Is He Name-Flirting?
My formal name is Christine. My friends all call me Chris. I like the name Christine, but I'm use to being called Chris. I have a male interest at work who insists on calling me Christine. Is he trying to be formal or is he flirting?
Is he trying to be formal, or is he flirting? Both, dear. Isn't that lovely?
Affectionate nicknames can work equally well in both directions -- more casual, or more formal. Ben's wife is just as likely to call him Benjamin as Benjy. In the early flirting stages of an acquaintance, though, formal is the way to go. It's respectful, admiring and a bit mysterious, rather than presumptuous.
That goes double in a workplace setting. If your "male interest" were calling you Chrissy, it would come off as too intimate for the office, even demeaning. But Christine? Ahh. He's showing he notices you, and making you notice him, without stepping an inch outside the boundaries of professional conduct. And I do like a man who appreciates names.
Parents-to-be, this is one of the reasons I like to see a full, formal name on a birth certificate. Go ahead and call her Toni from day one, but give her Antonia as an alter ego. Her future admirers will thank you.
How do you use nicknames? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!
Related: Trend Report: The Hottest Baby Names of 2010
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.