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Game of thrones : Eddard becomes Ned.
Wuthering heights : Ellen becomes Nelly.

It this common practice, or 2 isolated co-incidents? If it is common practice, is there a convention followed, stating when "N" is used, and when some other letter?

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  • N is a letter, not an alphabet. A whole set of letters (e.g. A to Z) is an alphabet. That said, I don't think the N is in any way favoured over other letters. Robert becomes Bob, for instance. – oerkelens Aug 13 '15 at 8:32
  • ... and Richard becomes Dick. And Margaret becomes Peggy. – David Garner Aug 13 '15 at 8:47
  • Edward and Edwin (Eddard is not a real name) really can become Ned, and Ellen becomes Nelly, but we also have William becomes Bill, Richard becomes Dick, Margaret becomes Peg, Robert becomes Bob, and Edward becomes Ted. You can't generalize from two examples. – Peter Shor Aug 13 '15 at 9:36
  • related:Changes in English names of people – Mari-Lou A Aug 13 '15 at 10:56
  • There is a bit of a tendency for words to lose an initial "N" over time (nadder -> adder), or to acquire one (ewt -> newt); nickname was once "eke name". But conventional nicknames are so varied it's hard to see much pattern. – Michael Kay Apr 23 '18 at 22:53
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No rules: no convention even in a single name. Here are three nick-names for one girl, and the list doesn't even include Beth;

Elizabeth, Liza, Betsy, and Bess,
All went together to find a bird's nest.
They found a bird's nest with five eggs in it.
Each took one and left four in it.

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