[twitter]It inevitably happens immediately after we introduce our son to someone new.

“This is Zacharie,” we say.

“Hey, Zach! Give me five!” they immediately respond.

I’m sure we’re not the only ones that cringe at the shortening of our son’s name by someone trying to sound friendly and hip with our son. We introduce him as Zacharie, we identify his name as Zacharie and it becomes Zach. It’s nails on a chalkboard for my wife.

If you named your son Benjamin or your daughter Jennifer, you know the pain. My wife and I spent weeks negotiating the name and the one we settled on was not Zach. It’s Zacharie.

Things are different for number 2 though. His birth certificate says Charles, yet we call him Charlie. I insisted on Charles for the official name so it would fulfill my wish to have children with french names, my wife insisted on calling him Charlie because that’s the name she likes. It’s our compromise and we introduce him as Charlie.

Sure, there are other nicknames for our boys. Charlie has become Choo Choo, Chooch or Charlie Choo Choo.

Zacharie is also known around the house as Bunny, Chicken Man or Spider Man. None of them make sense, but they’re the pet names we call our children and you can be guaranteed I’ll never introduced you to them with those names.

I will introduce you to my boys Charlie and Zacharie and expect them to be called that, not Chuck and Zach.

Do you have issues with people shortening your kids’ names?

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  2. jenny June 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Finnegan gets called Finn ALOT. He jumps in and corrects them every time, before we would even have a chance. His sister calls him Fingy and he never corrects her, and his preschool assistant calls him Finny and he allows her. I think he will lead the way on this…it's HIS name after all!

  3. Buzz Bishop June 7, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Yes, if Zacharie wants Zach when he's in school – fine. And my apologies, I do believe I've gone Finn on your boy in the past.

  4. Derek K. Miller June 8, 2010 at 12:16 am

    You're fighting a losing battle. While you can correct adults if you want, as your kids get older their peers will shorten their names whether you or they like it or not — or may create other nicknames over which you and your sons have no control. They may do it to each other. Feel lucky if you just get a “Chuck” and “Zack” out of it.

    While you can't avoid unrelated nicknames, probably the only way to prevent shortening entirely is to give your kids difficult-to-shorten names. Like, I dunno, Buzz. Otherwise in the medium term you and they will probably have to live with shortened names, until they're adults and choose to enforce the full versions themselves. Or not. They may like it, or even choose to be called by their middle names.

  5. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  6. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  7. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  8. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  9. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  10. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  11. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  12. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn’t bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids’ names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I’m Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

  13. Anthony Floyd June 8, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Used to drive my mother nuts too. “His name is *Anthony*, not _Tony_. She was mocked mercilessly for it. At any rate, it doesn't bug me any — nor will it particularly bother me if people shorten my kids' names. However, it does seem that out of respect and common consideration (which seems to be generally lacking, I know) that you should call people (kids or not) by however they identify themselves. In a few years, if you introduced Zacharie to some people and he said “Hi, I'm Zach” which way would you rather people address him?

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