All in a name

A couple of weeks ago I was discussing a well known architect with some of my friends when someone in the group referred to him by a name I had often heard but couldn’t quite reconcile with the same person. His name is Edward and everyone calls him Teddy. Previously I had convinced myself that his middle name was probably Theodore and thought no more about it but that night I decided to ask my friend if I was right. “Because Teddy is short for Edward.” I thought he was kidding. Apart from sharing an E and a D, where did the rest of the letters come from? Then I remembered another famous architect called Sandy whose real name was Alexander and I decided to ask about that too. “I don’t know why, but yeah Alexanders are called Sandy,” my friend confirmed. I tried to join the dots on that one. Xandy? Sandy? Who knows? Our conversation that night shifted to other odd shortened names. Richard and Dick; William and Bill – the obvious ones – then we got bored and changed the topic.

But after that night I decided to see if I could find at least ten shortened names that bear little resemblance to their original names and – surprise, surprise – I was pleased to find that Google searchers had been asking the same question for years. The question everyone was asking was “why” but I am really not motivated enough to delve deeper at this point. I’m sure the names all have reasons for why they are what they are but that’s a blog for another day.

So here they are. Can anyone think of any more to add to the list?

Teddy – Edward

Sandy – Alexander

Bill – William

Dick – Richard

Hattie – Harriet

Hank- Henry

Jack – Jonathan

Peggy – Margaret

Daisy – Margaret

Molly – Mary

Bobby – Robert

Jim – James

  1. My personal thoughts on the REASON…the original nameholders told their names to cockneys, illiterate colonists or drunken foreigners & these citizens were in the majority sooo…XD

  2. 1st: “Margaret

    2nd: “Muumm…

    1st: “MarGaRet

    2nd: “Maaaarm..

    1st: “Mar…Ga…Ret

    2nd: “….A’ll Jus’ Call You DAISY ’cause you smewll lok’ sunshoine”


  3. That’s probably not far off from how it happened! If you really want to get confused, google the names and read some of the wacky stories that come up.

    • CaramelD
    • July 17th, 2011

    The Margaret = Peggy one, has always had me baffled. Like seriously…how? The John = Jack and Henry = Harry is also a brain puzzler.

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