Buzz Bishop: Daddy Buzz


It's Zacharie, Not Zach

Why Do People Shorten Names?

It inevitably happens immediately after we introduce our son to someone new.

"This is Zacharie," we say.

"Hey, Zach! Give me five!" they immediately respond.

I'm sure we're not the only ones who cringe at the shortening of our son's name by someone trying to sound friendly and hip with our son. We introduce him as Zacharie, we identify his name as Zacharie and it becomes Zach. It's nails on a chalkboard for my wife.

If you named your son Benjamin or your daughter Jennifer, you know the pain. My wife and I spent weeks negotiating the name and the one we settled on was not Zach. It's Zacharie.

Things are different for number 2 though. His birth certificate says Charles, yet we call him Charlie. I insisted on Charles for the official name so it would fulfill my wish to have children with French names, my wife insisted on calling him Charlie because that's the name she likes. It's our compromise and we introduce him as Charlie.

Sure, there are other nicknames for our boys. Charlie has become Choo Choo, Chooch or Charlie Choo Choo.

Zacharie is also known around the house as Bunny, Chicken Man or Spider Man. None of them make sense, but they're the pet names we call our children and you can be guaranteed I'll never introduce you to them with those names.

I will introduce you to my boys Charlie and Zacharie and expect them to be called that, not Chuck and Zach.

I originally wrote this in June 2010.  18 months later, we still have the same problems. *shrug*  

It's a timely repost since a new children's book,  My Name Is Elizabeth, tackles the topic for a girl with the name of a Queen who is frustrated by being called Lizzie.

How do you handle people who shorten your kids' names?