Mini-Names: When You Need Something Short

They’re the miniest of appellations, beloved by novelists and children first learning to write their names.  A handful just two letters long, these are names that get right to the point.

Some are short – very short – forms of more elaborate names.  Bea from Beatrice, for instance, or Jed from Jedidiah.  Others are merely their short and sweet selves: Fay, Tai, Rex.

With a few exceptions, we skipped the obvious short forms: There’s no Jim, Ben, or Pam here.  Also skipped some trendy favorites – Ava and Zac, for instance – that get so much play.  We tried to be democratic, but to present a collection of names you might actually want to use.

But we’ve been talking long enough.  Here, the shortest names in the book:

Two-letter Names

AL
BO
CY
DI
ED


EM
FE
HY
MO
OZ
PO
RY
TY
VI

Short forms

girls

BEA
CAM
DOT
DRU
KAY
SAM (obviously, for boys too)

boys

ART
ASH
CAL
GIG
GUS
HAL
IKE
JEB
JED
JOE
KIT
LOU
MAX
NAT
NED
RAY
TOM
WES

Three-letter names

girls

ADA
AMY
ANN
EVE
FAY
FIG
IDA
IVY
JOY
LUZ
MAE or MAY
NOA
PIA
TAI
ZOE

boys

ARI
DOV
ELI
FOX
GUY
IRA
JOB
KAI
LEO
LEX
PAX
REX
ROY
VAN
YUL
ZEN

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17 Responses to “Mini-Names: When You Need Something Short”

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Abby Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 6:18 am

There’s also my favorite – Io, from Greek myth.

I love Ida and Ivy, Van and Rex, Jeb and Dru. But I’m not a short name person – no matter how appealing the choice, longer names with lots of nickname options have always been my preference.

realpraise Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 9:04 am

I, like Abby, was going to suggest Io too. My favorites are Ivy & Leo. I would use most of these names as nicknames, but I wouldn’t put it on the birth certificate.

Jaime Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 9:58 am

Another short and sweet name that I’m crushing on lately for a little girl – Wren. Brynn and Wynne are also lovely.

pam Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 10:17 am

We drew the line at three letters, but once you get to four, as in Wren, the field really opens up. Yes, Io, I forgot that one!!

rachelmarie Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I think you should have added Liv, too. I love Liv! Ha ha it’s one of my favorite girl’s names of all time. It’s short, simple, and beautiful.
I also love Beatrice with the nickname Bea.

Meredith Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

After all these blog posts about nicknames, I keep waiting for about names that don’t have nicknames (kind of like mine). A friend is in search of a long boys name that won’t have a nickname. I am stumped and hoping it pops up on here soon!

linda Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Look for it soon, Meredith! There’s also a long list of no-nickname names in our new book, Beyond Ava & Aiden, due out in about a week.

Alicia Says:

June 16th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Hmm. Not loving this list. Personally I like longer names. DUnno why. Can’t wait for tomorrows.

Emmy Jo Says:

June 18th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Some of the nickname-names I love as nicknames (like Max, Wes, Cal, Dot, and Bea) but any child of mine would DEFINITELY get a longer form on the birth certificate.

My favorites of the three-letter names tend to be the ones that pack two syllables into a mere three letters — like Ada, Ivy, Eli, and Leo.

Especially with our one-syllable last name, I think I like something more substantive up front.

Dinah Says:

February 8th, 2010 at 7:38 am

Avi for boys and Lea for girls ;-)) very old names

kathy Says:

March 18th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Lyn, Liz or Joy for girls,
Joa, Luk oder Pax for boys.

I like “short long combinations” like my daughters name “Mia Samantha”

Kate Says:

July 29th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Also, Kit can be for girls, usually as a nickname for Katherine, etc.

-Meg- Says:

April 15th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Sad to see my name doesnt even make it on the most obvious list..

moxielove Says:

May 20th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I love love love Po. There is something spunky and sweet and gentle about it.

Cute on a toddler, hip on a teen but I don’t know how it would work on an adult.

We are strongly considering using it for our new puppy but worry that it sounds too similar to the word “no!” which we will no doubt be using frequently….

shieldsc Says:

October 10th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

If I had married a man with a longer last name, my kids would have been Ivy, Zoe, and Max.

Katieanne Says:

November 29th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Mae…my sweet daughter’s nickname!

Mego0801 Says:

November 29th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I love Oz and I adore Po, it’s one of the reasons I chose my number one girl’s name, Po could be a nickname for it!

Don’t forget about Meg! 🙂

I saw Ray for boys but what about Rae for girls? Also, Ron, for the fellas.

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