Can Edward be more than Eddie the sparkling vampire?
October 13, 2014 7:18 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I are expecting our first child, a boy, in December. We're struggling with the name issue (of course). We really want to name him Edward (I love the name and it has a family connection). But there are a couple of issues with nicknames and possible negative associations.

I love the name Edward but hate the nicknames Ed and Eddie. I'd be okay with Ted, but I would strongly prefer that people just call him "Edward." My husband says that it's inevitable that people will call him by a nickname and so we need to just lean into it and introduce him as Edward and say that we sometimes call him Ted. According to my husband, this gives people a nickname option; otherwise, they'll inevitably call him Ed or Eddie. Is that right? Will he just never be known by Edward once he's in school? And should I let my aversion to the obvious nicknames prevent us from naming our child something we love? Is Edward just too formal a name to expect that he'll be called that?

And secondarily, has Twilight destroyed the name Edward? My inclination is that no one will remember that series, but I don't want his name to be associated with a sparkling vampire.
posted by McPuppington the Third to Grab Bag (48 answers total)

Ned is an affectionate diminutive of Edward, born out of saying "my ed" or "mine ed."

No sparkle vampire connotations, probably no other kids in his class going by Ned, and it's super cute in a nerdy way.

It's also getting more and more common to have kids go by their full name. There are way more Williams and Jonathans and Douglases now than when I was a kid. I wouldn't be too worried about him being forced into a nickname.
posted by phunniemee at 7:30 PM on October 13, 2014 [10 favorites]

Once the kid develops a separate social existence, you cannot control what people call him.

So if hearing him called Eddie will cause you muscle twitches and tooth-grinding for years to come, then pick another name.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:31 PM on October 13, 2014 [37 favorites]

I didn't connect Twilight to the name Edward until I saw your headline (and I have read the books and seen the movies, so it's not like I'm not aware of the phenomenon). So, there's that. I don't think those books are going to stand the test of time, so I wouldn't be too worried about that part of it.

As for nicknames, it's really hard to say. The biggest problem is that you don't know what your son will want to be called, and it's entirely possible that he will want to go by Ed or Eddie, regardless of your wishes. What then? I think it's perfectly possible to avoid people at school calling him by a derivative, IF he wants to be called by his first name. I know several people who all their lives have gone by their full name, and others who went by a nickname as a kid but their full name as adults, and others who don't even remember that they have a full legal name because they are so fully their nickname. I know people who go by nicknames that are not remotely related to their given names. I know people who go by nicknames of their middle names.

The key point is that around 80% of these people picked what they were going to be called themselves - especially people whose names easily make nicknames. So there's only so much you can do, but I would go with a name you really love regardless. You're going to be writing and saying it for a looooooong time before anyone else will have a chance to get a bug in his ear that he could be called something else.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:31 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can address him as you'd like, but you have little control how others choose to address him - or how he himself might prefer to be addressed. Unfortunately, I doubt the Twilight series will be forgotten that soon, but who cares? You're not naming him Adolf. Your husband has the right approach, but in the end, ask yourself if it would really be the end of the world if people called him Eddie or Ed. If the answer is yes, pick a name whose nicknames you can tolerate.
posted by canine epigram at 7:31 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you only ever call him Edward, and he decides he likes to call himself that, I think people will respect that. There are people who insist on shortening on other peoples' names but those people are jerks and it'll be his problem. But what if he wants to go by Ed? Maybe pick Edward for the middle name and pick something you care less about for his first name.
posted by bleep at 7:38 PM on October 13, 2014

I don't think you can really control the nickname your child has. If you tell people what nickname you've given him, that'll help and all, but once he's old enough to make his own decisions, he's going to decide for himself what his nickname is, and if he wants to be Ed then he will be Ed.

I don't think the Twilight thing is going to matter.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2014

I went to school with Edwards who went by Edward. They might have gotten the occasional "Eddie" from people who didn't know any better, but it wasn't as though the world at large had a problem calling them Edward.

However, your son might one day decide he loves being called Eddie, and there's not much you can do about that. Preemptively giving him an alternate nickname might work, but probably not.

I wouldn't worry about the Twilight thing at all. "Edward" is a common enough name, and Twilight a short-lived enough phenomenon (is anyone even talking about it anymore, other than when referencing Fifty Shades of Grey?), that people are unlikely to make the association in the future. It's the less common names, like Oscar or Homer, that you'd have to worry about.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:44 PM on October 13, 2014

One of the nice things about classic names like Edward is that they have so many cultural points of reference that they don't end up permanently tied to a single piece of pop culture.

