pinned on my shirt to Kindergarten asking the teachers to please refrain from calling me "Jenny" (they had done so on some papers). However in 5th grade (being the perverse kid I was) I decided I wanted to go by Jennie, and I did. My mom never said a word. That only lasted a year, maybe two. Since then I am Jennifer when I meet people and eventually with a closer acquaintance become a Jenn.

I guess I pretty much did the same thing with my DD. DH really wanted Julianna. I liked that name but I'm not crazy about Julie. Don't hate it but not crazy about it. So we agreed to call her Julianna. As soon as she started talking she called herself "Nanna" and even now that she is capable of Julianna, she still calls herself "Nanna" and so do we on occasion. I think it is an adorable nickname for Julianna.

We actually have been very lucky in that no one has called her Julie yet - I figure that is probably a grade school thing and am resigned to it. I will probably always call her Julianna or Nanna. However, we get tons of people who either say "Julianne", I guess the 4th syllable is too much for them, or they call her Jul-ee-AHN-na (it's AN-na). That last one drives me nuts for her some reason. I think that pronunciation is spelled Juliana which is why I fought with DH over getting two "n"s in her name.

skm ~ Wow, I never thought I'd get such a response to this post. I've been thinking about this and I think I just get annoyed by DH's friends sometimes anyway. So, finding out he "picked" the nickname (or truncated version - thanks hedra) so to speak kind of irritated me. I kept thinking "Who is he to decide what to call our daughter? He didn't get to name her when she was born, why should he get to name her now?" Silly attitude, I know, especially since he probably did it as an endearment.

Anyway, I do like the shortened version of her name, though I will continue to call her by her full name or sweet girl, munchkin, or love bug. I'll just remember that DH's friend truncated her name because he likes her and leave it at that.

Lisa Jo ~ What an interesting topic! I agree with Hedra that nicknaming is a sign of affection and intimacy. My son has a non-shortenable name (Corey) while Natalie could easily be shortened. While we have TONS of affectionate, endearing nicknames for both our kids and each other, Natalie never had a shortened version of her name until she came up with it herself.

At 18 months she began referring to herself as Nani (sounds like Nanny), which we all thought was very cute. We now call her Nani, or less often, Nan, much more than we use Natalie. It's definitely just a family name among the 4 of us, though I have found myself calling her that when I talk about her to other people. I love it, but would never have come up with it on my own. I think it's adorable that she nicknamed herself. I still love and cherish the full name we gave her, which everyone else uses.

Technically, I have always gone by a nickname, as Lisa Jo is my full name but I always used Lisa. Still, I always felt sort cheated because "Lisa" doesn't lend itself to a nickname.

Psnyder ~ It is frustrating. I can relate also. People are pronouncing Kristen's name Christian or Kirstan. A big duh to these people, right? So I just say, "her name is Kristen," very nicely. If the person mispronounces it again I repeat the correct pronunciation and ask them to repeat after me. If it happens a third time, I say, "I don't know who this Christian person is that you keep referring. If you are talking about my daughter, her name is pronounced Kristen. If it is easier for you to pronounce, her nickname is Kiki."

kiwichick ~ What an interesting thread I have always felt a bit cheated with my name - Lyn - hard to shorten!! My nicknames have always been lengthened versions of my name (so they must like me!!) When we chose our sons name - Ashlen - it was partly because I have always REALLY liked Ash as a nickname, although it is pretty rare that I use it as it turns out (he's my little Fonzie Boy).

Our poor Hannah rarely gets called by her name at all; thanks to Ashlen she is called 'bubby' all the time at the moment - we are just waiting for the day that he learns to pronounce her real name!!

trinity child ~ my parents went to the two extremes when they named my sister and me. I was named Samantha, and stayed Samantha until I decided that I wanted to be called Sam, and now everyone calls me Sam. My little sister, on the other hand, was named Kate, because my parents hated the name Katherine (or Katharine or whatever you'd normally shorten to Kate). So I nicknamed her Katie, but now she only answers to Kate. With their final child, my littlest sister, my parents decided to let her choose her own fate, and named her Jessica. She was Jessi for the first 6 years of her life, and is now Jess (or Bubby as i sometimes call her). But we also have special family nicks for each other; jess is 'Pebbles' (from the Flintstones), Kate is 'Katie-poo' (long story), and I'm . . . well i don't exactly have a family nickname unless you count Sammi (which Jess only calls me when she wants something of me, hmm . . .)

So I think that you should call Ariella whatever you like, and let your husband call her Ari or Ariella, or whatever else he wants to call her. He may even want to lengthen her name (like my dad did, when he started calling Kate 'Katie poo from Wollomoloo who hopped on a kangaroo to the zoo').

Deearne ~ Ahhhh a bone of contention here too!! My name is Deearne (pron: Dee- arne) pretty easy I would say, considering my darling mother even spelt it the way it sounded. I get Diane, Deeanne and goodness knows all sorts of weird things. So I named my ds Cooper and informed everyone from the start that I did not like Coop! I thought that way there would be no mis-understanding if I stated it from the beginning that his name is Cooper. Well FIL, dh's friends and my own grandfather call him Coop and they know I don't like it. I think they do it now just to peeve me off. The other day my MIL called to ask if they (MIL and FIL) could drop by for a visit and I said no. She asked why and I told her that I don't like Cooper being called Coop and until they could call him by his name they can't visit. I know, I know, very harsh . . . but we now have them calling him Cooper!!! Mummy wins again!!!

