Friday, March 7th, 2008
Kid Nicknames: Who is to Blame?
Our family’s ordeal over choosing our second baby’s name sparked a serious question yesterday.
I have three brothers. None of the four of us grew up being called by our real first name. Each used a commonly shorter version (William/Bill, Robert/Bob â€” you get the idea). In fact, even my parents go by shortened versions of their name.
So, in addition to worrying about how classmates might tease a kid because of words his name rhymes with, I got to wondering about nicknames. I could rack my brain for hours devising a name we love, only to have it discarded when he enters school.
Or, maybe parents are to blame. My mother says she called us by nicknames from the start. I wonder if that is normal. Do some parents intentionally give a formal legal name and reserve a more popular name for everyday use?
How or why would Howard become Howie, Walter become Walt and Wilson become Will? Are you already doing it with your kid(s)?
Maybe it begins innocently with cutesy baby names such as Honey, Toodlebug, Sweat Pea and Monkey… but then the name grows too sugary by kindergarten or first grade, so you take his or her real name and twist and contort it into a diet confection that you can get away with using. No?
Did you go by a nickname as a child? How did it come about? Hey, call your parents and ask. Tell them some guy in California wants to know.