Update: She’s here! Welcome Odessa, called Doe.
Hello, I need some ideas for a girls name that could have the nickname Doe.
I’m currently expecting my first child. We don’t know the gender yet (couple weeks!!), but I have no problem finding boy names.
My problem is girl names, more specifically I fell in love with the name Doe. It was a character in a book I love, but I just don’t know if dear hubby (or society for that matter) could go with Doe as the first name.
So I’m trying to find alternative names where I could use Doe as the nickname. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Please read on for my response, and leave your helpful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Stephanie –
Congratulations on your first baby!
We happen to have a family friend called Doe. To be clear, I don’t think she’s called Doe anywhere else than with our extended family. (What can I say? We’re serious nicknamers.) But I can say that it wears very well, and that it feels very much like a name.
But even in our age of Fox and Wren, Doe would be very daring as a given name.
It wouldn’t be unknown. A handful of girls received the name in the 1950s and 1960s.
That’s almost certainly due to Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba, a successful model from the era. She was known professional as Dovima, from the first two letters of her three names. (How famous? Seriously famous. Richard Avedon photographed her in an Yves St. Laurent gown with elephants.) The nickname for her stage name? Doe.
Interestingly, Richard Avedon’s first wife was also called Doe. She was born Dorcas – a non-starter of a name in 2017, and maybe less than stylish then, too. She also became a model and actress, and may deserve credit for some of those 1950s-era Does.
All of this makes the nickname even more intriguing, but still suggests a formal option is required.
Our family friend is Doreen, but that name feels a little too 1950s for a 21st century baby.
Here are some that would work:
Dorothy – Dorothy shortens to all sorts of marvelous nicknames – Dolly and Dory and Dot! But Doe works, too. In fact, it’s a great modern, unexpected choice for a traditional, vintage girl’s name. And if Dorothy works, Dorothea could be an option, too.
Dominique, Domenica, Domino – Any of the feminine forms of Dominic feel like great ways to get to Doe. I love Domino, but it’s pretty bold. I think Domenica might be the safer choice.
Doria – Doria might be an elaboration of Dora, or it could be a feminine form of Dorian. Either way, it’s a pretty choice that fits in with so many ia-ending girl names today.
Dorinda – I can’t decide if Dorinda feels dated or fresh. I do think Lucinda is much neglected, so why not Dorinda? It caught my eye because of an actress named Dorinda Katz, sometimes known as Doe.
Dosia – Here’s one that might work. In Polish, Dosia can be short for names like Theodosia or Dorothea. It’s pronounced with a long ‘o’ and a ‘sh’ sound – doe sha.
Doveva – I’m fascinated by Doveva. It looks like an invented name based on Dove, but it actually comes from a Hebrew name meaning graceful.
Elodie – Or maybe the Doe sound doesn’t need to be in the beginning? Elodie has a strong ‘o’ and ‘d’ sound – just in reverse order. Still, I think it works.
Odette – Along the same lines, names like Odette and Odile reverse the ‘o’ and the ‘d’.
Overall, much as I’m drawn to choices like Elodie and Odette – and I’m personally comfortable with a stretch nickname! – my favorite is Dorothy.
Dorothy shares the same storybook quality as popular names like Alice and Penelope. Three-syllable, ends-in-y girl names have history galore. It’s classic, and it peaked in the 1920s. Since it usually takes about 100 years for a name to cycle in and out of fashion, that means Dorothy is prime for revival, and the numbers reflect it. It has climbed steadily in use over the last five years, currently sitting at #652. Plus, Doe feels like an obvious nickname option.
So Dorothy gets my enthusiastic vote! But I know readers will have more to offer, so let’s turn it over to the community.
What would you suggest as a formal name for Doe? I know I’ve overlooked some possibilities! Do you think Dorothy is ready for revival?
Thought I’d follow up, since I was the one who asked for suggestions. Happy to say that we had a little girl who we named Odessa! Aka my little Doe
Congratulations, Stephanie! And oh, Odessa called Doe is just plain brilliant!
Vanessa Hannan says
I had a relative named Dorla and her nickname was Doe.
