I know only one person with a true nickname. His parents gave it to him when he was a toddler and he’s now an adult. We know his real name, of course, but he’s not often called that.
It’s not a diminutive — he’s not a Jimmy, Johnny or Tommy. Diminutives like that are quite common in first generation immigrant families but my cousin’s nickname is quite Anglo and not at all connected to his given name. I like it and I imagine he does too…he’s never stopped using it — or told us to stop.
Now, people who give themselves a nickname in adulthood are — to my mind — another matter. Take me for example. Imagine I start calling myself Minty out of the blue. And I started introducing myself as Minty Elias. My blog would become the Minty blog…
I met someone recently who goes by a self-selected moniker. And when asked, this person declined to tell me their real name.
When I start using Minty full-time, I will still answer to Christine — I promise.