MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, a new photo exhibit in Midtown highlights pride in an Irish name.

It’s a series of portraits of Irish men proud to be called by their nickname Paddy instead of their birth name Patrick. But the moniker is often maligned negatively and considered by some to be derogatory.

Irish musician Paddy Mulcahy is proud of his name.

“When you’re associated with the name Paddy, you have to represent that it in a positive way,” he said.

Irish architect Patrick Bradley, who doesn’t prefer using the nickname, feels “people think we’re fighters; we drink too much.” He added, “It’s time to change that and to change people’s perceptions.”

That is the goal of photographer Ross O’Callaghan, whose portraits project a positive image of Paddys who love their names.

“I’m trying to go around to shoot real-life Paddys and real-life stories that challenge that stereotype,” he told PIX11 News. “There is no such thing as a stereotypical Paddy.”

Over 20 of O’Callaghan’s 50 image collections are displayed for a week just across from Grand Central Terminal along the Pershing Square walkway. There’s a story behind each photo.

The name Paddy took on a derogatory connotation as Irish immigrants arrived in the U.S. a century ago. That’s when the police paddy wagon was named after drunk Irish men. Some Patricks consider it slang and offensive.

O’Callaghan acknowledged that the name does have a negative connotation. But he claimed, “We’re here to challenge that with all these real-life Paddys.”

“You have to be proud of your name and what you stand for,” said Mulcahy.

Asked whether it is more proper to wish people Happy St. Patrick’s Day versus Happy Paddy’s Day, O’Callaghan declared, “I don’t care what you say as long as you’re happy.”

So what’s in a name? Patrick is always socially acceptable. As for referring to someone as Paddy, it might be a good idea to check if they’re OK with it first.

As for the exhibit, it will remain in Pershing Square until next Wednesday. Next month, all 50 photos will be on display at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City.