do you go by your full name?

Monday, June 2, 2014


I don't. Gaby is a nickname for Gabriela (with just one 'l'), my real name. To be completely honest, I've never really liked the name Gaby. I far prefer Gabriela, but it seems to be that one syllable too long and somewhere along the line, it got shortened. The only people who call me by my full name are my parents (and that's only if they're annoyed with me or really trying to get my attention) and my Colombian family. My husband also goes by a shortened version of his full name, though he's happy with this.

The reason all this has been on my mind is that I've been worrying about my daughter's name. I love the name Clementine, and that is what I call her most of the time. Occasionally I'll call her Clemmie, but mostly I stick with her full name. But I am definitely in the minority! Aussies are known for their love of nicknames; if you have a long name they'll shorten it (e.g. Caroline becomes Cazzie) and if you have a short name they'll lengthen it (e.g. Grace becomes Gracie). Most people here call her Clem (not my favourite), Clemmie and even Clemo (definitely not my favourite). I really hope that she grows up to be called Clementine, and not a nickname, but I'm not sure how much say I have in the matter.

Have any of you had this problem with your own children? Or perhaps with your name? How did you handle it?

p.s. how did you choose your baby's name? / her name / would you take your husband's last name?  

39 comments:

  1. Oh yes it drives me a bit crazy when people shorten my name. I was born with the name Catherine and I much prefer to be called that. I do have people in my family call me Cath (my brother mostly) and I don't like it much but because he is family I brush it aside.The other people who call me Cath are usually my brother's friends as they hear him call me by that name. I don't seem to have problem with either of the girls at all which is good although we have the problem of one of them being spelt incorrectly and another getting called another name similar to hers:( I bet you will have lots of people commenting on your post about names:) x

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  2. It seems Australians are never satisfied with the original name of anything.
    Personally I am a big fan of nicknames. I love them (majority of the time anyway) because I like the idea of having the choice of what you can go by and I feel that the nickname you are called my certain people or friends reflect the relationship you have with them. Most people call me Sam, which I love, but then I have a rare few who call me Sammi. It's not my favourite but I like that some people choose to call me by that name. I have flexibility in my name. My blog is literally the lengthened version of my name and it makes me look/feel more mature and grown up I suppose. Then I have my Stephen though. He has always been Stephen, never Steve, or Stevo and I really like that about him. It's just him. Nothing else.

    Clementine may get her fair share of names over the years but she will always be a Clementine to you and that shows her that special relationship you have with her :)

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  3. People that shorten my name are usually those close to me...I don't mind either way...so long as its spoken with affection LOL. I don't encourage a shortenening...I always introduce my name in full. We have a very long last name (12 letters) so we have deliberately chosen one syllable short names for our children: Skye and Joy. But for our next, I have a two syllable name chosen that's unlikely to be shortened. I really like Gabriela as well...perhaps you can slowly get people to change back to that by introducing yourself that way or finishing off emails with your full name? Worth a try if you like it :D x

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    1. I've tried that before but it just felt too weird. I've been called Gaby for so long now that when I hear Gabriela I think, "who's that?" ;)

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  4. My name is Christina which I love and I hate any abbreviations - Chris, chrissy, Tina. I have always been polite but firm when people try to give me a nickname. Looking back my mum always encouraged me to use my full name. I think it was more of an issue when I was a kid. As an adult I am always introduced as Christina so that's what people call me. My daughter Genevieve goes by her full name or Evie - one of the reasons I like the name is that she can choose either the full name or there a few different options within the name. My little one is named Elspeth and gets that or Elspie - both of which I love. My older sister is named Gillian. She went by Gill for most of her teens but now only goes by Gillian. Some people have found the change to Gillian quite tricky but most people know it is important to her so have made the effort to change. It's funny how complicated names can be! I love the name Clementine :-)

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    1. Interesting! I'm going to have to try these techniques with Clementine, especially encouraging her to use her full name. x

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    2. Same thing for my best friend. As kids I always called her Jill. Then caught up with her as adults and she said she tells everyone to call her Jillian. It works fine, people are usually respectful of preference. My daughter is Emma Lia. I always use the double name and it feels natural. But as my husband didn't want a hyphen a lot of people just say Emma (but that sounds so wrong to us). Either way it'll definitely be interesting how her name pans out as she grows up.

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  5. Nicknames in Australia are such a strange thing, aren't they?

