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Is it Zach or Zack?

July 1, 2011

So My name is Marc. My parents chose the less common way to spell a very common name. This has lead to everyone spelling my name “Mark” and me having to correct them for the last 32 years. As the saying goes, if I had a nickel for every time I had to tell someone it was a “c” not a “k” then I would be able to solve our nation’s debt crisis myself.  The best part is any time I need to give my full name for something “Marc Kaplan” someone will always ask “is that a C or a K?”  If I say “C” then they spell my name “Marc Caplan” and if I say “K” they spell my name “Mark Kaplan”.  The best one of all is now my Dad will send me text messages that start off, “Dear Mark”.  First off how does my own Dad spell my name wrong and second, why does my Dad start text messages like they are formal letters?

So this brings us to naming my son. I obviously have some issues with the spelling my parents chose. When we named little Zachary my requirement is that we go with the most common spelling. And, having done that I doubt my son will face as much confusion about the spelling of his full name.  But, how do you spell his nickname and what everyone will call him. I am not the only one with this dilemma. I thought the obvious spelling was Zack, like Zack Morris. My wife says it should be Zach which is the shortened version of the actual spelling. CH vs. CK…I just don’t want him to have to correct everyone for the rest of his life. Since we told everyone the full name most everyone has been writing the nickname as Zach. I had felt strongly about “Zack” but I guess popular opinion wins this battle.

Btw, best question I got about his middle name, Harrison: “Was he named after Indiana Jones or the Beattle?”

10 Comments leave one →
  1. LaurenV permalink
    July 1, 2011 1:58 pm

    You mean it wasn’t after William Henry Harrison ??
    I agree with Liz – Zack is Whack!
    Btw — I like Marc better than Mark. Don’t tell Irving.
    Then again, my daughter is named Vivienne (not Vivian). And her middle name is Lillie (not Lily)! If she’s looking for someone to commiserate with when she’s older, I’ll give her your number – but I have a feeling she’ll have got even you beat.

  2. July 1, 2011 6:43 pm

    You spent 9 months not telling anyone the name and didn’t think about this? I like Zack too for the record.

    • July 1, 2011 6:51 pm

      Obviously a pretty good point. We almost went with Harrison as the first name but were worried that people would call him Harry, which sounds like he should be playing checkers in the park.

  3. June 22, 2016 3:47 pm

    Well, we shorten Michael (with a ‘ch’) down to Mike (with a ‘k’). So I don’t see why Zack can’t be treated the same…

    • March 18, 2017 3:09 am

      I happen to be Zachary Michael Harrison & I go with Zack. I have dealt with the whole “ck” to “ch” thing. MY high school nurse taught her son to go with the “ch” thing so I picked on her a lot for that when she dealt with me. It is a pain but it doesn’t matter what is right or wrong if the kid knows how it’s supposed to be.

  4. Florida Dad permalink
    March 23, 2017 11:41 pm

    LOL. It’s only important when you sign a check, right? We named our son, Myles. But even Longfellow, in his poem, decided to change that (Miles).

  5. RMil permalink
    September 19, 2017 12:42 pm

    We shortened Nicholas as “Nick,” and not “Nich.”

    Why not just use “Zac” and let your son decide in the future if he wants it spelled… Zac, Zach, Zack…

  6. Zack Cochran permalink
    November 3, 2017 7:57 pm

    Zach should always be the go to choice, because if it’s not, people will decide that that’s the way it should be spelled for you.

  7. February 8, 2018 6:12 pm

    My personal opinion as a living, breathing Zachary of over 40 years (before the name became cool/popular); if you name a child Zachary, the shortened version should be spelled Zach (or Zac I guess but I’m not a fan). If you want to call him Zack and spell it with the CK then just name him Zack and don’t go for the full Zachary. Either way, it won’t stop people spelling it Zak, Zac, Zech or any myriad other annoying ways LOL.


  1. Zach or Zack: Damn you Zack Wheeler!!!!!!!!!! | newdaddyhood

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