Ask the Name Lady

Ask Now

Does a Nickname Disqualify This Middle Name?

Is Theodore Edmund a nickname disaster? We love both names. Both honour family. But can we use both in the same name, considering the risk of a deadly nickname combo like Ted Ed, Ted Ned, or even Ted Ted? You can just imagine the nurse at the doctor's office when she catches the joke. Or are we overthinking it, with Theo the new normal nickname for Theodore? In fact, could we even be so bold as to name this baby Theodore and save Edmund for a sibling?

–Not Ready for Teddy Eddie

I'd say this one goes into the "overthinking" column. Middle names are almost never reduced to nicknames. And what’s more, most people won’t even know what Theodore's middle name is. Even doctors, nurses, and teachers who might happen to see the middle name aren't likely to give it much—if any!—thought.

You're also right that Theo is the more frequently used nickname for Theodore anyway; Ted is rarer. So if you like Theo, it should stick without a problem—further reducing any chance of "Ted Ed" comments. Sure, over the course of a lifetime, somebody might clue in and say, "Hey, his name is Ted Ed!" Your response: Just laugh and move on! Add a mention of the fact that both are honor names, if it helps you feel better.

The nickname rhyme might be more noticeable in brothers named Theodore and Edmund. But again, using Theo is a handy way to sidestep this the majority of the time. More to the point, how would you feel about not using Edmund now if you don't end up having a second child to give it to? That's a risk, so you may want to pack in as much honor name as you can with Theodore Edmund. Just be ready to receive a few extra teddy bears among your baby gifts!

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

February 12, 2018 11:40 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

No one is going to notice. Doctor's offices and such don't even see the middle name. And even if they do and 'catch the joke,' most are mature enough to stay silent.

February 12, 2018 12:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I am a high school teacher. It is exceedingly rare that I even know a student's middle name, much less use it in any form. Theodore Edmund flows really nicely. Don't overthink the rest.

February 12, 2018 1:01 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

He's going to be Theodore Lastname or Theodore E. Lastname to almost everyone. His middle name will only matter on his birth certificate, graduation ceremonies, and wedding announcement.

The baby naming process can make the first and middle name seem almost equally important. Really though, the first name is ten times more important than the middle name. You're choosing the name that your child will be called by everyday... and the middle initial that will be printed on some documents.

February 12, 2018 1:58 PM
By anonymous (not verified)

Do it! It's a lot less obvious than my friend's daughter who is named Isabella Elizabeth. Only name nerds will notice, and most of them will admire it.

February 13, 2018 5:58 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

As a teacher, I do see middle names on our attendance system. I wouldn't even notice in this case.

I only tend to notice names of very different styles e.g. Theodore Superman. Generally, it isn't that flashy, and overwhelmingly when the style is different it is a family/honor name.

February 13, 2018 5:42 PM
By Christi with an i (not verified)

Go for it. My friends son is Richard Michael which is an amazing name. We have a friend who has called him Ricky Micky in jest but otherwise he is just Ricky and most of the kids don't even know his middle name.

February 15, 2018 1:56 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I’ve suggested looking in the family tree to help lessen naming situations anyway so I think you’re safe, that adds a great quality of belonging, authenticity and ownership. Even though you’re seeing it laid out like it is, it comes down to that if people are really going to stretch and make something to notice they’re going to do it no matter what. No name is immune just as no life is, right? There’s a lesson there maybe. AND It sounds very upstanding to me!! (If there is another to join the family look back at the tree in a different line maybe and a middle will sound right for another fit. It really does work. Enjoy and Take Care.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.