A question about politicians' names

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  • #1
mech-eng
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Hi, all. As Tony Blair's real name is Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, but why everybody calls him as Tony Blair?
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Tony is short for Anthony.
 
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  • #3
mech-eng
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I have always thought that they were similar but different and abstract names. Thank you.
 
  • #4
zoobyshoe
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was often referred to as "JFK," and Lyndon Baines Johnson was often referred to as "LBJ," but Richard Milhouse Nixon was never referred to as "RMN," and Barack Hussein Obama is never referred to as "BHO."

What's the logic here?
 
  • #5
SteamKing
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Andrew - Andy
Anthony - Tony
Edward - Eddie, but in the case of Edward Kennedy, he was known as Ted or Teddy Kennedy
Frederick - Fred or Freddy
James - Jim or Jimmy
John - Jack
Michael - Mike or Mickey
Lawrence - Larry
Richard - Dick
Robert - Bob
Theodore - Ted or Teddy
William - Bill (even Kaiser Wilhelm II was informally and derisively known as Kaiser Bill by the British)

A more complete list can be found here:

http://usgenweb.org/research/nicknames.shtml [Broken]
 
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  • #7
russ_watters
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was often referred to as "JFK," and Lyndon Baines Johnson was often referred to as "LBJ," but Richard Milhouse Nixon was never referred to as "RMN," and Barack Hussein Obama is never referred to as "BHO."

What's the logic here?
JFK rhymes and everyone in LBJ was his choice.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50
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  • #9
russ_watters
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Headline widths.
In LBJ'c case, it was apparently button widths.
6a010536b86d36970c017c32aadbe6970b-pi.jpg
 
  • #11
SteamKing
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was often referred to as "JFK," and Lyndon Baines Johnson was often referred to as "LBJ," but Richard Milhouse Nixon was never referred to as "RMN," and Barack Hussein Obama is never referred to as "BHO."

What's the logic here?

Archie Bunker always called him 'Richard E. Nixon'.

Nicknames and such are never about logic. Before he acquired LBJ, Johnson was known as 'Landslide Lyndon', after the controversy surrounding his first election to the senate in 1948. (LBJ won a party primary against a former governor of Texas and another candidate by 87 votes. It was alleged that vote fraud was involved in getting those extra votes for Johnson in that primary. Of course, Johnson won the general election and began his career in the US Senate, from which he became JFK's running mate in 1960.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_B._Johnson
 
  • #12
zoobyshoe
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Before he acquired LBJ, Johnson was known as 'Landslide Lyndon', after the controversy surrounding his first election to the senate in 1948.
"Landslide Lyndon." That's funny!
 
  • #13
Matterwave
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was often referred to as "JFK," and Lyndon Baines Johnson was often referred to as "LBJ," but Richard Milhouse Nixon was never referred to as "RMN," and Barack Hussein Obama is never referred to as "BHO."

What's the logic here?

Probably also Obama did not want to emphasize his middle name "Hussein" lest he lost a few paranoid voters...
 
  • #14
Medicol
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...

A more complete list can be found here:

http://usgenweb.org/research/nicknames.shtml [Broken]

Solomon = Salmon :eek:
and
Michael = Mickey
Michelle = Mickey
 
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  • #15
gfd43tg
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Probably also Obama did not want to emphasize his middle name "Hussein" lest he lost a few paranoid voters...

Oh yeah, something I will never forget was watching the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama. I distinctly remember when Bill Clinton and George Bush accompanied him, on the television they announced the names ''William Jefferson Clinton'', ''George Walker Bush'', ''Barack H. Obama''.
 
  • #16
mech-eng
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When a family have two sons, can parents give Tony to one and Anthony to another and same question for
Michael and Mickey. Is Rickey same kind of situation of Michael to Mickey?
 
  • #17
mal4mac
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Tony Blair is a former public school boy with a posh accent, so to appear as "a man of the people" he adopted the informal, working class, "Tony". His press officer was rottweiller so he made sure that stuck!

