A question about politicians' names

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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
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I have always thought that they were similar but different and abstract names. Thank you.
 
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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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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.
 
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Vanadium 50
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  • #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
 
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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......
 
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
 

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