People will say, "Ooh, Edward, I guess you're a big Twilight fan!" Just laugh and say, "It's actually a family name, but Twilight sure did make it popular again!" or something equally calm and innocuous. You can't stop people saying dumb shit about your kids' names but reacting calmly feels better in the long run than getting defensive, and most people aren't trying to be rude, they're just a little thoughtless.

Automatic nickname assignment in English seems to have gone down as names have gotten more diverse, but you really can't predict nicknames.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:04 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

My mom was worried that people would use their own (bad) ideas of what would make a good diminutive of my first name, so she pre-emptively gave me one. Seemed like a good idea at the time, and it mostly worked out, but the truth is that if you insist on using the full name, people will use it (in fact she used the opposite strategy with my brother, insisting that everyone use his full name rather than various popular diminutives. Everyone calls him by his full name).

If your son decides, later in life, to use "Eddie," then he'll do that. My experience seeing other friends go through this is that in grammar school and middle school, people will try using diminutives, but by high school, if you make it clear you want to go by your full name, everyone mostly obliges.
posted by deanc at 8:09 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

My name (Margaret) has more diminutives than you can count, but my parents insisted when I was little that they had not named me Peg, Meg, or Maggie. Very occasionally, someone will insist upon calling me by a nickname, but it does not stick, because I don't present myself that way.

Of course, if I wanted a nickname, my parents would just have to live with it, but I just want you to know that it is certainly possible to go through childhood and have people call you by your actual name and not a nickname.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:16 PM on October 13, 2014

I grew up with an Edward who was always Edward.
posted by radioamy at 8:19 PM on October 13, 2014

My parents never wanted me to be called by the very common nickname of my given name, and I never have been. I also never need to correct anyone when they call be by that nickname. It rarely happens, and when it does someone else in the room who knows me quickly points out that that's not my name and it doesn't happen again. I don't have to say anything.

Of course, if your son wants to go by Eddie you won't be able to stop him. But that's another matter.
posted by alms at 8:35 PM on October 13, 2014

The other nickname for Edward is Ward. But if you want to call him Edward then do so, and he'll always be Edward at home around you.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:47 PM on October 13, 2014

People are gonna try applying all sorts of nicknames to your kid, but your kid can - and will - insist upon the name he prefers.

Case in point- I know two Richards; my father, and a very good friend. Dad has gone by "Dick" since high school, whereas my friend has ALWAYS insisted on "Richard". I think I heard one of Richard's friends call him "Rich" maybe once, and he was immediately corrected.

So yes, it is possible to have your child stay just being called "Edward". Unless your child decides later on he likes "Ned" or "Ward-man" or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 PM on October 13, 2014

Dammit, I was just about to suggest Ward!

Edward is a classic name. Unlike Isabella, which will now be tainted with sparklepire for eternity, it's been around long enough to weather storms. But what you might want to watch out for (I speak as a Jennifer) is if a lot of other kids will be named Edward--and thus nicknaming might occur. Though if we have to distinguish between Ed, Edd, Eddie, Eddy, and Edward, he might win that one. But according to the Internet, Edward hasn't become as popular as Isabella and Jacob, so you might luck out if you go that direction.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 PM on October 13, 2014

I'm tempted to tell you NOPE TAINTED FOREVER, because, I, too, love the name Edward and don't want it to become too popular. However, considering that I'm nowhere near having a child myself, i suppose it wouldn't do any harm to tell you that, yes, Edward is an awesome name, and no, I don't think Twilight should put you off using the name.

Firstly, while other names used in Twilight have shot up in popularity over the last few years, I'm pretty sure Edward is the exception. It's certainly nowhere near as popular as either Bella or Jacob. So even if some people associated the name with the franchise, it's not like your kid is going to be Edward M. and everyone is going to see his name and smile knowingly.

Secondly, even if Edward was the "it" name solely due to Twilight (a la Bella), who cares? Yes, for the first few years of your kid's life, people will be aware of the connection and possibly assume you chose the name because you're a fan. But there are tons of names that became popular because of pop culture, and usually the upswell of popularity drowns out the assumption that parents must be a particular fan of the original work. For example, think of all the little girls born in the 80s named Tiffany. For a while you could probably draw a direct line between the pop star (or maybe the luxury brand?) and the baby name. But at a certain point, the name was so popular there was no reason to assume that anyone who named their daughter Tiffany must really like bubblegum mall pop and/or conspicuous consumption. People just heard the name and liked it and picked that over other names.