The left wing press in Britain mock the latest attempt by a prime minister to appear as "just one of the ordinary folk" by calling David Cameron "Call me Dave".
 
  • #18
mech-eng
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What is the situation for one famous name Johnny which everybody knows from Johnny Wayne and I also know a basketballer formerly played in Greece named Johnny Rogers. It must be a derivative of John.
 
  • #19
Medicol
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When a family have two sons, can parents give Tony to one and Anthony to another and same question for
Michael and Mickey. Is Rickey same kind of situation of Michael to Mickey?
I think "aliases" are often used by relatives or among friends. Without a close relationship or being in a group, calling one his alias I think will anger him. But I don't know about who are open enough to accept any calls. Does English language have a word to describe such people ?
 
  • #20
mech-eng
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I think "aliases" are often used by relatives or among friends. Without a close relationship or being in a group, calling one his alias I think will anger him. But I don't know about who are open enough to accept any calls. Does English language have a word to describe such people ?

I have thought Tony as a former name but shorter so easy-to-say than Anthony. Then there is no one have a identity card written Tony on it.
 
  • #21
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I have thought Tony as a former name but shorter so easy-to-say than Anthony. Then there is no one have a identity card written Tony on it.

Your parents can use whatever name they want on a birth certificate and that becomes your legal name. There are exceptions which differ from country to country.

In Iceland there is a prescribed list of names for boys and for girls and a recent court case challenging the list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_Naming_Committee

In the US, I met a person named Andy and that is his formal first name not Andrew which has confused many a teacher who presume his name is really Andrew.
 
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  • #22
mech-eng
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You can use whatever name you want on a birth certificate and that become your legal name. There are exceptions which differ from country to country. In the US, I have met people named Andy and that is their formal first name not Andrew.

The difficulty comes in first in elementary school where teachers presume your formal name is Andrew and call you by that name not realizing that its wrong.

Then this shows that names causes aliases then those alias becomes abstract formal names by time.

Best Regards.
 
  • #23
mal4mac
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I have thought Tony as a former name but shorter so easy-to-say than Anthony. Then there is no one have a identity card written Tony on it.

Yes, but it used to be too informal for politicians in the UK.

There's a famous, very left-wing British politician, called Tony Benn whose full title was Lord Anthony Wedgwood Benn. He dropped the "Lord", the "double-barrelled" surname, and the Anthony, to appear a "man of the people"! After him any even slightly left wing Anthony must become a Tony, it seems.

19th century UK politicians are still referred to by their full names (Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone,... Ben and Bill are not used!)

Top royalty are always called by their full name (so it's never Queen Liz, or Prince Bill!) But there are strange anomalies - we have Prince Harry, for complicated reasons (!), maybe partly linked to the younger son never going to be King, maybe partly to do with Shakespeare. But Prince Edward is never called Ed or Eddie! (Note current leader of the opposition never gets called Edward, it's always "Ed", maybe because everyone knows him, affectionately or not, as "Red Ed")

It's all very complicated! Amongst themselves upper crust UK types may use *very* informal nicknames in an ironic fashion with their friends, if significant strangers aren't within hearing ("Bunny", "Bertie",...).

It does get very subtle - serious BBC news bulletins always refer to David Cameron, not "Dave", but they stick with "Tony" Blair.

Another anomaly - there's a top snooker player who always gets called Anthony Hamilton - maybe some "inverse snobbery" involved. Sports people usually get reduced to "Tony".

Interesting that scientists usually get the Royal Treatment, even today (No Ernie Rutherford, Pete Higgs, Dick Dawkins, or Pat Moore...)
 
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  • #24
jtbell
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Edward - Eddie

or more simply, Ed, or sometimes in Britain, Ned.

Some people actively resist being called by a "normal" nickname. I had a friend in college who was always called "James", never "Jim." And many Jonathans go by "Jon" (and then have to tell people not to add an "h" to make it "John"), but some insist on "Jonathan."

