Name Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.
We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!
Hi! You helped us name our first born, Estelle Eve, through one of your posts. Thank you!
We are expecting another daughter in a couple of weeks. I’ve always been drawn to Liv, but I don’t feel it has enough substance to stand alone.
We like names that are not overused and so Olivia is not an option. My grandmother’s name was Linnea and I love Violet as a middle name. Do you think Liv short for Linnea Violet is odd?
I thought it made total sense, but hubby thinks it would be confusing and odd. What do you think? Thanks for your time!
Please read on for my response, and leave your helpful suggestions in the comments.
Hi Robyn –
I don’t think it’s odd at all to call Linnea Violet “Liv” for short. And yet, your husband is right that it can cause occasional confusion.
It all comes down to how comfortable and confident you are in the nickname. If you believe it works, others will follow. And if you don’t mind an occasional hassle, an unconventional nickname can be a great way to use ALL the names you love.
Our daughter answers to an unconventional nickname. We’ve had a few incidents over the years, and they’ve been easily resolved. A few things to consider from our nine years of explaining that Clio’s full name is really Claire Caroline Wren:
- If you’re shy as a parent, this might be torture. People ask all the time, out of simple curiosity. I end up talking about my daughter’s name an awful lot.
- It helps to have a go-to story. “Oh, she’s named for my grandmother” is the kind of vague explanation you might get away with. “It comes from her initials, L.V.” could work, too.
- Should you name your daughter Linnea Violet, called Liv, you’ll probably discover more kids with unconventional nicknames, or children known by their middles or initials, than you’d expect. It’s not the kind of thing we notice until we’re in the club.
- But you’ll also be surprised how few people notice!
In many ways, Linnea Violet called Liv fits right in with so many initial nicknames. Plenty of boys are DJ and JD and AJ and CJ and JR. Girls, too. You’re drawing Liv from LInnea Violet, but you could get there from the initials L.V., too.
Before we go any farther, I wonder if there are other names that might lead to Liv?
Lavinia – Lacy and romantic, Lavinia comes from Roman myth. It enjoyed some use in the US from the late nineteenth into the early twentieth centuries.
Livia – Livia is an ancient name with completely separate roots from Olivia. The only trouble? It’s almost certain to be misheard as Olivia.
Olive – The virtues of Olive are many. First, it clearly leads to Liv as a short form. Most people will recognize it as a distinct name from Olivia. And it makes a great sister name for Estelle! (They’re both on this list.) Other Oliv- names include Olivine and Olivette, but I’m not sure that they’d make satisfying substitutes for you.
I think Linnea Violet called Liv is pretty much perfect. After all, Linnea is a family name and it satisfies your desire for something less common. Lavinia, Livia, or Olive can’t claim family name status, so they drop down to much distant second choices in my book.
Let’s have a poll.
My vote goes to Linnea Violet, called Liv – but I can’t wait to hear what others suggest!
What do you think of this formal name-nickname combination? Are there options you might consider?
Flora Ann says
I like Violet Linnea better. Both are beautiful names.
I also like Ivy Lenore.
Robyn Nichol says
I am the mother of little Linnea Violet ‘Liv’ and my husband and I are SO very thankful for all of your thoughtful comments and for Abby’s fabulous blog! Thank you once again for assisting us in choosing a perfect name for our beautiful baby girl. xx
Congratulations! Enjoy your sweet baby girl!
Christina Fonseca says
Congrats! Beautiful names.
Congratulations!! Linnea Violet “Liv” is a beautiful name!!! Truly lovely. Glad you went with it and got all your favorites in one 😉
My son is Thomas Anthony called Teo (from T.A.=”Tay”) so I obviously don’t think Liv is a stretch. He’s only a year old but we have not had any issues with the nickname so far.
That’s a great name – and a genius nickname, Edeslee!