Thirdly, even if you are a fan of Twilight and specifically naming your child after that Edward, there's no reason to think that this will mean anything to little Eddie. A few years ago I found out my parents named me Sara after the Hall & Oates song "Sarah Smiles". Gag. But you know, whatever. I could have been Mandy, or, (ugh) Sharona. And Sara is a nice, traditional name that sounds classy and is pretty versatile as 80s girl names go. Besides, I can just tell myself I was named after the Dylan song, or after the biblical matriarch, or whatever. It doesn't matter why my parents picked that name.

So Edward on with your Edward baby selves, Edward parents!
posted by Sara C. at 9:01 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, your kid is going to ultimately decide on the nickname issue himself. Even if you pick something you prefer. It's a total wash. But, yeah, if you really really hate Ed and Eddie, don't choose Edward as a name. Because you're the last person who has control over the matter.
posted by Sara C. at 9:04 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Names changed to protect the innocent, but the underlying details are correct.

We call our kids by their Japanese names at home and they use their English names at daycare (long story for the first; worked out ok so we did it on purpose with the second. My son's name "Dan" became "Danny" at daycare and this is what he was called all day for three and a half years.

Then he started preschool, there is a Danny in his class, and kids started calling my son "Dan Panda". A few weeks in, his former sitter spoke to him, called him Danny, and he looked at me and started crying because "she called me Danny and my name is Dan Panda."

So, names will be names, and can change on a dime.

P.S. I know an Eduard who keeps his name in long form just fine.
P.p.s. I am a nickname of the middle name type person, it's what my parents have always called me, and it's never posed more than fleeting difficulty.
posted by telepanda at 9:06 PM on October 13, 2014

So if hearing him called Eddie will cause you muscle twitches and tooth-grinding for years to come, then pick another name.

Yep. If you do this you're basically stuck policing peoples' behavior until he moves out of your sphere of influence. Especially if he identifies as an Ed or Eddie.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:11 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I associate "Edward" with the bard character from Final Fantasy IV. I associate "Eddie" with Carl Winslow's son on Family Matters. I associate "Ed" of another generation who carried cigarette packs around in their t-shirt pockets (I guess I can see why you wouldn't want that one.) So like others I don't think the Twilight thing is really an issue. By the time he's old enough to have a social life it seems unlikely anyone will associate the name with the show, assuming anyone does now. It's a nice name in that way--common enough to have lots of different associations but distinctive enough to make an impact on people.

As for what he gets called, nthing those who say the best strategy is just for you and his dad to call him "Edward" and not make too big a deal about it. If you call him that, most other people will too, after which it just becomes a question of whether he's gonna decide he hates the name, insist on being called something else just to be rebellious (whence: don't make too big a deal about it), or get tagged with a completely unrelated nickname in school. I have a nephew who goes by a not-at-all-intuitive interpretation of his middle name. He's been called that for so long he doesn't even know what his legal name is--and the reason this works is because his parents called him that from day one, and everyone else just followed suit and acted like that was his name.
posted by urufu at 9:16 PM on October 13, 2014

P.S. The only Edward I can think of who goes by "Ted" is Ted Kennedy, so depending on your politics that might not actually be such a great solution. ;)
posted by urufu at 9:17 PM on October 13, 2014

Do you know how when we were growing up everybody was named Jennifer? And everybody knew that was a common name?

It turns out there was a song that was super popular when our parents were young: "Jennifer Juniper" by Donovan. That's why it was given to so many girls.

I'll bet you -- and everybody else in your class -- never knew about the song.

So I don't think you have to worry about his classmates thinking he's a sparkly vampire. They'll just think it's a common name, and when you're a kid, a common name is a good thing -- you feel like you're part of the group.

As for what nickname his peers will call him: you can't do anything about that, and you just gotta accept that the boy-life he'll build with his friends is out of Mom's control.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:53 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

As a more common comparison, we all know tons of Andrews that do not go by Andy or Drew, or perhaps they did when they were young, but as adults go by Andrew, right? Edward feels about the same to me, except that Ed is the shortened version of Edward, so it is an easier go-to than Andy and Andrew, I guess.

