Amelia nicknames could come in handy. After all, Amelia entered the US Top 100 in 2004, and the Top Ten in 2016. Over 12,300 girls received the name in 2022 alone. That puts it right up there with Olivia and Isabella – which means a lot of girls answer to this lovely name.
It makes sense, of course. The name Amelia blends antique appeal with all the world-changing energy of American aviator Amelia Earhart.
Unexpected nicknames are baked into Amelia’s current burst of popularity. The name rose in use following the success of blockbuster novel-turned-movie The Princess Diaries. Meg Cabot gave us ordinary, everyday teenager Mia … who turns out to be Princess Amelia, heir to the throne of Genovia.
The vintage, high-flying name doubled in use between 1999 and 2003. That lines up with the 2000 publication of the novel, followed by the 2001 movie. Sequels – film and book – along with frequent replays on streaming – keep the story in the public eye.
It also opened the door to plenty of Amelia nicknames. So did the fame of Amelia “Minnie” Driver, who earned an Oscar nomination for Good Will Hunting in 1997 and has stayed in the spotlight ever since.
Not that you’d need to shorten Amelia. Record-breaking aviator Ms. Earhart, arguably the most famous bearer of the name, was called Meelie as a child, but known by her full name to the world. So are plenty of others.
For starters: nineteenth century American activist Amelia Bloomer; Civil Rights leader Amelia Boynton Robinson; English actress turned composer Amelia Warner; Dominican model and former Miss Universe Amelia Vega; and another noted aviator and businesswoman, Amelia Reid. It’s and varied long list!
Fictional characters range from Treasure Planet’s feline Captain Amelia to children’s book classic Amelia Bedelia, X-Men’s Amelia Voght to Harry Potter’s Amelia Bones.
Amelia is part of the fabric of given names across centuries. Choosing an unusual nickname might make it feel more distinctive, or simply differentiate your Amelia from others.
So if you’re looking for fresh ideas to shorten Amelia? This list is for you.
Japanese manga series Shugo Chara!, also known as My Guardian Characters, centers on schoolgirl Amu Hinamori. The first name means “weaving” in Japanese. While it would be wildly different in American English – it sounds a little like emu, the flightless bird – it might work in the right circumstances.
Doctor Who fans might immediately think of Amelia “Amy” Pond, companion to the eleventh Doctor. Of course, Amy is also one of the Little Women names, short, sweet, and complete. (Unlike Meg (Margaret), Jo (Josephine), and Beth (Elizabeth), Amy is her full name.) In our age of mini names like Ava, Amy would be a smash hit – except it already peaked, way back in the 1970s. That makes this more mom name than kid choice today, but it’s still an obvious way to shorten Amelia.
Amelia’s middle syllable contains the letters EL. While Ella would be a very unusual short form for Amelia, the letters are there.
Nearly any name with a strong Lee sound could easily shorten to Lee or even Lee-Lee – choose your spelling.
The last three letters of Amelia seem like an obvious nickname option. Of course, it also feels like a full and complete name. Lia is the spelling of Leah favored in several European languages, so it stands on its own quite nicely. Another factor? Americans often say “meel-yah” or otherwise blur the last few letters – so while AmeLIA is clearly present in the name, it’s not necessarily heard consistently. Still, Lia could work.
It’s a stretch but Millie rhymes with Lily, and the strong L sound is there, too. English singer Amelia Lily is known by her first and middle names.
The average Mel is probably Melanie, but MEL is right in the middle of aMELia.
Rhyme it with Shelley or Keely. Meli is another spin on Mel, and, of course there’s also Meelie, the childhood nickname of Amelia Earhart.
Drop the initial A, and Melia emerges as an option, just like Delia from Cordelia.
Some might argue that Mia is a stretch, the sounds just barely present in Amelia. Except. The book and movie that kick-started Amelia’s revival used Mia as a short form, and that cemented the connection for an entire generation and beyond. If Anne Hathaway can transform from Mia Thermopolis to Princess Amelia of Genovia, then parents are willing to accept it as a bona fide nickname-formal name relationship.
Mila continues to rise in use, a white-hot favorite stand-alone name. But if Mia works – thank you, Princess Diaries – the connection feels every bit as valid for Amelia. Maybe more so, as the Mila sound could be a smoosh of the final syllables.
There are lots of formal names for Millie – more than you might guess. Some, like Millicent and Camille, seem slightly more obvious. But Millie works for Amelia, too, a sparky vintage nickname that feels connected to the same era as Amelia.
While Millie is the more popular spelling, Milly is seen, too. That includes fictional characters like Milly Mouse from children’s books.
Lots and lots of names shorten to Mimi. The strong M sound in Amelia makes it feel just connected enough to work well. Unlike Amy, Millie, Mila, and Mia, Mimi is seldom heard as a given name on its own. Whether that makes it more appealing or not is up to the parents, but it could be an appealing quality among Amelia nicknames.
Minnie makes my list for similar reasons that Mia earned a spot. In this case, it’s Amelia “Minnie” Driver that links the two. Driver’s siblings gave her the nickname.
AMELIA with MIDDLES
Amelia, paired with any J middle name, becomes AJ. There are other possibilities, too. A name like Amelia Grace might be Aggie, for example, and an AD combination suggests Addie.
Many Amelia nicknames work every bit as well for sound-alike Emilia or Emelia. But change the spelling, and it’s possible to use Em- nicknames, too, like Emme, Emmy, or even Emsy.
And, of course, Emilia brings to mind Emily, a classic name and long-time #1 favorite in the US that could also share a great many of these short forms.
Along with Amelie, Amalia is yet another Amelia cousin. Sound-wise, Molly almost works as a nickname, thanks to swapping AMEL for AMAL. You might even consider something like Allie, Alia, or Amia.
And, of course, sweet and silly nicknames are bound to arise on their own. Many an Amelia ends up answering to Milly-Moo or M&M, Oatmeal or Meels … at least until she’s old enough to express her own preferences!
What are your favorite Amelia nicknames? Would you use any of them?
First published on December 30, 2019, this post was revised and updated on June 3, 2020 and again on November 28, 2023.