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Category: old-fashioned names

What Are Your Grandparents’ Names?

rabbitfamily

Do you want to share that with the class, Sarah?

Sarahmezz’s thread in the forums, which asks What are your grandparents’ names?, sounded like an intriguing one to put to the Nameberry community.

Indeed, the question has been asked before, but never as our official Question of the Week.

So please let us know your grandparents’ names, your great-grandparents’ names, and which you’d pass on to the next generation.

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Old School Nicknames

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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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grandmacollinkey

It’s the moment you’ve been both waiting for and dreading: Introducing the baby to Grandma – your Grandma.  Sure, she’s going to be thrilled to meet her new great-grandchild, delighted to discover that the infant has her late husband’s dimpled chin and her own dark eyes.

The potential for dread comes in when you reveal the baby’s name.  A lot of names today are going to feel unfamiliar, confusing, ridiculous, or downright stupid to Grandma.  If you choose one of the following, you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.

BrooklynBrooklyn is the place (to her mind, the dirty, stinking place) her family settled when they came over from the old country, certainly not a name for a baby.

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Vintage Nicknames for Girls

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We love Hattie, the name Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott chose for their new baby girl.Hattie is one of the vintage nicknames for girls enjoying a new turn in the sun these days, on the path paved by such big sisters as Annie and Maggie.

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).

We see the full-fledged revival of this trend today, with Hattie a prime example of one of the vintage nicknames for girls that feel stylish, adorable, ready for a whole new generation of babies.

While choices like Ellie, Josie, and Sadie are already rising through the charts, what follows are our favorites of the next wave of cool vintage nicknames for girls.

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Old Man Names: Crusty or Cool?

Heidi_and_her_grandfather

Old Man Names are the new Old Lady Names.

They’re the next frontier of vintage names, we mean. Old lady names — from Beatrice to Violet, Florence to Eleanor — have been mostly cool and rarely crusty for several years now. As with other fashionable categories — Old Testament names for boys, say, or Irish names — parents seem to push continuously into new and braver territory, stopping just this side of Bertha.

But old man names have been a different story. Sure, you’d get a girl cutely called Sydney, or a boy named Harold the III — but always called Tripp. And Harvey and Stanley are very trendy in England — though Americans find that totally baffling.

Now, though, we think it’s time to take a fresh look at old man names. For boys, of course, and yeah, even sometimes for girls.

The first tier of Old Man Names are the Grandpa Names, some of them Biblical, that have become popular and have paved the way for their crustier brothers. In this group we’d include:

Caleb
Charley
Ethan
Henry
Jake

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