Ewan's Mum ~ kiwichick - funny, I'm Lynn too and always felt like you mentioned. My parents gave my brother and I names that could not be shortened but nicknames were still found.

With DS we had a challenge: 1) short name as per above 2) can pass easily between French and English 3) no spell change in the two languages.

We came up with Ewan as both DH and I have celtic origins (Scottish and Breton) but of course I shortened it to Ewie, Ewie-bear etc. Then my 3 year old niece started to call him Ewie . He'll probably never forgive me.

Janessa ~ People constantly ask if Ash's name is Ashley, Asher or Ashton. Nope, it's just Ash. My husband's name is just Ben, not Benjamin or Benson. We have a long last name, Ben's parents chose a short name for him because of it, and when we named our sons we did so as well.

My name has the potential for endless diminutives and I hate them all! I am not a Jane, Jan, Jess, Jessie, JJ or any of the many other nicknames people have tried on me - I'm a Janessa, long and formal though it may be. Worse, is that my full married name sounds like something a writer made up for an over the top soap star.

Trixi ~ This happens to us all the time, too. We named Alexander Alexander because we like that name - 99% of the time others call him Alex or Al. He does not even respond to those names!! When he is older, if he wishes to be called Alex or AJ or Al or Xander or whatever by his friends, that is fine, but it should be HIS choice, imo.

I am really sensitive to this because my name is Patricia and I HATE it when people call me Pat. I go by Tricia or Trish and think it is rude of people to shorten my name without my permission.

Staci ~ We also have an Alexander. We don't really like the name Alex and tell people not to call him that now but feel resigned to it when he's in grade school unless dh can convince everyone to call him Xander. When he's an adult, it will be up to him. I'm afraid though to name a girl Katherine because we prefer Kate over Kathy or Katie and I don't want another nickname battle! I'm glad to know we're not the only ones though.

Amber Dawn* ~ Delurking to say my DH calls me ambolambodingdong!! ROFL Yeah he thinks he's funny

OregonMama ~ You poor thing! How frustrating. Some people call Jeffrey "Jeff." Even my parents do it sometimes. I HATE it. I would even like "Jeffy" better. They don't ask if it's okay, and it bothers me. He is still a baby, he's not a JEFF yet!

MommyLerkee ~ This is a great thread!! We named our oldest Bethany because we wanted to be able to shorten it to Beth if it fit her. I loved Beth in Little Women, but hate the name Elizabeth and didn't want to chance her being called Liz or Lizzie or any of the other diminutives from Elizabeth. Besides, Bethany is a nice old fashioned name that's difficult to spell incorrectly, and sounds nice with Rose. She's recently started kindergarten, and when her teacher had us fill out an information page about Beth, one of the questions was, "How would you like me to address your child?" I REALLY appreciated that, and it teaches the other children her proper name as well.

I've always loved the name Catey, with that particular spelling. I wanted to name DD # 2 Catharine, but DH hated that. So we compromised. He got to choose her given name, but we had to be able to shorten it to Catey, and had to sound good with Josephine. He chose Caitlin. I love it now!

Both names were chosen because they could be shortened if we so chose, had very few options as to what they COULD be shortened to, yet were names that would be appropriate for an adult.

My pet peeve? That neither of our families can manage to spell CATEY correctly!!!! She's three years old for heavens sake, you'd think they'd learn it by now! Instead I see Caty, Catie, Cati, Catty, Cate, and of course, all the various spellings with the K. Grrrrrr....I've even TOLD them that it's C-A-T-E-Y. Some people, they just never learn!

Fern ~ I was thinking that maybe you hated the person who chose "Ari" as a nickname! I would be the same way if someone I didn't care for came up with the nickname for my dd. Athena doesn't lend itself to any particular nickname, but I'm afraid people will call her "tina" and I just don't care for that name at all.

Before we even had her home from the hospital, though, dh's parents were calling her "Nina." Cute idea, I guess, but I hadn't even gotten to try out her name for a whole week yet, and already they're changing it?? Then his dad announced he was going to call her "Maddy." Well, the reason we discarded "Madeleine" as a first name was that there are so many Maddys out there now!!! grr!

But the funny thing is, they basically don't refer to her by name at all. They call her "the squawker" (oh my gosh, i have no idea how to spell that. it's pronounced "skwauk," like what a bird does.) That makes me mad, because she only cries when something's wrong and they shouldn't make fun of her about it. Maybe I'm just defensive, though.

what-a-blessing ~ Coming out of lurking here but I guess I could understand how you feel if you didn't like shortened or nicknames. But, since your real problem seems to be that you and dh didn't pick it, I would say that's pretty petty, jmo. More than likely, your dh heard Ari and thought it was really cute, like I do and decided to go with it. I actually thought about naming my daughter Ari at one time.

I now plan on naming my daughter Alexandra and I will call her either Alex or Lexy. Why name someone something only to call them something else? Well, like someone said in a former post, because that's what your want their formal name to be..that doesn't mean you have to call them it all the time. Some people hate shortened names and in that case, I think the parent and/or child should just request that they are called by their full name.

GermanyEDDJuly3 ~ I was careful choosing the name Sean for DS. I mean how can you shorten it? People misspell it constantly though (Shaun, Shawn etc.) and mispronounce it (like sheen). Thomas is his middle name, DH wanted it to be his first name but I said no way! I didn't want people calling him Tom or Tommy if he didn't like being called that. As a Jennifer, I can't stand being called Jenny.

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