I have a soft spot for girl names from initials. Maybe it’s because my own name started out that way: Abigail came from my initials at birth, AB.
Turns out that initials sometimes offer us an Intriguing way to reinvent our names. Girl names from initials can spark up a classic first-middle pairing with a spunky nickname, or allow parents to hand down family heirlooms and create something brand new for their child, too.
It falls somewhere between just-for-fun #namegames and a creative way to re-invent your name. Or even to honor a loved one without handing down their name in full.
Some of the most popular initials-as-name combinations are used more often for boys. There’s DJ, of course – though Full House and Fuller House gives us eldest Tanner sibling Donna Jo, known as DJ, or even Deej.
And for this exercise, we’re looking for those names that might be made from initials – but are sufficiently name-like that they might appear on a birth certificate or diploma as formal names, too.
One great example? When Meghan married Harry, her BFF’s daughter served as a bridesmaid: Isabel Veronica “Ivy” Mulroney.
But that’s just the beginning! Let’s look for more great girl names from initials.
Girl Names from Initials: Abby
I started out life as Amy Beth. Not much nickname potential in seven letters, three syllables. But I became AB, and then Abby. Annabelle could lead to Abby, too, and so could lots of double names: Anna Beatrix, Alice Bellamy, Aria Bevan.
Girl Names from Initials: Ari
I can imagine AR leading to Ari. Ava Rebecca, maybe? Or Alice Regan or Anna Reese?
But perhaps RE is even more obvious, especially with a long E sound in the middle. Rachel Eden, Remy Eleanor, and Rose Eglantine all come to mind.
Girl Names from Initials: Bebe
How about Beatrice Blair? Or maybe Bianca Briony? There are so many great B names for girls, and a few of them start with a strong “Be” sound, which helps reinforce the nickname.
Girl Names from Initials: Cady
Initial names are truly tempting when they offer a clever update to long-time favorites. I can imagine Catherine Diana or Caroline Dee becoming Cady.
Girl Names from Initials: Cece
Nearly any two C names lead to Cece. I especially like using one soft C name, though. Cecily Cate, Celia Cascata, Catherine Ciel, and Celeste Corisande are at the top of my list right now.
Girl Names from Initials: Coco
Some of these work best when it’s not just about the initials, but about the first syllables of the name. Constance Cordelia, Cora Consuelo, and Colette Coraline all lead logically to Coco because of the repeating Co letters.
Girl Names from Initials: Elsie
Reality television star turned fashion entrepreneur Lauren Conrad uses LC – pronounced almost like Elsie – for her designs. Combinations like Laura Celeste, Lilah Claire, Lena Collins, or Lark Cecily all work, too.
Ella Catherine, Eloise Colette, and Ellison Cate might all work, too.
Girl Names from Initials: Emme
From classic Mary Elizabeth to rarities like Maribel Estrella, ME – pronounced Emme – is a promising pair of initials.
Of course, a name like Emily Eden or Emma Elise appeal, too.
Girl Names from Initials: Evie
The Pokemon character spells it Eevee, which drives the point home: lots of great E names, paired with a V middle could get to the nickname Evie.
Ella Violet is my favorite combination from the Top 100. Others that come to mind: Eden Victoria, Eliza Veronica, and Elodie Vale.
Girl Names from Initials: Gigi
Double initials work really well for girls. There’s Cece and Gigi, and Bebe, Didi, Fifi, Kiki, Mimi, and Vivi all have some possibility, too.
Gigi veers close to the nickname-only category, but I’m including it hear anyhow. Georgia Genevieve, Ginevra Grace, Gwendolen Garnet, and Gemma Guinevere all lead to Gigi.
Girl Names from Initials: Ivy
Ivy sparked this post, of course, thanks to Isabel Veronica.
But lots of combinations appeal. There’s Isla Victoria, or maybe Ingrid Vale.
Girl Names from Initials: Jaci
I tend to think of JC as masculine, short for James Christopher or similar. But there’s no shortage of JC combinations for girls, like Jessamy Claire or Julia Caitlin. A short, modern name drawn from initials like this can offer a compromise between two naming styles.
Girl Names from Initials: Josie
Likewise, Joan Caroline or Joanna Calista could shorten to Jo C – Josie. Though the need to switch from a ‘c’ to an ‘s’ might make this one feel a little more awkward than some of the other possibilities.
Girl Names from Initials: Katie
KT might come from something as classic as Katherine Theresa. (And, of course, Katie comes from Katherine anyhow.) On the more daring side, there’s Kaia Therese or Kinley Tate. But somehow, I keep coming back to more classic choices to get to KT. Singer KT Tunstall was born Kate Victoria.
Girl Names from Initials: Kiki
Like Katie from KT, I keep drifting towards the traditional KK names to get to Kiki. Katherine Kendall, maybe, or Kate Kelly.
Girl Names from Initials: Lola
As with Coco, Lola requires more than just LL initials. It works best when the sounds are present, too. Lora Alice, maybe. Or Lois Landry. (Is that too close to Lois Lane? Ooh … that leads to Lola, too!)
Girl Names from Initials: Lula
Lula started out as a nickname for Louisa. It could be a contracted form of Luella, too. But for our purposes, how about something like Lucy Elaine, Lucia Landry, or Louisa Lake.
Girl Names from Initials: Macy and Mazy
So many names start with a strong May sound. A combination like Mabel Zara or Mae Catherine could easily lead to Macy or Maisie. For years, I had Marie Claire on my list, with the nickname Macy.
Girl Names from Initials: Millie
So many formal names lead to Millie, but M.L. or even Em.L. and M.El. names can get there, too. Emerson Lily might be my favorite, but how about Mirabel Elise?
Girl Names from Initials: Mimi
Mimi makes for another double initial option. And there’s no shortage of M.M. names that would wear beautifully. Miriam Mariposa seems strongly religious; Maren Micaela leans more modern choice.
Girl Names from Initials: Remy
Something like Renata Mia would logically lead to Remy. A more traditional choice could work, too – think Regina Marie or Rebecca Mary.
Girl Names from Initials: Romy
My favorite way to get to Romy is from Rosemary. But the possibilities abound.
Rose Mallory, Rose Marjorie, Rowan Mackenzie, Rosalie Marie all might lead to Romy.
Girl Names from Initials: Sadie
Sadie emerged from the traditional Sarah, so I tend to like Sarah as first name. But adding a strong D middle emphasizes the nickname: Sarah Davina, Sarah Delaney, or Sarah Darcy, maybe?
Girl Names from Initials: Tillie
The initials TL – or T with an El- name – might lead to Tillie. I like Tara Ellis and Teresa Eleanor.
Girl Names from Initials: Vica
Veronica and Victoria could get to Vica without a middle name. But I like Veronica Claire even better. Vera Caroline and Victoria Cate work, too.
Girl Names from Initials: Zoe
Something like Zora Evangeline could reduce to Zoe. Or maybe Zenobia Elaine.
What are your favorite girl names from initials?
Maria Virginia says
My name is Maria Virginia and I’ve always been called Marivi (pronounced Maude-ee-vee) it’s a popular Spanish nickname for Maria Victoria.
Love, love, love that, Marivi! Thank you for sharing.
Kaci, for Katherine Chloe or Kiara Celeste.
OH – love that!
For any future girls, I’m considering a family middle name starting with V, and several of the names on my short list begin with Ma, so I’ve been thinking that Maeve would be a great NN for Marigold V, Margaret V, or Matilda V.
We didn’t notice that this applies to Vienne until we had our 3-year-old pronounce it and he had no trouble. My husband said, “of course, it’s just VN.” since he’s very into letters.
The Mrs. says
Cora Zelie “Cozy”
Harriet Penelope “Happy”
Ellery Bianca “Elbee”
Love this post, Abby!
I keep seeing “Emme” posted as a name or nickname, are you pronouncing that as the letter “M” (which is how I hear it in my head), or, as this post seems to suggest, “Emmy” (like the awards)?
Anyway, both my sister and I got our nicknames this way, and you are missing her’s, LE (which we spell out as Ellie). Obviously our having this type of name means I’ve thought about it a lot! Others you missed are:
LZ “Elsie” or Ellzie”
KD “Cady” or “Kady” (either to sound like Cad-dee or Kay-dee)
LS “Ellis” (bit of a stretch)
For those doing double middles (or even using the last name) LOD “Elodie”, MLE “Emily,” MLN “Emmalynn,” LRE “Ellery,” MRE “Emory” (ok, those last three may be a stretch, but I think they work).
Others that you don’t say the letters exactly to hear include:
LX “Ellex,” “Lex”
The initials spell the nickname (tho this is easier with a double middle, then any three letter name will work):
Emily can be MLE, so a M first plus two middles (L and E).
Erin Beth says