Married To A Stranger

Just how does one derive the name Peggy from Margaret? The question has bothered me for over fifteen years now. My second wife Margaret who I never called Margaret because her preference was to be called Peggy died two years ago and left me high and dry without an answer. She was never able to answer why she was called Peggy except for being called that by her parents from an early age. Oh well, I thought it must be me that thinks it is strange. In my own life I have a number nicknames but I can explain all of them, like Jun-e-or. I was the second Joseph in the line and my parents called me junior, but couldn’t pronounce junior so they did the best they could and pronounced it Jun-e-or. Another nom de plume I have been known by is Steve Star. that is the subject of another post. My most current nick name is Grumpa Joe. When my first grand child was born I often pretended to be a Grumpy old man. My wife Barbara didn’t think I was pretending. She warned me that I’d better be careful or the kids will start calling me by Grumpa instead of Grandpa. I loved the Grumpa. Each name I ever carried I can explain, but Peggy could not give an explanation for why she was called Peggy even though her birth Certificate and all legal documents had her as Margaret.


All through our life together I asked friends and relatives the same question. How does one derive Peggy from Margaret? I especially targeted Des Daly who is from Ireland and who still flies to visit his aged mother yearly. I thought for sure that being Irish and from the country he for sure could tell me. He didn’t know either. I keep getting the same answers all the time, “I don’t know.”

Last week out of frustration, I finally Googled it. I thought for sure the computer would blow a fuse from working so hard, but in true Google fashion the answer arrived in a fraction of a second. I didn’t like what I read, but at least I know the answer, or at least a possibility for why. Here it is straight from the great computer we call Google;

GOOGLE: How does Peggy come from Margaret?

“Essentially, it’s a diminutive of Margaret, which originated from the Hebrew “margaron” meaning “pearl” (as a diminutive, Peggy means “little pearl”). … Meg and Meggie were used as diminutives or pet forms starting in the Middle Ages, and soon enough those names morphed into Peg and Peggy.”

I finally get it, I can see Peggy’s dad calling his second born daughter Little Pearl. Hell, I thought Peggy was a pearl at the age I met her. It is something I would do as a Dad. In fact, my daughter Jacqueline was nick-named Maggie from the Polish nick-name Magdushu. It was a term of endearment given by her mother which had absolutely nothing to do with the name Jacqueline, it had to do with her personality as a child person.

Nick names can be fun too. I only knew my brother as Villie. His name was William, but both Mom and Dad pronounced a “W” as a “V”. It was many years later that I learned my brother was called Bill by his friends, but I always call him “Will.” My sister’s name was always “Sis.” her real name is Maria, but to this day I call her Sis.

Later in life when our grandkids began arriving, I called my wife Barbara Grandma. My excuse was that I didn’t want the kids calling her Barb. She called me Grandpa even when we spoke to or about each other.

I’m positive that every person in the world has at least one nick-name and that he can trace the origins of the name to someone or some event which caused it to happen.

What his your story?