One of my favorite categories of names is the feminine appellation with a tomboy short form – Charlie for Charlotte, or Davy for Davina. But those are obvious pairings, the kind that have been worn by women for generations. It is also possible to take a traditionally masculine name and pair it with an unrelated feminine form that just happens to share some sounds.
So today, we’re using unrelated girls’ names to get to the nickname Rory.
Rory is, of course, a masculine moniker, an Irish heritage choice worn by a twelfth century king and given to boys at a steady pace for centuries. But Rory isn’t unknown for girls. Errol Flynn gave the name to a daughter back in 1947. And she’s surfaced in the girls’ Top 1000 a few times in recent years.
If you like the idea of calling your daughter Rory, but want a more traditional name for her birth certificate, here are some options.
Lorelei, Loralei – The name that started it all. The Gilmore Girls ran on the WB and the CW for seven seasons, chronicling the lives of two Lorelais, mom and daughter. Mom answered to Loralei; daughter to the nickname Rory. We later learned that the older Loralei had been named after her grandmother – known as Trix. It’s a frilly German name from legend, and a thoroughly pretty one, too. Rory makes her far more rough and tumble.
Aurora – Disney’s name for Sleeping Beauty, and one of the more popular ways to get to Rory. The recent tragedy in Colorado, however, will probably lead many parents to drop her from consideration.
Marjorie – She’s your great aunt, or maybe the mom from The Simpsons, a fusty throwback of a name. And yet the medieval form of Margaret has the same vintage appeal as Ruby or Alice. Margery has the same sound, but the -or spelling – likely influenced by the herb marjoram – opens the door to Rory.
Dorothy – File her with Marjorie. Rory is a more energetic short form than Dolly or Dot. Dorothy Gale went somewhere over the rainbow; a Dorothy called Rory would surely have equally intriguing adventures.
Florence – If the Coras can get you to Rory, so can the Floras. Florence called Rory is just as surprising as Marjorie or Dorothy called Rory, but perhaps there’s even a greater degree of dissonance using an Irish short form for a name shared with an Italian city. On the other hand, Florence could use a good nickname. Flossie and Florrie are cute, but possibly too cute, and Flo only works on Geico commercials.
Rosemary, Rosemarie – It seems like some of the Rose names should belong here, and yet most of them are missing a second -r sound. Rosalie and Rosanna don’t quite work. But how ’bout Rosemary? If she contracts to Romy, why not Rory, too? Rosario is another one that could work beautifully.
Roberta – I’ve long thought that a boy named Robert could answer to Rory, so why not a girl named Roberta? It’s not as conventional as Rob or Bobbie, but the sounds are definitely there.
Would you ever consider Rory for a girl? If so, would you use a longer form? And are there any possibilities that I’ve missed?