    My name is Felicity and I am rarely addressed by my real name. I go by Flick, Flicka or Fliss depending on who is talking to me. These three I don't really mind and have come to love even though growing up I didn't really like any of them. Now they kind of feel like they fit. However, I do occasionally find someone will call me Floss and that drives me bonkers. I really don't like it and thankfully it only seems to happen every couple of years and much less frequently now that I am getting older.

    My kids where both named with nicknames in mind. I guess the Aussie girl in me knew it would happen and happen it has. For a while one family member tried to call my youngest son AJ, which are his initials, but we didn't want that nickname for him and found that by simply not giving it any airtime it has not stuck.

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    1. We knew it would happen as well (especially here) but I didn't want to let it affect my decision making too much. I was just hopeful that 3 syllables wouldn't be so long that it'd automatically be shortened (as 4 syllable names seem to be). Only time will tell...

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  6. My name isn't shortened but I do get called Luna (old friends and siblings) and Lulu (by mu husband who has never called me Linda apart from on our wedding day). I don't mind at all! We call Anouk, Nouk and Delphi, Didi so we're definitely not opposed to nicknames. I guess they'll decide what they want to be called when they're older!

    I love both Clementine and Clem... it was on our name list! Have a great week, Linda. x

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    1. I'm not opposed to nicknames either, and I do think they're natural and inevitable, but I guess in my case, and Clementine's case, I just really prefer our full names. It's a tough one though! x

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  7. Oh, no! Apologies if I have ever called Clementine, Clem (which I probably have. I shorten names a lot). But you're right, Clementine is such a beautiful name and should be called by her real name. And it's funny you say this because my mum is exactly like you. She doesn't really like shortening names at all.

    My mum is the only person to call me Jessica (and to be honest, I hate it).

    When I have a little girl, I'd love to call her Audrey, and I think I will stick to Audrey because I don't know how you would shorten Audrey and make it sound attractive...

    http://naturallyjes.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Hi Jes, I have an Audrey, and her name gets shortened to Auds by family and close friends, It was certainly not my intention to shorten her name, even though I probably started it! My brother calls her Audy, which she does not like, she's quite happy with Auds though.

      My boys are Billy (formally William, though I always meant to call him Billy, he also gets Bill) and Hugo (Hughie to close friends and family)
      Shannon x

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    2. It's totally ok Jes! Most people do :)

      I love the name Audrey as well and had it on my list x

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  8. Yup, my name definitley gets shortened, most of my friends call me "V", which I kind of like. And I tend to call Martin, Marty... to the point where I've introduced him as such on several occasions. Ooops. Love the nickname Clemmie though - so cute!! <3

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  9. Will definitely keep in mind that Clementine is Clementine and not Clem or Clemmie! I have always been called Theresa mostly because it can't really be shortened? Luke's family call me 'T' and sometimes my mum calls me Tris.

    Mason is Mason to me but some family members call him Mase.. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it! I don't mind it but not really a fan of what it sounds like.

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    1. Just thinking about your name.. What about Terri or Resa?
      I even know someone whose nick name is Cheesy (from Theresa)!
      Lovely name anyhow...
      T

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    2. Cheesy is hilarious ;)

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  10. It really is a funny thing isn't it, how we name a person and then call them something else! I guess if it's a long name, then there's a natural tendency to shorten it. I have always loved my name 'Vanessa'. I grew up where classrooms were full of 'Sarah's', 'Claires's' and 'Emma's', and I loved that no one else had my name. I always introduce myself as my full name to anyone, but the only one who really calls me that is my mum, and I like that, it's makes it more special. My dad has always called me 'Nessy', my brothers call me 'Ness' and mother-in-law calls me 'Nessa'. My sister-in-law called me 'V-Ness' which people misheard and called me 'Venus'. It's not really a name I like but it stuck for a lot of people. I think as Samantha says, you cannot control what other people call your daughter, but what you call her will always be special to her.

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  11. i go by my full name. since it's pretty short. and most people call me just that. though in my family none of us are being called with our first full name. we have nickname, taken from our middle name. i only get called by my nickname in my family. friends and others call me by my first name. i'm fine with that (and to be honest i love my first name, Niken). i don't like people outside my family call me by my nickname. it's just i think it's something special that only me and my family share it, that nickname.

