New Routes to Old Nicknames

OK, here’s a thought. Suppose you find yourself beginning to really like some of those classic mid-century nicknames like the ones you’ve been hearing on shows like Mad Men and in movies like Revolutionary Road, but you don’t really care for the names they’ve been traditionally attached to. Some of them mght be too Grandma or pa, some of them overused in the recent past. As in ‘Don? Maybe. Donald? No, thanks.’ So what we’ve done here is put together a list of some possible, more contemporary and/or interesting and/or less widely used alternatives that manage to hold on to the desired nickname.

ALBYALBANY rather than Albert

ALEXALEXIO rather than Alexander

ANNIEANNABEL rather than Ann

ARTARTEMAS rather than Arthur

BENBENEDICT rather than Benjamin

BETHBETHEL rather than Elizabeth

CALCALLUM rather than Calvin

CATCATALINA rather than Catherine

CORYCORMAC rather than Cordell/Cornel

CRISCRISPIN rather than Christopher

DANDANO rather than Daniel

DEEDELILAH rather than Deanne

DONDONOVAN rather than Donald

DOTDORIT rather than Dorothy

EDIEEDEN rather than Edith

ELLIEELODIE rather than Eleanor

EMEMERY rather than Emily

EVIEEVANGELINE rather than Evelyn

GUSAUGUST rather than Gustave

JANJANUARY rather than Janet or Janice

JENGENEVA rather than Jennifer

JESSIEJESSAMINE rather than Jessica

JOJOCASTA rather than Joanne

JOEJOSIAH rather than Joseph

KENKENYON rather than Kenneth

LIBBYLIBERTY rather than Elizabeth

LILLILIA rather than Lillian

LUCYLUCIA rather than Lucille

MAREMARIBEL rather than Mary

MELMELISSANDE rather than Melissa

MIKEMICAH rather than Michael

MILLIEMILLICENT rather than Mildred

NANNANON rather than Nancy

PHYL — PHYLLIDA rather than Phyllis

RAEREAGAN rather than Rachel

ROBROBINSON rather than Robert

ROSIEROSAMUND rather than Roseanne

SAMSAMSON rather than Samuel

SAMSAMARA rather than Samantha

TESSTESSA rather than Teresa

WILLWILLEM rather than Willard

WINNIEWINTER rather than Winifred

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9 Responses to “New Routes to Old Nicknames”

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Caterina Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Just a nitpick: Lucy is not a nickname, it is a full name in its own right.

Nan is a nickname for Anne, as is Nancy.

linda Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 12:24 pm

This is true, but although Lucy is a name in its own right, it did come to be used as a pet form of Lucille (as in I Love Lucy/Lucille Ball) and in the modern era, Nan is used as a short form of Nancy, despite its origins, and rarely as as a nickname for Ann. In this case, we were dealing with current usage.

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I talk to parents all the time who are having this problem.

Maggie is a big one for those who don’t care for Margaret. I love Magdalena for that one. Josie could be for Jocelyn rather than Josephine (though I prefer the latter).

Some of the full names on this list are really spectacular!

rachelmarie Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I love the name Cormac. I knew a kid named Cormac and thought it was the coolest name ever. Haha.

Donald is my grandfather’s name, and I like the nickname Don, but hate Donald. Donovan is a great way to still honor him.
Great suggestions 🙂

linda Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 8:54 pm


Jenmb Says:

February 3rd, 2009 at 1:17 am

Any suggestions for Nate? I love that name but not so much Nathan/Nathaniel

Pamela Says:

February 3rd, 2009 at 11:13 am

How about Maxfield for Max? It’s my son’s name and everyone always “ooohs” about it when they hear his full name.

keyroses Says:

February 6th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Love this list! We named our first Eliana (nn Ellie) and like that she can go by a more unusual or common name depending on her age/personality. We’re pregnant with our second and will go with Matthias (Matt) or Josiah (Joey) for a boy…we’re still on the fence with a girl name, but we definitely want it to follow the same idea.

aunt_ning Says:

October 12th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

My Great Aunt was Josie but her real name was Joanne

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