Nicknames vs. Given Names Part II – January 30, 2021

I covered this topic before – Is It a Given Name or Nickname? – October 30, 2019. It’s a topic I see on social media on a regular basis. In the earlier example, I gave three examples where it wasn’t a nickname. I don’t assume it’s a nickname without asking. Saves me a lot of trouble. I have a few friends who give their children nicknames which may or may not have anything to do with their given names.

I don’t use nicknames unless that’s the person’s preferred choice. I refer to people by the names they introduce themselves to me. In some cases, those turn out to be nicknames and I use the nickname. In other cases, as a sign of respect I use the person’s last name. I had a boss, Mr. Spillers. He never gave me permission to call him by his first name. I had another boss, Mr. Phillips. He didn’t have a problem with me calling him Bill which was a nickname for William as William what was on his office door.

I draw the line with some nicknames especially if it involves profanity or is rude, crude, or otherwise offensive. Some people call me Tall Paul due to my height. I don’t make a big deal of it as it is not offensive compared to some other nickname. Again, if I know the person is using a term to try and goad me into responding or trying to be mean, I let it go as my objecting would only make some of them do it more.

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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