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Uncommon Nicknames for Elizabeth

Uncommon Nicknames for Elizabeth
Elizabeth is one of those classic, widely-used baby names that has an entire raft of nicknames, going in and out of style over time. In the 1940s, a baby Elizabeth was likely to be called Betty. Then came Betsy, Liz, and Lisa in the midcentury. Next was Beth, and now we have Ellie.

Along with Ellie and Lisa, other nicknames for Elizabeth in the US Top 1000 include Eliza, Elle, Elsa, Elsie, Etta, Lea, Lily, and Thea. If you’re looking for a truly unusual nickname for Elizabeth, we suggest Ilsa, Lettie, Zella, or Zibby.

With so many options, there's a pet form of Elizabeth that's right for any child. For more inspiration, check out our list of International Variations of Elizabeth.

TheaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "goddess, godly"
  • Description:

    Thea is a diminutive of names ending in -thea, including Dorothea, Althea, and Anthea. It is also the Anglicized spelling of Theia, the Titan of sight, goddess of light, and mother of the moon. She was the consort of Hyperion, and mother of Helios, Selene, and Eos.

ElsieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth via its Scottish variation, Elspeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Not so long ago, Elsie might have been on a list of Names Least Likely to Succeed—but look at her now! She is currently ranked very highly in the U.K., and in the US, she's widely used as well, having returned to the popular names list in 2005 after a thirty-year hiatus. Elsie is now one of the fastest-rising girl names starting with E.

ElizaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Eliza originated as a diminutive of Elizabeth and eventually became used as a name in its own right. Despite its similarity to the Hebrew name Aliza, meaning "joyful," the two are unrelated. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, recognizable today as one of the lead characters in the musical "Hamilton."

LilyHeart

  • Origin:

    English flower name
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Lily came into use as a given name as a direct influence of the flower. The floral name was derived from the Latin lilium, itself derived from the Greek leirion. Lily later became an adjective to describe whiteness and purity.

EllieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Eleanor and Ellen
  • Meaning:

    "bright shining one"
  • Description:

    Ellie derived as a nickname for names beginning with El-, such as Eleanor, Ellen, and Elizabeth. It is increasingly being used as a standalone name, particularly in the UK. Ellie is the standard spelling, but Elly and Elli are occasionally seen as variations.

EttaHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish, short form of any name ending with -etta: Henrietta, Loretta etc.
  • Description:

    Etta is one of the surprise hit girl names of recent years, thanks to the surprise hit revival of Etta James' song At Last. Etta has now taken her place as a successor to Emma and Ella.

BirdieHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.

ElleHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "she"
  • Description:

    Combine the charming heroine of the movie Legally Blonde with supermodel Elle Macpherson and the trend toward all names beginning with "el"—Ellie, Ella, Eleanor—and you have one hit name.

ElsaHeart

  • Origin:

    German diminutive of Elisabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Lost in limbo for decades and decades, Elsa now stands a good chance of following along in the progression from Emma to Ella to Etta, thanks to the ice queen heroine who "Let It Go" in the wildly popular Disney movie Frozen. The name shot all the up to Number 286 (its highest ranking since the 1890s) in the year after the release of the movie, though it's now dropped back down the list in the US.

BillieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Wilhelmina, Wilma
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Billie is a tomboy nickname name, part of the growing trend for using boyish nicknames for girls and now destined for stardom along with its most famous contemporary bearer, music sensation Billie Eilish.

TessHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Theresa
  • Meaning:

    "to harvest"
  • Description:

    With its solid Thomas Hardy background, Tess has a lot more substance, strength, and style than most single-syllable names, with an efficient yet relaxed image.

BettyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Combine the popularity of Betty White and Mad Men's glamorous Betty Draper Francis, with the residual sweetness of Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez, and the result is an impending return of the name. It's got presidential cred via Betty Ford and feminist history through Betty Friedan.

BeeHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name or diminutive of Beatrice
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    We've seen Beatrice and Beatrix climb in popularity, along with traditional nickname Bea. And now there's Bee, giving it a buzzy nature world spin, plus a tie to popular late night TV''s Samantha Bee, not to mention Aunt Bee on the old The Andy Griffith Show TV show. Bee can theoretically be short for any girl names starting with B.

LettieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Letitia, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "joy, gladness"
  • Description:

    Lettie, also spelled Letty, is a nickname name not heard in over a century, giving it the patina of a treasured antique. Lettie's style currency is rising with the trend for old-fashioned, down-to-earth nicknames. Lettie is right in step with Lottie, Hettie, Hattie, Josie, and Maisie.

ZellaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Bobangi
  • Meaning:

    "lacking nothing, one who knows the way"
  • Description:

    This is an African name that would fit into any culture.

LibbyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Through all the years when Betty, Betsy, Beth, Liz, and Lizzie were the Elizabethan nicknames of choice, the bubblier Libby was set aside, but today it may be the most modern of all—it has already made a strong comeback in England and Wales, where it ranks Number 139.

BetsyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    This Elizabeth nickname has a decidedly retro feel--think Betsy Ross and the Betsy Wetsy doll-- once seen as a perkier, younger-sounding alternative to Betty. But with Betty on the brink of a comeback, pigtailed Betsy could return as well.

LisaHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Liza, diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Elvis naming his daughter Lisa Marie and Nat King Cole's hit song "Mona Lisa" conspired to catapult one of Elizabeth's many offshoots to Number 4 in 1970. Its star barely twinkles now.

LeaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Lee or Leah
  • Meaning:

    "meadow; weary"
  • Description:

    While traditionally pronounced as a homonym for Lee, Glee actress Lea Michele pronounces her name like Leah, and it may also rhyme with Freya. Regardless of your preferred pronunciation, it's interesting to note that Lea has always charted in the US Top 1000, despite coming close to the bottom a few times, making it one of the girl names starting with L that both fits in and stands out.

BethHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    The sweetest and most sensitive of the pet names for Elizabeth, now also one of the most dated.

LieslHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    While we long dismissed Liesl as being stuck in the Alps with Heidi, the Nameberry community has forced us to reconsider. Yes, like Heidi, Liesl is an old German nickname-name that has never quite moved beyond its Alpine image. But the same thing might have been said of Elsa a few years ago, and many other names that once seemed inextricably tied to their countries of origin -- think Enzo and Saoirse and Freya and Soren. So c'mon down, Liesl, and join the multicultural gang of names prime for picking the world over. Many people associate the name with Liesl von Trapp, the eldest daughter in The Sound of Music</>, who is "Sixteen Going on Seventeen", as her song famously says. Liesl is also one of the more unusual girl names starting with L, the most fashionable starting consonant of the moment.

LilibetHeart

  • Origin:

    Nickname of Elizabeth, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Lilibet is the fanciful short form of Elizabeth first noted as the childhood nickname of Britain's queen and now made contemporary as the name of the newborn daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex -- aka Harry and Meghan. The nickname Lilibet originally derived from Elizabeth II's first pronunciation of her own name. Lilibet also relates to the flower name Lily, and reportedly Harry and Meghan plan to call their daughter Lili. Lili makes a sweet baby sister name for Archie. Thirteen baby girls were named variation Lilibeth in the US in 2020 but fewer than five were called Lilibet. We expect that to change in the 2021 statistics.

IzzyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Isabel and Isabella
  • Description:

    The longer Isabella stays in the Top 10—and it's been there for more than a decade—the more we hear the nickname Izzy (especially if we watch Grey's Anatomy). it's just a matter of time before it stands on its own, as it has as a first name for the daughter of Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher.

BessieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    After a century of association with horses and cows, this name just could be ready for revival by a fearless baby namer -- after all, it did happen to Jessie and Becky.

BessHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Although she declared her independence as far back as the reign of Elizabeth I--Good Queen Bess, Bess now sounds less passé than Beth or Betsy.

IlsaHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Ilsa is remembered as the radiant but tragic heroine of "Casablanca," and it's having something of a European resurgence.

ZeaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "grain"
  • Description:

    An unusual possibility; Zea would fit right in with schoolmates named Tea and Leya.

BuffyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    Buffy was a one-time sorority girl with a roommate named Muffy, then a fearless vampire slayer, though still basically fluffy. You might think of Buffy as the feminine version of Chip or Bud -- an all-purpose nickname now buried in a mid-century time capsule.

LizaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Eliza, diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    Liza's heyday was the mid-1970s, following on the heels of super-popular sister Lisa. But thanks to the fact that it never became superpopular, Liza remains a name not especially tied to one generation or style.

LizzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    Lizzie was commonly used as an independent name in the last half of the nineteenth century. Today Lizzie is still one of the most stylish short forms of Elizabeth, but few U.S. parents put it on the birth certificate.

LizHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    A girl named Liz on her birth certificate could feel deprived of her full identity. Call her Liz, but name her Elizabeth -- or at least Lizbeth or Eliza.

BetteHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    Pronounced a la Bette (Betty) Davis or Bette (Bet) Midler, a twentieth-century relic. Though if the equally vintage Betty comes back, Bette may be close behind.

BabetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Barbara
  • Description:

    A less common relic of the Claudette-Paulette-Annette era.

ZiziHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Kiswahili
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Despite its varied cultural ties, Zizi still sounds like a cancan dancer or a fluffy lapdog.

BettinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "God is my oath"
  • Description:

    Bettina is a dainty ballerina version of Betty, that has not been heard much since its 1950s-60s heyday. Bettina appeared in the Danielle Steele novel Loving, and in real life as one of Grace Kelly's bridesmaids.

TibbyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Cute and unusual as a nickname, but lacking the legs to stand on its own.

ZibbyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    Zibby is the adorable, zippy nickname for Elizabeth used for the lead female character in the film "Liberal Arts." Zibby can make a Libby for the 21st century.

LizbethHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    For parents who are trying to cut down on their vowels and syllables.

BizzyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Bizzy has a 1930s wisecracking waitress -- think Mitzi, Flossie, Fanny -- feel to it, yet at the same time feels like a fresh, modern nickname for Elizabeth. Given that any Bizzy better be, this name could be a way to make your Elizabeth stand out.

LyddaHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    Lydda is the name of a Biblical town whose similarity to Lydia makes it plausible as a first name. But if you're considering Lydda, we can't help but wonder: Why not just stick with Lydia?