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Can a Cute Vintage Nickname Revive a Dusty Old Lady Name?

Can a Cute Vintage Nickname Revive a Dusty Old Lady Name?

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Like our cousins across the pond, we’ve fallen in love with vintage nicknames for our girls—names like Maisie and Mabel and Sadie and Josie and Hattie are already on the rise. But do those parents who want a little Hattie necessarily consider putting Harriet or Henrietta on the birth certificate?

Maybe, maybe not.

In some cases, the adorable short form is actually succeeding in waking up its sleeping mother name. Like Josephine, for instance, and Beatrice. But here are some others whose full versions have not seen as much—if any– action, as adorable as their period nicknames may be.

Which of these cute, often tomboyish, girl nicknames do you think are capable of reviving their more staid Great-Grandma names?

AGGIEAgatha, Agnes

ARTIEArtemisia

BEABeatha, Bethia

BERRYBertha

BENNIEBenedicta

BERNIEBernice, Bernadette

BERTIEAlberta, Bertha, Roberta

BILLIEWilhelmina, Wilma

BRENBrenda

CLEMMIEClemence

DESIDesdemona

DOLLYDorothy

DORYEudora

DOTDorothy

DRUDrusilla

EDDYEdwina

EFFIEEuphemia

ELLIEElmira, Elvira

ELVIEElvira

ERNIEErnestine

ESSIEEsther, Estelle

ETTIEEthel

EULIE—Eulalia

EVVIEEvadne

FLORRIEFlora

FLOSSIEFlorence

FRANKIEFrancine

FREDDIEAlfreda, Frederica

FRITZIEFrederica

GERTIEGertrude

GINGERVirginia

GLADDY—Gladys

HATTIEHarriet, Henrietta

HETTIEMehetabel

IZZYIsmay

JAKEJacobina

JEMMYJemima

JOBIEJobina

KETTYKeturah

KIZZIEKeziah

LALLYEulalia

LETTYLeticia, Lettice

LIDDY—Lydia

LOTTIECarlotta

LOVVIE—Loveday

LULABeulah

LULULouise, Lucille, Lucilla, Lucasta, Lucinda

MINNIEMinerva, Wilhelmina

MINTA, MINTYAraminta

NELLIEHelen, Eleanor

NETTIEAntoinette, Janet

OLLYOlympia

PRUPrudence

REGGIERegina

ROMYRomola

TAVYOctavia

THEAAlthea, Theodosia

TILDAMatilda, Clotilda

TILLIEMatilda

TOMMYThomasina

VINNIELavinia

VONNIEYvonne

WINNIEEdwina, Winifred

ZETTARosetta

ZAZATirzah

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.