English: Originally for the article Contractio...
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I love an unexpected nickname.

My daughter has one.  Many of the names on my shortlists for possible baby #3 have them, too.  My son almost had one, but he’s decided it isn’t for him, thanks very much.

Yes, they can be inconvenient – there can be confusion on school rosters and at the pediatrician’s office.  There may be gossip and eye-rolling.  (They named her what – but they’re calling her that?)  And if you’re not a nickname person, well, there’s no way you’re going to go for this idea.

But even if nicknames aren’t your thing, this makes for a fun exercise: take a more elaborate name, drop a few letters to arrive at another possible given name, while retaining the same first and last letter.

They can solve problems, too – if you prefer your names short and sweet, but are trying to honor a loved one with a lengthy appellation, this technique could work.  And if you hate, hate, hate your name and all of the obvious nicknames, well … maybe this will help you think out of the box about options.

One possible hurdle: a few of these contract to some great possibilities, if you’re willing to completely forget spelling.  Those are marked with a *, and could possibly create more headaches than those that remain faithful to the original spelling.  Or not.  Our daughter has the least intuitive of nicknames ever, and it hasn’t posed a (significant) problem in four years.

So whether you’re a nickname fan or not, try your hand at inventing new contracted names!

Anastasia – Asia

Arcadia – Adia, Aria

Barrett – Bett, Bette*

Beatrix – Bix

Brigitta – Britta

Brooklyn – Bryn

Calisto – Clio

Carolina – Calla, Cara, Cora

Elodie – Edie

Estella – Ella

Galina – Gala

Giovanna – Gia, Gianna

Josephine – Jean*, Joan*

Juliet – Jet, Jett

Julietta – Jetta

Lenora – Lena, Lora

Margaret – Maret

Marianna – Mara, Mia, Mina

Mariette – Maret, Marit, Miette

Matilda – Mila, Milla

Monica – Mica, Mona

Nicola – Nica

Noella – Nola

Penelope Polly*, Poppy*

Rebecca – Reba


Rosemary – Romy, Rory

Serena – Sera

Tatiana – Tania

Teresa – Tera, Tessa, Tressa

Theodora – Thea, Theda, Thora

Valencia – Via

Veronica, Victoria – Vica

Veronika, Viktoria – Vika

Victoria – Vira

Victoria – Vita

What do you think of contracted names?  Can you come up with others to add to this list?

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About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Here’s a bunch!

    Scarlett – Lottie, Carly, Callie*
    Selena – Elle, Lena, Selah*
    Evangeline – Eve, Angie, Angel, Angela, Lena, Elle, Annie
    Penelope – Penny, Peppy*, Nell*, Ellie, Lo*
    Victoria – Vicky, Tori, Ria*, Vika
    Abigail – Abby, Gail, Ali
    Lorelei – Lori, Lola, Elle, Rory*
    Temperance – Tempy, Em, Peri*, Annie
    Georgina – Georgie, Gigi*, Gina, Ginny
    Alexandra – Alex, Alexa, Lexi, Lexia, Andi, Annie, Ally
    Matilda – Mattie, Mia, Millie, Milda, Mila*
    Isabella – Isla*, Izzie, Bella, Abi
    Elis(/z)abeth – Elle, Lisa, Liza, Beth, Elsie, Libi, Eliza, Bessie, Bethel, Lizzie
    Susannah – Sue, Suzie, Anna, Sookie*, Hanna
    Amelia – Amy, Millie, Mia, Lia, Mel, Elle
    Brittany – Brie, Britta*, Tania, Annie
    Miriam – Miri, Mara*, Minnie, Mia, Amie
    Lorraine – Lore, Lori, Raine*
    Alana – Ally, Lana, Lainey, Ana
    Katherine – Kate, Kathy, Erin, Thea, Ria, Rina, Kat, Kitty, Hero*?
    Charlotte – Charly, Ari, Lottie, Carly, Cara
    Gabrielle – Gabby, Abi, Brie, Brielle, Ellie
    Margaret – Marie, Marg, Ari, Mara, Mia, Maya*
    Louisa – Lou, Lisa, Lulu, Lia
    Eleanor – Ellie, Len, Lea, Nora, Ellen, Nelly*
    Ophelia – Elle, Lia, Fifi, Fay*
    Madeleine – Maddie, Addie, Adele, Dell*, Elle, Elaine, Lainey

    Obviously some of these aren’t very unusual!

  2. All my girls have shortened versions of their three syllable names that we use on a daily basis, the youngest of which was born on Tuesday. She’s Romy for the moment, full name Hermione but it’s possible that her shortened name may change as she grows up.

  3. One of the names high on my shortlist of #2 had been a girl was Rosemary, with a nickname of Romy or Rory. I love cute contractions.