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Thread: Diminutives of names in your language

  1. #1
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    Diminutives of names in your language

    Hi all,
    I'd like to discuss diminutives of names in different languages. It seems to me that languages differ a lot here! For example, in Russian there are usually lots of diminutives, whereas in Italian some names seem to be used only in their full form (Chiara, Sofia, Mia, Carlo...), as well as in Finnish (Eila, Tarja, Ville). I guess it depends also on the number of possible suffixes in the given language, but nevertheless.
    My name's Anna, and in Russian there is about a dozen of possible diminutives; I'm not sure I can remember them all, but I'll try to list as many as I can.
    - Anya - is the most popular diminutive, and what's interesting, it doesn't sound too informal. If you come, say, to a bank office and want to ask something a girl who's called Anna, you may address her as Anya, but only if she's no more then 25 years old or so.
    - Anechka or Anyuta - is more informal, and is usually used by relatives or close friends.
    - Annushka - remember Master and Margarita? This diminutive isn't used so widely, and most often it is used ironically.
    - Nyura - was especially popular among peasants before 1917 or so. This diminutive almost came out of use by now, but I know an Anna who prefers to be called so.
    - Nyusha - sounds pretty informal, is used by relaties only, it seems. My parents also call me Myusha - I really, really don't know why!
    There are other variants (Anyusya, Anyura, Nyuta), but these are the most common...

    So, what about diminutives in your language? And what do you think about diminutives? Do you like when someone calls you by you pet name, or you prefer to be addressed by your full name? I myself dislike being called by any of the diminutives, and when a stranger or a person whom I don't know very well tries to address me as Anya, it sounds to me very unceremonious...
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Funny you mentioned diminutives in Russian.. did you notice that most of the diminutives for men are ending in <a>? I find this odd, since in other languages usually she-names end in <a>. Also, some of them really confuse me since they barely relate to the initial name - e.g. Vova for Vladimir or Sasha for Alexander. Yeah, and Nyura is also a good one! By the way, I like it.
    Back to your question: number and usage of diminutives are depending on people’s characters and habits. Russian nation has a deep sentimental nature which reveals itself in poetry as well as in day-to-day talk. Hence the large usage of diminutives. On the other side - as Russian spirit appears to me as extremely contradictory - the roughness is expressed in swearing and violent language.
    Wrapping up, probably you don’t like strangers to call you by nick-names because it implies a certain familiarity you dont agree to. Also, your name is not long enough to make the diminutive efficient. In my case, I like people to call me by my nick-name as it is shorter and less complicated. However, I usually ask them to do that..

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Right you are, the situation with diminutives for men is really funny. And sometimes diminutives for men and women can be the same: Sasha may srtand both for Alexander and Alexandra.
    My opinion is that a person should be called by the name they say when they introduce themselves. And sometimes I just get angry with people who, hearing my name 'Anna', immediately reply with 'Ah, nice to meet you, Anya'. It's most annoying! However, I usually don't show my annoyance at that, I just tell them politely that I prefer to be addressed by my full name...

    As for swearing language - well, Romanian also has some strong expressions.
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Yes, it's true, Romanians do have some juicy swearing too.. sadly, the diminutives and poetic expression are not compensatory in number
    Back to Anna-Anya conflict.. it's no big deal, actually. I think that what's really bothering is that people dont take you seriously yet - they dont accept you as a mature person for now (I assume you have this problem with older folks). Dont worry, as time passes you will get to be called Anna and maybe - just maybe - you'll come to regret the <Anya> ..
    I hope I didn't sound patronizing - it was not my intention. I'm in a nostalgic mood these days - I had to supervise some temps - students - and I couldn't get them to call me by my name or to use the less formal addressing formula (in Romanian we have two formulae for addressing to a person: the informal <you> and a more formal and respectful one - lets say <thou/thee>). It felt bad..

