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Do you correct people if they shorten your child's name?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
DS's name is Christopher. We call him Christopher. We have never called him Chris (I <3 Christopher... Chris, not so much). When he gets older, if he wants to shorten it, that's fine... but for now, our choice is to call him by the full name.
Sometimes, other people call him Chris. And it kind of bugs me. Because I always introduce him as Christopher, and I generally feel that you ought to address people the way they introduce themselves to you (so if they introduce themself as Mr. Smith... you call him Mr. Smith... not John). But it happens very infrequently and it's usually people that we see very infrequently... and I have felt uncomfortable correcting them. So I have just been letting it slide. But I'm really feeling like I just need to get up the guts and correct people (I have issues with confrontation)

So what do you do (if you're in a similar situation)? Do you correct them? Do you just let it slide? If you correct them, what do you say? And how do people typically react to you correcting them? If you don't correct them, why not?
post #2 of 63
My friend named her son Joshua and I called him Josh when he was younger and she got really mad at me. I didn't understand why she got mad at me at the time since I imagined you wouldn't call your child a name in which you didn't like the obvious shortened names. I could see being upset if I was calling him Pete or something totally different. I can sort of see why your upset but I also think it's not a big deal.

I try to let things slide off my back as much as I can. I ask, 'is this REALLY a big deal?'

For my son, his name is Cayden and people try to shorten is name to 'Cee' or 'Cay', but it just doesn't flow off your tongue like Cayden does...for me though, I really don't care, I call him Cayden and as long as they aren't calling him something inappropriate and rude like Butthead, then whatever.

post #3 of 63
It really drives me bonkers. My son's name is Micah. He is called everything from Mike to Mikey to Michael. I don't really mind Michael that much, but I do not care for "Mike" or "Mikey" at. all. When Micah introduces himself and the other person repeats it wrong, he will say, "No. Mi - CAH." (Not rudely, just emphasizing.)

If he doesn't correct them, I will... I am not mean about it. I just say, "No, it is Micah." I have never had someone say anything more than, "Oh, Micah, I really like that name." or "Oh, I went to school with a Micah." or something like that.

I think that if you aren't rude about it, they won't be either.
post #4 of 63
It doesn't bother me, but then I name my kids longer names with the intention of shortening them. My older one is Caitlin, she usually goes by Caiti but answers to Cate, Caiti, Caitlin and a bunch of other names My second is Raeanna, we often call her RaeRae, though I am surprised to find I say Raeanna more often than Rae or RaeRae.

ETA: my name is Kimberly, but I go by Kim, and DH is Daniel, but goes by Dan. It's just something that seems natural and normal to me, to have an "informal" name and a "formal" name by having the long and short versions.
post #5 of 63
If it's a "one off" (as in we will probably not encounter them again & if we did would probably need to reintroduce ourselves) I don't correct. Otherwise I do. I've gone into school and talked to a teacher about this issue as well. With us, the issue is a bit different--- DS is a Nathaniel and goes by Nate. Either is okay with him, though he prefers Nate. What he doesn't like is being called Nathan. It's surprising the number of people who are introduced to him as "Nate" and call him "Nathan"
post #6 of 63
Yep. I correct. I dislike one of the nicknames for my son's full name and don't mind the other. If someone calls him by either nickname I simply state "Actually, it's <full name>".

I did it when he was a baby and by the time he could talk he corrected them himself.

Now that he is school age he has decided to go by the nickname I don't mind at school. I have told him that I prefer his full name but that I don't mind if he goes by that name. Now that he's old enough for an opinion I have asked him if he would prefer I call him by the shortened version and he just wants me to keep calling him by his full name.

When people now call him by the shortened version I generally ask them if he asked them to call him that. If it wasn't the way he introduced himself or how he asked them to address him I ask them to use his full name.
post #7 of 63
My son's name is Benjamin, and we use his full name. In the instances I can think of where people called him Ben, what I did was use his full name in my next sentence. For instance, I get the question, "Is Ben walking yet?" and I reply, "Benjamin started walking a few months ago." It generally seems to work. I don't think I would correct someone unless I felt they were being purposely disrespectful by trying to shorten it.
post #8 of 63
Honestly, although I love Christopher, Stephen, Daniel and Benjamin and the like, this dilemma of yours is exactly why I refused to name DS any of these names. People like to shorten names and create nicknames. It's just something they do, I think to create or reinforce whatever bond they feel. Heck my DH's name is Tye and people tried to shorten it to "T".

