a question about 'Dick'


Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

Dick is a male name, but dick is a four-letter word. I wonder if the name “Dick” common among native speakers and if it’s sensitive to native speakers.

Thanks a lot.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    We are used to using that name and most of us can take it in our stride. However, some people like to make jokes about it too. For that reason, if I was was naming a kid, I would avoid using Richard.

    Richard, by the way, is the full version of the name that gets shortenend to Dick.


    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Dick is a very old abbreviation of Richard. The use of "he's a :warning:dick" or "he's a :warning:dick-head" is more recent (I say that without doing any research). I've known people called Dick by their friends without necessarily thinking of this meaning.

    Crossed with Suzi.:)


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The name Richard has always been common, and still is, and new children called Richard grow up, and they themselves use short names: Rich, or Rick, or Dick. Lots of them accept and use Dick. They could insist on being Rick or Richie or Ricky, but the name Dick somehow survives despite the inevitable jokes, which they have certainly heard many many times.

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    One of my cousin's decided to use his middle name instead of Richard partly because he was so fed up with people shortening his name to Dick without his permission. In fact, he wasn't called Dick even by family or close friends.

    That can happen with any name - a friend gets very annoyed when she's called 'Judy'. At best, it's rudely assuming a degree of familiarity, or in the case of 'Dick', it could be deliberately insulting


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I once knew an American named Woody, which I thought was quite apt in his case (he had an artificial leg).
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