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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baby Naming Issue: Nicknames for Jonathan

Pamela writes:
I need help with nicknames.

My husband really wants to name our baby Jonathan Elias Orellano. I also like Jonathan, but don't like the common nicknames that people shorten it to. I hate Jonny and Jon and don't like Nathan either. I'm not sure I would like using Elias for a first name. I've also checked out all the international versions of Jonathan and John and none of them seems just right. I would like to come up with a unique catchy nickname maybe from letters or parts of his name or names.

Thanks so much for any help or advice you can give!

I suggest Jay. I knew a lot of nice guys named Jay in high school, and Jay can be a nickname for anyone whose name starts with J.

You could also go with Jeo (pronounced gee-oh), his initials.

My mom knows a child who goes by "Thanny."

Or, call him Jonathan. This is one of the best times to live in for calling a child by his or her full name: Jameses and Elizabeths abound, free of Jim and Beth. But of course this doesn't keep him from choosing a nickname for himself later on.

Name update! Pamela writes:
Thanks so much for all your comments. We have finally decided to stick with the full name Jonathan. I was encouraged to hear that many parents are choosing to call their children by full names and not nicknames. I did like some of the suggestions though, Jonjee and Jonty are cute.


Jen said...

I think you have to consider that he may choose Jonny or Jon at some point and if you really do hate them, then perhaps go back to the drawing board? That was one of the reasons William was struck from our list. I love the name William nn Will but Bill? OMG, no way. So it was struck.

That being said if you really are set on Jonathan, I think Swistle's suggestion of Jay is good. Or perhaps a new middle name that you could use as a nn since you aren't really sure about Elias either. You could do Eli as the nn if you like that?

My personal favorite nn for John is Jack, which I think you could use, but since you didn't list all that you have considered (though I'm guessing you did consider Jack) I'm not sure that helps.

beyond said...

The problem with nicknames is that the parents aren't the only ones giving them. Even if you stick to calling him Jonathan he might get (or give himself) a nickname in school / when he's older that you have no control over. So if you just really cannot stand most common nn for Jonathan you might want to rethink this...
I was wondering if Jack could be a nn for Jonathan too. And I just read that Yoni is possible. Yoni. That could be cute...
Good luck!

Suzanne said...

I've known several Johnathons who used the J initial with a middle initial to make a nickname: JD, JC, JP, etc. But I'm afraid JE doesn't work very well.

I think you best options are Jay, Jack or just use his full name. It's not at all uncommon and pretty easy to do - I'm Suzanne and have never ever been anything shorter, although Sue and Suzy are easy, common nicknames.

Kacie said...

My son is Jonathan! He is 22 months old. When he was born, I intended to call him Jonathan because I didn't really like Johnny or other names. But after he was a few weeks old, he just became Johnny to us. That's what he calls himself now (he can't say Jonathan!) and it's so sweet.

Sometimes I call him Jonner or Jon-o.

You could also derive "Nate," "Jonath," "Jona," or I like "Jeo," like Swistle suggested.

Alison aka Baby B said...

I know a Jonathan who goes by the extremely unique nn of Jonji, pronounce JON-jee. -ji is a name suffix in India (no, he's not Indian). For example, Mohandas Gandhi was called Gandhiji.

Chan is a diminutive Japanese suffix used only for children, and San is a suffix that is kinda one-size-fits-all.

While J.E. is kind of awkward, Je (gee) could be cute. I called someone with a G name that when I was younger, and it stuck as a nn.

The most straightforward nn for Jonathan besides the ones you dislike would be Jay or J, in my opinion. It's an obvious one, so it might stick better than something that's a bit more far-fetched. JJ works, I think, even though there isn't a second J name there.

Patricia said...

What to call a boy named Jonathan:

JONATHAN - My 2-year-old grandson Jonathan was named for his dad John and is always called the full name.

JACK - My twin grandsons had a classmate called Jack; I was surprised to find out later in the school year that Jack's given name is Jonathan.

JONTY - This is a popular British nickname for Jonathan. Jonty is also used as a given name in the UK, where using names we would consider nicknames is quite popular there right now.

Here are some London Telegraph online birth announcements for boys called Jonty:

Jonathan (Jonty) Ralfe, a brother for Rollo and Daisy

Jonathan Charles Woodman (Jonty), a brother for Athena and James

Jonathan "Jonty" David, a brother for Samuel and Louisa

twin sons, Jonty Alexander and Harry Alfred

Jonty Marcus George, a brother for Charlie

Jonty Andrew, a brother for Freddie

I like the full name Jonathan, but if I were going to shorten it, I'd probably use Jonty because other than Jon, Jonty is the nickname that relates only to Jonathan. (Jack is actually from John, and Jay is closer to James -- and sometimes used as a nn for James.)

jac said...

Came to comment specifically to mention Jonty, and I find it's been comprehensively outlined above! Although I associate it mostly with South Africans due to cricketer Jonty Rhodes.
The other common nickname I'm familiar with that hasn't been mentioned is Jono. My own friend Jonathan was nicknamed "nana" by me as a kid, but I don't necessarily recommend it ;)

Jess said...

If you were to monogram something for your little boy, you could write the initials as jOe. Perhaps Joe would be an interesting nickname. If it was me, I'd just call him Jonathan and maybe that will be the name that he chooses to go by.

StephLove said...

I think Jonathan is a great name to use by itself, but Jay would work, too. Maybe Jon-Jon? Or Jons?

kanah said...

What about Than (pronounced like Fan with TH?)Or, I'd call him by his full name, but I wonder if maybe you just need to scratch it and find a name with an obvious nickname that you both agree on? Kids will likely deem him Jon, Johnny, etc the first day of school, IMO. Best of luck!

Carla said...

Is Ethan too much so of a stretch from the 'athon'?
Otherwise I like Jay.

Anonymous said...

I'm in favour of just not giving him a nickname. Like Swistle says, these are the times when you can do it. And if it's important to you and you insist, so will he (well, unless he changes his mind when he's a teenager but at that point, can you really do anything about it?? What's stopping him from going by 'slim' or 'spike' or anything else at that point!)

brooke said...

i am in favor of jonathon without a nickname.

otherwise, i would choose jay, jack or joe.

The Mrs. said...

As already mentioned, Jay is good. I also like Joe. And, yeah, calling him Jonathan is a great bet.

Best wishes to you!

Lisa said...

Another vote for just calling him Jonathan. My husband is a Jonathan and the majority of people call him Jonathan just due to him introducing himself that way and me calling him that. A few people automatically shorten to Jon, but not people we interact with often; new friends/coworkers catch on quickly that he prefers his full name. More annoying is dealing with people who want to spell his name Johnathan or Jonathon or - double-cringe - Johnathon.

Jonathan's mom said...

Thanks so much for all your comments. We have finally decided to stick with the full name Jonathan. I was encouraged to hear that many parents are choosing to call their children by full names and not nicknames. I did like some of the suggestions though, Jonjee and Jonty are cute.

Amie said...

my cousin jonathan was always called Joff so my brother decided to name his son Joff as a full name because he liked it so much.

Anonymous said...

Jono-- an awesome name!