Category: nicknames for girls

We got the idea for this Question of the Week from a forum thread titled, Loving Frederick, hating Fred, by a mom who wants to name her son Frederick but really, really, really does not want him to be called Fred or Freddie.

This is an issue that plagues many parents: Loving a name, but not its logical short form.  Or sometimes, it’s the other way around: An affection for Theo or Edie, say, but not so much for Theodore or Edith.

So our question of the week is: What name, is any, inspires this love-hate relationship in you?

Did you choose a name — or do you have a name — whose long form you love and short form you don’t or vice versa, and how do you handle it?  How does that work out for you?  Would you put the short form you love on the birth certificate and sidestep the long form you don’t entirely?

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Nickname Names: How did Henry get to Hank?

by Linda Rosenkrantz

A Berry recently posted a request for a blog explaining the origins of some of the common nicknames—more properly diminutives or pet forms– for classic names that seem to be miles apart.  And of course we aim to please, so…..

There is a certain logic to it all, as well as some whimsy. The simplest road to a pet form is, obviously, by shortening it to its first one or two syllables, as in Di for Diana, Ben for Benjamin, Archie for Archibald and Eliza for Elizabeth.  Occasionally, a middle syllable will do the job, leading to Liz for Elizabeth and Xan for Alexander.  (Where this gets a little tricky is when the pronunciation of the base name has changed over the years—Richard seems to have been often pronounced Rickard at one time, resulting in the nickname Rick and his rhyming cousin Dick, with Dick then becoming so popular that the phrase “every Tom, Dick and Harry” became a euphemism for Everyman. Or a sprinkling of the letters in the name could lead, say, from Dorothy to Dot

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Cutest. Nickname. Ever.

This question of the week was inspired by a Berry who wrote in telling us of a friend whose daughter Imogen was called the unexpected Idgie. Wasn’t that, she asked, the cutest nickname ever?

Definitely! we agreed.  At least it’s one of them!

What’s the cutest nickname you’ve ever heard?  Maybe it’s one you came up with on your own, maybe it was invented by an older sibling or by your child himself.  It might have been by design, or it might have come about by accident.

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Old School Nicknames

Vintage names have been cool for a while now, but old school nicknames are just starting to come into their own.

The Brits have led the way on the revival of the retro nickname, with their fashionable little Alfies and Evies, Freddys and Teddys — though Teddy just might be a girl.

Especially fresh on this side of the pond are the old school nicknames for boys: We’ve long loved Ned and Joe and Hank, but we are newly fond of such choices as Ray and Hal, Walt and Monty.

For girls, names that are just beginning to awake from a long slumber sound especially fetching: Dottie, Betty, Lou.

Using one of these new old nicknames for your child can be a way to give a fresh spin to a classic name, to distinguish a little girl from her namesake grandma, or to set your Henry apart from the five others on the block.

Here, a roundup of classic and vintage names and their old school nicknames.

girls

Adelaide or AdelineAddie

Beatrice or BeatrixBea or Trixie

CharlotteLottie

Dorothea or DorothyDory or Dottie

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You do your best (Of course you do!  You’re here!!) to give your child a name that’s elegant, enlightened, perhaps even nickname-proof.

And then — maybe from older siblings, from nursery school friends, maybe even from you! — your child ends up with another, unexpected nickname.

Owie Bear.  Jojo.  Remster.  And most distressing, for my own three kids: Ro, Joe, and O.  Whoa!

Maybe the nickname is cute, maybe it’s horrifying, but in any case it was unplanned.

What do you call your child that you never expected to?  What nicknames have they taken on, from the outside world or inside the family nest?  What about your own unexpected nicknames and those of your siblings? What are those unexpected nicknames, and where did they come from?

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