Category: old-fashioned names
Sarahmezz’s thread in the forums, which asks What are your grandparents’ names?, sounded like an intriguing one to put to the Nameberry community.
Indeed, the question has been asked before, but never as our official Question of the Week.
So please let us know your grandparents’ names, your great-grandparents’ names, and which you’d pass on to the next generation.
Vintage names have been cool for a while now, but old school nicknames are just starting to come into their own.
The Brits have led the way on the revival of the retro nickname, with their fashionable little Alfies and Evies, Freddys and Teddys — though Teddy just might be a girl.
Using one of these new old nicknames for your child can be a way to give a fresh spin to a classic name, to distinguish a little girl from her namesake grandma, or to set your Henry apart from the five others on the block.
Here, a roundup of classic and vintage names and their old school nicknames.
It’s the moment you’ve been both waiting for and dreading: Introducing the baby to Grandma – your Grandma. Sure, she’s going to be thrilled to meet her new great-grandchild, delighted to discover that the infant has her late husband’s dimpled chin and her own dark eyes.
The potential for dread comes in when you reveal the baby’s name. A lot of names today are going to feel unfamiliar, confusing, ridiculous, or downright stupid to Grandma. If you choose one of the following, you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.
It’s astonishing to think that Hattie – just Hattie, all by itself, not Harriet — was Number 27 in 1880, until you realize that many other short forms were among the top choices that year. Minnie was all the way up at Number 5, Annie was Number 11, Nellie, 18, and Bessie, 23. Other nicknames for girls in the Top 50 included Carrie, Jennie, Mattie, Jessie, and Fannie (and obviously, the ie ending was the popular one).
Old Man Names are the new Old Lady Names.
They’re the next frontier of vintage names, we mean. Old lady names — from Beatrice to Violet, Florence to Eleanor — have been mostly cool and rarely crusty for several years now. As with other fashionable categories — Old Testament names for boys, say, or Irish names — parents seem to push continuously into new and braver territory, stopping just this side of Bertha.
But old man names have been a different story. Sure, you’d get a girl cutely called Sydney, or a boy named Harold the III — but always called Tripp. And Harvey and Stanley are very trendy in England — though Americans find that totally baffling.
Now, though, we think it’s time to take a fresh look at old man names. For boys, of course, and yeah, even sometimes for girls.
The first tier of Old Man Names are the Grandpa Names, some of them Biblical, that have become popular and have paved the way for their crustier brothers. In this group we’d include: