Strong Nickname Names

  1. Bree
    • Origin:

      Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
    • Meaning:

      "strength or exalted one"
    • Description:

      A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.
  2. Celia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "heavenly"
    • Description:

      Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
  3. Eliza
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Eliza is a name with a wonderful combination of streamlined zest and Eliza Doolittle charm and spunk. It's a classic that's popular right now -- but not too popular.
  4. Gus
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Augustus, Angus, Gustave, Augustin, Augusten, Augustine, August
    • Description:

      Gus is a homey grandpa nickname name that can work as a short form for any of the above or stand on its own as a cutting-edge replacement for Max and Jake--though it was off the Top 1000 from 1978 until 2016, when it squeaked in at Number 999.
  5. Gwen
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
    • Meaning:

      "white circle"
    • Description:

      While Gwen may have originated as a short form of Gwendolen and Gwendolyn, these days it frequently stands on its own. Rocker Gwen Stefani has given it a shot of cool, and parents are choosing it as a standalone more and more often—Gwen hopped back onto the US Top 1000 in 2013 after an absence of over 30 years. Gwen could also be short for Guinevere.
  6. Jack
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  7. Josie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Josephine, feminine of Joseph
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah increases"
    • Description:

      Josie is jaunty and friendly: among the most winning of all nickname names. She's been on the social security list since records began being kept.
  8. Kate
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Katherine
    • Meaning:

      "pure"
    • Description:

      Kate, in the headlines via Catherine Middleton aka the Princess of Wales, has been as pervasive as Kathy was in the 1950s and 1960s, both as a nickname for Katherine and Kaitlyn and as a strong, classic stand-alone name.
  9. Leo
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now at its highest point ever in the US thanks in part to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio.
  10. Mac
    • Origin:

      Scottish or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "son of"
    • Description:

      In Ireland and Scotland, Mac and Mc mean "son of"; here, Mac is a generic fella, or a short form cooler than either Matt or Max. Mac can be a nickname of any longer Mac or Mc starting name such as McCoy or Macalister. If you want to make it feel more complete, you can always spell it Mack.
  11. Mae
    • 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.
  12. Max
    • Origin:

      English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.
  13. Masie
    • Nate
      • Origin:

        English, diminutive of Nathan or Nathaniel
      • Description:

        Very much in style, especially after its starring role in Six Feet Under, Nate is one of a new generation of nicknames that go directly on the birth certificate. Other similar names: Sam, Jack, Mack.
    • Sadie
      • 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.
    • Theo
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Theodore
      • Meaning:

        "gift of God"
      • Description:

        See the popularity graph below for the name Theo? It's been heading straight uphill since 2010, when it hopped back onto the Top 1000 after a 60+ year absence.
    • Tilda
      • Origin:

        Estonian, diminutive of Matilda
      • Description:

        Actress Tilda Swinton injected this dated nickname name with some modern charm.
    • Zeke
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Ezekiel
      • Meaning:

        "God strengthens"
      • Description:

        Zeke is a casual form of the name Ezekiel, an important prophet from the Old Testament. How well Zeke holds up depends on the boy: it could be a cooler alternative of Zack, or it could prove too close to "geek." Both Zeke and Ezekiel lag behind in popularity on the UK charts.