I think it's okay to gently correct people if you prefer, but unless and until it's your child that's the one insisting on the full name, I think it's a lost cause.
post #9 of 63
One other thing I wanted to mention, people tend to create nicknames when a name doesn't lend itself to one anyway. My sister is Sarah, but tends to go by "Slastname." I dunno why, I think it had to do with assigning email addresses for something:
post #10 of 63


Edited by elsa_elsa - 6/8/11 at 5:12pm
post #11 of 63
I correct (as politely and gently as possible). Mostly, because I want my kids to be confident enough to stand up for themselves one day. They deserve to be called by whatever version of their name they choose and I should set a good example for them now.
post #12 of 63
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
For instance, I get the question, "Is Ben walking yet?" and I reply, "Benjamin started walking a few months ago." It generally seems to work.
This is typically what I do. So they'll say, "How is Chris doing?" my answer "Christopher is doing great..." But it doesn't seem to work for me.

I get the idea behind the question, "Why name him something if you don't like the shortened version?" On the other hand, "Why call someone something if that's not how they are introduced to you?" My name is Shannan. But nobody takes it upon themselves to call me Shan (unless its someone in my immediate family and they are writing me a quick note or email).

Anyway, I will probably continue to respond like Odenata's example. And if it's someone we'll be around on a regular basis, I think I just need to say, "Oh, we call him Christopher" in an upbeat tone and then move on with the conversation.

Also, wanted to clarify that I don't usually get bent out of shape about it... Just sort of inwardly raise my eyebrow and move on. I was only thinking about it b/c of the thread about changing DC's names (not that I ever plan on changing his name... Christopher really fits him... one of the posts just got me thinking about it... and someone did call him Chris just the other day)
post #13 of 63
My daughters name is Madeleine. It's pronounced the proper french name (not Mad A LINE) and spelt that way. If I wanted to call her Maddy or Mads, I would have named her that. Her name is Madeleine and that is what we call her. She will even correct you.
post #14 of 63
My name is Patricia. My family calls me Tricia or Trish. When I started school my mom told the teachers I was to be Tricia, Trish or Patricia....well in grade 2 the new girl (became my best friend until g10) started calling me Pat....it stuck. I introduce myself to new people as Pat or Patricia. My family still calls me Trish/Tricia. If others call me that it feels weird...sometimes hubby will call me Trish around family and it still feels weird (we've been together 20y)
So I think encouraging what you want your child to be called is fine....but don't expect it to stay.
post #15 of 63
I'm quite sensitive about nicknames. I have a very common name that can be shortened to so many names. I hated that growing up. We gave our son a name that has no nickname for that very reason. However, we're due to have a daughter any day now and we did pick a name(or you can she she picked her name- had a dream about her and she introduced herself w/the name) that can be nicknamed to names I really dislike, but I will probably correct people with a simple "She goes by _____" if they shorten it.
post #16 of 63
DH is Christopher, but goes by Chris. My name is short, so there were no convenient nicknames. DS1 doesn't have any either. DS2 is Alexander, so he does get Alex a bit. We'll usually name drop his full name in a sentence at some point, but it's not a biggie for me, since I also like Alex, DH prefers Alexander though. The only people I've ever heard call him Alex are from the islands, and it's a sign of affection so it's all good. I figured it would happen once he hit school and in the end, when he's old enough, he'll figure out what version he wants of his name.
post #17 of 63
No, but it used to bug my mom like crazy. (though only with my brother - she had major issues with people calling him 'josh' instead of 'joshua', but didn't see *anything* wrong w/ people calling me 'em' instead of 'emily' :boggle: )
post #18 of 63
I don't mind being corrected. Usually I try to use the name that the parents use. Once, I referred to a baby as "Jamie" after I heard his parents call him that, only to be told it's "James". I didn't know what to make of that, honestly, but since then I've always called the kid "James". So my only advice to parents is to correct early and as often as needed, in a gentle manner, but watch what you use, since others take their cue from you.

I know 2 Christophers who have both preferred the full version to "Chris". I met them as adults and both I'm sure I had heard called "Chris" by other people. When I used Chris, each told me that it was Christopher - in a casual "oh by the way..." sort of manner.

DS has a 2 syllable, somewhat uncommon name that can be shortened to a much more common name, but no one ever does. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because we never call him by the nickname.
post #19 of 63
I named both of my girls names that I didn't mind the nicknames. My youngest was almost Kendallynn but I didnt want her shortened to Kendall, so we went with a different name.

I do tell people their whole names and will correct someone about my oldest more often than my youngest.
post #20 of 63
I think it depends on the situation. If it's someone you won't ever see again, then who cares? People you encounter regularly, then yes.
Btw, my son's name is Andrew and I've always called him Andrew. I worked with a lady that always referred to him as Andy, and it drove me nuts. Yes, I corrected her, but we're talking everyday for 5 years. "How's Andy doing?" every morning.
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