C in DC says
Love Linnea Violet nn Liv. I think Linnea to Linn to Liv isn’t a stretch at all. Liv and Lynn have the same vowel sound the way I say them.
I think Linnea Violet “Liv” can work even though the “i” vowel sound in Linnea. is changed from short “i” to long when you call her Liv (“leev”). But then I got to wondering how you’re pronouncing Liv — “leev” or “liv”, like the first syllable of “living”. I googled “Liv” and found a discussion of the pronunciation of Liv in behind the name dot com user comments for Liv (1).
I want to add that Linnea is a lovely uncommon name and as it was your grandmother’s name, why not call your daughter the full name — Linnea? If you’re pronouncing “Liv” as “live” (as in living), you could still call her Liv from Linnea Violet some of the time too.
Linnea Violet is a great name! I don’t think Liv is too far a stretch. I agree with Abby, it’s a matter of confidence…
some other great options if you and your hubby aren’t both 100% on board-
Linnea Olive- the liv aiund at the end (and ends in V sound like your other daughters middle).
Livea Violet- Livea is a good “inspired by Linnea” option
I have a daughter who goes by the name her initials spell. If people ask how she got her name and we explain it people say it’s cool and are very positive. However, as Abby mentioned, you do end up explaining it from time to time… If you love it than it doesn’t seem like a big deal. I think the honoring your grandmother part is really special and people would understand why you chose it. I have come across many kids (and adults) over the years who go by their middles, or a variation of their formal name- it is more common than you would think. I will add if you love the middle name Violet than having a blend name allows you to mention it more often than you would if your daughters name was straight Liv. We love our daughter’s name/names, so when people ask about her name, it’s a fun excuse to share all. 😉 However, if it’s going to be frustrating if someone calls her Linnea, or if your hubby isn’t on board and introduces the baby with the “wrong name”, than maybe going for a more straight forward option is better. If you love all the names in the Linnea Violet liv combo than it’s a great way to get all the names you love without feeling like you let one go… Hope that helps!
Definitely Linnea Violet called Liv. Definitely. I love Linnea! This is a nice way to give a fun, offbeat nn for a meaningful name that’s either nickname proof (the only Linnea I know goes by the full name) or might more likely end up Lin.
I think Linnea Violet is lovely, and the nickname Liv is charming and works perfectly. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch at all. Many names have nicknames that have sounds that aren’t even in the name, but yours has all the sounds- it just draws from the middle name too, kind of like a contraction. I really don’t think it would be difficult to explain. “We call her Liv, short for Linnea Violet. We loved the name Liv and wanted her formal name to be Linnea like my grandmother.” Pretty straightforward. There is another name that would make the nickname Liv even more obvious: Livana. It’s beautiful and barely used. I’m pretty sure Abby’s written about it before!
Linnea Violet is gorgeous! I don’t think Liv is much a stretch at all- I think it’s charming 🙂 lots of names have nicknames that aren’t the exact sounds in the name but this ones does- it just draws from the nickname instead. It’s like a contraction of the two. Another name that could get to the nickname Liv is Livana- I believe Abby’s written about Livana in the past.
Christina Fonseca says
Linnea Violet nicknamed Liv is perfect! No reason to keep looking – and I’m not much of a nicknamer. Just introduce her as Liv and you’re done. She’ll only be Linnea on paperwork – unless she decides later on to go by Linnea. Either way, it’s a beautiful choice.
I think it works perfectly and would be thrilled to meet a Linnea Violet nn Liv. All three are gorgeous names.
Estella Eve and Linnea Violet are stunning together! Liv def works as a nickname.
I think Liv works perfectly for Linnea Violet, but I wonder if it’s too much to have an Eve and a Liv (even if Eve is a middle name)?
I love Linnea Violet called Liv.
I have to say I’m getting more creative at seeing nicknames that aren’t obvious since reading Abby’s blog. Before that, I don’t think I would have made the connection, but I think I would have bought your explanation had I met you and your daughter somewhere.