Menu

Celebrities Love Short Names, and So Do We!

March 6, 2020 Clare Green
Short baby names

Short baby names are flavor of the month, it seems. Scrolling through the latest celebrity baby namesSam, Bo, Dove, Ames, Keats, Axel — what you notice? Wait, I already said it: they’re all short. Most have 3 or 4 letters, most have only one syllable.

You can no doubt think of many other starkids with short, sweet names. To name but a few, there’s Anne Hathaway’s son Jack. Behati Prinsloo’s daughter Gio. Alanis Morissette’s Ever and Onyx, the Fixer Uppers’ Drake, Duke and Crew, Beyoncé’s Blue, Sir and Rumi, Brangelina’s Pax and Knox. They get there through many different style routes, but all these parents decided that less was more.

And of course, they’re not alone. Thousands of parents each year give their babies mini-names, not least the most popular names in the US, Emma and Liam, and their companions in the Top Ten, Ava, Mia and Noah.

So why choose a shorter name? If you’re not a fan of nicknames, short names tend to be less prone to them – although I’m sure there’s many an Eve who goes by Evie and Rory known as Roro. They can be simpler to spell and pronounce, though again there are exceptions, like Maya (better ask her if it’s “May” or “My”) and Beau (or is it Bo, Boe or maybe Bow?). They are also among the most international of names: the fewer the sounds, the more chance it will turn up in multiple languages — just ask Kai or Ria.

Another plus? If you love customized items, you can have the whole name as a monogram.

If you like the idea of a short name but aren’t sure where to start looking, these 12 taster lists will help you narrow down your style. We’ve included names of 2, 3 and 4 letters — even within these, there are so many possibilities.

Popular boys and girls

After the Top 10 names, these are some of the most popular short names right now. All are in the US Top 50.

Aria
Ella
Leo
Levi
Luke
Luna
Mila
Owen
Ryan
Zoey

Unisex names

Looking for a short name that doesn’t lean boy or girl? These are some of the most popular options.

Ari
Drew
Eden
Indy
Lake
Remy
Rio
Sage
Shea
Zion

Vintage charmers

With all the sleek style of an art deco piece, these names are so old they’re new again.

Ada
Cora
Etta
Fred
Hugh
June
Milo
Rex
Otis
Vera

Timeless classics

Trends come and go, but these names won’t feel dated — and your child will be in company with namesakes down the ages.

Adam
Anna
Jack

Jane
John
Lucy
Mark
Paul
Rose
Sara

Neat nicknames

Sure, they can be short for other names. But if the nickname is what you really love, these options can stand alone too.

Abe
Gigi
Gus
Kate
Lou
Ned
Nell
Romy
Tess
Zeke

International mini-stars

We can’t bottle “the rest of the world” into just 10 names! This is just the tip of the top of the iceberg of short names that fit into multiple languages and cultures.

Alma
Cruz
Dua
Gael
Gia
Liv
Luca
Nina
Zain
Zuri

Pop culture hits

These names owe their success to on-screen characters, celebrities and their babies. But most have taken on a life of their own, so you don’t have to be a superfan to use them.

Arya
Demi
Gale
Kylo
Lyra
Neo
Rue
Thor
True
Vada

O yeah, baby 

For English speakers, names ending in O — for boys and girls — are a bit unexpected, a bit exotic, and very cool. These 10 names are full of style and energy.

Arlo
Cleo
Elio
Enzo
Hero
Hugo
Io
Juno
Otto
Theo

Whimsical wonders

Whimsical names are drawn from the natural world, and the more lyrical, creative realms of word names. These names give a taste of this wide style in only a few letters.

Faye
Fox
Iris
Moss
Opal
Poet
Rain
Skye
Teal
Wren

Biblical beauties

The coolest biblical names today are conspicuous Old Testament choices with an old-time feel. They don’t all have to be long like Jeremiah: here are 10 lovely short picks.

Abel
Boaz
Ezra
Joah
Leah
Mara
Noa
Ruth
Seth
Yael

Stylish surnames

Do you like your surnames gentle or tough, cowboy or preppy? In just 4 letters, they can span the full style range.

Ames
Cody
Dyer
Eyre
Gray
Hart
Mack
Nash
Reed
Wade 

High Scrabble scorers

How to pack maximum punch into a short name? Load it with less common consonants that make an impact both in writing and spoken out loud.
Axel
Dex
Iqra
Ivy
Knox
Lux
Ozzy
Roxy
Van
Zev

Want to explore even further? Check out our lists of 3 letter girl names and boy names, and 4 letter girl names and boy names.

 

We are thrilled to be partnering with Newton Baby to give away one of their bestselling Newton Crib Mattresses!

The Newton Crib Mattress is 100% breathable, washable, and recyclable and comes in four colors — white, pink, blue, and grey.

To enter to win a mattress in your choice of color, head over to our Instagram. (Only open to readers in the US and Canada — sorry, BritBerries!)

As a bonus, Newton is offering all Berries a 20% discount off their products — they also have mattress pads, sheets, and blankets — with the code NAMEBERRY20. Valid from now until March 12th. Thank you so much, Newton Baby!

Good luck!

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles