Thank you, JimmyFallon, for naming your new daughter WinnieRose, and proving our point— which is that we’re into a whole new era of nickname names. These are worlds away from midcentury short forms like Cindy and Mindy and Marci and Lori, but go further back in time to faded Victorian favorites. It’s a trend that started in the UK, where 10% of the current Top 100 girls’ names fit this description, and several of the boys— Alfie, Archie, Freddie, Ollie—rank high as well. Here are some of the vintage girls’ nickname names, with their uniquely charming combo of sentiment and sass, which illustrate the trend.
Who woulda thought? 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 ElsieFisher is helping to rejuvenate its image.