Winnie, Minnie, Millie, Tillie: Sweet and sassy vintage nickname names
Tilly, now sitting at Number 90 in the UK, is short for Matilda, a name that took off after it was chosen for their daughter by Michelle Williams and the lateHeath Ledger. These days the nickname would more likely be Mattie, but we’re all for bringing back Tilly.
- Tilly, now sitting at Number 90 in the UK, is short for Matilda, a name that took off after it was chosen for their daughter by Michelle Williams and the lateHeath Ledger. These days the nickname would more likely be Mattie, but we’re all for bringing back Tilly." >
- Millie’s another vintage cutie that could become thoroughly modern, even if one of its original primary parents—Mildred—probably won’t. Also used for Millicent and Camilla, she appears on the US list (#717) as Millie, in the UK (#231) as Milly, the spelling used by Henry James in Wings of the Dove." >
- Maisie, the spirited yet sentimental Scottish pet form of Margaret and Marjorie, is a period gem, way up at Number 21 in the UK. It also appears in children’s books as Maisy and Maizie. Could Maisie be the next Daisy?" >
- Minerva may have a tougher trek to climb because of her still solid link to Mickey, though singer Minnie Ripperton and actress Minnie Driver made the path a little less rocky. Minnie was the fifth or sixth most popular name in America throughout the 1880’s." >
- Winnie, the pet form of Winifred, Edwina and Gwendolyn, has win embedded in her name. Many of us fell in love with Winnie Cooper— birth name Gwendolyn—in The Wonder Years and Winnie Foster (born Winifred) in the childhood classic Tuck Everlasting." >
- Lavinia became the common neighborhood nickname for the male Vincent in the United States, but in the UK it’s still very much used for girls, ranking at Number 230. Lavinia/Vinnie was heard in such vintage classics as Life With Father. And now the breaking announcement of Jimmy Fallon's choice of Winnie Rose for his new baby daughter instantly ups its cool factor." >
- Elsie is a revival surprise for those who still remember the Borden’s cow, but there she is, at Number 94 in the UK and 397 in the US. A Scottish Elizabeth nickname, Elsie peaked in popularity in the 1890’s at Number 31; cute child actress Elsie Fisher is helping to rejuvenate its image." >
- Evie has returned, in tandem with mother names Eve and Evelyn—and the more distanced Evangeline and Genevieve. Evie is the most popular girl nickname in England—ranking at Number 12, while still in the 600’s here. In V for Vendetta, the lead character’s name is spelled Evey." >
- Hattie , the old nickname for Harriet and Henrietta, returned to the Top 1000 list, surely influenced in part by Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s use of it for their third child. It’s definitely spunky." >
- Josie has been standing in for mother name Josephine since at least the 1880’s and is now more popular than it’s been since 1910. The animated Josie and the Pussycats gave her a seventies vibe." >
- Katherine pet form that predates all the Kathys and Katies, having been fairly common in the eighteenth century. With the current mini-craze for animal-related names, Kitty is sounding cute and cuddly again—she’s already jumped back onto the UK list, at number 199." >
- Lottie short for Charlotte, and Letty for Letitia or Lettice. Yes, Lettice, once a well-used name. Letty appeared in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Lottie is Number 138 in the UK." >
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on July 25th, 2013 at 11:23 pm
So great! I love most of these!
on July 25th, 2013 at 11:39 pm
I hope some of these names will make a comeback – I’d absolutely love to meet a little Millie or Tilly!
on July 25th, 2013 at 11:48 pm
I know a Tilly, full name Matilda! She wears it so well she inspired me to put Matilda on my short list. Tilly is spunky, sharp, and fun to say. I also love Millie, Winnie, Josie, and Kitty. Another favorite vintage nickname is Elfie, though this is one with no good long form.
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:08 am
I’m loving Jimmy Fallon’s choice. I love Winnie and pretty much the names it stems from. Rose goes well with it, regardless of it’s popularity in the middle spot. I love pretty much all the names on this list (except Elsie. NMS). Great job!
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:20 am
LOVE Winnie. I also love Minnie as that is a great-grandmother’s name and sounds so charming and lovely.
