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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby Naming Issue: Nicknames for a Fourth (IV)

Gwen writes:
Here is my predicament… I’ve been backed into a corner with carrying on my husband’s name (neither he or I feel one way or the other about) but feel obligated to at least give it a try. The name is Thomas Kirkpatrick IV. This little guy would/could be a 4th generation. My husband goes by T. Kirk or Kirk, his father goes by Tom and most recently TK. I don’t want two Kirk’s in the house… are there general 4th generation names like there are for 3rd generations?

Any ideas that are new and different from the above. Thanks!

Ooo, we had a good talk about this awhile back: Nicknames for the Fourth (IV). The comments section came up with some really good ideas.

It's too bad your father-in-law is taking Tom and also TK, because TK would be a great nickname for your little guy and an excellent resolution to the problem. Here's my new rule: men who are part of a naming tradition may only use ONE of the limited available nicknames for the shared name.

Well, since TK is indeed taken, my first suggestion is that you use Thomas. Little boys named Thomas used to go by Tom, but now they tend to go by Thomas.

He could also go by Tom, like his grandpa: that would be a little confusing at occasional times, but not too bad.

He could also go by Patrick, the second half of Kirkpatrick since the first half is already taken.

He could also go by T.: my brother has a friend who goes by T., and it's a natural and easy nickname that's cute on a little boy and cool on an older boy. Again, it's too bad your husband is using two of the available nicknames, but if YOU call your husband Kirk, then T. would work for your son. It's mostly the household that needs separate names for each other.

Any other suggestions for Gwen?


Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I love Swistle's ideas -- especially just calling him Thomas, or maybe Tommy, and then Tom -- my grandfather was James who always went by Jim, and my cousin is James but has always gone by Jimmy -- it wasn't confusing ever, because it was pretty clear when someone meant Poppa or someone meant my cousin. I also have a brother named Mike and an Uncle named Mike, and again -- not confusing at all.

So! You can definitely use Thomas/Tom or even TK like his grandfather, that's not so confusing at all.

StephLove said...

I think Thomas is the way to go, too. After all, it will be his actual name so it won't be hard to get people outside the family to remember.

Now is Kirkpatrick the middle or last name? If it's the last name you could also do first and middle initials.

Sarah said...

I suggest calling him Thomas.

My 6 year old is a Thomas and I have to tell you that I just love the name. I love absolutely everything about it. I've only ever run into two other kids named Thomas and it's been a surprise every time. Even when there might be a situation where there are more than one or two in a group it wouldn't be weird because, well, it's a classic boys' name so it doesn't stand out like it would if there were, say, two or three Dakotas or Dalton's in the group.

I don't think you can go wrong with this warm, classic name.

karintha said...

Hooray for Thomas! My husband is a second (Theodore Thomas. His father goes by Ted, he goes by Theo and his son is the third and goes by Thomas.

The idea of using Patrick is kinda cool, too. It's nice that your last name gives you that option =)

Fran said...

When I saw TK as an option I loved that! Since you think it wouldn't work due to Grandpa using it now, what if you changed it up slightly and used Teek? (Tee + K)
Or go with something totally unrelated to Thomas or Kirkpatrick. What will his middle name be? Since you didn't mention one, nor did you say anyone else with the name goes by a middle, I am guessing there isn't one. Could you add one? Or would that negate the IV on the end?
In the absence of anything else you like, I would definitely go with Thomas.
Wikipedia gives the suggestion Dru from quadruple, but you could change that to Drew for a more masculine spelling.

Sarah said...

My son is Richard the fourth -- we call him River - R + IV.
How about Tiv or Tip?

Jane said...

I would say Patrick or Rick (Ricky) would be a good nickname.

I have a friend whose son is the 4th - middle name is Frederick and he goes by Erick... Erick's Grandpa is Fred and his dad goes by the first name.

Tracy H. said...

Massey is a nickname for Thomas...I think it has roots in Scotland, but not sure of that. I have friends whose son Thomas is also a IV and they use the name Massey almost exclusively. FYI, the dad of Massey goes by TJ since the mn is a "J" name and the grandpa is Tom. I think Massey is an awesome name and a great way of letting your little one get his own name!

TeamBrown said...

I like Thomas or Tommy. But my personal favorite would be Patty - like the NN for Patrick. It's a derivative of the name and nothing like everyone else's.

Patricia said...

Friends have a little Thomas (age 5) who is called either Thomas or Tommy (but never Tom): either would work for your son.

I like the idea of calling him Patrick too. Patrick would give him his own name, while still carrying on the Thomas Kirkpatrick tradition.

I personally prefer a 'real' name to initials or something indicating he's the fourth with the name.

You're fortunate that you have such a fine sounding name to carry on, with some good alternative names to choose from.

Best wishes!

beyond said...

I prefer a name to initials. Thomas, Tommy. Or Patrick, Paddy, Pat. I like Paddy best. It seems like the most special/unusual one to me, and sounds very Irish to my ears. I mean that in a good way. Paddy works well for a baby, a boy and a grown-up.
Can't wait to hear what you decide.

Lara Jane said...

I know of a guy called Ivy, which I always thought was just a nickname for Ivan. And it is, but he's also IV so I guess it works on two levels!

Do you think Ivy is too feminine a nickname? I think it's adorable, but my husband says it's a little girly.

As I mentioned in my comment on the other IV post, I know a Dru (quadruple) and recently was introduced to a Cort/Court.

I like the idea of carrying on the name but nicknames are almost necessary!

Anonymous said...

There is a boy at my son's day care named Thomas who everyone calls Tom-Tom. I think this is incredibly cute for a little man and by the time he is old enough to drop one Tom you probably won't mind him sharing the nickname with his grandfather.
However, as everyone else has said Thomas is a lovely name in it's own right.

Anonymous said...

Your post said that you didn't want two of the same names used in the house, so using your father-in-law's nickname works.

As far as "IV" nicknames, instead of "Dru" for Quadruple, how about "Q" -- like from the James Bond movies or From Star Trek, The Next Generation -- if you are a Trekkie? (But then again, if you're a Trekkie, you would no doubt add James to his name so that he would be James T. Kirk)