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  12. Jay is actually my middle name. I have NEVER been called my first name - not by my parents and aside from close family, no one probably even knows it. I feel like a Jay and would never choose to use my first name because I don't identify with it. However, on official documents, I have no choice and it can be a bit annoying explaining the entire thing. It's certainly something I'm thinking of in naming this baby - I want the name I choose to be the name we use. I think it's natural for people to shorten names especially when the name is longer than 2 syllables. A friend of mine is Victoria but her whole life she was called Vicky which she doesn't like. When she moved to Norway, she took it as an opportunity to change it and now we call her Tora.

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    1. I didn't know Jay is your middle name! Are you Dutch? I've heard it's common for Dutch people to go by their middles names.

      p.s. maybe I should've used my move to Australia 6 years ago to start going by Gabriela, but I doubt it would've worked. Even when I introduce myself here as Gaby, people immediately call me Gabs!?!

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  13. My name is Kathryn but have been called Kate from birth. I get Kathryn when i am in trouble from my parents and on offical documents. I also get Katie and my Dad calls me Katie Lou (middle name Louise). My youngest son is Samuel, he gets nicknames Sam and Sammy, my middle boy is Cohen we call him Co or Coco, but my eldest is Isaac, when he was little a few people called him Zac but it never stuck. My husband and I joke that it doesn't matter what we have named our kids because they will all end up as Johno (shortening of our last name) just like he did and their grandfather and most male cousins.
    To answer your question about taking my husbands name I was alsways sure I would keep my last name but then when we had children I really wanted us all to have the same last name. So I changed my last name my eldest has my maiden name as his middle name.

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  14. My full name is María Victoria, so long! No one has ever called me by that. I only use the Victoria when I introduce myself. when I was little in primary school I didn't like it, it was not very popular but then as I grew older I started to like it and now I adore being called Victoria. Besides it works in every language! For a few years now I have adopted the nickname Vix, because I wanted to vanish the tyical Vicky. I hate being called Vicky. I can go as far as a Vic, but I prefer Vix or just Victoria.

    PS. I named my cat Clementine! And though I can't compare it to a human, we usually call her Clemen, Clemencha, Clem, and when she's being naughty and runs aways we call her Cleeemeeentiiiiiinaaaaaaa xD Your baby is so adorable!

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    1. Like many South Americans, my mom is also a Maria [insert second name here] but she goes by Clara. When we were in colombia last year many people called Clementine Clementina, which I thought was cute x

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  15. I go by Nicole, always. Except for my family, they all call me Nikki but they are the ONLY people on this earth allowed to call me Nikki. My grandma always calls me Nikki Rose (my middle name) which I love or Rose Bud. My dad calls me Nick, I don't think he has ever called me Nicole. I always kind of wished Gray would have called me Nick but it's just babe. Logan get's shortened to Logi all the time but pretty much just by me. And our dogs, Gray said the other weekend "You realize Bacon's real name is Bubba (which I hate but can't help but call him that) and Waffles' real name is Sweet Girl." It sounded so weird put that way, that sounds so trashy, but it's true! Hahahaha! Nick names are funny. I definitely am not the biggest fan but they just seem to take on a life of their own oddly enough. :) I'm with you, I like Clementine!

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  16. My mom says when she named me Allison, it never even occured to her that I might one day go by Allie and she hated when I decided to at age 10. :) Poor moms. I've come to love my full name and go more by that now, in my adulthood. I still get Allie every now and then, however.
    I have the same dread for my son, Ashton, being called Ash. People asked if I'd call him Ash, and I thought, "No...I'll call him by his name. Ash, is not his name..."

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  17. My daughters name is Daisy-Blossom. I was told when she was born that everyone would call her Daisy BUT I insisted, and guess what? Everyone calls her Daisy-Blossom. We do occasionally call her Bloss but my fear was the dreaded Australian drawl and it being Daise. It never has been. I have a cousin, Emma-Lisa (who is in her thirties), my Aunt was insistent from day one that was her full name. And it has always been Emma-Lisa. When people call her Daisy, I immediately correct them (politely of course), and it's never an issue. Persistence pays off :) BTW, Clementine was also on my list - along with Primrose. Good luck x

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    1. That's great! Most encouraging. Funnily enough, Primrose was also on our list (it's a family name) x

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  18. This is exactly the conversatin that's been going on in our home for the past 8.5 months of my pregnancy! I think you really have to be resigned to the fact that the child's name WILL be shortened, you're right, you probably have little control over it. I don't want to be that mother though correcting people saying "No, her/his name is..." like some sort of Name-Nazi. Emma has been good to me, if a bit popular at school, my husband is Matthew but only some of his family call him Matthew, he's always Matt. My mum is Gabrielle, pronounce Gabriel like the boys version. Only in recent years she's become Gabby, I think growing up she got Gaye a lot and some of my cousins still call her Aunty Gaye. My sister very purposefully named her children so they couldn't be shorted: Scarlett, Ava and Violet. So far so good and seems to be working! We've pretty much got our boy/girl names narrowed down now, one can (and probably will be) shortened but we like the shortening so it's made the cut. Others weren't so lucky.

