Nicknames for Girls

Nicknames for Girls

Nicknames for girls are cool again. The best girl nicknames today are not the cutesy Cindys and Mindys, Candys and Randis of the '60s and '70s, but rather vintage diminutives or sassy nicknames with attitude.

Some parents choose proper names as a way to get to girls' nicknames they like: Adeline for Addie, say, or Eleanor for Ellie. Or baby girl nicknames can lighten or soften too-imposing family names. Wilhelmina turns cute when she's called Billie, and Daisy can be a wonderful nickname for Marguerite.

More and more parents are electing to put nicknames straight on the birth certificate, and there's no reason that nicknames can't also be a formal names. Many nicknames for girls are now appearing on popularity lists, with top choices including Ellie, Josie, Kate, Tess, and Sadie. Trending girls' nicknames include Frankie and Billie.

The nicknames for girls listed here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Girl Names

Nicknames: The Ultimate Guide

  1. MaeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010. Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood.
  2. MaisieHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "pearl or bitter"
    • Description:

      Maisie, a charming name long popular as a nickname for Margaret or Mary, entered the Top 1000 as itself ten years ago and continues to rise. Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams helped propel the name back into the limelight, along with the that of her character, Arya.
  3. ElsieHeart
    • Origin:

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

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elsie is a sweet vintage nickname-name turned modern star. After a 30-year hiatus, Elsie started climbing the US popularity list 20 years ago and is still headed for the top.
  4. RomyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Rosemary, Roma, Romana, Romilly etc.
    • Description:

      Austrian actress Romy Schneider seemed to be the singular bearer of this international nickname name until it found new style currency in the past decade.
  5. 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.
  6. SadieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Sarah
    • Meaning:

      "princess"
    • Description:

      Sadie started as a nickname for Sarah, but their images couldn't be more disparate. Where Sarah is serious and sweet, Sadie is full of sass and fun.
  7. SylvieHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Latin Sylvia
    • Meaning:

      "from the forest"
    • Description:

      Although Sylvia seems to be having somewhat of a revival among trendsetting baby namers, we'd still opt for the even gentler and more unusual Sylvie. Despite being dated in its native France (where it was popular during the 1950s and 60s), in English-speaking regions it still feels fresh and international without being unfamiliar and has a cosmopolitan, international air. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2016.
  8. DaisyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, English
    • Meaning:

      "day's eye"
    • Description:

      Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
  9. CleoHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "glory"
    • Description:

      Cleo, one of the few girls' names to boast the cool-yet-lively o ending, is of course short for Cleopatra, the name of one of the most powerful women in history.
  10. SophieHeart
    • Origin:

      French variation of Sophia
    • Meaning:

      "wisdom"
    • Description:

      Sophie is the French form of the Greek Sophia, for which it is also commonly used as a nickname. Given Sophia's long standing among the Top 10 girl names in the US, Sophie may feel more popular than it actually is.
  11. 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.
  12. MollyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "bitter"
    • Description:

      Molly is one of the original nickname names, ALWAYS ranking among the US Top 500 girl names since statistics began, in 1880. Molly peaked in 1991 only to rise just as high again in 2011, and though softening retains a good measure of popularity and charm.
  13. SallyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Sarah
    • Meaning:

      "princess"
    • Description:

      Sally is a cheerful, fresh-faced girl-next-door name that was originally a nickname for Sarah, but has long been used independently. Sally was popular in the eighteenth century and then again from the 1920s to the 1960s--it was just outside the Top 50 around 1940. Though it hasn't been heard as a baby name for decades, we can see Sally bouncing back, especially after her exposure as young Ms. Draper on Mad Men--the Nameberries rank it at Number 621, and it's a Top 100 name in Sweden.
  14. EllaHeart
    • Origin:

      German; English
    • Meaning:

      "all, completely; fairy maiden"
    • Description:

      Ella is a sweet, simple name that owes much of its current popularity to the popularity of other names, from Emma to Bella to Emily to Ellie.
  15. MillieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mildred or Millicent
    • Meaning:

      "gentle strength; strong in work"
    • Description:

      Millie is back. It's a Top 100 name throughout much of the English-speaking world, though not yet in the US. Millicent would be an appealing long form, but many people are using Millie all by its cute self -- so many, in fact, that it returned to the Top 500 in 2015 for the first time since World War 2 and continues to climb.
  16. LottieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Charlotte
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Lottie is a nostalgic great-grandma name that conjures up lockets and lace, and -- like Nellie, Josie, Hattie, Tillie, and Milly -- has considerable vintage charm. A Top 100 name at the end of the nineteenth century, Lottie fell off the popularity list around 1960, but is now climbing back both as a nickname for popular Charlotte, as well as on its' own. Lottie re-entered the US charts for the first time since the 50s in 2022, and is likely going to keep climbing. It's already an amazing Number 85 in England and Wales.
  17. EvieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Eve or Eva
    • Meaning:

      "life"
    • Description:

      Evie was derived from Eve, which in turn comes from Chawwah, a Hebrew name related to the concept of life. Evie can be used as a nickname for any name that starts with Ev-, including Eva, Evelyn, and Evangeline, but also for names such as Genevieve and Maeve. Evie is typically pronounced with a long E sound, but a short E is also valid.
  18. 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.
  19. WinnieHeart
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Winifred
    • Meaning:

      "holy peacemaking, gentle friend"
    • Description:

      This pet form of such names as Winifred and Edwina and Gwendolyn has loads of vintage charm, a la Millie and Maisie, with a decidedly winning vibe. And it just got celebrity cred as the baby daughter of Jimmy Fallon.
  20. LolaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish, diminutive of Dolores
    • Meaning:

      "lady of sorrows"
    • Description:

      A hot starbaby name – chosen by Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson, and Annie Lennox, and used as the nickname of Madonna's Lourdes – Lola manages to feel fun and sassy without going over the top. Be warned, though: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," to quote a song from the show Damn Yankees.