Hottest Nicknames of 2017

Hottest Nicknames of 2017

By Katinka

Nicknames as full names: where do you stand? It’s a question that divides the crowd here on Nameberry, but — like it or not — this is one trend that is really picking up steam in the US at the moment, having long been popular with our British and European neighbors.

The proof? Just take look at America’s new #1 boys’ name: Liam, traditionally an Irish diminutive of William, which was given to over 500 more babies in 2017 than the previous year. Meanwhile, more than 800 fewer baby boys were named William.

Here are 17 of the hottest nickname names of 2017:

Emmie: Having entered the Top 1000 just two years ago, Emmie soared 217 places to #690 in 2017, making it the fastest rising nickname name for girls. And with Em– names like Emma, Emilia and Emery red-hot right now, we can guarantee you’ll be hearing this one more often than the stats suggest. What do you think: is Emmie the new Ellie?

Bonnie: This sweet Scottish nickname is a surprise entry to the list this year, having risen a remarkable 198 places to #697. And at #360 on Nameberry, it looks set to rise even further. Bonnie is already a favorite in the UK, where the young actress who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films helped to popularize the name.

Sunny: Cool guy Sonny was one of the hottest nicknames of 2015; fast-forward two years and it’s sweet soundalike Sunny’s time to shine! Climbing an impressive 194 places last year, cheerful Sunny now sits in the Top 1000 for the first time since 1985.

Stevie: Proving that a “one person” name isn’t always a bad thing, rock ’n’ roll nickname Stevie gained 135 places in 2017, coming in at #699. With Stephanie languishing at its lowest ranking in over 75 years, this sweet and sassy short form is starting to feel fresh again.

Frankie: Feisty Frankie got a huge boost for girls after Drew Barrymore used it for her daughter in 2014. But last year it rose faster for boys than for girls — up 112 spots to re-enter the Top 1000 at #898. Less formal than Francis, and less fusty than Frank, we think this British favorite could be one to watch.

Ari: From Aria to Ariana, Ari– names are huge for girls right now, so it’s no surprise to see this airy micro-name soaring 167 spots in 2017. Pop culture can take the credit for bringing this one to wider attention, but its sweet, simple sound and strong meaning make Ari an appealing choice.

Mike and Jenny: Another big surprise in this year’s data was the return of mid-century nicknames Mike and Jenny to the Top 1000. Mike gained 93 places and Jenny is up 98, despite formal names Michael and Jennifer continuing to fall. Could parents be turning to nicknames as a twist on the traditional honor name?

Nico and Enzo: Two stylish options with international appeal, Nico and Enzo (an Italian short form of Lorenzo or Vincenzo) both rank in the Top 100 in several European countries, and are now going places in the US too — up 83 and 51 spots, respectively.

Margot: Another international o-ender which has been rocketing up the charts in recent years, this traditional French nickname for Margaret rose 72 spots to #361 last year — its highest ranking ever! Australian actress Margot Robbie has no doubt helped to broaden its appeal.

Jaxx: Modern favorite Jax has been in the Top 1000 for over a decade, but this extravagant alternative only debuted this year — rising 64 places to #1000. Edgy X names are exploding at the moment, but this spelling may also serve a practical purpose: making it clear that it’s not Jaxon or Ajax, but “just” Jaxx.

Tripp and Trey: These quirky nicknames for a third seemed to have peaked several years ago, but both saw a significant resurgence in 2017 — up 41 and 25 spots, respectively. Actor Will Smith’s eldest son is Willard Carroll Smith III, known as “Trey”.

Xander: Alexander is a true modern classic, but short form Alex is starting to feel a little stale, having fallen out of the Top 100 in 2013. Enter Xander: first brought into the limelight by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s since become a cool celebrity favorite, chosen by actress January Jones and opera singer Katherine Jenkins for their sons. It rose 38 spots last year.

Liv: Before the 2017 data was released, odds were on Olivia to beat Emma to the #1 post. Could the rise of Liv (and Olive) be partly to blame for its failure? This sweet Scandinavian micro-name has gained over 250 places since its entry to the Top 1000 in 2013, currently sitting pretty at #675.

Harry: A longtime favorite in the UK, where it has ranked in the Top 20 since records began, Harry is now climbing again in the US after over a century in decline — up 30 places in 2017. Credit the new Duke of Sussex, whose engagement to Meghan Markle in November no doubt prompted a flurry of renewed interest in the name. And following the international sensation around the royal wedding on Saturday, we’re predicting a bright future ahead for Harry.

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at