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:24 am
See this is exactly what I was commenting about on the baby men page. Men get serious names like Walter and Winston and girls get Tillie, Millie, Minnie, etc. People are giving or calling girls names that sound juvenile and babyish but boys can be old men in suits. I want (and some demand) baby women names. For those who don’t agree with me atleast consider the way the two stories are framed. One says baby Men names and mentions Arthur and Frederick, the one says with Winnie, Minnie, Millie, and Tillie,. If they wanted the could have written the stories: Arty, Freddie, and Teddy oh my and look Matilda’s back. Ultimately I don’t blame nameberry as much as a society that wants cute names for girls and strong names for boys. I hope Nameberry will stand up to gender stereotypes and do a cute nicknames for boys and baby women names for girls.
on July 26th, 2013 at 1:01 am
Sorry, EmilyVA, but we have done tons of stories on serious names for girls if you look back over the blog archives.
on July 26th, 2013 at 1:20 am
I think all these nicknames are super cute, so long as they’re used as just that – nicknames. I don’t think any of them work well as stand alone names, apart from Maisie. In Australia, the most popular are: Tilly (nn for Matilda), Milly (nn for Amelia), Maisie, Elsie and Evie. A friend of mine had a baby two days ago named Evie. My cousin is Elsa nn Elsie. I dislike Vinnie, Josie and Letty as nicknames (although I rather like their longer versions of Lavinia, Josephine and Lettice), but I adore Minnie (although I can’t think of a great base name), Winnie, Hattie, Kitty and Lottie. Again, only as nicknames!
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:25 am
I go by Kitty exclusively, but I’m glad it’s not my given name. I believe parents should give their children the option.
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:35 am
A lot of these are really popular in England! I think America must be behind in the ‘give your child a nickname as a full name’ department. Personally, I would be put of using a nickname name for any future littlies as I have one [It was on that list! Cool!] and I long for a longer name so I could have a ‘proper’ nickname. I would have even chosen to have a name like Esmerelda because at least there is a wide variety of nicknames [Esme, Ella, Melly, Edda,Emmy] to a little, -ie ending, one nickname choice name.
on July 26th, 2013 at 3:10 am
I love the NN Milllie after my great grandma Amelia ‘Millie’ Rose. But as we already have Amy Amelia is unusable :(.
I also think Dolly/Dotty should be there as I consider these NN’s for Dorothy or Dorothea.
on July 26th, 2013 at 5:19 am
It would be great if you could do a post with a list of nicknames like this, along with newer/fresher names they could be used as nicknames for! i.e. Lettie was traditionally short for Lettice, but nowadays could be used for Scarlett, Violet etc.
Just an idea 😀
on July 26th, 2013 at 5:21 am
I’m Tilly but it’s short for Nathalie in my case! x
on July 26th, 2013 at 5:31 am
I Love All of these! Tilly, Evie, Hattie, Lottie are my favorites.
on July 26th, 2013 at 5:40 am
I think nicknames -lovely as a lot of them are- are better off as being short for a longer, formal name. Though some do tend to become their own name after a while (Molly, Harry etc).
And a little bugbear (sorry!)- none of your ‘UK’ ranks are actually from the UK. They’re just England & Wales stats. There’s a difference! If you factored in births from Scotland and Northern Ireland, Tilly would no longer be in the top 100, Maisie would be #23, Kitty would drop to #215… (:
on July 26th, 2013 at 6:05 am
We are naming our daughter Matilda. we have been calling her Tilly inutero because it feels right. It is not popular in the US, and I hope if doesn’t catch on.
on July 26th, 2013 at 6:16 am
I’ve been planning for years to name my first daughter a name that will yield Millie as a nickname. It’s my great grandmothers name, short for Mildred. She’s the most inspiring person and I can’t wait to honor her that way. Right now I like Romilly as the ln for the Millie nn. Amelia is nice too or Camille. I’ve never seen the name Lettice so that’s a new one! I love another commenters idea of using the Letty nickname for Scarlett or Violet! So pretty!
on July 26th, 2013 at 8:43 am
Love these as nicknames but personally don’t like nicknames as given names 🙂 I’d feel like something was missing. Winifred is on my list mainly for the Winnie nn, but i like how the full name sounds. I like Elsie for Elizabeth, a fun alternative to Betsy but keeping the -sie sound at the end. Lottie is a fresh-again choice after Charlie has stolen the Charlotte show in the last several years. Hattie is cute too.
