How do you tell people that you really hate the diminutive that they're calling you?

I have a pretty common name for guys born when I was born - let’s pretend it’s “Joseph.” Many guys with the name don’t mind going by “Joey,” and as a result, many people automatically start calling guys with this name either “Joe” or “Joey” without thinking about it much.

But I hate the diminutive version of my name; I went by it when I was a kid, and when I became a teenager I made a conscious decision to start going by the adult version. A slight complication here is that any adult guy that goes by the kiddie diminutive version sounds like a creepy child molester; unlike “Joe” or “Mike,” this closer to an adult Paul going by “Paulie” - just instant squick-ville.

However, many people feel free to just start calling me by the diminutive, and I HATE it. Most of these tend to be older people, and I really don’t mind it as it’s kind of sweet and paternal since they’re old, but lately I’ve met some peers that will occasionally slip into calling me that.

I’d really like to tell them that I much prefer my regular name, but it’s been months now and I feel like it’s going to make me look like a psycho if I suddenly blurt out, “Don’t call me ‘Paulie!’ I hate it!” after not saying anything for months.

“I would prefer that you call me <insert name here>.”

Or start calling them Fartface and see how they like that.

But don’t you think that this will look really strange after responding to the diminutive for months?

Huh. I’ve just straight out said it. The only people you can’t correct is family, cause they’ll never learn. Everyone else, just say, “You know, I think I really like being called Joseph. Joey just sounds so juvenile, you know?” and smile when you say it.

And you WILL have to correct them more than once. Probably several times.

I don’t like this habit in our society where we think it’s OK to abbreviate names anyway. If someone tells me his name is Robert, Robert it is until he tells me it’s Ok to call him Rob or Bob. But then I can walk in their shoes and know how it feels.

What diminutive do people call you? :confused:

In my experience, some people use an abbreviation or a diminutive because they feel as if you are a friend. They wish to be closer, more familiar. Just let them know that you’d consider it a sign of friendship and respect if they called you by your preferred name.

The ones who are calling you by a diminutive to be jerks? Well, nothing you say will stop them, so don’t take them into consideration. :slight_smile:

That does make it a bit more difficult, yes. You could say that you would simply prefer to be called the more mature version of the name, though. It might look strange, yes, but it isn’t anyone’s business why you would rather be called a different name, unless you’re on the run from the law or something. As long as you ask for the change politely, I don’t see how anyone could fault you.

Me either. I think it’s rude unless the person has said they wouldn’t mind being called the abbreviation. I have a five-letter, two-syllable first name, fairly easily manageable, and it still gets shortened. And when I’ve asked people not to shorten it, they often seem puzzled.

How about something like, “You know, I’ve been reluctant to mention this because I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I’d really prefer to be called Joseph.”

Worked for my friend Daniel, who went through the same thing with being called “Dan” and “Danny.”

Is that you Dicky?

Beadalin nails it. As long as you don’t act all grumpy or put out, I can’t see that anyone would really care too much.

What everyone else said. Just kindly ask them to refer to them by your proper not diminutive name. Granted, you will probably get the ocassional immature ass that will insist on calling you "danny, johnny, or whatever or will tease you mercilessly about your request. I’ve responded, in the past, to people like that by calling them things like “squirt”, “pup”, “kiddo” , etc. That’s usually enough to get them to stop.

My brother likes to tell people “only people who knew me when I was a baby get to call me that.”

I always say: I know you don’t mean to offend, but I really don’t like the use of the diminutive of my name. Please call me Joseph (use the name you want)

I have never had anyone refuse or be upset by this.

I read that as “what do diminutive people call you?” The answer to that question is “anything I want”.

Dont’ call me that! My mother called me that…Once!

Tell them “You know, you guys are the only ones who call me that. Everyone else calls me by my given name, which I prefer.”

But I think you’re fucked. My sister changed her name and I have a helluva time referring to her by her new name. I usually just go for a nickname she had when she was a tyke.

I have a similar name – common first name, common nickname that I’ve never gone by and don’t care for.

When people (rarely, but it happens) call me by the common nickname, I just tell them I go by my given name. It’s never been a big deal, except once back in high school when I had a teacher who basically forgot over and over again until I corrected him in front of the whole class. I didn’t do it rudely, but he did get the hint.

I doubt it makes much difference even if you have answered to the nickname. “No one else calls me that” usually works if you’re challenged. (And I’ve found such challenges are mild; people are usually embarrassed to find out they’ve called you the wrong name.)

I’ve found that it really has to be done on first meeting (or the first time the nickname is used) and kept up until the message sinks in.

Months later it’s too late to change the way the person thinks of you. But I try to do it without commenting on the nickname other than to say “I don’t go by ‘Patty.’” For all I know, “Patty” is their favorite aunt’s name and they’ve always loved it. Just saying “I prefer Patricia,” enough times usually works.

I agree with Fishie.

I agree, and I hope it goes smoothly.