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Celebs are Crazy for Nickname Names!

Girls from Andy to Zuzu

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Nickname names are hot! Who by now hasn’t met, for instance, a girl named Sam or Charlie? And nobody loves a nickname name more than celebrities, and many of them have displayed a lot of originality, discovering and reviving long forgotten relics.  Here are some of the most outstanding recent starbaby nickname names. We’re focused on the girls for now, but look for the boys’ list coming soon.

ANDYJack and Lisa Osbourne gave two of their three daughters nickname names—perhaps inspired by grandad Ozzie (born John). For their middle child, Andy Rose, born in 2015, they chose one rarely heard for a girl: actress Andie MacDowell (born Rosalie Anderson) uses a different spelling.

BILLIEA boyish nickname with some great namesakes, picked by Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane. Billie was #79 in 1930.

BIRDIEIn 2008 actress Busy Philipps named her baby girl Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), followed by Maura West’s Birdie West the next year. Birdie, now Number 346 on Nameberry, Birdie was in the 150s at the end of the 19th century.

BUNNYAffectionate pet name Bunny hopped onto the birth certificate of model Katie Price’s daughter.

DOLLYA nickname name that goes back to Dolley (sic) Madison, it was modernized by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell for one of their twin girls

DUSTYA nickname long associated with singer Dusty Springfield (born Mary), Dusty was picked up and dusted off by Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine in 2016.

EDIEThe warm and friendly diminutive of Edith was chosen by two Brits—Keira Knightly and Samantha Morton. And not all that surprisingly, since Edie is up at #135 in England.

ELSIEThis old Scottish Elizabeth diminutive is definitely having a revival, now at #31 in England, 90 on Nameberry and 301 across the US. It’s been picked by singer James Morrison, and by Ioan Gruffudd for his sweetly named little Elsie Marigold.

FRANKIEThe year after Drew Barrymore chose this for her daughter in 2014, Frankie bounced back onto the girls’ Top 1000 list—after a 41-year hiatus.

GOLDIEAnother golden oldie, Goldie was chosen for their daughters by Ione Skye and shoemeister Steve Madden. It’s #851 on Nameberry.

HATTIEHarriet may not be back, but nn Hattie is: it reentered the Top 1000 not long after the birth of Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s Hattie Margaret.

IZZYFamiliar as a short form of Isabel, Isabella, etc, but rarely used on its own, especially for girls, but that all changed with Grey’s Anatomy. Eddie Murphy was inspired to use it for his daughter in 2016—his ninth child.

JOSIEA major success among nickname revivals, Josie now ranks at #201. Actor Scott Caan’s daughter is Josie James—a nod to grandpa James Caan.

LULU/LULAIn the past couple of years, Haylie Duff named her daughter the stylish, ebullient Lulu, while Liv Tyler chose the similar Lula.

MILLIEVintage frilly Millie has become thoroughly modernized, ranking at #355 in the US in 2017, #20 in Scotland, and #34 in England, and now represented by Stranger Things young British star Millie Bobby Brown. Musician Curtis Rempel is one recent dad of a Millie.

MINNIEMinnie Theodora Osbourne is the sister of Andy Rose and Pearl Clementine; and Maya Rudolph named one of her daughters Minnie to honor her late mother, the acclaimed singer Minnie Ripperton. So now Minnie has officially broken her engagement to Mickey Mouse.

NIXIENixie may not be strictly speaking a nickname, being a German name for a water sprite, but it sure sounds like one. Chad Lowe moved out of the box when he chose it for his daughter.

POLLYThis sweet old-time diminutive of Mary could be making a comeback as a successor to Molly. Actress Erika Christensen chose it just this year.

RAYSometimes used as a middle name for girls in the past (more often spelled Rae), as in Miley Ray Cyrus, but journalist Lisa Ling moved it into first place for her second daughter.

STEVIEStevie Nicks was born Stephanie, but now there are a growing number of girl Stevies standing on their own, including the daughter of Brooklyn Decker and Andy Roddick, born this year.

SUNNYAdam Sandler picked two upbeat nicknamey monikers for his girls—Sadie and Sunny; Michael “Flea” Balzary has a Sunny Bebop.

WINNIEWinnie is a winner that got her celebrity cred via Jimmy Fallon, who was inspired by the lake where he and his wife Nancy became engaged—Lake Winnipesaukee. (shown)

ZUZUThe zippy Czech nickname for Susan heard every Christmas on the young daughter in It’s a Wonderful Life was used as a full name by Top Chef Tania Peterson.

What’s your favorite female nickname name?

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8 Responses to “Celebs are Crazy for Nickname Names!”

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Myosotis Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 6:37 am

From the list I love Billie, Edie, Elsie, Frankie, Lulu, Minnie, Sunny, & Winnie. My favourite nickname name is Kitty, closely followed by Sally (to be honest I don’t feel she’s much of a nn anymore, but I’m from the UK), Sylvie, Trixie, Roxy, Libby, and Evie (plus many more).

cece84 Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 10:08 am

Isn’t Liv Tyler’s daughter Lula rather than Lulu?

I really like Sunny, Birdie, Polly and Zuzu.

linda Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 10:39 am

@cece84 Thanks on Lula–I have fixed it.

fromtheocean12 Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 11:18 am

I love Elsie, Josie and Millie! They are some of the names I feel can truly work as a full name.

tfzolghadr Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Winnie and Edie are the only ones I’m so so about. Nickname names just aren’t my cup of chai.

Nadie Says:

August 24th, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Love nickname names! Our daughter’s name is Elsie (it’s a family name), and I call her Elle sometimes. Her “nickname” name has a nickname 😂

EloiseT Says:

August 25th, 2018 at 7:52 am

Loads of these names are so pretty and definitely love hearing and seeing these names, but I just don’t love ie/ee/y ending names as first names, too cutesy!

arietta-rose Says:

August 29th, 2018 at 5:17 pm

I love Sadie, though I don’t know if it really counts as a nickname anymore; it can stand on its own!

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