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    In the UK it is very common to use the shorter forms of names, Ed for Edward, and Tom for Thomas. It has got to the point where parents are naming their children Ed rather than Edward. You would assume that it is a shortened version but now it is their full name!

    My name is a shortened version of my "given" name that I dislike very much, and only my mother uses it when she is angry with me. She still does it and am nearly 26!!

    Purrs Gatita

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Rux
    Back to Anna-Anya conflict.. it's no big deal, actually. I think that what's really bothering is that people dont take you seriously yet - they dont accept you as a mature person for now (I assume you have this problem with older folks). Dont worry, as time passes you will get to be called Anna and maybe - just maybe - you'll come to regret the <Anya> ..
    No, no, no. It's the same problem with younger people. And many more people tend to use diminutives even when they're addressing those who are of the same age or even a bit older. I guess it has more to traditions...
    I don't know why on earth people tend to call each other by diminutives - at least here in Russia. Last summer I worked as an insurance agent - I was sitting in the office, selling insurance policies. As filling all those application forms usually requires some discussion, some people used to ask my name in order to know how they might address me. OK, I realise clearly that it's rather hard to accept me as a mature person (I'm 20 now, and I look much younger), but still I was kinda official...
    That wasn't wholly because of my age and look - I've heard people addressing by diminutives hairdressers, shop-assistants, and so on. Maybe that's because they think they have the right to address those who're offering them some services?.. Interestingly enough, I've never heard anyone addressing a doctor, for instance, in amy other way than the most polite.
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatamariposa
    In the UK it is very common to use the shorter forms of names, Ed for Edward, and Tom for Thomas. It has got to the point where parents are naming their children Ed rather than Edward. You would assume that it is a shortened version but now it is their full name!

    My name is a shortened version of my "given" name that I dislike very much, and only my mother uses it when she is angry with me. She still does it and am nearly 26!!

    Purrs Gatita
    Ah so! I see such names as Ed, Tom very often, and I've always wondered if these are full names or the person just prefer to be called by the diminutive!
    Oh yes, names can be very powerful when it cames to showing your attitude towards somebody. My Mum usually call me 'Nyura' when she's angry with me, and 'Anna' when shes pleased with something I've done or jusst wants me to do something I'm now willing to do. It works!
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Maybe it's their way to be <nice>? To try to please you, so you will like them more? Or to initiate a closer relation that will "force" you to be more perceptive to their demands?
    Anyway, doctors are respected and feared by almost everybody.. and rightfully so, as they make a huge difference in the world.

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    You know, it may be so, indeed. And it seems to me that the majority of people like to be called in such a way, and it definitely helps to establish more closer relation and make a person more interested in helping you. I've read a book by Jill Spiegel, where she recommended always try to address people by their names, if you know them. But as I can remember, she didn't advise to use diminutives. All in all, addressing someone whom you aren't familiar with by their full ame is absolutely normal everywhere; but the use of a diminutive may seem too great a familiarity.
    Besides, there are always people who just don't know how to behave properly, especially on formal occasions.
    Then, let us remember cultural aspect of communication. People from different countries and even from different parts of a country very often have different idea of how to behave. For example, Petersburgers are generally much more polite then Muscovites, and Muscovites are often more polite then Southerners... The latter are the most unceremonious people I've dealt with! I don't mean to say they're rude - I guess their idea of being nice is simply very different from mine. Oh, the difficulties of cross-cultural communication...
    Last edited by Etcetera; 9th June 2006 at 12:20 PM.
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    In Spanish there are mostly three forms to make those diminutives: suffixes (that may be standard, the sames used to make diminutives for other nouns and adjectives and usually are used to call kids, or non standard) shorter forms and completely different forms. They can be combined as well. Examples:

    Francisco: Fran, Francisquito, Chisco, Curro, Paco, Currito, Paquito, Frasco, Frasquito, Currillo...
    Antonio: Antoñito, Toni, Toño, Antoñete...
    José: Joselito, Josete, Pepe, Pepito, Pepón, Sete...
    Rosario: Charo, Charito, Charini, Rosarito, Rosarillo...
    Dolores: Lola, Mariló, Loli...

