Seriously, this is the tiniest thing.
Like, a very small concern. A minuscule nitpick.
But folks, it’s Len, not Leo.
Bones is a man of the deep south. I grew up in Arkansas. I can say it. People with southern accents are lazy speakers.
Put down the pitchforks, and hear me out.
We don’t like to enunciate. We don’t like syllables.
I’ll give you an example.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I was first exposed to the term, “y’all’d’ve,” I did not understand.
In fact, I’m not ashamed. I had to google it.
I immediately laughed so hard.
Because where I’m from, we don’t say, “Y’all’d’ve.”
As in, “Y’all woulda.”
There’s no V sound.
In fact, the idea of a V sound at the end of “you all would have” was so foreign to me that I did not even recognize it was a thing.
Which brings me back to “Len.”
Ask anybody south of the Mason Dixon to say, “Leonard.”
I’d bet good money that, phonetically, what comes out is “Len-ard.”
Leonard is two syllables (as I pronounce it - I’m sure some will disagree). Leo is two syllables. Len is the phonetic diminutive of Leonard (as the McCoy family likely pronounces it). Len is only one syllable.
Lazy speakers, remember?
In other words, what’s the point of a nickname that’s not any easier to spit out?
For the record, I absolutely love the name Leo. I think it’s adorable. It’s quirky and masculine. It’s a great name, and a great nickname. It’s just not Leonard McCoy’s.
I’ll admit, I have a little bit (little bit) easier time imagining Leo as a nickname for AOS Bones. That’s probably because I find it impossible to divorce De from the image of the quintessential “southern boy.” Not sure if it’s the cadence of his speech, or the way he says nuclear as “nucular,” or if it’s just because he’s the original, but De is Bones, Bones is Len.
Like I said, it’s the tiniest of nitpicks. I love a Leo fic as much as I love a Len fic.
But to me, he’s Len.