I'm a woman, but I can tell you that it is quite rare for people to shorten my name to its Ed/Edward equivalent... my parents, sister, and a few close friends. My own 6 year old is a name like Dexter, and I'd say that he is called his nickname (like Dex) by an occasional coach or friend's dad, but somehow it just doesn't feel right to shorten it. And amongst his male classmates over the years, almost everyone with a name that could be shortened does not shorten unless the parents explicitly asked for it to be shortened OR in the case where there are two of Xs in the class, one may go by short and the other long (Lucas and Luke, Jackson and Jack, etc.).

In the 5 or so childcare/school facilities I've been in in the last 6 years, I have not encountered an Edward, so it doesn't seem that common to me.
posted by k8t at 10:03 PM on October 13, 2014

Bear in mind that sometimes not even the individual in question can stop a nickname taking hold, let alone their parents.

I am referred to almost always by the shortened version of my name, regardless of context, even if I have just met the person addressing me and I was introduced with the long form. A very few people ask what I prefer, most don't even seem to know that they are doing it. I used to push back a little, now I just accept that's what society calls me. I think that acceptance is healthy, YMMV.

I am yet to work out why this happens though. It certainly doesn't apply to everyone with my name.
posted by deadwax at 10:27 PM on October 13, 2014

Edward is a fine name. A name that will stand the test of time. A name that has many different nicknames and diminutives and so a name one can mould to fit one's identity quite well. As a parent, you get to set the terms, so calling him Edward and gently correcting anyone who chooses to shorten it will establish the name in everyone's mind.

But trust me on this. You'll call him all sorts of things in his life: pookie, little man, beautiful, son...and there will be times when you'll forget his name and call the dog to dinner instead, because that's what parenthood does.

You have chosen a good name. You are entering into a great adventure together. Congrats!
posted by salishsea at 10:32 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pick a completely unrelated option for the nickname for people who insist on one, like "Frodo" or "Dinosaur" or "His Lordship". Okay truthfully though, Edward is a fine name, I didn't think of the vampire until you brought it up, it's unusual enough that he probably won't have my problem of always having another Edward in class (There are always at least two Sarah's and no good nicknames for us!) and easy to pronounce for English speakers. My dad's a David, not a Dave, always has been and always will be. When people call him Dave he briefly says "It's David" and moves on. If they repeat the mistake, it's like a built-in BS detector and he knows not to trust them with anything much. Young Edward might do well to have this tactical advantage. Don't show him Ed, Edd n Eddy unless you're sure he won't want to be like any of them.
posted by Mizu at 11:47 PM on October 13, 2014

@Harvey Kilobit:

Jennifer was also popular because:

Cary Grant named his daughter this.

The books Valley of the Dolls,Love Story and the movies that were made from them.
posted by brujita at 2:49 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's really up to your son.

Everybody calls me Georgina, because if they try to nickname me, I smile and say, "My name is Georgina." As an adult, it's not been an issue at all. As a teenager, I got some pushback, especially from friends, but if your kid wants to be called Edward and sticks to his guns, he'll probably be called Edward.

If he doesn't mind being called Eddie, though, you're going to be out of luck.
posted by Georgina at 4:11 AM on October 14, 2014

My father was originally named Wilson, after his father, but it's a hard name for a little boy, very formal-sounding and a little pretentious. His nickname was "Pete" for no discernible reason, and it fit him so well that as a teenager he legally changed his name to Peter. I mention this to illustrate that sometimes parents want something for their child, and sometimes the child winds up wanting something else. I have also known two Roberts in my life who literally bristle when a family member inevitably calls them "Bobby" - childhood diminutives often seem to keep people from being seen as adults.

But I would caution that insisting on the full formal name may turn him off to it at an age when other kids get nicknames or diminutives. If you really can't bear your child to be "Ed" or "Eddie" perhaps use Edward as a middle name?

And don't let a silly teen book ruin it for you - people are going to think whatever they think, but you know the real reason, and that's what matters.
posted by Otter_Handler at 4:16 AM on October 14, 2014

Raising kids is one long exercise in slowly giving up control and learning to tolerate things you don't have a natural affinity toward. It starts with the poop and moves on from there.

My take is that if you chose Edward and consistently and only call him Edward, then Edward it will be until he is of an age to have a preference for himself. I think Edward is not too formal of a name for a child, but your son, somewhere in late grade school or beyond, may decide differently. However, I do know a lot of kids who make it through childhood without adopting a nickname as their primary name.

