You Can't Hold Back Nicknames

Filed under: Baby Names

My column on parents who
loved the name Edmund but cringed at nicknames Eddie and Ned spurred a flood of reader letters. One message came through loud and clear: Parents, if you think you'll get to control your child's nickname forever, think again. In the long run, it's his name and he and his friends will determine what he's going to be called. Here's a sampling of tales from the nickname trenches:

"Our son is named Christopher and we have always called him that. Always. I found out this week that his friends at school call him Chris, except when they call and ask for him. And -- he prefers Chris. Who knew?"

"Have you noticed that it seems to be the child's friends who dictate the nickname? I named my son Daniel, which turned into Dan or Danny, but most often he is called Murph -- his last name is Murphy."

"We have a beautiful daughter we named Cassidy. Cute, huh? As she got older her auburn hair became the focal point of conversation everywhere we went. She is a lovely 15-year-old whose friends now call her 'REDD.'"

"When my daughter was born 20 years ago we chose the name Elizabeth, partly because it lent itself to so many nicknames that we were sure to find one that suited her. What we found, though, is she prefers the full, formal Elizabeth."

"My son's name is Nicholas and I tried very hard for it to stay at Nicholas, but my son, friends, teachers, coaches and just about everyone but me decided to shorten to Nick, which I can't stand. So I call him Nicholas and the rest call him Nick."

"At least Eddie is somewhat close to the full first name. Me, I've been called Mr. Spock and The Jolly Fisherman in high school and, for some reason, Sunshine while serving in the Marine Corps."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.