My parents named me Elizabeth Anne as a compromise. My mother wanted me to be named Elizabeth after a long line of female forebears. My father agreed on the condition that they would call me Betsy. So legally and formally I am Elizabeth. When someone calls and asks for Elizabeth, I know they are probably a telemarketer. I write as Elizabeth because I like the name in writing. Everyone in my off-line life knows me as Betsy. People close to me often shorten it to “Bets” which I also enjoy.
Throughout my life I have known women with nicknames of Muffy, Winky, and Sissie. I assume they acquired those as kids and kept them as adults. My two closest boy friends when I was little were Skipper and Dude, names they kept into adulthood. I’m not sure why all these people hung onto what might seem like childish names, but they did.
I have given people around me nicknames. My granddaughter was “squirt” until she asked me to stop calling her that. My husband is “CW” because it makes me think of an undercover intelligence operative. A good friend is Tinarooni, because we have fun together and I enjoy playing with her name Tina.
Of course nicknames can be applied maliciously as is done with regularity by the leader of the United States. Ex-partners often have nasty nicknames. Archie Bunker called his son-in-law “Meathead” which managed to convey contempt under the cloak of affection. (Or affection under the cloak of contempt. Hard to know.)
I would love to know either what nicknames you had as kids or ones you have or use now. Please share. Thanks.