    Compound (¿?) names can be blended into a single diminutive:
    Chus (María Jesús), Chema (José María), Pepelu (José Luis), Mariajo (María José), Juande (Juan de Dios)...

    The more popular the name, the higher amount of diminutives. Man names seem to have more diminutives than woman names, but there are a lot of woman names after a Virgin, like "María del Carmen", "María de los Dolores", "María de las Angustias" or "María de las Piedras Albas", that even officially are shortened to their last part in most cases: Carmen, Dolores, Angustias... This make some of those women to have horrible names, since "Dolores" means "pains" and "Angustias" means "anguishes"
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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Hallo everybody! How would it be the diminutive of the name Nataliya in russian? What about Tusya? Others?
    thanx a lot
    alb

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Alberto77
    Hallo everybody! How would it be the diminutive of the name Nataliya in russian? What about Tusya? Others?
    thanx a lot
    alb



    hello,

    My name is Natasha, which is pretty same as Natalia...

    I have many shortened names: Natzka, Nati, Nata, Natza, Tasha, Tashka....
    Last edited by natasha2000; 9th June 2006 at 2:26 PM.

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Alberto77
    Hallo everybody! How would it be the diminutive of the name Nataliya in russian? What about Tusya? Others?
    thanx a lot
    alb
    Hi Alberto,
    there's a lot of diminutives, too.
    - Natasha (most popular and most universal. All the other variants sound much more informal)
    - Nata
    - Tasha
    - Tusya (but I've seen this in literature only, I don't know any Natalia who would be called Tusya actually; but at the same time, there's only three or four Natalias among my friends)
    - Natal'yushka (almost impossible to pronounce! )
    - Natulya.
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Dr. Quizá, thanks a lot! Diminutive names in Spanish are really interesting! I've always wondered how many names a person can have in Spanish-speaking countries, and it's a pity that Russian kids get only one name!
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Hi,

    I just have one... My name is "Maria" but most people call me "Mei"... don't ask me why, I still don't know, it's my sister fault! Aiiixxx

    What about those names as "Dolores Fuertes Cabeza"?

    Mei
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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Quote Originally Posted by Etcetera
    I've always wondered how many names a person can have in Spanish-speaking countries, and it's a pity that Russian kids get only one name!
    Most people have one or two names and all we have two surnames. I have two names and my brother and my sisters have three each, but there are people like Picasso (BTW, that's a French surname) whose surnames are Ruiz Picasso, but his full name is Pablo Diego José Santiago Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso!!!
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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Try saying that when you are drunk, bet you if that was my full name and my mother was in a strop with me she would still manage it!!

    Gatita x

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Gatita, it's truly awful! I could only read this with three pauses for breath!
    And the name of the girl you have mentioned is just marvellous. Here in Russia parents love giving their kids unusual names, too... About 10-15 years ago Spanish names were extremely popular, 'cause there were lots of 'soap operas' on TV, and they were so popular among women... I remember journalists reporting about some 300 girls named Alondra, for example. Patricia, Isabel, Luis were also very popular names. It was subject of endless jokes!
    Anna

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    The fashion dictates a lot of the names here in the UK. There are kids called Maddox after Angelina Jolie's son, and all sorts named after Chris Martin's children.

    The posher people use the names from the Royal Family as well, kind of like a status symbol.

    What's it like where you guys are from?

    Gatita

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    Re: Diminutives of names in your language

    Well, the Royal Family names aren't extravagant, are they? Elizabeth, Margareth, Henry, William are truly English names, very beautiful.
    I myself was named after my great-grandmother, who became a true family legend because she, being evacuated from Leningrad with her two kids to a small town in Ural, managed to return to the city right after the Siege ended. But the name Anna also belonged to several Russian empresses.
    Anna

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