Nicknames: Charles

My husband and I watched the 1975 BBC miniseries Poldark a while ago and, being the name nut I am, one of the things I remember the most clearly is how much I liked the name of the character Zacky Martin. The Zach- names have never been on my list (though if I had to choose my favorite I’d probably say Zachariah) (or Zechariah) (or Zacchaeus!!), and still Zacky struck me as just the greatest nickname. Maybe because it was on a middle-aged 18th-century British man that it felt a bit fresher? At any rate, my mind started clicking about Zacky … how could we work Zacky into the names we’d discussed for our boys? (I think I was pregnant with my youngest at the time.) What I came up with was: Charles.

Charles had long been on my list, being a family name, but neither of us cared for Charlie or Chuck. We liked Cal a lot, but I always worried it would turn into Callie. Watching Poldark, I totally convinced myself that Zacky could be a nickname for Charles. Charles ends in the Z sound after all (at least the way I say it), and starts with a C, and there’s an A in the middle, so I’d convinced myself that, since all the Zacky sounds and/or letters were contained within Charles, that it could totally work. (I still think so.) (I could never convince my husband.)

All that to say — Abby at Appellation Mountain has the best post of unusual/offbeat nicknames for Charles. I’ve referred to that post a few times, most recently last night as I was finishing up a name consultation. Zacky isn’t on the list (surprise!), but lots of other good ones, and one of them — Huck (!) — made me also think that Hutch could totally work for Charles. Check out Abby’s post and let me know what you think!

(Also — she spotlighted Zelie today!)

16 thoughts on “Nicknames: Charles

  1. Kate, I was just about to come ask you about Zelie! Do you think Bl. Zelie Martin’s canonization will boost the name? It’s so lovely, and the entire family is so inspiring. I love it as a nickname for Marie-Azelie, but that might be too much if you’re not French.

    And Zacky for Charles? I think it might work. A reader suggested Huck to me ages ago, and I didn’t get it at first. But after a few minutes, it really grew on me. I think all unexpected nicknames are like that.

    BTW, love the idea of Finn for Francis, as you mentioned in an earlier post!

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  2. I don’t think Zacky works for Charles for me, but it is a GREAT nickname. I know an Arab-American family with a Zacharia/Zacky, and it works crossculturally for them but also would work in a wide variety of cultural environments, I think. Just a universally fun nickname, but also grows up well and is much better than Zack/Zach, in my opinion!

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  3. Zechariah is my favorite “Zach” name, too! I loooove St. John the Baptist, do anyone associated with him wins for me. Zacky is a fantastic nickname, too. I even like it for Charles!

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  4. My uncle (who was named after HIS uncle, my great uncle, who was a priest) was Charles but everyone, at least his siblings, called him “Chis” (pronounced ‘Chiz’) and I still think that is a fun nickname, classic to our family, which I haven’t heard that much (I have usually heard more of the nn ‘Chas’).

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