"Tristan" now feminine given name

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Feb 25 01:03:11 UTC 2006

At 11:55 AM -0800 2/24/06, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Except for JFK, I've never known a "John" who was called "Jack."  In
>the first class I ever taught I had a "Jack," but that was actually
>his given name.  So far as I can recall, I've known only one other
>"Jack" (also his given name), and that was in the '50s.
>   JL

the linguist Jack Hoeksema is officially Jacob, but perhaps that's a
distinct Dutch pattern of hypocoristic.


>sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM> wrote:
>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: sagehen
>Subject: Re: "Tristan" now feminine given name
>John was certainly, mid-century, the most common boy's given name, it was
>nearly always nicknamed "Jack." I can't remember ever knowing a John who
>wasn't Jack from the '30s to the '70s. This might have been at least
>partly because "john" was also the most common designation for the toilet.
>Shortening and nicknaming seems to be less common now than fifty years ago.
>Perhaps due to more parental management of kids' lives.
>A. Murie
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