Vintage Nicknames: Girls’ Edition

February 10, 2010 Pamela Redmond

Five minutes ago, I didn’t know I was going to write a blog on this topic.  And then searching for something else (I can’t even remember what!) I came across a long list of vintage  nicknames from 18th and 19th century America from the Connecticut State Library.

Not only are some of the proper names used in Colonial and Victorian times now rarely heard, but the nicknames may be antiquated too.  But nickname names are back in fashion., making it a prime time to dig up some new (or new old) examples.

I’ve left off the predictable choices like Margie for Margaret or Abby for Abigail.  What’s here are  either surprising combinations or vintage nicknames for still-used names that are in danger of becoming obscure.

Here, some ideas for pulling ahead of the Gracies, Evies, and Ellies currently heard in every pediatrician’s office;

NICKNAME/Proper Name

ABBY / Tabitha

BAB or BABBIE / Barbara

BECCA / Rebecca

BEDE / Obedience

BIAH / Abiah

BRINEY / Sybrina

CADDIE / Caroline

CALLIE / Caroline

CINDY / Lucinda

CLEDA / Cleophas

CLEMMIE / Clementine

CRECE or CRESE / Lucretia

CRECY / Lucretia

DELIA / Adelia, Cordelia, Fidelia et al

DEPHIA / Philadelphia

DIMMIS / Damaris

DOLLY / Dorothy

DONIA / Fredonia

DOSIA / Theodosia

ELSIE / Alice, Eleanor, Easlasaid, Helen

ESSIE / Esther, Hester

ETTA / Henrietta, Louetta, Marietta

FALLY / Eliphal

FLOSSIE / Florence

FRANKIE / Frances

FRONIE / Sophronia

GEN / Genevieve, Virginia

GERTY or TRUDY / Gertrude

GUSSIE / Augusta

HATTY / Harriet

HEPSY / Hebsibah

HERMIE / Hermione

HETTY / Henrietta, Mehetable

KIZZIE / Kesiah

LEAFY / Relief

LENA / Angelina, Caroline, Madeleine, Magdalen

LECTA / Electa

LETTY / Letitia

LIVY / Olive, Olivia

LOLLIE / Charlotte

MAIDA / Madeleine, Magdalena

MALLIE / Malvina


MANDA or MANDY / Amanda

MATTIE / Martha

MELLIE / Amelia, Melanie, Melinda, Melissa, Permelia

MENA / Almena

MIMA / Jemima

MINA / Mindwell, Wilhelmina

MITTY / Mehitabel, Submit  (if you give this name to your 21st century daughter, we want to hear from you)

MOLLY / Martha, Mary

NABBY / Abigail

NAN / Ann, Anna, Ellen

NANNIE / Nancy, Anna

NELL or NELLIE / Ellen, Eleanor, Helen, Cornelia

NETTIE / Antoinette, Henrietta

NONIE / Joan

NORA / Eleanor, Honora, Leonora

OROLIA / Caroline

PATSY or PATTY / Martha

PEDDY / Experience


PUSS / Prudence, Philadelphia (see Submit)

RANA / Lorraine

RENA / Alexanderina, Irene, Sabrina

RETTA / Loretta

RILLA / Gabrilla, Marilla

SENE / Asenath

SILLA / Priscilla

SISSIE / Cecily, Cecilia

SOPHIE / Sophia, Sophronia

SUKEY / Sarah, Susan, Susannah

TALLIE / Natalie

TENNIE / Tennessee

TENTY / Content

TESS or THIRZA / Theresa

THEA / Althea, Theodosia

TORIE / Victoria

VINNIE / Lavinia, Melvina

WINNET / Winifred

ZUBIA / Azubah

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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