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Nickname Names for Boys

Cute-Baby-Boy-Wallpaper-1

by Pamela Redmond Satran

A friend of ours recently named his baby Jake.  Not Jacob, just Jake.

Why name the kid Jacob, he and his wife reasoned, when they weren’t really crazy about it and intended to call the little boy Jake all the time anyway?

Nickname names have become increasingly popular and fashionable for children of both sexes over the past handful of years, in both the U.S. and the U.K.  They’re evidence of a new informality along with a rebellion against putting a formal name on the birth certificate just because you’re supposed to.

Popular nicknames names for boys in the U.S. include the following, all in the Top 350:

Liam (6 — originated as a short form of William)

Jack (46)

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students

By Catherine Ens
As the old saying goes, “I remember faces, not names.” The opposite has always been true for me. By the age of about seven, I could confidently recite my class list and give the names of almost all the students in my school. As I grew up, there seemed to be only one profession that would allow me to ponder over names to the same extent that I did as a child, and so I grew up to become a teacher. And it gets better than that; I moved from my native Britain to become a teacher in the United States, where I had a whole new world of names to explore, and where I discovered that people often play the naming game in surprisingly different ways.

I love my job. Each September, I joyfully copy my second graders’ appellations onto name tags and into grade books – and then stand back to admire them. As I do so, I am often struck by the differences between parents’ choices here and in my own country. For their first homework assignment, I always ask my students to find out more about why their parents chose their name, and then to share this information with the class. As a name fanatic, I can’t help but devour these “name stories” and amaze at the naming differences on this side of the pond.

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nickname Millie

Thank you, Jimmy Fallon, for naming your new daughter Winnie Rose, and proving our point— which is that we’re into a whole new era of nickname names.  These are worlds away from midcentury short forms like Cindy and Mindy and Marci and Lori, but go further back in time to faded Victorian favorites. It’s a trend that started in the UK, where 10% of the current Top 100 girls’ names fit this description, and several of the boys— Alfie, Archie, Freddie, Ollie—rank high as well.  Here are some of the vintage girls’ nickname names, with their uniquely charming combo of sentiment and sass, which illustrate the trend.

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aussie2

Today’s guest blogger, Aussie Anna Otto, tells us what she sees ahead for Australian baby names in 2012.

Baby Name Trends from Australia for 2012

Nameberry has brought us the Jack City

Jack has been Top 100 since the 1980s, and solidly Top 10 since the 1990s. Attempts to replace him with cutesy short forms such as Archie are going well, but nothing beats the blunt one-syllable nickname that sounds like a man rather than a boy. Hence we have names like Bill, Joe, Bob, Sid, Frank and Dan turning up in birth announcements, and spotted on celebrity babies too. They’ve got Depression-era chic – perfect for the current mood of global economic gloom. Can any of them become the new Jack though?

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Nicknamey Names

notnic

Let’s say you like the casual and peppy energetic feel of some nicknames, the short, relaxed sound of others, but you still want on your baby’s birth certificate a name that has roots and substance and meaning—one that will be accepted as a “real” name. There definitely is a category of names that allows you to have it both ways.

Let me modify that a little: Yes, quite a few of the names below did start historically as diminutives or pet forms of others—Nell emerged as a nickname for Eleanor or Helen and Cleo is, obviously, a short form of Cleopatra.  And some suffer from guilt by association–the biblical Jesse sounds an awfu lot like Bessie and Tessie.  But the point is that they have stood on their own for long enough to have their own substantive histories, not to be dismissed as ‘just a nickname.’

Here is a list of options that fill that bill—light in feel but strong on tradition.

GIRLS

Belle

Bess

Bonnie

Bree

Carly

Cleo/Clio

Daisy

Dixie

Dulcie

Elle

Gwen

Gwyn

Halle

Hedy

Heidi

Holly

Isa

Jenna

Jill

Jolie

Kate

Keely

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