My full name is Catherine, but I’ve gone by Katie for as long as I can remember. Although this arrangement has worked out fine over the years, it was always a bit of a shock when a professor, doctor, new boss or random grocery store cashier called me Catherine.

As a result, I’ve often wondered—what’s really the point of nicknames?

Would you give your kids nicknames? Why? Has it caused any problems over the years? You tell us!

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2 Responses

  1. Elle says:

    My name is Elizabeth but my parents named me that with the intention of using a nickname (and I switched to a different nickname in college). I appreciated having options for my name, so that I could define my identity while still honoring the name that my parents gave me. (Also, it’s pretty helpful when telemarketers call and I can tell they don’t know me because they ask for Elizabeth.)

    I like having the option of more “formal” names vs the more casual nickname. I like Heather’s reasoning on The Spohrs Are Multiplying (http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/2010/02/the-perfect-name/): giving names that offer both an adult version and a kid version. There are some names that seem terribly adult-like and I wouldn’t want to call a baby that, but I also wouldn’t want to be an adult saddled with a childish name. Nicknames seem like a perfect compromise.

  2. keri says:

    i’ve given my children nicknames. my son only has shortened versions of his name. we call him”ky” or “ky-ky” derived from his name “kyden”. but i have various nicknames for my daughter, kayli. “spittlebug”. “buggy”. “kayli-bub”. “pookie-girl”. “cupcake”. it’s easier to come up with cute, endearing nicknames for girls because, if they stick, it’s not as embarrassing as it would be for a boy when she gets older. my name is shortened from “keriane”. my husband jon’s full name is “jonathan”. so we’re used to at least shortened versions of our name. i agree with elizabeth. nicknames are a perfect compromise between having an adult name and a child name.

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