Shazza, Dazza and do you abbreviate names affectionately?

It is tres popular in Australia (and a bit of a cultural meme) to abbreviate first names of people you know pretty well, at least beyond acquaintance level.

So Sharon becomes Shaz/za. Karen = Kaz/za. Darryl or Darren = Daz/za. Warren = Wozza. We’re fond of the zzz’s, but other names also get ‘the treatment’: John = Johnno, anybody with a surname beginning Mc, gets Macca all too frequently, and then there’s the Hendo-es (short for Henderson), the Smith-ies and the Jones-ies. Apart from the most obstinate names, everybody it seems gets a shortening at some point in their social life.

Does your language group/culture do this?

It’s one of the Aussie-isms that irrationally annoy me, actually. Though I participate when it’s the only name they respond to, hence my mate Dags. A friend of mine insists on calling a mutual friend “Gizmo” because he has an electronics hobby, but he’s the only one who calls him that; I persist in calling him Adam.

I just shorten the name, and maybe add an -ie or -y. I particularly like shortening girl’s names into boy’s names.

No Shazzas on this side of town Bucky but I do have a Shaggers, a Shags, a Shagsie and a Sharona. Someone should do a study.

Out of curiosity, what do you Aussies do for names that end in an -ee sound? Like, what would you call someone named Lindsay/Lindsay, or Kylie?

Kylie would be Kyles, Lindsay may well get Linds or something based on surname if that didn’t stick, we often shorten 2 syllables to one. One syllable names get a vowel sound on the end, Tommo, Deano, Jilly.

My inlaws speak multiple languages, but I think mostly Tamil and Hindi at home. I’ve always found it interesting that they make affectionate nicknames with a “u”. So Raj becomes Raju. Parvati becomes Paru. And so on. Before meeting them, I never gave a lot of thought to how arbitrary it is that I add an “ee” sound to names to make a nickname (once in a while).

My husband calls me Mezza, shortening Melinda, when he’s being particularly irritating.

“Mez, get us some tea, darl?”

In all seriousness I’m used to it now but it happened to me and I couldn’t really stop it, so I embraced it. Mezza is just him being cheeky and noboy really calls me that (more than once), but my perfectly normal name got shortened to Mel when I arrived in Australia.

He’s Benno, mostly, to his mates. It’s actually longer than Ben.

But that’s the beauty of it, you can shorten a name into something that’s actually longer. Like when the surname “Jones” becomes “jonesy”

I seem to get Vicks (Vicki) a lot but that may be due to the popularity of a chest rub here

My firend Felicity gets Flick or Flicka all the time, which annoyes her no end.

True enough. My golf buddy Scott is better (and more often) known as Scotty, and my old friend Lorne is most often “Lorno.” I guess “Lorno” may not necessarily be shorter, having the same amount of letters, but it does have the extra syllable.

I’ve got a friend just moved to Adelaide from the states. His name is Nathaniel. If I wanted to razz him a bit, what you would shorten that to?

Your mate could be Nate, mind you, he may not want to introduce himself as Nathaniel in Adelaide lest he get a nickname based on being a total tosser, Nathan would be a safer starting point with mutterings about parents with rolling eyes if the full version comes up, generally we ditch the long version of such names ourselves in primary school.

Nathaniel could be Nate or Nath (nayth), or even Nat unless his surname is a more appealing target (like if he’s Nathaniel Thompson, he’ll be Thommo), or he has a physical characteristic that’s somewhat notable (Bluey if he has red hair, Slim if he’s fat, Tiny if he’s huge… I knew a Wiggy who had remarkably curly hair), or he does or has something that people talk about (like my old mate Chunky, famed for his love of chunky style soup).

And lest we forget Lofty for short blokes.


Nath or nate. Or bluey if he has red hair, tubby if he’s skinny etc etc.

No one is going to waste 3-4 syllables on a first name unless it has comedic value

Good lord. It’s like they’re speaking a whole different language.

I think the whole “Shazza, Dazza” thing is really cool. It’d be fun if we had it in the US.

People call me JJ and so now one of my friends and his son call me “Jayj” (hmm, hard to spell…like saying “Jay Jay” without the second “Jay”!) They are Scott and Silas so I call them Sco and Si. Whee!

I think the opposite is happening here. In fact I started a thread about it months after first joining the SDMB stating that suddenly none of my younger colleagues wanted their name shortened at all. Jonathan didn’t want to be called John, etc.

When I was a kid in the 70s we shortened everyone’s name, but only to the normal shortened version: Tim, Steve, John, Doug, Pam, etc.

ETA: I don’t know why I never knew about this Australian thing before.