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    1. But in Australia ANYTHING can be nicknamed, even Scarlett, Ava and Violet (all lovely names). We definitely considered the nickname factor when making our baby name shortlists, and some were vetoed because of it but I also wanted to make sure that I didn't go too far and rule out my favourite names because of their potential nicknames. Which is what happened with Clementine. I knew I didn't love any of the possible nicknames but I loved the name so much that we went with it.

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  19. I used to hate my name! It's Simone so when I went to school in the UK, everyone had the usual names like Sophie, Elizabeth etc etc (which are all nice by the way!) but I used to feel different because of it. Nowadays I'm much more comfortable with being called Simone and embracing my name though I don't mind being called Sim or Simmy but friends either...I think it's inevitable that Clementine may have her name shortened by others (especially by the sounds of the Aussie habit!) but she'll always be your Clementine :)

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  20. Aussies are hopeless with names!!! I am Melanie but it gets shortened by everyone to Mel so I just go with it, it also saves me correcting people who call me Melissa or Melinda by mistake. I purposely chucked out some baby names because I knew I wouldn't like the nicknames. I loved Alexander but wasn't too keen on Alex so went for Flynn, can't wait to see how the kids shorten and lengthen that one down the track . I always go by what the Mum calls their child. If it is Thomas then I will never call him Tom or Tommy for example. On that note, I notice you refer to Clementine a lot as Clem (#clemeats) on IG so I actually assumed you called her Clem for short. Clementine is such a pretty name, so is Gabriela but Gaby is lovely too - I have lots of German friends with the name Gaby :-) Mel x

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    1. It's true, I'm lazy on Instagram and often can't be bothered to type out Clementine. And clemeats has a better ring to it ;) But in real life, I call her Clementine, Clemmie and Clementiny. x

      p.s. I'm trying to think of nicknames for Flynn and all I've got is Flynnie...

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  21. My name is Annelise and for my whole life, people have tried to shorten it to either Anne or Anna. It never stuck though because I just don't like either name (for myself. As names, they're perfectly fine, but just not for me) and would always correct them. Funnily enough, my family - immediate and extended - have always called me Lou or Louie which is completely separate to my actual name but something that has been around since birth. Anyway. I guess Clementine will only let people call her what she is comfortable with in the long run. Australians are weird.

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  22. My name is Sarah which my mom chose because it's impossible to shorten. I always found that weird or rather I didn't understand the importance of this idea UNTIL I had my own baby (this April). I think it makes sense to stick to the name the parents decided on because they did so for a reason. In the end we landed on a name which comes with quite a number of nicknames which we don't really like (but don't hate). Also we gave him two names (no hyphen) becuase we couldn't just choose one. His name is Samuel Bruno and I always introduce him excactly this way. We never expected people to call him by both names but were very surprised that people tended to call him either Samuel or Bruno depending on which name THEY like better. For some reason (even though I chose and love both names) I hate when people just decide on their own how to call him because it feels like they are dissmissing the other name. Does that make sense? Some people actually told us that they don't like Samuel but LOVED Bruno so this is what they'll call him. I think that's rude!

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  23. Yes this is such an Aussie thing! We're Aussie expats in Nairobi with a very international group of friends and it quickly became evident to us that we were the only ones trying to give every child we met a nickname. I have a few kids names I love that will work well if we stay abroad but that I'll need to give up if we move back home.

    My husband is a William, who commonly goes by Will, but it's very uncommon for Kenyan names to end in an 'L' so he often ends up getting called Willy... which I find hilarious. Laura is not so common here either and people often mishear it with my Aussie accent, so I now also answer to the more common Kenyan names of Flora, Nora and Dora :)

    P.S. - I've just found your blog through Cup of Jo - it's a lovely read!

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