I think if you name him Edward and consistently call him Ted, there's a slightly smaller chance that he'd switch to Ed or Eddie at some point. I say this based on the experience of my brother, who is an Edward/Ted. In bureaucratic situations he's Edward based on his paperwork, and in less formal situations he introduces himself as Ted and so that's what he gets called. He never wanted to be called Ed, and on the rare occasions when he is called that, he corrects them to Ted.
posted by drlith at 4:41 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

As someone who's parent's named me with the express purpose of nicknaming me Allie- what everyone else is saying. You might get away with it when he's young, but I know I switched going by full name/nickname SO many times growing up and now I've been going by full name for years- though family and family friends still call me Allie. At the end of the day it's your kid's call.
posted by KernalM at 5:51 AM on October 14, 2014

I had a similar issue when trying to name my son. I really, really wanted the name Lucas but I HATE the shortened, Luke. People will, however they can, shorten the name. He will probably become an Ed or Eddie (as the only Edwards I have known have been called) so if you don't like it, choose another name. Maybe Edward as a middle name instead?
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 5:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

FYI I am of the Twilight generation (28) and I definitely thought of Edward the vampire. But I don't think thats an awful thing.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 5:55 AM on October 14, 2014

@Harvey Kilobit:

Jennifer was also popular because:

Cary Grant named his daughter this.

The books Valley of the Dolls,Love Story and the movies that were made from them

Just chimed into give some more color around the name Jennifer. It It was Love Story. WHY anyone would want to name their daughter after someone who died young in the sappiest movie ever's beyond me.

Okay, back to Edward. Husbunny is a James. He's not Jim or Jimmy, I don't think his head would swivel if anyone shouted it out. His nickname however is "L'il diminutive of our last name". I shit you not. He's not fond of that one either.

So name your baby exactly what you'd like, call him what you will, and don't be surprised if the world comes up with a really obnoxious nickname that will make you WISH you had just stuck with Ed.

Says, Ruthless a corruption of my first and middle names. And Bunny, my mother's nickname for me, because I can wrinkle my nose.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:56 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

I kind of doubt that "Twilight" will stick with him through his life. I'm sure you might run into the occasional person who mentions it when he's young, but it will get rarer and rarer.

Nowadays, when you meet a Jennifer, do you think "Oh, her parents must have been a fan of Love Story?" It's not like you're naming him Xena or Worf.

I suggest naming him Worf
posted by Flunkie at 5:56 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I never would have considered Twilight unless it was in your post. Like others have said, maybe he'll want to identify as Ed or Eddie or maybe the other kids will call him that and that train is going to be hard to bring to a stop. Nicknames often stick, whether you like it or not.

Edward was my grandfather's name (and yes, he was known to all as Eddie). It's also my father's, brother's, and nephew's middle name. I think it's a very fine name indeed.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:02 AM on October 14, 2014

Nicknames are so uncontrollable. I was given my name (Laura) partially because my mother hates nicknames and wanted an un-nicknameable name. And then when I was a baby, my babysitter was already calling me Laurie (which no one has ever called me since, for what it's worth). Whether he is nicknamed depends more on what he wants to be called as he gets older than what his parents hoped he'd be called. He could go through an Eddie phase, but he could also go through a phase in which he wants to be called something completely different from his name altogether.

Edward is a nice and very old name. It can't be ruined any moreso than John or Charles or Adam could be ruined. There was an Edward in Twlight; there were many Edwards preceding him who were kings.
posted by millipede at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2014

I have a longer, formal sounding name (like Edward but for girls) and the most common nickname for that is akin to Eddie. My mom hated the idea of calling me "Eddie" and so went with the much-less-common-though-still-makes-perfect-sense, "Ned." I was introduced as "Ned" to pretty much everyone and no one ever called me "Eddie" not once.

Untiiiiillll... I hit 4th grade and decided that I was going to rebel and I would henceforth be known as "Eddie." (Yes, that was as rebellious as I got as a child). That lasted through high school. After high school I pretty much just went with "Edward" on everything and if people wanted something shorter I give them "Ned." There is only one person left who calls me "Eddie" and I let that go because we have been friends since high school.

