Category: vintage nicknames for girls

In the Nick(names) of time

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For a while there it looked like nickname names were on their way out. Baby William was called William and not Billy or Willie and James was James, not Jimmy or Jim.

That part still holds true to a great extent, but suddenly there’s a whole raft of fresh-sounding nicknames, many of them vintage ones making a return (and strangely enough, some of the oldest are the most appealing); and a number of them are popular enough to be used on there own.

Here are some of the hottest new nicknames right now, mostly with the older pet forms they’ve replaced:

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Cute Comeback-Kid Nicknames for Girls

vintage nicknames for girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

After a brief hiatus following the SandyMandyCindyMindy years, nickname names are making a strong comeback. Just recently we’ve seen starbabies with names like Andy (for a girl), Art, Cy, Gus, Josh and Sid on their birth certificates. So with this in mind, we’re embarking here on a 4-part-long search for fresh vintage nickname ideas.

Today we consider girl nicknames that were used frequently enough at one time to make it into the Top 1000 list. Some dropped off because their mother names were no longer current (Effie/Euphemia), some just because they’d come to sound too grandmotherly, and others, like Freddie, that had become strictly male.

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Vintage Name or Nickname?

vintage nicknames for girls

The names collected here are a charming group of vintage choices for girls. The other thing that unites them is that they all originated as short forms and yet can stand on their own. That means you can either use them as nicknames for more formal names or put them proudly on the birth certificate. Let’s consider the options.

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Vintage Nicknames for Girls

vintagebetterhat

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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Names So Nice You Say Them Twice

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We credit Courtney Cox.  When she named her little girl Coco six years ago, she elevated that quirky Chanel nickname to a classic and made it appropriate for a modern child.

Certainly, there were notable double names before Coco Arquette, even before Chanel, from Zuzu of the petals in It’s A Wonderful Life to Mimi, heroine of the 19th century novel La Boheme.

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 BeatriceBibi – 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.

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