How Did ‘Dick’ Become Short for ‘Richard’?


How Did ‘Dick’ Become Short for ‘Richard’?

We all know “Dick” is short for Richard. It’s one of those facts of life you learn to accept especially if your name is Richard. However, no one ever tells you the origin. How did “Dick” become short for the name Richard?

A recent video from the folks at Today I Found Out helps explain and gives us the answer, and it’s chock-full of history.

As the video explains, it’s sort of like one of those “knee bone connected to thy bone” progressions. In the days of writing everything by hand, Rich and Rick emerged as common nicknames for Richard. Apparently, people also used to like to come up with nicknames that rhymed. Which gave rise to nicknames like Dick and Hick around the early Thirteenth Century, but unlike Hick, Dick has stuck over time.

People with a name Robert are also called Bob via much the same process as people who are named Richard being called Dick. Similarly, that’s how we get Bill from William.

Now you know how Richard became Dick.

H/T Thrillist
Featured photo by Mike Dorner on Unsplash

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