I thought it’d be nice to do a post on unconventional nicknames for common (or maybe uncommon, depending) names. It might help out anyone who loves Elizabeth but not Beth, Margaret but not Maggie. I’ll just make a list, since it would be way too long to talk about each one.

Girls

  • Isabella-Isa
  • Sophia -Fee, Fifi, Fia
  • Olivia -Vivi, Via, Livvy, Liv
  • Abigail -Gail
  • Elizabeth -See here.
  • Samantha -Mandy
  • Sarah -Sadie, Sally
  • Catherine/Katherine -See here. Also, Cassie.
  • Alexandra -Sandra, Sandy.
  • Amelia -Millie, Mia, Lia, Amy
  • Mary -Polly, Molly
  • Michelle -Chelle, Mickey, Mimi
  • Charlotte -Lotte, Lottie
  • Rebecca -Reba, Bex
  • Miranda -Mira, Mandy, Mimi, Mindy
  • Margaret -See here.

Boys

  • Jacob -Cob, Jay
  • Michael -Mickey, Mick, Mitch
  • Christopher -Topher, Kit, Kip
  • Anthony -Tony (most little ones I know are “just Anthony”
  • Andrew -Andy, Drew, Ander (ditto Anthony)
  • Alexander -Sandy, Sander, Xander, Alec
  • Nicholas -Cole, Klaus, Nico
  • Kevin -Vin
  • Evan -Van
  • Cameron -Ron
  • Thomas -Tam, Tip, Top
  • Connor -Connie (I think this is dashing on a boy)
  • Charles -Chuck, Chaz, Chase, Chip
  • Julian -Jules
  • Sebastian -Seb, Baz, Sebbo
  • Edward -Ward, Ned, Ted

Well, there you go. All of the original names are in the top 200, and I tried to provide nicknames that are at least a shade fresher than the usual nickname or the name itself, but I might be wrong. Also, the spellcheck is telling me Rebecca is wrong and that it should be Rebbecca. It’s trendy. 😛

What do you make of this list?

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So, like my previous posts on Catherine (1, 2) and Elizabeth (1, 2), I’ll be talking about the name Margaret in two parts. First, we’ll discuss nicknames, both domestic and foreign, then we’ll discuss foreign forms of the name.

To start with, I love the name Margaret. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might notice that I use it (or a different form of it) in my combos. The primary reason is that Margaret was my late grandmother’s name; she passed when I was about 13 and was the only of my grandparents I knew. I loved her dearly and want nothing more than to honor her in my future child’s name. She was a kind and sweet woman, who never said a bad word about anyone, and was the epitome of Christian charity.  Of course, I may be idolizing her, but she really was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. I actually know the story of how she came to be Peggy; her mother admired Princess Margaret (and Queen Elizabeth, her middle namesake), and so named her child after her. I always thought it was sort of neat that there was an actual reasoning behind her name. Anyway, through constant use to honor Grandma, I came to love the name on its own merits; it’s extremely strong yet recognizably feminine, classic, and comes with a mass amount of nicknames, making it easy to personalize. And the nickname possibilities are what I will discuss today.

As usual, I’ll break the nicknames up into predominately English nicknames, and then foreign ones. Hope this list is informative!

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I’ve been liking Eliza more and more as a stand-alone lately. I think it’s spunky and feminine, but also serviceable as a full name. Now, usually, I would advise against using a nickname as a full name, but I love Eliza so much, and would hate for my Elizabeth to become a Beth or Ellie. No offense to any one with those names, but they’re so pedestrian to me. I just yawn at the thought of another Ellie! Then again, Eliza could be further shortened to Ellie…wouldn’t that suck if I went for Eliza to avoid Ellie and ended up with it anyway?

Another reason I would be disinclined to use Eliza is the fact that Elizabeth is my middle name, and Eliza feels a little egotistical to me. I hate to think of naming a child after myself; it’s a practice I don’t particularly like. Like I said, feels egotistical and just, well, downright selfish. Why deprive a child of an original name? Why give them a carbon copy of Mom or Dad? I like naming after other relatives, but a mother or father is just too close for me. I have the exact name as my grandmother, and I think it’s pretty nifty, given the fact that I never met the woman. However, I’d hate to share a name with my mom, either in the first or middle spot. As it is, we both have an Elizabeth variant, but they’re different enough to be distinct. I don’t think Eliza stands far enough from Elizabeth for me to be comfortable with it.

Well, quibbles aside, here are some Eliza combos:

  • Eliza Harriet
  • Eliza Viola Marian
  • Eliza Dorothea
  • Eliza Marietta Clare
  • Eliza Margaret
  • Eliza Marguerite
  • Eliza Marietta Grace (a name found in my family tree travels: She was the last woman in my grandmother’s line who was born in Ireland)
  • Eliza Sharon
  • Eliza Marisol
  • Eliza Caroline
  • Eliza Daphne
  • Eliza Cecilia Pearl

Whimsical ones:

  • Eliza Isabella Adelaide
  • Eliza Armina Daisy
  • Eliza Shoshanna
  • Eliza Geesje Marian
  • Eliza Carmelita
  • Eliza Lark
  • Eliza Araminta Danae

