Category: nicknames for girls
It’s astonishing to think that Hattie – just Hattie, all by itself, not Harriet — was Number 27 in 1880, until you realize that many other short forms were among the top choices that year. Minnie was all the way up at Number 5, Annie was Number 11, Nellie, 18, and Bessie, 23. Other nicknames for girls in the Top 50 included Carrie, Jennie, Mattie, Jessie, and Fannie (and obviously, the ie ending was the popular one).
You know you’ve been around a while when you forget your birthday. The third anniversary of Nameberry’s launch, earlier in October, came and went without any of us realizing it. But now that we have, we want to pause and take stock of how far we’ve come with the help of all you wonderful berries over the past three years:
Number of visitors: Nearly 12 million
Number of page views: Almost 90 million
Number of countries populated by berries: All of them. Even you, Chad!
Most-read blog: Baby Names 2011: The Hottest Trends, with nearly a million readers.
If a name is in the Top 10, it might be easy, but what if they’re further down the list….and how far is far enough? Judging popular names gets even more difficult when they’re short forms, maybe not so popular at all on their own.
Just how ubiquitous is Lily?, an expectant mom asked recently on our forums. Lily as itself is Number 17 on the official popularity list; up there, for sure, but there are only a third as many Lilys as there are girls who get the number one Isabella. So is Lily really one of those names you’re going to hear coming and going?
Sadly, the answer may be yes, and here’s why.
Lily, along with a handful of other nickname names, is not only popular on its own, but it’s used as a short form for several other popular names: Lillian, Liliana, and so on. The result: Many more Lilys than you might guess.
This phenomenon can be applied to names with many spelling variations: Leila or Michaela or Mackenzie in their rainbow of flavors. But today’s focus is on nicknames gone wild. Sure, these are adorable, but they all come with a warning label: rampant popularity ahead.
Addie – Addie is sweet and old-fashioned and even fresh-feeling, a followup to the now-overused Abby. But Addie is coming up fast thanks to a host of newly-popular mother names, from the trendy Addison to cool classics Adeline and Adelaide, often chosen specifically because they come with cute short form Addie.
Alex – Alex may be the unisex nickname name of the decade, not only a Top 100 name on its own for boys for a short form for boys’ Number 6 Alexander along with a huge contingent of popular girls’ names: Alexis, Alexa, Alexandra et al.
But at no time have these names been more fashionable than they are today. Whether given as full names or used as lighthearted nicknames for more serious appellations (my twin nieces Georgia and Louisa, for instance, call each other Gigi and Lulu), double names are worthy of consideration.
Among the possibilities:
Bebe or Bibi – Actress and dancer Bebe Neuwirth, who played Lilith on Cheers, is probably the best-known bearer of this name today, but there’s also author Bebe Moore Campbell, model Bebe Buell, and even (male) Nixon pal Bebe Rebozo. In Neuwirth’s case, Bebe is a nickname for Beatrice. Bibi – born Berit – Andersson is a Swedish actress who starred in many Ingmar Bergman films.
Cece – Cece is suddenly a hot baby name thanks to Jim and Pam on The Office, whose fictional baby girl is named Cecelia and called Cece. CeCe Winans, a gospel singer whose sister’s name is BeBe, is also named Cecilia.
Coco – Little Coco Arquette was so named in honor of the first two letters in mom Courtney Cox’s first and last names. Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha was born Mikhaila, and fashion great Coco Chanel, who was born Gabrielle, has said her nickname is a shortened version of coquette. There was also Coco the Clown, though that image is thankfully fading.
Well, things have changed. Today’s baby namers are putting a tremendous amount of thought into nicknames. Not only are they more willing to put them on the birth certificate (Gracie, Gus), but they are placing almost as much importance on their babies’ everyday/pet names as on their birth certificate appellations, sometime picking the colloquial form first and then finding a formal name that’s fits it.
And in many cases, the connections between the two are way less direct than they used to be, sometimes just sharing a first initial, or playing with a middle or last syllable, such as using Lia for Cecilia or Amelia.
Our own nameberries are especially inventive when it comes to creative nicknaming. Here are some of the recent examples we’ve noticed: