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Is He Name-Flirting?

My formal name is Christine. My friends all call me Chris. I like the name Christine, but I'm use to being called Chris. I have a male interest at work who insists on calling me Christine. Is he trying to be formal or is he flirting? - Chris

Is he trying to be formal, or is he flirting? Both, dear. Isn't that lovely?

Affectionate nicknames can work equally well in both directions -- more casual, or more formal. Ben's wife is just as likely to call him Benjamin as Benjy. In the early flirting stages of an acquaintance, though, formal is the way to go. It's respectful, admiring and a bit mysterious, rather than presumptuous.

That goes double in a workplace setting. If your "male interest" were calling you Chrissy, it would come off as too intimate for the office, even demeaning. But Christine? Ahh. He's showing he notices you, and making you notice him, without stepping an inch outside the boundaries of professional conduct. And I do like a man who appreciates names.

Parents-to-be, this is one of the reasons I like to see a full, formal name on a birth certificate. Go ahead and call her Toni from day one, but give her Antonia as an alter ego. Her future admirers will thank you.


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April 26, 2010 12:55 PM
By British American (not verified)

I am Ben's wife and I do call him Benjamin. :D His parents started out calling him Benjamin, but that gradually faded into the nickname Ben. When we met everyone called him Ben - family and friends. I started calling him by his full name and now other people sometimes do too.

Hopefully the male co-worker doesn't still insist on calling you Christine, if you do ask him not to - as that would be rather rude.

April 26, 2010 3:30 PM
By Kritsin (not verified)

Same with me! People call me Kit, but someone at school insist on calling my Kritsin.

April 26, 2010 3:49 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry, is your name Kritsin or Kristin? If Kritsin, is there a story behind that one? I've never heard it before and I'm curious (as a Kristin).

April 26, 2010 4:01 PM
By Kritsin (not verified)

Kritsin....spelled K-R-I-T-S-I-N. The story goes:
I have a cousin named Tristisn(a girl) and cousins named Kristin, Christian, Kristine,and Kristy. My mom was really looking forward her whole life to having a Kritsin, and her dream was crushed when Kristin was born. So to go with the flow of family naming, Kritsin was born. I've been Kit or Kritty to most people, but the few who call my by my whole name are the few who I allow. Except the name-flirter

April 26, 2010 6:48 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

This is a really interesting topic! My story for it is that when I first met my now husband when we were in high school, it was for a blind date. Except originally it was supposed to be with a different guy but he backed out last minute. Anyways, we're at the bowling alley, very loud place, and the first time that I said his first name "blah blah blah Mikey" he gave me such a strange look I thought I must have mixed his name up with the other guy and so I was paranoid to not use his name again and make the same mistake. Turns out, his name WAS Michael, but only one friend in the whole world was allowed to call him Mikey (and it was that guy and his girlfriend who set us up, so I thought that must be his preferred name). I still like to tease him and call him Mikey!

April 26, 2010 6:53 PM
By Kayt (not verified)

Funny, my husband has never ever ever called me Katherine. His first (and only other) really serious girlfriend was Kathryn, and she only went by Kathryn. So, it's only Kayt with him. My parents sometimes call me Katherine, but most of the time, people just call me Kayt. Some people try to call me Katie, and that don't fly. I'll even go by Kay over Katie, but it's usually not a problem.

April 26, 2010 10:08 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Yes definitely flirting. I had a guy like this once who would and extra endings to my name like ita and essa and sande and then say lovely things about me in his various foreign languages.

April 26, 2010 10:25 PM
By Kritsin (not verified)

@ Kayt....
My sister is in that position. Her name is Eriqua, but her b/f's ex's name is Erica. So she's Rica to him.

April 27, 2010 12:59 PM
By Paula (not verified)

Is there a male there at work who is called Chris? Or could your male coworker know several males named Chris? If so, this could only be his way of differentiating between you and others. Could be that's ALL it means!

April 27, 2010 1:16 PM
By Renee (not verified)

Which name did you use to introduce yourself? Whatever name someone uses during introductions is the name I always use for them.

April 27, 2010 2:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

So funny, I'm a Ben's wife as well. I usually call him Ben, but it's normal for me to call him Benjamin, though never Benjy. After reading this I noticed that I tend to call him Benjamin when I'm being "flirty."

April 27, 2010 2:33 PM
By Nicholas Hentschel (not verified)

Paula's got a good idea about not confusing you with someone else; never mind the office, Chris could be his brother's name!

Other possibilities:

A) He's old-fashioned, and doesn't like calling girls by boys' names.

B) He thinks he's being polite, and shouldn't call you by a nickname.....yet.

C) He thinks nicknames are inappropriate at work.

D) He is categorically NOT flirting, and is addressing you formally in order to make sure people understand that.

E) He *likes* your full name better.

I think you should just come out and ask him his opinion. There are far too many possibilities, and too little evidence, to guess from.

