Nicknames: How John Became Jack and Other Odd Nicknames

Hope this will help some L3 AFers.:smiley: Nicknames: How John Became Jack and Other Odd Nicknames By Carol Wilkins Have you ever wondered how Jack became a nickname for John? Apart from the first letter, the two names have nothing in common. There are several names in the English language that have no apparent correlation with the standard nickname. Here are some of those names and how the nickname came about. John-Jack One of the most famous bearers of this name, John F. Kennedy, was known to friends and family as “Jack.” But I wonder if he knew how much history that name had? John is a name with history stretching back far into Biblical times. However, during medieval times, the name John was altered slightly in the Germanic tongues to Jankin or Jackin. Out of that, we get the nickname Jack. Richard-Dick Just as with the previous name, medieval times brought about Dick as a nickname for Richard. The Normans, descendents of Vikings who resided in northern France, had a unique way of trilling their “r” sounds. When the English attempted to pronounce Richard as the Normans did, it was reported that they could not quite do it correctly and the “r” came off sounding like a “d”. Thus Dick became a pet name for Richard. Henry-Hank Just as with John, Hank was derived from Hankin, a form of Jankin. Originally Hank was a nickname for John but over time it became closely associated with Henry. Henry-Harry Harry was the Medieval English form of the Germanic name, Heimiric or Henry. James-Jim, Jimmy The medieval pet form of James was Jim. Many of the names in medieval Europe were altered like this because of the conflicts in languages. In England for a time, there were contradictory Romance languages of the Norman French and the harsher, guttural languages of the Germanic tribes: the Danes, the Saxons, and the Celts. When one couldn’t pronounce the name exactly, a new name was born. But the original name never went away completely. This is also how you get Molly as a nickname for Mary. Margaret-Megan, Meg, Peggy Margaret was derived from a Romance language (Latin) so it did not translate easily into Welsh (a Germanic-derived language.) Megan was the form the Welsh used and Meg/Peg/Peggy were nicknames for Megan. Today, most use Megan as a formal name but some do use it as a nickname for Margaret. Sarah-Sadie, Sally Sadie most likely came about as a nickname for Sarah based on the medieval English attempt to pronounce the Norman trilled “r”. (See Richard-Dick) The “r” came off as a “d” sound in English. Sally probably came about due to similar circumstances. Some Germanic languages may have attempted the trilled “r” and it came off as an “l” sound. Edward-Ted, Teddy Again, Edward was derived from the Norman French and English/Germanic speakers interpreted it as Ted or Teddy. Susannah-Sukie Susannah is also a Romance language name and Sukie was the closest pronunciation the Germanic tribes could associate. The list is extensive and most can be traced back to the conflict in the Romance languages versus the Germanic tongues. So if you are curious about a name and nickname pairing, check to see what language they are derived from. And most likely, you will have found your answer. More resources

Don’t know why the author missed these two:) William = Bill, Billy, Will, Willy Elizabeth = Betty, Beth, Liz, Bess =================================== A longer list:

Man, no matter how hard I study I always seem to miss something. I can’t even recall seeing this stuff in the curiculum.

Peterstepon Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Man, no matter how hard I study I always seem to > miss something. I can’t even recall seeing this > stuff in the curiculum. CFAI Vol 7 page 246 2nd paragraph

I heard Volume 7 was all pictures…

Jack L. Treynor V6…Treynor Ratio…testable.:slight_smile: