Christopher Duggan is a professor in the departments of Nutrition and Global Health and Population at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He focuses on four primary areas of study: nutritional management for acute and persistent diarrhea; definition of biomarkers of environmental enteric dysfunction; efforts to prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections using micronutrients; and “general aspects” of energy and protein metabolism in catabolic diseases. That’s right — he’s a smart cookie, and his work saves lives. Our man at Harvard has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and an M.P.H from the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Chris Duggan is a footballer (that’s soccer player for the Americans in the audience) of Scottish and Australian extraction. Born in Perth, Western Australia, he began his playing career at Queen’s Park, in Glasgow, before moving to Hamilton Academical, in South Lanarkshire. After a brief stint playing in the United States, he returned to Scotland and notched an impressive showing at Irvine Meadow. His adult professional career formally began in 2013; he played for Partick Thistle for three years (much of it spent on loan to other clubs) and then bounced around a bit before landing at East Fife in 2019.
We don’t know much about you, fellow reader. That’s the beauty of the Internet — it’s basically anonymous.
However, there’s one bit of information we can fairly surmise about many of the visitors to this website: Their initials begin with “K” and end with “D.” Maybe your name is Kris Duggan? Or Katherine Doherty? Or Kip Dillon? We have no idea.
But if you are indeed a “K.D.,” you’re in surprisingly good company. These six notable people, some of whom are quite famous entirely on their own, also share those initials.
Kevin Durant is a legendary American basketball player. Long part of the almost-champions Oklahoma City Thunder squad, he’s now an integral piece of the Golden State Warriors superteam. Born in Washington, D.C., and blessed with an outrageous vertical matched only by an even more outrageous reach, “K.D.” is already a lock for the basketball hall of fame.
Kevin Duckworth was another basketball-playing K.D. of an earlier generation. Sadly, he left us far too soon, dying at age 44 of complications of heart failure. His career was largely spent with the Portland Trail Blazers, and though he never ascended to the heights of contemporaries like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, he left behind a respectable basketball legacy. After retiring, he remained in Portland and did extensive charitable work in his adopted hometown.
Karen Duffy is an American actress whose turn as one of People Magazine’s “most beautiful people” (1993) was just the opening act in an illustrious career that was just as notable for what Duffy accomplished off-screen as on-. A certified hospital chaplain and sufferer of a rare, painful disease, she’s a prominent advocate for chronic pain patients.
Katherine “Kitty” Dukakis is the former first lady of Massachusetts and wife of former Massachusetts governor (and unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate) Michael Dukakis. Dukakis has long been a prominent advocate for those suffering from substance abuse disorder and other mental health issues.
A key member of groundbreaking act Pixies and a founding member of the Breeders, Kim Deal was among the most prominent women in the U.S. alternative rock scene of the 1980s and 1990s. Fun fact: Kim Deal has a twin sister named Kelley — another member of the K.D. clan.
Last but not least, a posthumous mention for legendary actor Kirk Douglas of Spartacus fame. Douglas appeared in dozens of critically acclaimed films over the course of eight or nine decades in show business (depends how you count “decades”) and remained in public life almost until his death in early 2020 at the remarkable age of 103. Like some of the other K.D.s on this list, Douglas used a pseudonym; the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, his birth name was Issur Danielovitch.
That’s it — 10 of the best-known K.D.s around today. Is your favorite K.D. on the list, or did we miss an important name?
First of all, congratulations! You’re about to welcome a new child into the world.
That’s a big deal. As you’re well aware, for parents, a new child is a one-way ticket to a life forever changed.
One of the many, many things you’re going to need to think about between now and whenever your child arrives is what to call the baby.
You probably have some names picked out already. Maybe a couple sex-specific names each, or names specific to just one sex if you know what it’s going to be.
There’s a pretty good chance that those names are formal. Or, if you’d prefer not to think of them that way, that they’re longer versions of more commonly used names. Commonly shortened names, you might say.
If that’s the case, you might ask, why not just start your kid off with the shorter name on their birth certificate? They can always go by the longer version, if they really want, or even legally change their name when they get old enough. But if the alternative is choosing “Kris Duggan” over “Christopher Duggan” or “Kat Simmons” over “Katherine Simmons” from age six onward, what’s the point of Christopher or Katherine to begin with?
Fair question. Let’s walk through it.
The Advantages of a Longer/Full Name for Your Child
Call it the “traditionalist” case. You might want to choose a longer or “full” name for your child because:
- It’s a family name. Sure, most people go by “Chris” these days. But what if you want to honor your child’s grandfather Christopher Duggan with a full-on “Christopher”? You should have that right.
- It sounds better in professional settings. You might think traditional names look better on a business card or letterhead. That’s a valid opinion.
- It has a nice ring to it. Longer names tend to be more sonorous than monosyllabic nicknames or shortenings. Your mileage may vary, though.
- It has a history. If you’re big on the history of names, you have every right to choose one whose pedigree stretches back centuries (or longer).
The Upsides of Shortening From the Start
Here’s the “revisionist” case for choosing a shorter name or nickname for your kid right from the beginning:
- It rolls off the tongue better. Shorter names and common nicknames are faster and easier to say than longer names, especially family names no longer in common use (or subject to mispronunciation).
- It’s more friendly-sounding. Short names are more casual and friendly-sounding. Again, that might be a good or bad thing in your book, but it is what it is.
- It’s less likely to need a nickname. Short names might not be nickname-proof, but they’re definitely less likely to require one.
