"Why give a child a name that you don't expect to call him?"
To which I can only reply, "Who said I can only call my child one name?"
Surely if cats, as T. S. Eliot observed, need three names, children need at least as many:
- A full, dignified name that sounds good after "Senator" or "Doctor." Should also serve well when needed for discipline. (Something I've discovered: if you commonly call the child by a nickname derived from his middle name, it will be hard to do this.)
- A short, handy nickname for everyday use throughout childhood, one that will not be hideously embarrassing when used by childhood acquaintances in later life. (Multiple options in this category are a bonus.)
- A totally random, cutesy, utterly hideously embarrassing nickname that has no connection to anything, to be whispered to small infants and dropped before the infant grows old enough to object.
Of course, with a blogging mother, the child also needs a suitable online nickname, though we have taken the easy route out with that.
Maybe my fondness for nicknamable names stems from having an utterly nickname-proof name. In which case, no doubt my children will want nickname-proof names for their children. I did have an embarrassing infantile nickname, which I will not reveal.