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Why do people I have not met shorten my Christian name without asking?

(46 Posts)
25Avalon Sat 19-Dec-20 12:06:00

This is happening increasingly. People shorten my name without asking if that’s OK. I don’t mind if it’s someone I know and I have given them the shortened version. I always use the full version on my official letters and meeting people officially and yet so many shorten my name when they reply. It’s a mild irritation but I wondered has any one else experienced this? Especially annoying if you don’t shorten your name I would think.

crazyH Sat 19-Dec-20 12:13:50

I find it strange that people you don’t know, use a shortened version of your name. I find it stranger that your name is shortened on official letters. I have not experienced this, but I can understand it being a ‘mild irritation’. Let it stay that way, ‘mild’, I mean. There are worse things happening around us...

tanith Sat 19-Dec-20 12:13:57

I have old friends who always spell my name completely wrong I don’t get my knickers in a twist over it. If it annoys you tell them.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 19-Dec-20 12:20:01

We live in a less formal world than before so this sort of thing has become the norm.
During a series of hospital treatments I was asked 'what do you like to be called?' It felt too formal to say 'Mrs . . . . ' so I gave my first name.

vampirequeen Sat 19-Dec-20 12:21:19

This happens to DH all the time. Nine times out of ten when he tells someone his name they immediately shorten it. It's annoying but people seem to think it's OK. However his mam and siblings annoy him when they do it. I mean, you'd expect his family to get it right.

I have the opposite problem. I have a short name (4 letters) and people have a tendency to make it longer and/or spell it wrong.

Kate1949 Sat 19-Dec-20 12:30:36

I have been sending Christmas cards to some people for over 40 years. Some, including my sister-in-law, still spell my name wrong on their cards to us.

Willow500 Sat 19-Dec-20 12:31:06

I have the opposite problem - I don't really like my full name so give people the shortened version but many especially on the phone will insist on calling me by my full name.

A constant source of irritation when I worked for a US company was that the shortened version of my name is actually a man's name over there so they usually got a shock when they found out I was female - in Asia they got it the wrong way round and always thought my surname was my christian name especially as our e-mail configuration was surname then initial. I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not a huge issue but I do understand your frustration!

Jane10 Sat 19-Dec-20 12:43:48

When I worked in a large long stay hospital for people with learning disabilities which was closing, I found that community staff preparing people for life outside tended to abbreviate resident's names. I suppose they were just trying to appear chummy. Unfortunately, the residents didn't then know who was being addressed. For example a Patrick would stare past them if called Paddy so was thought to be deaf and Elizabeth had always been Elizabeth not Lizzie as these disrespectful new staff called her etc. This led to confusion and distress on all sides. Names matter, sometimes more than others.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 19-Dec-20 12:48:28

I have always pointed out that my name was spelled incorrectly, if it was, or that I did not care for it being shortened.

There is no need to just accept this kind of thing.

Spangler Sat 19-Dec-20 12:49:23

Robert Eliot coined the expression: "Don't sweat the small stuff." Richard Carlson used it as the title for his book.

When we sweat the small stuff, we experience stress, even if it's just a moment of exasperation, the cortisol levels in our bodies change, our cortisol levels may rise 10 to 15 percent when we frustrate over something small.

Chances are that both Eliot and Carlson have experienced the scenario of a name change. Robert being a Bob, Richard would most likely have been called Dick.

Just keep using your full name, sooner or later the message will get home.

geekesse Sat 19-Dec-20 12:52:47

Many years ago, an acquaintance we didn’t know well invited himself to dinner, and spent much of the evening trying to persuade us to buy life insurance from him. He kept using a shortened form of my name. When I went out to fetch something from the kitchen, my husband whispered to him that only my brothers and my lovers called me that - which was he? The rest of the evening, he oozed embarrassment and used my full name.

felice Sat 19-Dec-20 12:57:43

I wish, a lot of people I know add 2 letters to my name which changes the pronounciation , I do not respond at all, until they ask me why. Then I say something like 'oh, no one mentioned, my name so I assumed you were talking to someone else?'.
It works for a while.

beverly10 Sat 19-Dec-20 13:14:15

I was named after a flower.which I dislike(the name not the flower itself}. The name I use for GN is nothing like my real one. The only reason I never went about changing it was out of respect for my mother.

