There is a danger when you shorten too much, which can happen as English sometimes is a more concise language. You can lose information – important information. Which is usually bad. But in this day and age that might be a good thing for names as you might have partial anonymity.
What am I talking about specifically? Well, just this week, I realized that Ed could mean any of three common names. Edward, Edwin and Edgar can all be shortened to that.
Then I realized that the other vague shortened name I knew was Mo. This can stand for Morris or even Mohammed. Since we were using non English names, I realized there could be a third name – Mohamar. I was surprised that there were so many possibilities for these two names. So I thought some more.
I eventually put Ed out in front because it could stand for the foreign name Edsel (which I believe is German). But I wanted a race. So I thought more on Mo. And I uncovered girls’ names. Mo could stand for Mona, Maura or Maureen.
Ed has two more female names it could represent: Edwina and Edna.
So, for a long time I was stuck in a two way tie with six names. Still, I wanted to declare a winner for this post and possible for all shortened names.
I thought more about Ed knowing that it was short a woman’s name. Then I stumbled across Edie. It has a long E sound and thus normally wouldn’t be allowed. But the two sounds are the names of the letters in Ed: E. D. So of course they can be shortened to ED and pronounced Ed. I have my winner. Important in this the era of anonymity.
And to add icing to the cake for Ed, I just realized that Mohammed with the spelling I am using, has an Ed in there as well. So it can also be shortened to Ed. That’ 8 short forms that are Ed to 6 short forms that are Mo.
Can you think of an even more vague shortened name? Please share it. With so many names in the world, it’s more than possible I have missed some name that is even more vague.
You can call me Betty, and Betty if you call me you can call me: Alfred, Allan, Alison (and variants like Allison, Allyson), Alexander, Alexandra, Alice, Allan, Alistair, or Ali.
Oops. Allan is there twice, but Albert is missing.
Looks like Al is the true champion with 9 names it could represent.
Alberta and Vidal make 11.