Is this nickname a stretch?

My sister Marina has disliked her name for most of her adult life, mainly because she dislikes the nicknames. She wants to go by something that sounds more informal that still relates to her name. She's thinking about Maura because it starts and ends with the same letters as Marina. Do you think this nickname is a stretch? If not, how do you think she should go about asking people to call her this new name when it is a bit far off from her legal name?


August 21, 2015 8:40 PM

I don't find it to be too much of a stretch, but I'm pretty lax on nicknaming. As for introducing herself, I see no problem with saying "Hi, I'm Marina but I go by Maura." I don't think too many people will really grill her about the source of her nickname, you know? That being said, if she spells it Mara it's a little more obviously derivable as well as having an arguable connection in meaning considering that Mar can mean sea, a meaning shared by Marina.

By mk
August 21, 2015 10:45 PM

I agree. All she needs to do is introduce herself with the name she wants to be called. Lots of people use names unrelated to their first name. All most people care about really is using the name the person wants. People who have always called her Marina may have difficulty switching at first, but that will happen no matter what name she chooses. And "I like Maura better" is a perfectly reasonable answer if someone does ask aobut it.

I do like the suggestion of Mara, if she is looking for alternatives.

October 3, 2015 12:02 PM

Mara is also the first three letters of Marina followed by the last one--a contraction, if you will. It's a very plausible nickname. Adding a u to get Maura isn't far off either. I'm not a big fan of that spelling because of pronunciation issues, but I think it could definitely be used as a short form of Marina. 

August 25, 2015 10:40 PM

I don't think it's a stretch, at all.

I would simply start to introduce herself as Maura to new people. Getting people who know her as Marina (Or Mari or Ina or whatever nicknames she dislikes) to switch over 100% may be challenging, with the difficulty directly correlated to how long they've known her as Marina, but she should have no trouble with new acquaintances... and I suspect even older friends will gamely attempt to adjust. I have a friend who recently undertook an adult name change, without any accompanying gender transition, and while it's difficult, we're trying hard to adjust how we think of her. (It's a lot easier when there's a gender transition, somehow!) And that case is a completely unrelated name. Marina -> Maura is more of a minor tweak.

Also, I'd recommend she can ask the doctor/dentist to ammend her preferred callname, as most of those have forms which have a separate space for what the patient wishes to be called.