All nicknames are not created equally. Lots of kids tend to go by shortened versions of their legal names, whether it’s first, middle or last. Some take a different name completely, though, like calling a girl named Margaret “Peggy.” If you planned on referring to your child with a nickname 100% of the time, would you just give your son or daughter the nickname version?
Most kids are met with teachers who request to know what students preferred to be called in class. It’s not unheard of for a nickname to completely replace a first name, especially if friends and family use the nickname from day one.
Here is our list of commonly nicknamed first names!
John (nicknamed Jack) – Hebrew – God is gracious; In the Bible, one of the apostles
Christopher (nicknamed Kit) – Greek – One who bears Christ inside
Robert (nicknamed Bear) – German – One who is bright with fame
Nicholas (nicknamed Cole) – Greek – Of the victorious people
Christina (nicknamed Nina) – English – Follower of Christ
Elizabeth (nicknamed Izzy) – Hebrew – My god is bountiful
Olivia (nicknamed Nollie) – Latin – Feminine of Oliver; From the olive tree; Peaceful
Matilda (nicknamed Tilly or Maud) – German – One who is mighty in battle
During an episode of “30 Rock,” Pete, one of the on-show producers, tries to start going by the nickname Dallas. Though going as far not to acknowledge his regular name, Dallas doesn’t stick. Nicknames have a weird way of coming about—young kids not being able to pronounce names, inside jokes, or a name that accidentally comes out one day and never goes away.
Some of our favorite nicknaming techniques come from the original names themselves. Adding a hyphen, for example, and any other ending. Rhyming names with words that sound similar, or transforming the first half of a name into another word completely. Nicknames have a way of just happening—unfortunately for Pete, you can’t make Dallas happen.
A former friend of mine chose to go by his second name rather than his first, but signed documents with his first initial, which happens to be “R.” He quickly became The Reverend, eventually just Rev, and unofficially, “R dot.”
Here are some of our favorite names to nickname.
John (Hebrew): God is gracious; in the Bible, one of the Apostles
Robert (German): One who is bright with fame
Alex (Greek): Helper and defender of mankind
Andrew (Greek): Manly; A warrior
Abigail (Hebrew): The source of a father’s joy
Jazmin (Persian): Resembling the climbing wall plant with flowers
Hannah (Hebrew): Having favor and grace; in the Bible, mother of Samuel
Adrienne (Latin): Man from Adria
When it comes to choosing a baby name, have you also thought about what nick name you might call them? Some may choose to start there, and picking out what they will actually call their child, before choosing the official name. Nicknames usually have a different feel than the actual name. Many parents may choose to take this route, that way they get to choose the two names they love, that mean the same thing, but may be used for different reasons. One name to be use during casual play and home activities, and the official name to be used in more proper events and when the child is grown and to be taken more seriously. The idea is to have a nickname that is cool or even silly, while the proper name is more “buttoned up.”
Andy (Andrew) – Manly; a warrior
Bram (Abraham) – Father of a multitude; father of nations
Ike (Isaac) – Full of laughter
Zac (Zachary) – The lord remembers
Coco (Carolina) – A joyous song; a small, strong woman
Izzy (Isabel) – Spanish form of Elizabeth, meaning “my God is bountiful”
Josie (Josephine) – Feminine form of Joseph; God will add
Lulu (Louisa) – A calm, peaceful woman / as precious as a pearl
Many historical events within the U.S have occurred in the month of September. The U.S Treasury was established September 2nd, 1789 and California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state on September 9th, 1850. On this particular day in September in 1813, the United States of America acquired a nickname that would forever stick. “Uncle Sam” is best remembered today as an intimidating man pointing a stern finger with the words, “I Want You for the U.S Army.” If you are a soon-to-be parent in hopes of finding a name that will best suit your new addition, here is a list of a few that may sound better shortened as nicknames.
Don (Scottish): Form of Donald, meaning “ruler of the world”
Drew (Welsh): One who is wise
Greg (Greek): Form of Gregory, meaning “one who is vigilant; watchful”
Jay (Latin/Sanskrit): Resembling a jaybird/one who is victorious
Ellie (Greek): Form of Eleanor, meaning “the shining light”
Gabby (Hebrew): Form of Gabrielle, meaning “heroine of God”
Kate (Greek): Form of Catherine, meaning “one who is pure; virginal”
Val (Latin): Form of Valerie, meaning “strong and valiant”