Can You Really Put That on the Birth Certificate?

Unique nickname names come of age


by Pamela Redmond Satran

Did you know that Nameberry’s own Popular Names List ranks 2000 baby names of each gender rather than the official US 1000?

That gives you a lot of ideas for unique names that often lie beneath the surface and out of sight. Surveying the baby names in the 1000-2000 group, we noticed that there was a sizeable contingent of nickname-names — short forms that have grown up to become full names standing on their own.

Can you really put Ani or Art, Zelie or Zack on the birth certificate? Of course you can, and it might make more sense to go with the name you actually plan to use rather than taking on a long form you don’t even like. Though of course, you also might want to start with an appealing nickname and work from there toward a long form you find equally attractive.

Here, a contingent of unique and adventurous nickname-names we found swimming beneath Nameberry’s Top 1000.


Would you put a nickname on your child’s birth certificate? Which of these might you use as a full name…and which wouldn’t you?

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9 Responses to “Can You Really Put That on the Birth Certificate?”

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Wittyusername103 Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 2:35 am

Just for anybody whose considering Sonny for their child it is totally usable I’ve known of a few Sonnys and they’ve not been teased.

holly6174 Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 7:38 am

This is an argument my mom and I have all the time. She really thinks the best name for my future daughter to be either Kate or Liza. Just Kate or just Liza. While I agree these names can and do stand on their own, I just hate nicknames as full names. I’d much rather go with Katherine (or better still, Catherine) or Elizabeth. I’ve always preferred names with options and nicknames as full names just don’t have them.

On another note, interestingly I have a friend whose birth certificate says Alex, just Alex, but he goes by Alexander and hates to be called Alex. Alexander is his nickname. Just going with the nickname on the birth certificate backfired in his case.

paw Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 8:06 am

I do like the idea of using the name that you are going to call them on the birth certificate though that generally makes me think of shorter, full names … not nicknames (Cora, Ruby, Mary, Ian, Owen, Graham, Miles).

However, I think some of the nickname names above are more like full names name. While know Trudy can be a nickname for Gertrude, it also seems like a stand-along name similar to Stacy and Tracy. Noely and Zelie also srike me as full names.

On the girls side, I would consider using Zuri and Lexi as full names.

For boys, I would be very comfortable using Lex, Nick, Kurt, and Ray as full names. Most of the others, I would consider as nicknames to longer names.

mother_dragons Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 8:16 am

I don’t like using nicknames as names because I love the idea of having tons of nicknames to choose from. If you only put Bessie in the name certificate, she can only be Bessie or Bess. If you put Elizabeth, she can be Eliza, Lizzie, Beth, Bess, Betty, Ellie, Ella, Libby, etc etc- she can really choose what she goes by in her life.
Nickname names are great options for those that like their things simple and straight to the point. I prefer to have many options to choose form

Gondolin Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 10:10 am

These I would not see primarily as nicknames (even if some of them are, I think they stand alone quite well) and I think would work fine on a birth certificate:

Girls – Buffy, Evi, Ginger, Ginny, Joni, Lizzie, Misty, Pixie, Tori, Trudy, Via, Zuri
Boys – Avi, Bob, Brad, Geo, Josh, Kurt, Lex, Matt, Mick, Nick, Quint, Ray, Sid, Sonny, Stan, Steve, Tommy, Tony, Walt, Zack

Some that might flag “nickname” but I think are really cool: Cat, Cricket, and Kay

MillieMM Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 10:33 am

My mum used nickname names for both of us – Millie & Ellie – though growing up we elongated our names ourselves and more often than not called each other “Millicent” and “Eleanore”. In fact we either went from one extreme to the other, either using long versions (that weren’t on our birth certificates) or shortening even further to “Mil” and “Elle”; we rarely called each other by our ‘actual’ names.
For me it totally depends on the name though if I were make a generalisation I would say I would prefer to choose a longer name that gave them options in the future. Some names where I wouldn’t do this though are Kade, Enzo, Finn, Kate & Lexa.
In the past I used to worry my name was too childish and it, plus similar names, wouldn’t be taken seriously in adult world and professions such as lawyer, doctor, judge etc. However, nickname names are everywhere now (and on birth certificates too) and slowly they’re aging with the children who bear them. So, while I still may get asked if Millie is short for something, I’m not being scoffed at or having opportunities taken away from me because I have a “cutesy” name.

cmariac Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I’m all for naming your kids what they will be called, just a small “warning”: when they are older, they will have to make sure when they are getting official documents that people don’t automatically fill in the implied ‘full name’.
This happened to a guy I know whose full fn is “Tony”, but when he was working with a realtor the realtor thought his full name was ‘Anthony’ and they had to redo a ton of paperwork bc that’s not his name legally.
So, go for it! Just, when they are older they have to be very clear on important documents.
Otherwise, I can’t see it being a problem really.

marythefourth Says:

November 10th, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Joni is considered a nickname? I knew a lot of Jonis growing up, that was their full name. What would it be short for?

indiefendi2 Says:

November 11th, 2016 at 3:06 pm

of the names on this list I think:
and even Honey could be perfectly fine name names

and for boys:
Zach / Zac / Zack

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