April 27, 2010 3:44 PM
By Acolorfulworld (not verified)

Everyone calls me Katie. One day some co-workers learned that my full name was Katherine, around the same time, but independently from each other. One was a man the other a woman. To this day both call me Katherine despite everyone else calling me Katie. They both told me that they just thought the name Katherine was so elegant or regal and loved it. Trust me neither of them is flirting with me. They just honestly found my full name so much more appealing than my nickname.
Also, my friend named her son Kaylean and then nicknamed him Kirby. I begged her forgiveness, but explained that Kirby was a brand of vacuum cleaner to me and I just couldn't bring my self to call him that, would she mind terribly if I called him by his full name Kaylean. She was gracious and had no problem with that. So I am the only person who calls him Kaylean, to all others they use Kirby. If I had met him as an adult at work, I think inherently I would have tried to use Kaylean instead of Kirby, because of my association to the name. So maybe your co-worker has something like that going on.
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that he is flirting with you. I mean obviously, that is an option to be weighed with his general behavior towards you, like does he lean closer when he talks to you, does ask your opinion on all matter of things in which he really wouldn't need to. Things like that would help to read his intentions.

April 27, 2010 9:17 PM
By Sarah (not verified)

Using a full name can be a kind of term of endearment. While I'm married and was definatley not flirting, two of our male friends that I'm close to I will call Stephen and Joshua instead of just Steve and Josh. I don't do it all the time though.

April 28, 2010 8:50 AM
By NAMES (not verified)

Thus, why I WISH my parents would have given me a full name, they did it with my sisters.

My eldest sister is Jannelle, as a child she was Janny; as a teen she was Jan or Jannelle, which is still the same today.

My older sister is Julie, her nickname has always been Jewel or Jewels.

My name is Jill, not Jillian, just Jill. My nickname was Jiller or Jilly, which is now too childish as an adult. In fact, I spoke with my parents as to why I am not Jillian and its because my mother dislikes the formal Jillian and likes just Jill, my father didn't even notice.... I created Jilliana which I will be changing my name to because I asked my mother if she would have known of Jilliana when she named me would she have used it and she said yes.. So, for the most part I will still go by Jill, but as a nickname and my full name will be Jilliana.

April 28, 2010 10:28 PM
By Karma (not verified)

Another meaning could be that he's similar to both myself and my youngest brother: we don't use nicknames. If we're introduced to someone by their nickname we use it, but often when we learn their proper name, that's what we use.

So, it could just be your guy is one of those people who prefer to dignify people with their full given name.

April 29, 2010 9:20 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I used to call my ex Mitchell, though no one else really did. Now that he's my ex, though, I refer to him as Mitch. (I think it's basically because I don't really like the name, and I thought Mitchell was at least somewhat better.)

April 30, 2010 6:06 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My first name is too difficult for most people to pronounce, so I usually go by my second middle name. My boyfriend, however, calls me by my first name - he can pronounce it, so I rather like that.

There are a few other people who also try to use my first name because they met me through him, and generally I don't mind if they can pronounce it properly, but it really bothers me if they can't.

May 3, 2010 8:49 AM
By Sebastiane (not verified)

He's just being formal. Or maybe he just likes the sound of Christine better ;)

May 4, 2010 12:18 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know of a similar situation: I have a friend named Chris and I notice girls only call him Christopher when they're flirting with him. So that could definitely be it, but the other commenters have come up with some likely scenarios too. You should just go with your gut feeling. :)

May 5, 2010 8:50 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

I'm Kristina...Tina to my immediate family, and Kris to some of my co-workers (which I don't mind, but am still not used to hearing...sometimes I take a second to respond!), but I'm Kristina to the rest of the world, including hubby. His ex is Christina, but she has always gone by Chris, so there is no way in heck he would ever call me Kris and he's not allowed to call me Tina. So it's formal flirtation for us, I guess. LOL.

May 5, 2010 2:10 PM
By Alison (not verified)

Ah, my name/nickname. Most people called me Ali in high school, even my high school sweetheart. My first college boyfriend though? He took my wish to be called Alison seriously and helped me establish myself as an Alison in college. It's one good thing about being with him for that time.

My boyfriend now usually calls me Alison or a term of endearment. I think he may have called me Ali a grand total of 3 times. Now, I'm mostly an Alison :).

It's funny... I prefer Alison coming from my boyfriend and most people, but close friends and family do call me Ali. Maybe I got over a boyfriend calling me Ali in high school!

May 7, 2010 11:25 AM
By timbo (not verified)

My wife calls one of her male coworkers "shag balls". She's also always making jokes with him about "ball shagging". Do you think this is appropriate?

May 10, 2010 1:19 PM
By Jennifer (not verified)

My name's Jennifer, but to family and friends of the family, I've always been Jenna. To all of my friends - I'm Jen. No one ever calls me Jenny, and the only time I'm called Jennifer is when someone wants my attention.

May 13, 2010 4:02 PM
By Elisabeth@YCCII (not verified)

Love this!

June 8, 2010 12:36 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It could be anything really... maybe you should ask him! I do know that my term of endearment for my boyfriend is his full name Nicholas... to everyone else, including his family, he's just Nick.

May 28, 2013 1:46 AM
By hermes wallet (not verified)

Nice job. thanks for sharing.

February 28, 2016 4:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My nickname is Maddy and I've gone by that for as long as I can remember. Back in elementary school, I'd have people I'd known for years not realize Maddy wasn't my real name. I've had countless other names given to me by my friends, a common one being Mads, but Maddy always stuck. I'm beginning to realize that I prefer it when people refer to me by my full name, Madeline. I noticed this when I started to exclude my nickname from this and not mentioning it to new people I meet that that's what I'm usually called. I feel that Madeline is more fitting for me now.

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