I guess the moral of the story is, introduce him as whatever you want him to be called and people will think of that as his name and call him that. BUT he may come up with something else later and you have to be ok with that.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:47 AM on October 14, 2014

I know an Edward who decided in kindergarden to be 'Ed' - you're not likely to get a say in what he calls himself, so you should probably choose another name whose variants you enjoy.
posted by thatone at 8:01 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sometimes nicknames stick and sometimes they don't.

My family tried to give me one, but it just didn't work, and my mother and a few older relatives are the only ones who ever use it. And even they only do it occasionally.

My mother's best friend, on the other hand, has two sons whom she has only ever addressed by their full names - let's call them Andrew and Martin for the sake of argument. But, she had to give up on correcting other people fairly soon because it was obvious to everyone else on the planet by the time they were toddlers that they WERE Andy and Marty, and could be nothing else.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:02 AM on October 14, 2014

The people that matter (other kids when they're oung, and other adults when their older) won't associate it with Twilight. How many people remembered Love Story during the era when every other girl in home room was a Jennifer? I'm fairly sure no one in my school had even heard of the movie.

It's also not a particularly popular name now, even with the Twilight stuff going on, so you're not gonna have an Aiden, Braden, Jaden situation. I say just go with it.
posted by empath at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, they're gonna call him Ed or Eddie. It just happens. You're not going to be able to control what other people call your kid. You can call him Edward if you want though. It's a fairly common trope that moms call their kids by their full first name even when nobody else does, honestly. Just to expand on that, you might want to dial back your expectations about what your kid will be like a bit. He's going to be his own person, and he's going to try on identities you don't like from time to time, probably starting with his name. Let him decide what he wants to be called, don't try and decide it for him.
posted by empath at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2014

Twilight is already passé. Nobody thinks like that. I do associate Eddie with Eddie Munster though.
posted by discopolo at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2014

I associate Edward with Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre, so I think you're fine on that front. (Is gothic brooding better than sparkly?)

On the nickname front, I know a lady named Victoria. When she was a baby, her mom decided that her nickname would be "Tori" because she had known and disliked a "Vicky" as a child. However, by the time she was in elementary school, everyone called her "Vicky." As a teenager, she decided that she wanted to be called "Victoria," and that is what she goes by.

So, basically, you can try to control the nickname thing, but ultimately he'll decide for himself which one he likes.

I would put in a plug for "Ned" though - like in Nancy Drew! So fun and retro, which means it's now cool again. :)
posted by oblique red at 3:30 PM on October 14, 2014

I also immediately thought Ned! Such a great nickname.

My husband is a James, and went by Jamie until his first day of kindergarten when he decided he wanted to be called James and so he has been ever since. I also know a Nathaniel, a Robert, a Michael, and a Thomas who all go by their full names. They just introduce themselves and remind as necessary. But like everyone is saying, your baby will grow up to have his own preferences and they might be different from yours!
posted by apricot at 5:41 PM on October 14, 2014

Hah, my mom hadn't heard of Love Story or anyone else naming their kid The Name. I swear some kind of osmosis was going on in the 70's.

"I am referred to almost always by the shortened version of my name, regardless of context, even if I have just met the person addressing me and I was introduced with the long form. "

That usually happens. I don't know what your name is, but certain names in particular seem to REALLY get it. (For example, nobody but nobody is ever called "Jacqueline" short of official records. They are gonna be "Jackie" or possibly "Jack" no matter what.) But most people want to shorten names into something cute and nicknamey. And if you super can't stand the usual nicknames, you might want to middle name him instead.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:53 PM on October 14, 2014

My two year old son is called Edward, and I've never had anyone mention Twilight - if people comment, they usually say that it's a nice "traditional" name. I certainly don't think it's too formal to use without shortening, but that said we usually use either Ted or Teddy (but that's because he's named after a relative who used Ted). We generally introduce him to people as Edward, they use that, and no-one has yet shortened it to "Ed". I dislike "Ed" and "Eddie" as well. Go for it! I (obviously) think it's a lovely name.
posted by fever-trees at 5:56 PM on October 14, 2014

Thank you all so much! I feel much better about naming our son Edward now. And all the nicknames you suggested (Ned, Ward, etc.) are cute and fun to think about.

I also think it's a good reminder that as much as I might want to, I can't control who he ultimately turns out to be, including his nicknames. I'm sure that's a lesson we'll learn over and over as parents!
posted by McPuppington the Third at 11:40 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

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