It’s Your Call
Okay, let’s step back for a moment. We’ve covered many of the pros and cons of shortening (or not shortening!) your new child’s name. This is the point where we recenter the conversation on those who’ll actually be making the decision — that’s you, your partner (if you have one), and eventually, your child.
Ultimately, whether you shorten or decline to shorten your kid’s name is your call. You have the support of your fellow Kris Duggans in either case.
We’re willing to bet you’ve idly wondered where your name comes from more than once. Perhaps you’re truly fascinated by the history of your name, whether it’s Kris Duggan or a close variation thereof, or something entirely different.
Because we don’t have all day, we’ll limit this discussion to the history of the name “Kris” and close variations, such as Chris, Christopher, Kristian, Christian, Christina, and more. As it turns out — and perhaps you already suspected this — they have more in common than you might imagine.
Origins of the Name Christopher
The name Christopher dates back to Greece in the early Common Era. The original Greek name was Christophoros, which translates literally to “bearer of Christ.”
Clearly, “Christophers” weren’t around in the days of the ancient Greeks, whose heyday predates the time of Christ by several centuries. By the time the name “Christophoros” rolled around, Greece was in the process of “Christianizing” — that is, immersed in a cultural exchange that would eventually push out the old polytheistic structure and replace it with monotheistic Christianity. Saint Christopher is widely credited with popularizing the name, but there was no guarantee that it would spread at the time.
And Christian? Well, That Makes Sense
Even more so than Christopher, “Christian” is quite clearly bound up in the Christian religious tradition. Originating nearly simultaneously in various parts of Europe (though apparently with the greatest density in northern Europe and Scandinavia) during the late Middle Ages, this name was just as it sounded: a signifier that the bearer was a member of the Christian faith. It should be noted that “Kristian,” a common variation to this day, was the spelling of choice in Scandinavian precincts.
Common Variations of Christopher and Christian (As in “Chris Duggan”)
Part of what makes the study of names so interesting is accounting for the linguistic variations in common names. “Christophoros” remains uncommon beyond the Greek-speaking regions, of course, but variations on it exist in virtually every corner of the Western world. So, depending on where you’re from, you might know your fellow “Christophoroses” as:
- Christoph (Germany)
- Cristofor (Romania)
- Christophe (France)
- Kristof (Dutch)
- Kristoffer (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
The same goes “Christian” (often spelled “Kristian,” as we noted) and “Christina”:
- Cristian and Cristina (Spain, Italy, Portugal, and other countries)
- Cristiona (Ireland)
- Kristina (Sweden)
And, of course, these names often exist in shortened form. (See: Kris Duggan.) In some countries, Cristinas or Christinas are more commonly known as Cris or Cristi; ditto for Christophers and Kristophers (Chris and Kris, respectively).
Names Are Funny Things
Well, that just about wraps our discussion of the origins of the name(s) that may or may not have brought you to this website today. We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about where your own name comes from. If you’re not a member of the extended Kris/Chris/Cris family, we encourage you to learn more about your own name’s history and meaning. You might discover something you never knew about yourself.
Mr. Kenuric Duggan is an “honorary” Kris Duggan — his family name is actually Robson. Mr. Duggan/Robson hails from the Lansing, Michigan, area, and works in the healthcare industry.
This honorary Kris Duggan’s real passion, however, is history. An avid Renaissance Faire participant, he’s become quite good at medieval sword fighting — with full regalia and armor, in case you’re wondering. Despite his home region’s harsh winters, he practices outdoors year-round. Concerned friends and family members needn’t worry — it’s all in good fun, assures Mr. Duggan/Robson. Here’s hoping it stays that way!
Mr. Kris Duggan hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment’s largest city. Living in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, he’s privy to some of the Lower 48’s most dramatic scenery and weather conditions. No wonder, then, that he’s an avid photographer who specializes in sunset and night sky scenes.
Our resident Albuquerque Kris Duggan has plenty of other interests, too. When he’s not waiting for the golden hour or hiking uphill for a clearer view of the night sky, you can find him taking a University of New Mexico basketball game (go Lobos!) or spending time with his beloved family.
Mr. Kris Duggan is the only born-and-bred Irishman on our list, at least to our knowledge. Perhaps he can shed some light on his name’s backstory — although there’s no indication he’s related to the original “Dugans,” as of yet.
This particular Kris Duggan hails from Dublin, his home country’s capital and largest city, and knows the place well. Like any good Dubliner, he enjoys exploring the city’s beautiful riverfront, window-shopping its many high streets, and escaping to the stunning Wicklow Mountains when the weather allows. A romantic type, he enjoys spending time with his sweetheart, too.
Mr. Kris Duggan is an all-American guy from the close-knit town of Jackson, Tennessee, conveniently located between Nashville (Music City USA!) and Memphis (home of the Delta Blues, of course).
Mr. Duggan works for FedEx, one of the region’s largest employers (and proud to call nearby Memphis its global headquarters). His job sometimes keeps him out on the road for hours or days at a time, but that doesn’t get him down — he takes solace in knowing that, without him, folks would have to wait longer for holiday gifts, birthday presents, and “just-because” purchases.
Kristen Duggan doesn’t always go by “Kris Duggan,” but that’s no matter. She’s a proud resident of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, an absolutely stunning region of rolling foothills and verdant plains straddling the divide between the Alps and Apennines, Italy’s two largest mountain ranges.
Ms. Duggan lives between the waterlogged medieval metropolis of Venice and the storybook university town of Bologna; some days, she can’t decide which she loves more. When she’s not exploring the mountains or hitting one of her favorite Adriatic beaches, she’s probably out exploring northern Italy with her partner.