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am
I’m from England and one of my bestfriends is called Milly (her full name is Melissa), I know a teenager called Kitty, a baby called Winnie, a girl called Tilly, 2 girls called Lottie, 3 girls called Hatty and my little sister is sometimes called Letty (her full name is Scarlett)
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am
Oh and 5 girls called Evie (Evie is very popular in England)
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:32 am
This is a cute list! I love the Tillie the Toiler image; when my grandparents first met, grandma was working in an office and grandpa started calling her Tillie because of that comic.
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:39 am
LOVE this style. I would use Winnie as a nickname for Winola, but the rest I would use as stand-alone names. I also adore Ginny (Virginia), which is the same style.
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:58 am
My cousin has an eight month old named Tilly. Just Tilly. It fits her perfectly and I couldn’t see her bein named Matilda or anything longer. Same with me. My husband and I are preparing for our first this October and naming her Ellsie. I hate the name Elizabeth and know plenty of older women named just Elsie. I think it fully works as a stand alone name since it has been since the 1800s. It means mirthful in Anglo and Noble in Scottish.
on July 26th, 2013 at 10:02 am
I’m not a fan of the “nicknames as first names” trend. Yeah, these names are cute – for children. Nicknames have two problems for me: (1) they are so infantile and lightweight that I have trouble imagining an adult woman bearing them with any kind of authority and (2) the lack versatility and the loss of flexibility. A Tilly is always a Tilly but a Matilda can be a Tilly or a Mattie when young and revert back to her formal name when she matures. None of these names in the blog have that “timeless quality” that ages well.
on July 26th, 2013 at 11:14 am
Letty is the name my great-grandma’s sister (Leticia, I believe) goes by!
on July 26th, 2013 at 11:43 am
I love cute names but don’t forget that you are not just looking for a baby name–you are looking for a teenager’s name and an adult’s name. Baby won’t be a baby for long! Would you want to be seen by a doctor named Tilly, or hire a lawyer named Kitty? I’d say give your child a functioning adult name on the birth certificate and save the cute names for nicknames.
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:06 pm
I love them all! Especially Lottie, Evie and Josie!
on July 26th, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Oh my! I have so much to say about these names!
Elsie (Dinsmore) and Millie (Keith) are my favorite book heroines of all time and they are both on this list!! Originally written in the 19th century by Martha Finley, the stories were slightly revamped and came back in recent years as the A Life of Faith series. When I got on Nameberry and found out that Elsie is actually a Scottish variation of Elizabeth, it made total sense that the book’s heroine would be named (and raised) by the plantation’s Scottish housekeeper as a namesake of Elsie’s beautiful late mother. And Millie Keith’s given name is, of course, Mildred– however I also know a 20-yr-old Amelia who goes by Milly (just like pp KellyMarie1992).
Lavinia and Minerva are two of my absolute favorite guilty pleasures! I discovered Lavinia early on with the “adoption” of a Cabbage Patch Kid; she was definitely my first name-crush! But, even if I were able to use her someday, I could never bring myself to shorten Lavinia to Vinnie. Minerva, however, would indeed have a nn, but not Minnie – my choice would be the simple, but utterly adorable, Min. But, alas, I can only dream; my husband – who tries to keep my feet on the ground – would never let me use either one in real life…
Evie and Josie are possibilities that I’ve toyed with. Evie (Tornquist Karlsson) was my mom’s favorite singer and Josie, well, she’s just short and sweet – but that’s the problem. I don’t have anything against Josephine, but this long version of Josie is just not my style and I really don’t think I could use a nickname as a given name – especially not as a first, maybe not even a middle. I don’t know.
What, or rather who, I do know is a 60 yr old lady who goes by the name of Tish, and I always figured it was a strange, but shortened form of Patricia. In the past few months tho, I found out her given name is Letitia!!! I was shocked!
on July 26th, 2013 at 1:24 pm
Millie/ Milly can also be a nickname for Amelia.
on July 26th, 2013 at 1:26 pm
The only ones I care for are Hattie and maybe Winnie (but only as a nickname)
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:04 pm
I’ve loved having a nickname/name myself. I don’t like its held me back or made people think less of me.
Girls that will be women with these lovely names will be just fine. Winnie and Milly will be doctors, lawyers, etc. without any problems.
Tilly is such a sweet name. I also love Tess. Alas, I am having a boy, so Tilly and Tess are not to be.
