Monday, July 9, 2012


Most males in the USA have a nickname, which they prefer to use in place of their given name. There are several types of these. Many are just abbreviations of standard first names: Arch, Art, Bart, Ben, Cal, Chris, Dave, Don, Doug, Fred, Gil, Jed, Jon, Ken, Les, Lou, Matt, Nick, Pete, Phil, Ray, Rich, Ron, Rob, Sam, Stu, Tim, Vic, Walt, Will, etc. Then there are traditional variants: Chuck, Dick, Hank, Harry, Jake, Jim, Joe, Larry, Mike, Ned, Ray, Rick, Steve, Tom, etc. Sometimes, the initial letter is changed: Bob, Bill, Gene, Tony. Sometimes the full name is uncertain: Al (Alan, Alfred, Albert?), Bert (Albert, Bertram?), Ed (Edward, Edwin, Edgar?), Frank (Francis, Franklin?), Jerry (Gerald, Jerome?), Jack (John, James, Jackson?), Jeff (Jeffery, Jeffrey, Geoffrey?), There are nicknames that ignore the given name: Slim, Kid, Skip. Some names end in -y or -ie: Andy, Archie, Artie, Benny, Bernie, Bertie, Billy, Bobby, Charlie, Connie, Denny, Eddie, Jimmy, Johnnie, Gordy, Huey (or Hughie), Kenny, Marty, Ollie, Randy, Teddy, Tommy, Vinny, Willie, Woody . Sometimes only initials are used: JB, JC, OJ, TJ, Then there are some names which defy abbreviation or other easy choices of nickname: Adam, Brian, Bruce, Byron, Eli, Eric, George, Godfrey, Grant, Hugo, Jeremy, Luke, Mark, Paul, Saul, etc.. Especially in the US, one cannot assume from the nickname that the bearer has the traditional given name: it is a common practice (especially in the South) to make one or two nicknames the given name or names I dislike being called "Nige", but granddaughter Justine is "grandfathered in" to use that . It sure beats "Grampa" . "Granddad" is acceptable! My dear wife has some unprintable names for me, but often I answer to "Jerk".

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