Then this shows that names causes aliases then those alias becomes abstract formal names by time.

By the way, the usual term for these aliases (at least in the US) is "nicknames".

"Alias" in connection with people's names often means an alternate name used by a criminal or spy or some other nefarious person.
 
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  • #25
mech-eng
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Is it a very very common trend in English-speaking countries that to give Tony and Johnny to a pet especially to a dog as a name?
 
  • #26
mal4mac
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Some people actively resist being called by a "normal" nickname. I had a friend in college who was always called "James", never "Jim."

By the way, the usual term for these aliases (at least in the US) is "nicknames".

"Alias" in connection with people's names often means an alternate name used by a criminal or spy or some other nefarious person.

We don't call them nicknames in the UK, where nicknames are completely different to the real name, e.g., "Shorty". I'm not sure if they have a name in the UK! We would just say, "My name is Jim".

Wikipedia is wrong to call them pet names, at least in the UK context, pet names are used by lovers ("Sweetie-Pie").

Maybe it's my chance to invent a word :) I suggest: na. "My na is Jim."
 
  • #27
mal4mac
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Is it a very very common trend in English-speaking countries that to give Tony and Johnny to a pet especially to a dog as a name?

No. Is it common in your country to give common names of people to dogs? Imagine shouting for your dog in a park - you'd get some very puzzled kids! Here's a UK list:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/23846869

Interesting how they are names that are unlikely to be used for people today. For example, Alfred isn't common, and would most likely be shortened to Alf for a person. Charlie is uncommon because it's quite an insulting name for humans - the phrase, "He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".
 
  • #28
mech-eng
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No. Is it common in your country to give common names of people to dogs? Imagine shouting for your dog in a park - you'd get some very puzzled kids! Here's a UK list:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/23846869

Interesting how they are names that are unlikely to be used for people today. For example, Alfred isn't common, and would most likely be shortened to Alf for a person. Charlie is uncommon because it's quite an insulting name for humans - the phrase, "He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".

Seems that you are wrong. Look this site choose dog, USA and male you will see Jack, Harry ...
Meanwhile in my country some of the most popular dog names are Tony, Johnny and my two friends have dogs with name Carlos. I think this is because of American movie industry and that people like these names but they can not give their children because of cultural and religional reasons so they give them to their dogs. People feeding birds give human names to their birds and nature names like sea, sun, rain, water, light, wind and moss soul and rock very popular for children and pets.

http://www.bowwow.com.au/find-a-name-for-your-pet/top-20-names/search-results.aspx?country=2&animal_type=2&animal_sex=Male&num_results=20&B3.x=49&B3.y=24 [Broken]
 
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  • #29
WWGD
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No. Is it common in your country to give common names of people to dogs? Imagine shouting for your dog in a park - you'd get some very puzzled kids! Here's a UK list:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/23846869

Interesting how they are names that are unlikely to be used for people today. For example, Alfred isn't common, and would most likely be shortened to Alf for a person. Charlie is uncommon because it's quite an insulting name for humans - the phrase, "He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".

Still, I have known of people born after WW2, who were named variants (in different languages respectively ) of the name Adolph. One would think the name would have disappeared by now.
 
  • #30
SteamKing
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Charlie is uncommon because it's quite an insulting name for humans - the phrase, "He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".

I'm not sure what country you're speaking about, but there are more than enough 'Charlies' to shake a stick at in the US, so we must not have gotten that memo.

I wonder what HRH Prince Charlie thinks of this? Or Charlie Brown?
 
  • #31
SteamKing
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When a family have two sons, can parents give Tony to one and Anthony to another and same question for
Michael and Mickey. Is Rickey same kind of situation of Michael to Mickey?

Well, if the parents are not too bright, I suppose they could call one son 'Tony' and another 'Anthony'. Seems like it would get confusing after a while. It's like the old 'Newhart' show, where the sketchy guy, Larry (also short for 'Lawrence'), introduces his siblings, "This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl."



