While I'm transcribing Dilworth's Catechism for the online documents project, I ran across the following: " ... I cannot help taking Notice of the ridiculous Names which are given to some Children, as Jack or Sam; Sue or Betty, because other Children of the same Parents, who have been named John or Samuel, Susanna or Elizabeth, have died when they were very young, or in their Infancy; by which Means this holy sacrament of Baptism ... is done by the Sponsors in such a shameful Manner, as gives a great deal of scandal to all good Christians ..." The date of publication is 1772, and so Dilworth's pot shot is aimed at what appears to be a practice in England at that time which was common enough for him to take a swat at it. I know some of my Roman friends who entered the Roman Church as adults tell me they took a new name (if they were baptized or re-baptized) that was different from the name they ordinarily use. I've not run across that practice among Anglicans (yet), but perhaps will do so shortly if anyones know of it who sees this topic and comments further. The sacrament of baptism aside, I've always felt pity for people whose parents stuck a nickname on them, rather than a more formal name. Formal names (Kathryn, for example) easily generate nicknames (e.g. Kathy), but the process does not run the other way. And, so, I'm grateful to have been named William, grateful that I was always Billy to Mom and Dad, and grateful that my flock can call me Father Bill. In North Texas, that appellation has a mildly crusty flavor to it which comes in handy in some situations.