大丈夫的名字

英国孩子上课,第一节课点名,老师一定会问学生:What would you like to be called? (你希望我怎么叫你?)

我到过英文班、科学班、烹饪班、数学班,所么班都上过了,每一年,每一堂课的第一节,老师和新学生相见欢,老师一定会这么提醒学生:When I call your name, and if you would like to be called a different name, please let me know, and I’ll write it down. (当我按照点名簿点名时,叫到了你的名字,你如果希望我叫你另一个名字,请告诉我,我会记下来,以后就叫你那个名字。)

我当初很不惑。孩子的名字,是爸爸妈妈取的,老师的点名簿上,就是孩子的真实名字,为什么还要多此一举呢?为什么不直呼孩子的原名原姓呢?为什么要问孩子:“你要我叫你什么名字呢?”

后来,我想,这可能是英国人的文化习惯,他们不是不尊重家长,而是更尊重孩子的意愿。还有,同名的孩子一定不少,就算班上不巧有20个Elizabeth (伊丽莎白), 她们可能各有不同的别名。以下这些都是Elizabeth 的别名:Bess, Bessie, Bessy, Bet, Beth, Bethan, Bethany, Bethia, Betsy, Bettina, Betty, Betttyne, Lisa, Lisbeth, Lise, Lisette, Liz, Lizzie, Liza, Lizbeth.

我家的男生,我们叫他Benjamin,上小学后,人人都叫他Ben,好像我们做父母的,根本不存在。现在,他不准我叫他Benjamin,说这个全名不够酷。我说,堂堂大丈夫,行不更名,坐不改姓,优雅大方的Benjamin,沦为地痞流氓的Ben,你这这这,成何体统呢?

他习惯了Ben这个简称,就不喜欢Benjamin了。为了这点事,老来烦我,今天心情不好,还叫我“去政府那里帮我把名字改成Ben。”

以下的一些英文名,左边的都是正式的名字,右边的都是一些常用的俗名。有的变化如脱胎换骨,比如,Robert 就变成了Bob 。

Abigail: Abi

Albert/Alexander: Al

Alexander/Alexendra: Alex, Alec, Alexi

Amabel: Amy

Amelia: Millie

Angela: Angie

Annabel/Isobel: Bella

Alfred: Fred

Barbara: Babs

Frederick: Fred

Jonathan: Jon

Joseph: Joe

Katherine/Catherine: Cath, Kate, Kat, Cat, Katy, Cathy, Kathy

Rebecca: Becky,

Robert: Bob, Ron

Samantha: Sam, Sammy

Stephen/Steven: Steve, Stevie

Timothy: Tim, Timmie

Victoria:Vicky, Vickie, Vic, Tory, Torie

William: Will, Bill, Billie, Billy

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Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

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