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Monday, October 12, 2015

CRANKY IS SHORT FOR JOSEPH - a cranky re-wind

This re-wind is from October 2013
My first name is Joseph.  My parents decided to call me Joe, short for Joseph.  Actually they called me Jody, but I put the Kybosh on that when I was five and saw “Old Yeller.”  The little girl in “Old Yeller” was called Jody.


Joe, short for Joseph, makes sense.

Everyone called my mother Peg, or Peggy.  I was told numerous times, “So your mom’s first name is Margret.”

“No her first name was Mary.”

“But Peg is short for Margaret, not Mary.”

How on God’s green earth is Peg short for either Margaret, or Mary?

This has always bothered me.  Seems I bother easy.

How is Jim short for James?  Should be Jay, or Jame.  What about Bob?  Short for Robert?  No, Rob is short for Robert. Bob is short for Bobert; do you know anyone named Bobert? 

Jack?  Jack is short for John.  Seems to me both are four letters. Jack should just be Jack.  If your last name is Johnson, somewhere along the line you had an ancestor named John. If your last name is Jackson, might you somehow be related to Johnson?

Glen is short for Glenn.  WTH, just drop one friggin “n” in the first place.

My favorite Aunt was Aunt Nancy…don’t tell any of my other Aunts.  It was a close finish…anyway; my favorite Aunt was Aunt Nancy.  It was not until her funeral that I learned her real first name was Eleanor.

Is Nancy short for Eleanor?

It turns out my Grandmother was an Eleanor.  Her mother demanded that Aunt Nancy, the first daughter, also be named Eleanor.  Grandma relented,

“I will name her Eleanor, but I am calling her Nancy!”

My cousin Nelson, son of Nancy, short for Eleanor, was called Neils.  He didn’t like Neils and opted for Neil.  He didn’t like Neil so he changed it to Nels.  By the time I got used to Nels he changed it to Niles.  When I called him Niles he told me his name was Nils.  You may see him comment on this blog from time to time. 

He comments as Nelson.

How is Chuck short for Charles?  Dick short for Richard? Betty short for Elizabeth?  Hank short for Henry?  How is Peg short for Margaret; for that matter, how is Meg short for Margaret? 

My friend Gil, short for Gilbert, is called Buddy.  Seems his mother looked at her little baby and could not bring herself to call him Gilbert.  Buddy is long for Bud, which it seems is short for any first name that people do not like, or do not know… “Hey Buddy” could work for any stranger.

Bill is short for William.  How does that happen?  Baby brother had a speech impediment?

Why do we even have “short for’s” anyway?  If you’re going to call him Jim, just name him Jim. 

It should be simple, but then Cranky is short for Joseph.


  1. And Catalyst is short (or long) for Bruce

  2. We've always used nicknames for our kids. Most are unrelated to their real names.

    I've always been disappointed that my parents never had a nickname for me.

  3. I agree shorts are unnecessary, (name shorts that is, not the clothing), just go ahead and name the child whatever you plan to call him or her. I've never understood how Margaret can be shortened so many ways that don't make sense. Maggie is another shortening for it. Margie makes more sense. Growing up I had a friend named Brian, his whole life people called him Charlie.
    My son is James and I put my foot down firmly when my mum called him Jimmy.

  4. I have an Andrew and we call him Andrew. No one calls him Andy. I won't allow it.

    I have an Audriana. I thought I'd call her Audrey. She's 22 and I never, ever have called her Audrey. Not once.

    I have an A.J. -- we named him A.J. after Ben Affleck's character A.J. Frost in the movie Armageddon. I named our son A.J. while he was still in the womb. Once he was born, we decided to give him actual names to go with the initials just in case he became president one day instead of a professional sports player. So, we named him Adam John. I sometimes forget I have an "Adam" -- I have never called him that. If he was walking in the mall and someone shouted "Adam!" he would never turn around. I think even HE forgets his name is Adam.

    I have others: Avery, Aislynn, Aria, Aiden, Aaron and Afton. They do not have nicknames. They are called by their names. (the exception is that sometimes we call Aria "Ari" but that's just because we are lazy and don't want to say that third syllable.