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:11 pm
Genevieve, nn Evie, Matilda nn Tillie and Josephine nn Posey (not Josie, though that’s ok too!) are my favorite names right now.
Stop doing lists like this! No one can know! 😉
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
I know a little Millie. Her given name is Anna-Millicent.
on July 26th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
I know an Evie and I love the name! Her full name is Evelyn. I also know 1 Millie and 1 Maisie. The Evie I know is 18, Millie is 16, and Maisie is 7. I love Evie, Maisie and Winnie! Not a fan of Josie, Vinnie, or Minnie.
on July 26th, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Can I just say I love your “Thank You card” reference in the first sentence 🙂
on July 26th, 2013 at 3:02 pm
Ha!–glad you got it.
on July 26th, 2013 at 3:39 pm
I love Josie as a nick name for Jocelyn! Lettie is super cute and could be used for a lot of different names. I knew a girl named Vermill who goes by Millie. My daughter has an old fashioned nick name, that isn’t on the list. Her nick name is Atty.
on July 26th, 2013 at 3:43 pm
I know a Maisie and a Tilly, both real names who are 18.
on July 26th, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Love the name Lettice/Letty, unfortunately can’t see myself ever using it due to the likelihood of teasing in school. Sigh- so the list of lost names continues…my hubby loves the name Dorcas (used in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) but for the same reason we won’t be using it. Any Millie name lovers should definitely see this one, she is one feisty role model.
on July 26th, 2013 at 7:09 pm
EmilyVA – if you’re a long-time reader of Nameberry blog, you’ll know that they have done tons of articles on many name styles. It is the way here, to compartmentalise names into styles and niches, which makes for nice bite-size reading.
This is not about saying baby girls should only be named diminutives – it’s a just style of name that’s on its way back. Trawl the archives and you’ll find a wealth of info on ‘nice guy’ names, and many others which aren’t the hyper-masculine sort.
I for one, know little girls by all of these names. They have very much arrived in Australia, particularly seeing as we tend to loosely follow the British trends (though not exclusively).
on July 26th, 2013 at 7:40 pm
I’m not a huge fan of nickname names, but I do like Minnie and Kitty. One you didn’t have on the list is Dottie…so cute, I can picture a little girl in polka dots.
I’m surprised more people don’t recognize Evie. I feel like it’s everywhere online and in books. I was looking for a simpler nickname to go by (real name Yvonne), and people still ask me how to pronounce Evie when I use it. But then again I’m in the south, where I guess Vonnie is easier to go by.
on July 26th, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Winnie has always been a favorite of mine, and I’ve recently fallen in love with Minnie. Evie and Lettie are cute as well.
on July 26th, 2013 at 9:46 pm
I do like all of those names….however I prefer giving a kid a more full name. I think it gives the kid more options. Plus, if they decide that they want some “more professional” then they can go by their full name. I mean, I absolutely love Lulu, but I can’t imagine that everyone would take a Lulu seriously in the business world.
on July 27th, 2013 at 6:53 am
Ah I feel like I’ve entered a primary school classroom in Hoxton (East London now so hipster) ; )
I adore most of the names listed above, even though for me being from the UK I feel like I’ve heard many of these choices over and over again. Along with knowing many children with these names, I feel like I’m hearing the likes of Maisie being called out repeatedly in supermarkets!
My favourites are…
Tilly (I also love Matilda)
Millie (I love this as a nickname for Camilla)
Minnie (I had a Great Grandmother with this name)
Elsie (I also love Elizabeth and Elsie feels so Scottish and wholesome as a nickname for her)
Evie (lovely choice I also love all the variants)
Lottie/Letty (I like this option but prefer as a nickname for the likes of Charlotte, Scarlett, Violet etc)
on July 27th, 2013 at 10:59 am
I love this post! The musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” has always made me adore that name, and I think Tilly/Tillie is so cute! Charlotte has been on my short-list forever, always with Lottie as the nickname. I believe there was a character in The Little Princess named Charlotte who went by Lottie. Most of these names I would use with the longer form, but that’s a personal opinion. Josephine has always sounded beautiful, but I much prefer the nickname Posey/Posy!
on July 27th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
I could have a whole family of vintage nicknames!
on July 27th, 2013 at 3:50 pm
I love Josie! (:
My friends just named their daughter Ollie.
