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Informal, Formal and Official names: Nicknames and Call names

People are often known familiarly and informally by a name different from and often shorter than the official names they were given at birth: a Nickname.

Among the formal forenames given at birth some cultures pick out a particular one to use for official and normal public use: the Call Name. (Think of it as analogous to the ancient idea that a person's public name is not his 'real' secret name, knowledge of which would give power over him to others). One of the formal given birth forenames is taken (typically *not* the first) as the Call Name: it is an official name frequently underlined in official documents. The concept is common in Northern Europe; the call name is often a saint's name or that of an honoured relative; or the first name may be the 'spiritual' name, while the call name is a secular one. There are contrasting views on whether a shortened form of a person's name can also be a call name; some consider that to be a nickname; as an additional complication, for example in Sweden, the (official) call name may be a name that is different from any of the forenames given at birth.

Handling nicknames and call names in Gramps

Call names can be entered directly in the Person Editor window

Nicknames can be handled in two ways; either as a new name type: Add Name, overwrite 'Birth Name' with 'Nickname' in the name Type; or as a new Attribute

Changing Names

The Names tag on the Person Editor allows name changes to be recorded; the Type submenu on the Person Editor also offers 'Also Known As' and 'Married Name' alternatives.

The Preferred Name can be changed by selecting an alternative name and right-clicking; then selecting 'Set as default name'

Return to The People View

You may return to the People View in the manual. It has a link that refers to this page. Al 06:32, 26 August 2008 (EDT)