One of the great things my father did was to name me Roger, which does not engender a lot of nicknames. He also did not name me after himself, also good. That might have gotten m called Junior, or Bud (like on the TV show Father Knows Best).
I was thinking about this because Rob Hoffman wrote about nicknames, and specifically about how certain names are more prone to variations.
“Elizabeth – (Betty, Beth, Liz, Lizzie, Betts, Bette) This name provides a lot of flexibility. Elizabeth is royal, while Betty is a fun neighbor with a silly laugh. Liz is a ‘good-time,’ but Lizzie is downright dangerous.)” Which is why, when naming our daughter, Elizabeth was totally off the table, despite being the name of the only British monarch in my lifetime AND my late mother’s middle name.
Mom, BTW, was named Gertrude, after her mother. She was usually called Gertie by her cousins, which she disliked less than her formal name, but not much. As an adult, though, she became Trudy and THAT suited her.
My father was named Leslie, but he always was Les =in my reckoning. Les is also the shortened form of Lester, though, and some people, in an attempt to be formal, referred to him with that moniker. You could see him bristle.
Roger doesn’t really lend itself to shortening, other than Rog, and I like that. There have been attempts to give me nicknames, and I always fought them off. When I was a janitor at Binghamton (NY) City Hall in the spring and summer of 1975, one of the other custodians tried to dub me “Flash”, because I got my core work done in six hours, and then would do the extra stuff, such as buffing the floor, and still have time to talk to the police captain, or read, or clean the doors yet another time – glass doors always have fingerprints.
He and his colleague took as long as they could, never did work beyond what was required, and sometimes not even that. So they called me Flash, I acted as though I didn’t hear them. Eventually, they gave up.
For ABC Wednesday