General Question

JackAdams's avatar

Where is it written (and who decided) that "Peggy" is short for "Margaret"?

Asked by JackAdams (6479points) September 12th, 2008

And why didn’t that person (or group, as the case may be) not consult with me, prior to making so important a decision?

And for those who say something like, “that’s automatic; it’s a given,” please keep in mind that Margaret Houlihan on M*A*S*H, was never addressed with that “automatic” nickname.

So, what’s the poop? How did “Peggy” become a nickname for “Margaret,” and why?

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22 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

While we at it, can we wonder about the Dick/Richard connection too or is that easily explainable?

JackAdams's avatar

That was gonna be my NEXT question…

shadling21's avatar

Wait, it IS? I’ve heard “Maggie”... How does “Peggy” even make sense?

EmpressPixie's avatar

while we ARE at it, uggg… where’s that edit button?

JackAdams's avatar

It’s OK, we knew what you meant, and if you hadn’t said anything, I would never have caught it, because I’m not that good of a proofreader, as anyone can tell from many of my previous posts…

JackAdams's avatar

@shadling21: My point, precisely.

I think it’s a conspiracy by all the Peggys on the planet, done to get poor saps like me to pose such a question as I did…

basp's avatar

The Margaret/Peggy thing was decided by the same people who declared that all red headed boys are nicknamed “Red”.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Don’t make that boys only, basp, I’ve put up with my fair share of that nickname too!

JackAdams's avatar

Can something be done about all of this?

Perhaps a lawsuit?

tWrex's avatar

Why is Jack a nickname for John? It’s the same damn amount of letters!

augustlan's avatar

I’ve wondered these things for years! Thanks for asking this Q Jack.

JackAdams's avatar

No charge.

Anyone have an answer?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Well the Jack issue is answered on Wikipedia: back when we used Middle English, ”-kin” was added to “Jan” (old time-y John) as a term of endearment leaving Jan-kin which was shortened to Jack.

I’m paraphrasing and probably badly, but you have read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_(name)#Origin.

EmpressPixie's avatar

The Straight Dope has an entire article “Why is Peggy the nickname for Margaret?” and claims it is because people liked to rhyme against nicknames to get new ones, so they rhymed Meggie to get Peggy.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/764/why-is-peggy-the-nickname-for-margaret

Wine3213's avatar

Never heard that. Always thought “Maggie” was the nickname for Margaret.

tWrex's avatar

Thanks for the scoop! Now I can answer my wife that very question and she can just call me Jackass instead.

JackAdams's avatar

@EmpressPixie: Thanks for a definitive explanation!

Was there any mention in that article about why I wasn’t consulted, before they did that?

EmpressPixie's avatar

@JackAdams: They were going to, but they didn’t want to give away your un-aging immortal status. They knew that later on people would be like “Jack? Where’d that come from?” and if they asked you, it would have to go on record and interested parties today would be posting their doctrines on your immortality and I thought you were trying to keep that hush-hush.

JackAdams's avatar

You’re right!

Please disregard my previous post.

andrew's avatar

According to my mother (peggylou)

Margaret -> Meg -> Meggie -> Peggy

JackAdams's avatar

Andrew, where were you when we needed you?

sarapnsc's avatar

Omarosa did it…she thinks she’s right on everything…blame her!

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