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Sunday, October 30, 2016



This cranky re-run is from October 2013, 
it is not that great, but the readers comments were fun 

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? 

Ted is short for Edward...WTH?

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. I do remember this post from 2013! Can it have been that long ago? I'm definitely not an Elizabeth, but am a Betty. Did work with an Elizabeth once who went by Betty (and it was confusing in the office so she had to go by Elizabeth, though she technically thought of herself as a Betty). Luckily grandson's name has nothing that can be shortened in anyway and is a good solid name. I have to confess, my DIL has a daughter with a different father. The daughter's name is a bit unique. I feared grandson would be given an equally unique name. I was grateful that it was that common solid name. One you could go to the souvenir store and find a personalized gift with his name on it :)


  2. My youngest is named James and has been called James all his life. My mum started calling him Jamie and I stopped that immediately. My Matthew is called Matt, which makes sense and the girls use their full names.
    Most Margarets I know are called Maggie or Margie. I don't see how Elizabeth becomes Libby, unless someone years ago couldn't pronounce Lizzie. My brother's name is a German one, but he goes by Ralph and a step brother named Brian was known all his life as Charlie.

  3. My dad and some of my brother's called me John and I have always been a girl and thought John was a boy name.😟 Oh well! Take care. Jean

  4. Hilarious. Hubby was a Joseph but his family called him Joey. You can imagine how he was likened to a parrot ... 'Whose a pretty boy then'! I called him Joe!

  5. The Ted one has always bothered me, too.

    Some short versions of names make sense. Anything that involves taking a couple letters off or adding a Y. Jeff for Jeffrey. Penny for Penelope.

    Anything outside of that. You've simply renamed yourself.

  6. Ted is short for Theodore as well -- but at least that one sort of fits.

    My Sweetie had a head professor called Pete. When they went to baptize him, the priest asked for his name, and was told Hiram Ford, the same as his father and grandfather. The priest refused to baptize him until they picked the name of a saint, so they said, "Okay, just call him Peter!" Thus he was baptized Peter even though his birth certificate says Hiram Ford, and everyone called him Pete from then on. He's over 80 now, and still called Pete, i guess that is better than Hiram or Ford.

  7. My paternal Grandmother was always known as Bobo - apparently there was some confusion when a young girl thought her dog was called Mrs Roberts and she was Bobo and the name just stuck. I had an Aunty Peggy (Margaret) and SD's Mum calls his brother Bun - not sure even she knows why ...

  8. No idea why but I get so cross when I hear people refer to my son Robert as Bob - it's Rob or Robert!

    I'll admit to having 'ancestors' called Jack (John) Chuck (Charles) Jimmie (James) and Billy (William) and like most of us never knew they had 'proper' names until later in life.

    One grandad was called Isaac John Joseph but never got any of those names - always I J J?? His wife my grandma was legally Catherine but got called Kitty or Kate- no idea why.

    Cathy @ Still Waters

  9. My sister called me "Keithy" (my name is Keith) for years :)

  10. So...Always love the Aunt Nancy, Eleanor story. Similar one with your Aunt Louise, who was named Helen! Story is, her grandmother insisted she be named Helen, after an Aunt. Her parents named her Helen Louise...and called her Louise!

    Have you ever written a post about having a last name that noone can spell or pronounce?

  11. i thought ted was short for theodore. :)

    i knew someone who named her son jake. she got hell from her in-laws because jake didn't stand for anything, wasn't short for anything. just was a 'nothing' name.

  12. I have a niece named Maggie and everyone thinks Margaret is her real name. Pisses her off!

  13. I don't think anything odd can be done with my grandchildrens names....they are what they are. My day was a John and got called Jim. Grandaad was a John and got called George. I am a would expect maybe Del? No...I got Lorrie. It's a weird world.

  14. I've wondered about some of these too, but not all that much. I've called people names that weren't even close to their birth name.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

  15. I named my first son Matthew because I thought it & the nickname Matt were manly. The first time the pediatrician saw him, he said "Hello, Matty"!!

  16. We are obcessed with nicknames and shorter versions. I had a friend who tried to buck the tide and named her son Jeff instead of Jeffery. He ended up being called by his initials,J T. Can't win.

  17. I never knew my Uncle Buck's name until after he passed, nobody, but nobody ever called him George.
    One of my grandsons has an awful name - I explained that I would never call him that. I don't.

  18. I once knew a woman named Margaret whom everybody called Peggy, or Peg. I spent my childhood as Bruce but all my "friends" called me a--hole!

  19. I have a friend named Dude Turner. I once asked him, "Dude, what's your real name?" He said "Dude". I asked, "you mean to tell me your birth certificate says 'Dude'?" He said yes it was and it wasn't a nickname or short for anything, that was his honest to gawd name.

  20. My wife's name is Janet, but her parents always called her by her middle name--Susan. I think it might be a Southern thing.

  21. Aw...just be glad your last name isn't Dumass!

  22. Omg. This is the best. I've wondered about this my whole life. I never understood any of it.

  23. You wouldn't have this dilemma in Germany. There are RULES about naming your kids, RULES!