Italians, particularly Romans, love to shorten words. This extends to first names, although it's not so much a nickname as it's a short-hand way of calling someone when you're in a hurry. Nicknames are often, as was the case in ancient Rome, based on some physical or mental attribute. So one of my colleagues at work is Orso (Bear) because of his size and his amount of body hair. But I haven't figured out the name-shortening rules yet. I will grant that Kristina is a lot to say, it being a three-syllable name. Rather than shortening it to Kris, however, the Italians tend to call me Kri. And since they don't have short vowels, this is prounounced like the Cree Indians. Today I heard Sveva call out to Simona and call her Simo, which actually came out sounding more like Smo. I would assume that Stefania's name-shortening is Stef, but it'll probably end up being Stee. Stee, Smo, and Kree... the Italian stooges.
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