    I also have an Alex. His name is JUST Alex. I remember my husband said, "Let's name him Alex!" and I said, "No...I don't like "Alexander" for a boy's name" and my husband said, "I didn't say "Alexander"....I said ALEX." So we named him Alex. When he was in Kindergarten, the teach forced him to spell out Alexander on his papers. When the papers came home I asked Alex, "WHY are you writing Alexander on your papers???" and he said, "Mom! The teacher tells me that's my "real" name and so I have to write it." So I had to talk to the teacher to tell her to stop making him write out ALEXANDER on his papers because his name is ALEX. She said she was certain that the roster was a misprint, that's why she had him write out Alexander. She apologized. I should have clued in to this on the first day of school when Alex came home and asked me if his middle name was "Zander" --

    And first child is Anthony. He is actually my stepson, and when I came into the picture, they were already calling him Tony. So that is what I have always called him. Where do they get "Tony" from "Anthony" ??? Shouldn't it be "Thony" if anything?? I actually love the name Anthony, but it feels strange to call him that. So I never do. BUT when writing out all the kids names on Christmas cards and such, I always write Anthony. And when I introduce all my kids to people, I always use the name Anthony. I like having all A's for my kids names. I don't want one to be left out with a "T" name. So I use his full name for things like that, but I still call him Tony. Everyone does.

    I'm Katrina, but I grew up with everyone calling me Trina. When my mom named me, her mother said, "Oh...Katrina is such an old-sounding name. That's not a name for a baby or a little girl. I'm not going to call her that. I'm going to call her Trina or Trini." I can't believe my mom let her mom get away with that. To this day, it makes me angry. I mean, how disrespectful can you get. Anyway, so all through school I was Trina. No one but my mom's best friends called me Katrina, not even my mom!! Once I got married and moved to a new area where I met new people, I started calling myself Katrina. So that's what most people call me now.

  5. i named my son Jon but teacher gave him punishment for not writing JOHN. I had a go at her but I won't tell you what I called her. Aunt Florence would NEVER allow Flo or Floss or Florrie. It was Florence and she insisted on being addressed as such. Me, well I got to be called Val, but it was near enough! These days I am addressed by my full name.

  6. I had an Aunty Peggy which was short for Margaret, I also have a friend Maggie which is short from Margaret. Two of my sisters are known by their middle names rather than their christian names and Ex lax was known as Jack although his name was Jason. SD is also known by his middle name as he was named after his father but they didn't want to confuse people and I call Miss Mac Pops. Nobody shortens my name but when I was young my sisters called me dustbin as I ate eveyone's left overs ...

  7. And this is why i gave my kids average, classic names, after family members, that wear well and do not fade in the wash. What i figured was that if they wanted nicknames, they could pick their own, and they have.

  8. I had a friend named Bruce. His father gave all four children one syllable names so no one could shorten them. I see that is not necessarily the case.

  9. Well, at least the names from that era are "normal." Poor teachers these days with a classroom full of "Braedyn, Alexnyea, and Jayneallas!"

  10. Never really thought of this before with names. Of my 2 siblings and me, only one of us go by our given name. Brother goes by a shortening of his first name. My first name is Betty Jean with no middle name. I dropped the Jean from 1st name to middle name in my teens. My sister still goes by her given name, but of her 2 daughters, only one goes by their given name.


  11. I've never understood how these names are shortened, especially John to Jack, which isn't shorter at all so why bother changing it?

  12. I've often wondered about this too. Some makes no sense at all. My birth name is Sandra and most folks call me Sandee. Not Sandy or Sandi, but Sandee.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

  13. On a normal day, some people just call me Pixie. On bad days, well they might change it to B!tch. I'm good with that.... lol

  14. Haha! You are so right, Cranky. Nicknames don't make sense. How did Robert become Bobby?
    Also, I could never call you Joseph or Joe. You are Cranky. Speaking of Joseph, during my first year of teaching I had identical twin students whose names were Joe and Joey. Shoulda made it easier, but it was impossible to get it right.

  15. I find that everyone answers to "Hey, you!!"

  16. My grandmother's name was Frances but was always called Fannie. Now I find out in England-- where her ancestry lies-- Fannie is the slang term for a lady part. Sure glad she never knew that.

  17. I don't get all this willy nilly changing names around. I've always been Pixel Peeper.


  18. My dad's name was Clark, but he was called June. I believe that was short for Junior. I sure hope so.

  19. I love the name Joseph, so I don't blame you for not wanting to be Jody.

    Some of the "short for" names do seem to be a little ridiculous. My biggest pet peeve with them is when someone who barely knows someone takes it upon themselves to shorten your name. I've NEVER tried to shorten my name to Dani, and neither have my parents. It makes me incredibly cranky when someone new meets me and tries to call me Dani.

  20. My name is too short to have a "short for".

    My middle name is even shorter "Taj"
    My nick name is Tajju" - - go figure.

    My married name makes up for every thing. It is very difficult.

  21. After reading all of your examples... Maybe it's not the length of the name, but the sound of it - sophisticated versus nick-name-ish. But yeah, why bother?