See? I could just go all day. Armina is a name I’ve found a few generations back, and I’m really intrigued by it. Geejse was either the first or middle name of one of my first American ancestors, the child of a Dutch man and woman who emigrated to Fishkill, New York in the 1600s. Isabella Adelaide was one of Armina’s children, I think: her twin was Anna Isabella. Carmelita is the surname of a woman who married a  great uncle, and Caroline was a great great grandmother. Cecilia has taken on new meaning to me since I’ve found that my folk are from Cecil County, Maryland on my grandfather’s side, and Marietta is a new whimsical love. Marian is an ancestor and also an alternate spelling of Marion, a few greats back aunt who was an Oxford educated professor. Intelligent, independent women must run in the family. Marion was afraid of becoming a spinster but would not marry for anything but love; unfortunately, she died at age 29, and never married. I’ve been really into my genealogical research, if you can’t tell, and it’s informed my naming in a big way. I find names that I wouldn’t have given a second look to fascinating, and my head is just full of them. Please, though, tell me if I need to get back to names and away from genealogy; I can’t promise you much but I can promise I will try, even if I need to write a second blog about my ancestry. Sorry for the rambles, I didn’t mean to, I promise!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my novel! Share your thoughts, please!

Since my birthday is coming up (it’s the same day as that other much less important holiday this week), I’m going to be a little self-indulgent and post about my own name. Like the Elizabeth posts we had recently, this will be a two part post. We’ll cover nicknames in this post.

So, if you’ve decided on Catherine/Katherine/Catharine/Katharine/Kathryn, originality is probably not your first concern. This name has been so popular for so long that only the truly delusional think it’s got a shred of rarity left. The good thing is that there are a few nicknames to help differentiate your child from others. Unfortunately, most of these are quite common, too, and there aren’t the same myriad options as there are for Elizabeth. Nevertheless, let’s discuss.

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Inspired by Lola’s recent post on Lucretia, I’ve decided to do a post on elaborated names for one of my neglected favorites: Lucy. I love this name, but never gave it too much thought. I don’t know why that is, but she’s got my full attention now!

I have been told I’d make a good Lucy; this is probably part of my affection for the name. It’s solid with a good pedigree and bright sound. And just look at it written out: the tall L, a letter I’m too fond of anyway, the stable u and c, and the down-swooping y. So balanced and perfect, as are its colors: blue and gold. But not an ostentatious gold; A gold like honey blonde hair. It’s a full name in its own right, but many think it sounds too juvenile to stand alone. Personally, I waffle as to whether I would use it alone or as a nickname for something else. So let’s brainstorm some longer names:

  • Lucienne: I will freely admit I nicked this from a friend, but it’s gorgeous. It’s the feminine form of Lucien. What I like about it is that it has the same sense of balance that I love so much in Lucy. What I worry about is the French pedigree. I’m not the least bit French, and I fear it’d sound odd with my German monosyllabic surname or my boyfriend’s nondescript technically-German-but-more-like-Smith one. It’s so pretty I doubt I care, though.
  • Lucinda: A little country fried, Lucinda’s wandered off and on my list for months. I love the Lucinda Williams connection and the way the name looks. I fear Cindy, though. Oh god, do I fear Cindy. I also don’t think it “goes” with my other favorites, which tend towards the old-fashioned and/or “British” sounding names. It’s charming, but maybe not a good fit for me. What do you think? Maybe with 2 more “me” names it’d work. Lucinda Dorothy Jane? Lucinda Cecilia Margaret? Lucinda Margaret Philomel? Oh, I don’t know.
  • Lucia: Waffely pronunciation be damned, I love Lucia, pronounced any way. My favorite is Loo-see-ah, though. Again, I’m worried about it being too ethnic for my whitey white self. I think using Loo-sha would alleviate this some, though. Hm. I think pairing this with some of my other favorites might make me feel better about it. Lucia Fern? Lucia Frances Margaret? Lucia Rosemary? (All using the loo-see-ah pronunciation.)
  • Lucille: This would be the obvious choice. It’s known, easily pronounceable, but perhaps a bit too tied to Lucille Ball. It’s also got a distincly Southern flavor to me, I wonder why. This would be the easiest one to fit in with my naming style, but unfortunately one of my least favorite elaborations. If anyone could sell me on it, I’d be much obliged.

Lucy’s one of those names I love but will probably never use. It’s getting too popular and I could never decide between Lucy alone or an elaboration for it. It’s a really fun name to work with, though, and I do love it so. I suppose I’ll have to keep this as my secret name, my awesomely named alter-ego. Because, weirdly enough, I identify with the name in a way I never really do with my own. Probably because my own name is so common you can’t spit without it hitting one.

So, talk to me about Lucy!

First off, sorry I’ve been away. I’ve been feeling a tad under the weather for the past two days and slept most of yesterday. Now, onto today’s post.

Elizabeth. A lovely classic, and my middle name. This name, as the title suggests, has so many nicknames it’s hard to keep track; in this post I hope to go through as many of them as I can. From the spunky Eliza to the sweet Bess to the everyday Liz, there’s really a nickname for everyone. That’s what makes this name so great: no matter what personality your daughter has, there’s a nickname to fit it. I’ll be breaking the nicknames up into categories, and I’ll explain each one a little bit here. First off is the normal nicknames. These are names that are commonly known as nicknames for Elizabeth such as Liz, Beth, Eliza, etc. Second will be less commonly used nicknames like Lily, Ellie, Izzy, etc. Last will be foreign nicknames for Elizabeth, like Ilsa and Elise. Well, let’s get started on the Elizabeth parade! (more…)