Rickey is a diminutive, usually for 'Richard'.
 
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  • #32
mech-eng
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I'm not sure what country you're speaking about, but there are more than enough 'Charlies' to shake a stick at in the US, so we must not have gotten that memo.

I wonder what HRH Prince Charlie thinks of this? Or Charlie Brown?

I am confused now , Is Charlie like Anthony or Tony? And do people give strong and beautiful animals' names to their children such as lion and eagle. It is very popular to give hunting birds names to sons and in the past lion was also popular in Turkey. Some of our kings were named by their parents as Kılıçaslan which literally means sword-lion and Alpaslan which is bravelion. This names are similar to European names Louis and Adolph which both means lucky wolf.
Meanwhile Charlie is an insult in Turkey which means stupid. I think it started from a commedy program with a funny monkey called Charlie on the tv. Is there still a problem with Adolph?

Best Regards.
 
  • #33
Medicol
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No... Imagine shouting for your dog in a park - you'd get some very puzzled kids! Here's a UK list:
...
It's a living rule in your area :cry:. How sad! I'm not even allowed to call my own pet what I want.
It's probably that excusing the public for making noise is what I might do instead of yelling at my own dog.
 
  • #34
SteamKing
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I am confused now , Is Charlie like Anthony or Tony? And do people give strong and beautiful animals' names to their children such as lion and eagle. It is very popular to give hunting birds names to sons and in the past lion was also popular in Turkey. Some of our kings were named by their parents as Kılıçaslan which literally means sword-lion and Alpaslan which is bravelion. This names are similar to European names Louis and Adolph which both means lucky wolf.

Meanwhile Charlie is an insult in Turkey which means stupid. I think it started from a commedy program with a funny monkey called Charlie on the tv. Is there still a problem with Adolph?

Best Regards.

I can't speak for why 'Charlie' is an insult in Turkey. It doesn't seem to carry the same insult factor in the English-speaking world. Is it perhaps because 'Charlie' sounds similar to a derogatory word in Turkish?

As for Adolph (or Adolf), yes I would think that the numbers of people with this name are declining, although there are probably a few still left.

At one time, there were more than a few Germans with the first name 'Wolf' or 'Wolfgang', both of which derive as you would expect from having to do with wolves. However, in the West, it became the custom for the given (or first) name to be chosen from one of the saints of the Catholic Church, or from the Bible, so names after animals gradually died out. Popular names once included those of the Romans, like Titus or Marcus, but these seem to be on the decline. With the herd mentality present in people nowadays, it's not uncommon to find more than one 'Jason' or 'Joshua' or 'Madison' in a class of schoolkids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Given_name

Giving a name is something which has complex roots in history, culture, and custom.
 
  • #35
mech-eng
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I can't speak for why 'Charlie' is an insult in Turkey. It doesn't seem to carry the same insult factor in the English-speaking world. Is it perhaps because 'Charlie' sounds similar to a derogatory word in Turkish?

As for Adolph (or Adolf), yes I would think that the numbers of people with this name are declining, although there are probably a few still left.

At one time, there were more than a few Germans with the first name 'Wolf' or 'Wolfgang', both of which derive as you would expect from having to do with wolves. However, in the West, it became the custom for the given (or first) name to be chosen from one of the saints of the Catholic Church, or from the Bible, so names after animals gradually died out. Popular names once included those of the Romans, like Titus or Marcus, but these seem to be on the decline. With the herd mentality present in people nowadays, it's not uncommon to find more than one 'Jason' or 'Joshua' or 'Madison' in a class of schoolkids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Given_name

Giving a name is something which has complex roots in history, culture, and custom.

No, it is not similar to any bad word in Turkish. It is probably from a tv program as I said my previous post. There is name in Turkey as Çağrı which has a little similar prononciation with English Charlie so sometimes people call the person with the name Çağrı as Charlie for make him angry. Çağrı means call/calling somebody.
 

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