Meadow can be shortened to “Doe”
There have been so many great ideas. I think Dorothy is a lovely ‘safe’ name, and many of the suggestions in the comments are excellent, too.
I’ll add some more I don’t think have been mentioned. I’ve tried to include a range of styles, languages of origin etc.
Ludovica (I have a particular soft spot for this name and it gives you Lu- options too)
Donata, Donada, Donatella, Donatilia
Doriana, Doriane, Dorian
Or these deer-related names?:
Rusa (Indonesian and Malaysian word for deer, scientific name of a number of species)
Mazama (a genus of deer from Brazil)
Dama (a type of gazelle, as well as the botanical name for Fallow Deer)
Sika (type of deer, also known as Spotted Deer or Japanese Deer)
Sadb / Sadbh (goddess from Irish mythology who is turned into a deer)
Desirée (the name of a princess turned into a deer, from the fairytale ‘The White Doe’, or ‘The Doe in the Woods’)
Mena (doe from Bambi II), Ena (Bambi’s aunt), Lana (Bambi’s niece)
Holly (a reindeer from the world of Disney’s My Friends Tigger & Pooh)
Sorry this was such a long list!
Ooh, or Domrémy (another place name)
Sorry – I clearly have a commenting problem!
Meadow is a great suggestion!
I know the point is to find a first name that leads to Doe… but maybe Doe as a middle would be worth considering too- a name like Ella Doe is so pretty..
Another name to consider-
Falene -the female doe from the book and movie Bambi. I always thought Falene sounded beautiful. It’s not “doe” but has some of the imagery of a doe and a beautiful sound.. 🙂
Sorry I think it’s actually spelled Faline… either way it’s pretty 😉
If you like Dorothy , perhaps Doris?
I always like the idea of Deirdre with the nickname Doe!
I would simply name her Dove, and call her Doe.
Peridot! The possible nicknames Peri and Pez always kind of put me off, but I love Doe!.
Nicole Francois says
My second vote is for Theodosia nn Doe. Google Theodosia Bartow Prevost. Total harass.
Nicole Francois says
Sidonie!! The nn Doe would differentiate her from any Sydney’s too.
At a stretch, Giselle could be called Doe for it’s similarity to Gazelle … even though the meaning is quite different.
I even know someone named Gisella (hard G sound). Gazella? But the Giselle I know is a child and it’s very pretty.
Or if not Doe, would you be brave enough for Fawn? You could still call her Doe.
My favorite aunt was Dorathea; we children called her “Dodo” (like Doe twice). Doe from Dorathea — or Theadora — seems very natural to me.Yet I find those names rather heavy for a modern child, so I too would vote for Dosia.
My husband’s cousin is called Doe. Her full name is Shenandoah.
I love the idea of getting to Doe from the initials D O. These leaves you with tons of wonderful combinations!
C in DC says
Sedona and Theodosia are my favorites. Other possibilities: Indigo, Bardot.
Ayala means “doe” and Tabitha “roe-deer or gazelle” in Hebrew.
I love Dorothy! – vintage style, literary tie, and
nicknames. Doe is a great (and adorable) nn for Dorothy and sounds natural. Dominique is a pretty option too, and I like that it has the letters DO-and E :)…
A couple other options-
Dylan Olivia nn Doe
Happy naming and congrats!
My favorite of the Dora names is Isadora. I also adore (;)) Idony/Idonie. I think Sedona would work for something more modern-I don’t know the other names you like to get a sense of your style. I also like Dido and Sidonie (which was one of Colette’s first names so it’s a bit literary).
I think Dosia, nn Doe would be lovely. My grandmother was Jewel Dosia, although I think it was actually spelled Docia but pronounced the same. Theodosia would also be a lovely choice for nn Doe (or Teddy or Thea of Dad can’t get on board with Die for everyday use).
Any name ending in -dora also works in my opinion. Theodora, Isadora, etc. Theodora nickname Doe is probably my favorite!
Megan M. says
I love the idea of Dosia!
My vote is for the name Dosia! It’s a beautiful name and already has the Doe name/sound that is being looked for!