I haven’t conducted a scientific poll or anything, but in my anecdotal experience, one of the top criteria for parents in choosing a name for their baby is that the name be “nickname proof.” For example, I’ve heard parents say that they love the name James, but would never choose it because they would be worried that little James would end up being called “Jim” or “Jimmy.” Occasionally, of course, parents choose a name because they like the nickname for that moniker, and intend for their baby to go by “Bella” rather than her full name of “Isabella.” But more often, I think people hope for a name that sticks as-is.
My children are named Henry, Jane, Elliot, Charlotte and Georgia. With Henry, I loved the nickname “Hank,” so I wouldn’t have minded a bit if people had called him that, but they never did. We do sometimes call Jane, “Janie” and “Janieboodles” within our family, but those are just terms of endearment as opposed to actual nicknames that people use to address her on a regular basis. And Elliot’s name really is pretty much nickname-proof.
Then we come to 3 year old Charlotte.
My husband REALLY wanted to name the baby Charlotte. I liked the name very well, but it wasn’t my top pick (“Annabel” was my top pick). But I let him have the final say, and now I can’t imagine her being anyone but Charlotte. Neither of us planned to use any sort of nickname for Charlotte. In fact, we both discussed how we would have to remain on guard to be sure she didn’t end up with a nickname we hated. But somehow, over time, Charlotte has become “Charley.” And it suits her. I don’t know who called her that for the first time, or when, but now I love her nickname, and we call her that as much or more than we call her “Charlotte,” as do friends and other family members.
Baby Georgia’s name seems to be as nickname-proof as Elliot’s is. We call her silly things like “Georgia Peach,” but I don’t foresee a real nickname coming from her actual name (which I love and fervently pray does not become the next “Ava” or “Madison” in terms of popularity). So far, no one seems inclined to shorten Georgia’s name, or call her some cutesy version of it. But I guess time will tell. As I learned with 3 year old C, you just can’t always predict or control nicknames.
Did you consider nicknames when you chose your baby’s name? Has your child ended up with a nickname, and if so, do you like it? Tell me in the omments below.