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Vintage Nicknames for Girls

Vintage Nicknames for Girls
Vintage nicknames for girls feel new again. Many modern parents are choosing to forgo traditional full forms and put an old-fashioned nickname on the birth certificate instead. Elsie, Winnie, and Millie outrank their more formal counterparts, Elsa, Winifred, and Mildred.

Along with Elsie and Millie, other vintage nicknames for girls in the US Top 1000 include Maisie, Nellie, Josie, Emmy, Belle, Evie, Hattie, and Rosie. You may not have heard of vintage nicknames such as Floy, Ibby, Sudie, and Winnet, which are all but forgotten, though could stand to be revived.

These vintage nicknames for girls might be worth a fresh look. Check our larger Nicknames for Girls list for more choices. And if it's adorable you're after, check out this list of cute baby names, which includes lots of nickname-names. For a complete guide to nickname options, read our Ultimate Guide to Nicknames.

Vintage Nicknames for Girls
  1. MaeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
  2. MaisieHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "pearl or bitter"
    • Description:

      Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite, is in perfect tune with today, rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. Spelled Maisy, it's a popular children's book series.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. MollyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "bitter"
    • Description:

      What is Molly short for? Molly originated as a diminutive of Mary, spawning from medieval variations Malle and Molle. Molly has been used as a stand-alone pet form of Mary since the Middle Ages, and has been consistently popular as an independent name in the U.S. over the past several decades.
  8. 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.
  9. HattieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Harriet
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      In the USA, Hattie is one of those nicknames that is now more popular than its parent name, Harriet. In England, however, Harriet is still by far more popular than Hattie, while in Australia, Harriet is highly popular while no data exists on Hattie. In the US, we’d like to see Harriet get more usage but we’re happy to see Hattie again.
  10. 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 well might climb back on most likely as a diminutive for the currently popular Charlotte. It's already an amazing Number 85 in England and Wales.
  11. AnnieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Ann
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Annie is one of the most open and optimistic, the-sun'll-come-out-tomorrow type of name, having been celebrated over the years in song (Annie Laurie), comic strip (Little Orphan Annie), folklore (Annie Oakley, born Phoebe), and film (Annie Hall). It strikes a nice old-fashioned-but-jaunty chord that still has appeal, but we do suggest that you consider putting a more formal version on her birth certificate.
  12. PippaHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Philippa
    • Meaning:

      "lover of horses"
    • Description:

      Pippa, a peppy condensation of Philippa that turns it from serious to sprightly, has come into the public eye in a big way via the former Kate Middleton's sister. Heard far more in the UK (where it's currently just outside the Top 100) than the US, Pippa has been used on its own since the nineteenth century, popularized by Robert Browning's dramatic poem, Pippa Passes. A recent book and film was titled The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
  13. EdieHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Edith
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edie is part of the Evie-Ellie et al family of cute and friendly short forms that sometimes stand on its own. Briefly popular in the 1960s, it could well be due for rediscovery. It's already a fashionable choice in the UK, where it has ranked just outside the Top 100 for several years.
  14. NellHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Helen, Eleanor, et al
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining one"
    • Description:

      Nell, once a nickname for Helen, Ellen, or Eleanor, is a sweet old-fashioned charmer that is fashionably used today in its own right. While Nell is perfectly in tune with contemporary vintage name style, it hasn't taken off the way some of its sisters have and so maintains an air of distinction. Use Nell or Nellie as a short for any name from Eleanor to Penelope or just name her Nell.
  15. EffieHeart
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Euphemia, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pleasant speech"
    • Description:

      Effie is the old-fashioned short form for Euphemia. It shares a vintage charm with Hattie and Letty although is much rarer than either. Effie is a character in The Hunger Games and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
  16. RosieHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "rose"
    • Description:

      Rosy-cheeked and cheery, Rosie (also spelled Rosy) has been standing on her own for many decades, back to the days of 1943 musical Sweet Rosie O'Grady. She's one of the perky nickname-names that are filling the popularity lists of other English-speaking countries. In the US, she came back to the Top 1000 in 2013, after a 30 year hiatus.
  17. BelleHeart
    • Origin:

      Short form of Isabelle or French
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Belle has nothing but positive associations, from "belle of the ball" to "Southern belle" to the heroine of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As if this weren't enough good things, Belle is also one of the most familiar and usable names that mean beautiful. Though it has been overshadowed by the Twilight-influenced Bella and longer forms like Isabella and Annabella, Belle has its own Southern charm and would make a pretty choice as a first or middle name.
  18. BeaHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Beatrice
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness"
    • Description:

      Bea is a former old lady name that's cute again as a short form -- and is now beginning to stand on its own. Bee is a variation that, like Bea, can work as a diminutive for any name that starts with the letter B, or in the middle. Bea actually stood alone on the popularity lists for four years at the beginning of the twentieth century--and it could happen again.
  19. 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.
  20. CocoHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish and French pet name
    • Description:

      Coco came to prominence as the nickname of the legendary French designer Chanel (born Gabrielle) and has lately become a starbaby favorite, initially chosen by Courteney Cox for her daughter Coco Riley in 2004. At first it was the kind of name that the press loves to ridicule, but we predict Coco's heading for more broad acceptance and even popularity.