on July 27th, 2013 at 7:48 pm
I am sorry if I came off a bit strong. I apologize if I offended anyone. I don’t mind the cutsey nicknames if they have a real and formal name to go with them. Some of my favorites do have some cutsy nicknames, but I prefer a formal name and not just a nickname. I think Matilda will go up in popularity here in the states.
on July 28th, 2013 at 4:40 am
Love them as nns, but not so much as full names. I knew a law student named Winnie, and while the name was cute, it seemed so strange with her aggressive personality. So I don’t really think they are wearable by a wide range of people.
on July 28th, 2013 at 10:35 am
I was almost named Winnie. (My dad was in love with Winnie Cooper from the Wonder Years) But in my case, I would have been Bronwyn. When my parents told me this before I was a namenerd, I thought it was a terrible name. But now, I like it, but Winnie definately doesn’t fit me. I think I would have ended up as Bronwyn.
on July 28th, 2013 at 11:33 am
This post is so crazy to me because with the name Winifred, I’ve always hated my nn Winnie! I almost wished my parents gave me the nn Freddie instead…… I just can’t belive that Winnie is getting so popular…lol. I have been called horse face, bad luck horseshoe, Winey, Old Lady and Tinnie Winnie just to name a FEW. Kids can be so harsh. Now that I’m older, I go by Wynn. It amazes me how name culture is effected by the Media, Celebs etc…. So strange.
on July 28th, 2013 at 7:44 pm
Like many others, I think most of these are adorable but prefer them as nicknames for more formal birth names; so no, I probably wouldn’t consider using one on its own.
I know a couple who just had a baby Josie (full name), and Josie is definitely one of my favorites on the list. Like ninanoo, I prefer it as a nn for Jocelyn rather than Josephine. And lately I’ve been thinking how lovely Lavinia is.
I also recently taught an art class including a little Chinese girl named Yu Min. Her mother called her Minnie. So cute!
on July 29th, 2013 at 9:33 am
Someone at my church named their baby this year, Annie Grace (middle name Grace). The diminutive is cute and cutting edge, and it made me wonder at the time whether the vintage nickname name was being revived. I LOVE vintage nicknames (my maternal grandmother is Lottie), but I personally don’t think they’re the best as an official name. I think a little foresight should be exercised. Will these names hold in say 20 or 30 years? Very unlikely, and I therefore think it’s better to choose the formal vintage or classic equivalent. There was also born within the last decade an Anne Grace and an Anna Grace at my church, predating this recent vintage nickname revival, which I think, in the long term, are smarter choices. I started liking Winifred a few years ago, and think we should bring this name back, and can diminutize with Winnie, of course. I like it even less that the diminutive is being used popularly for boys in England, at any rate, and hope it doesn’t hit these shores. Alfie should be Alfred and Louie, Louis, in my mind. These boys will soon be grown, and I believe will do better with a strong male name. Well, that said, I’m sure I’ll go along for the ride. For the girls, at least.
Here are my girl vintage nickname favorites (with preferred spelling): Abbey, Addie, Emmy, Dolley, Hetty, Hattie, Maisie, Maidie, Molly, Annie, Mamie, Sosie, Sukey, Sudie, Sadie, Salley, Becky, Lizzie, Betsey, Elsie, Ellie, Bethy, Jenny, Jessie, Nolley, Lottie, Ettie, Millie, Josey, Lulie, Edy, Tessie, Mattie, Muffy (not sure if it’s preppy or vintage), Lydie, Meggie, Maggie, Katie, Nelly, Winnie. I’ve probably forgotten a few. I don’t care for Dottie, Minnie, Tilly, Letty, or Polly – at this point. 🙂
on July 29th, 2013 at 9:54 am
Other favorites (continuing from my (9:33 am post): Bessie, Essie, and I’m warming to mid-century Peggy. Add Kitty and Hitty to my “I don’t care for yet list.”
If you don’t like Harriet, Hattie can be used for Charlotte, though a stretch. I love Esther, and like it diminutized with Hetty.
on July 29th, 2013 at 10:38 am
I forgot Jemmy (Jemima/Jemimah) and Ginny/Jinny (Virginia) as favorites.
on July 29th, 2013 at 10:51 am
Okay, I just recalled Nettie as one that I like, too.
on July 29th, 2013 at 11:15 am
Sorry for the bits and pieces, but I love Lolly and Lally, too.
on July 29th, 2013 at 12:38 pm
EmilyVa said: “See this is exactly what I was commenting about on the baby men page. Men get serious names like Walter and Winston and girls get Tillie, Millie, Minnie, etc.”