Doodledog Sat 19-Dec-20 13:16:30

I'm another with the opposite problem. I go by a shortened version of my name, but my whole name is on official documents such as NHS registers etc. I am not keen on people whom I address by their titles (doctors, nurses etc) using my given name anyway - I think it should be done one way or the other - but if they then use the full version of my name it feels worse. People can't win, I suppose.

Speaking of can't win - I'm not keen on being asked for a 'Christian name' anyway. I'm not a Christian, so it is inappropriate.

Kate1949 Sat 19-Dec-20 13:17:22

My next door neighbour if 40 years calls me a name that isn't my name. When we moved in, she told the neighbours that was what I was called so they call me that too. It's all very bizarre. She puts my correct name on cards.

rockgran Sat 19-Dec-20 13:23:46

My name is disliked by any computer and changed to something different. I just retype - and grumble.

Vickysponge Sat 19-Dec-20 13:27:27

A few pairs of knickers getting in a twist here. My name can be shortened in many ways. I answer to anything - couldn’t care less. Still, I suppose if it causes upset just tell whoever is it to call you by your preferred name.

Elusivebutterfly Sat 19-Dec-20 13:31:33

My bugbear is people getting my surname wrong. Many people with English as a second language get confused that we have surnames that can also be first name if you omit the S, such as Williams, Evans etc. I have often been called by my surname like this, as if I was a man. I find it very annoying. I can accept my first name being spelt and pronounced wrongly but not being called a man!

henetha Sat 19-Dec-20 13:32:08

I actually quite like my name being shortened, with or without permission. It's just sort of friendly.

Sparklefizz Sat 19-Dec-20 13:32:23

We particularly gave our children names that couldn't be shortened, then moved from Surrey to the West Country and discovered that .... here ... all names seem to be shortened, so Lucie became Luc .... pronounced Loose ....., which she obviously wasn't keen on. A friend's daughter named Michelle is called Meesh, etc etc

timetogo2016 Sat 19-Dec-20 13:36:42

I agree henetha,i find it endearing too.

LadyHonoriaDedlock Sat 19-Dec-20 13:38:29

I have a name of three syllables, and three tends to be beyond a lot of people. I like it as it; it's not all that common but not particularly unusual, but people presume to shorten it all the time without my leave. There's one particular short form of it that I really ~hate~ but that's the one they tend to use and it sets my teeth on edge. There's another short form that I encourage for those who feel they really ~must~, and another that is ~strictly~ reserved for very special friends. But encouraging the use of my name in its full dactylic glory seems to be a lost cause.

Nannarose Sat 19-Dec-20 13:40:50

I agree that it is irritating, and whilst it isn't dreadful in the greater scheme, you are entitled to be irritated!
I had friend who had Willow's problem - and I loved hearing her say to someone (she won't mind my using her name now). Why do you keep calling me Phillipa when my name is Philomena?
In informal setting I expect people to introduce them selves by the name they wish to be called, and in more formal, I expect to be asked how I want to be addressed.
And yes, I would correct people - both my father and cousin regularly do this.

Luckygirl Sat 19-Dec-20 13:42:59

Maybe they have heard others calling you that and just follow suit.

Some people used to call my OH by a shortened version of his name - they did not get that from me!

Lucretzia Sat 19-Dec-20 14:27:28

I used to get people lengthening my name! It used to drive me mad. My father was one of the main protagonists. My name is one of the shortest you could think of. And I'm very happy with it!

I've known a few people who end up being called an abbreviated version of their name.

More than a few times we don't know who they're talking about.!

If you introduce as whatever, then that's surely how you wish to be known