I understand your point, EmilyVA, but this is the very reason I love Victorian vintage names/nicknames. I’m a conservative, and it can be easier for me to like names that evoke traditional values. I might be projecting, but I wonder if deep down some parents are yearning, at least on a subconscious level, for a return to a more genteel society, and this is reflected in vintage naming patterns. Is it simply that there’s a hundred-year rule, or is something deeper going on? This is a question that I’d like explored.
on July 29th, 2013 at 12:45 pm
itpbr says, “I’ve been planning for years to name my first daughter a name that will yield Millie as a nickname.”
Millie was one of the many of the nicknames for Mary used long ago. You could use Mary or Marie or Rosemarie or something related, even as a middle name.
on July 29th, 2013 at 12:52 pm
iwillpraise says, “I could never bring myself to shorten Lavinia to Vinnie.” …”I don’t have anything against Josephine, but this long version of Josie is just not my style and I really don’t think I could use a nickname as a given name – especially not as a first, maybe not even a middle.”
Lally can be a diminutive of Lavinia or any La- name. Josie can be used for Joanna.
on July 29th, 2013 at 4:05 pm
i hate that Winnie is becoming popular, i have been saving the name Winifred for years for a daughter, now im worried it will become too popular. i picked this name due to its obscurity. luckily i intend to call her Fred and not Winnie.
on July 31st, 2013 at 1:32 pm
I have a much younger sister ” Viviann” we call her “Vivi” like Libby but Vivi. It’s adorable, in my family no matter what your name is its shortened! Mostly with an ie on the end.
on August 12th, 2013 at 4:57 pm
I just returned from a trip to Gettysburg, and visited a few house museums whose occupants provide a civilian’s perspective of the Civil War. When I visit historical sites, I pay as much attention to the names of the people as I do their stories. I was thinking of this blog when I learned the accounts of Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, Henrietta “Hettie” Shriver and her young daughters Sadie and Mollie, and Matilda “Tillie” Pierce, an eyewitness 15-year-old. I also discovered a woman called Sally, who, like Mary Wade, derived her nickname from her middle name, the biblical Salome. I pretty much exclusively link Sally to Sarah, so it tickled me to see it linked to Salome.
In this very short time since I posted above, I’ve now come to like Tillie and Lettie as vintage nicknames. Sometimes all it takes is a little exposure, or a connection of a name to an era of interest. I’m even warming to the use of a vintage nickname as the formal name. I also love reading tombstones in colonial burying grounds in the hopes of discovering a new name to appreciate. Such is the power of association.
Quirky Vintage Nicknames for Boys: Huey, Louie and Howie – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on September 26th, 2013 at 10:37 pm
[…] The Victorian nickname trend that’s hot in the U.K. is getting attention in the U.S.—for girls. […]
on July 25th, 2014 at 10:03 am
These names are not “worlds away from midcentury short forms.” It’s the same thing when in the fifties, parents named their children Vickie or Becky instead of Victoria and Rebecca because those were considered ‘old lady names.’
Since I was given one of these nn as my legal name I can tell you from experience that I had to go through all kinds of drama to LEGALLY change my name to the formal version. I now use both the formal and the nn but now at least I have a choice. What’s cute on a little girl is not so cute when she’s trying to be taken seriously. For years I used the formal version on resumes, even before I had it legally changed, to be taken seriously.
And I was resentful that my sister was LEGALLY named Katherine instead of Kathy, which is what she was called. She was also called Kitty and Casey but now as an adult, uses Katherine exclusively. It is not healthy to try to keep your child a child forever. My parents thought they were doing me a favor by giving me the nn as the formal version was considered too ‘old lady’ at that time. But I’ve always liked it and so has everyone else, since I started using it in high school.
I like the nn Vivi. My ex-husband and I fought over that name as he wanted ‘Lisa’ and I wanted ‘Vivian’. But Vivian was considered too ‘old lady’ at that time. The rest of these nn, not so much. I can understand Annie Grace as Anne Grace is a little too blunt, but still.
As far as boys’ names, my boss has a son called ‘Alfie’ but his legal name is Alfred Owen, not Alfie.
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