With so many girls named Josephine lately, it’s a good thing that Josephine nicknames abound.
The name doesn’t need to be shortened, of course. And if you do opt to drop a syllable or two, Josie and Jo make the most obvious choices.
But there are plenty of other possibilities, including these eight, great, unexpected Josephine nicknames.
STARTING WITH J
We all know Alexandra called Alex and Charlotte called Charlie, so Josephine called Joey seems logical, too. If you grew up with Dawson’s Creek, you’ll remember the show’s Joey – Josephine Lillian Potter, played by a young Katie Holmes.
Take the Jos from Josephine, change the o-like-go to an o-like-moss, and you have one of those great unexpected Josephine nicknames. Director Joss Whedon was born Joseph.
STARTING WITH P
POSIE, POSY, POSEY, POESY
Poetic and pan-botanical Posy seems like a stretch from Josephine. But consider Pepe, the well-known diminutive for the Spanish form of the name, José. In Italian, Josephine becomes Giuseppina. Take the Jos, swap the ‘J’ for a ‘P’ and there you have it.
As for the spellings, a posy is a small bouquet of flowers, or a sentimental line of verse. Poesy also refers to poetry. The most popular spelling of them all? Posey.
STARTING WITH S
Stephanie shortens to Steffie. So why not Josephine called Sephie? The sound makes sense.
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon gave this name to their daughter way back in 1992. But what does Sosie mean, and where did it come from? It’s unclear, but Sosie might be short for any of the Susan names, or maybe Sophia. But lately my favorite is seeing Sosie as one of the unexpected Josephine nicknames.
STARTING WITH F
Some of the most interesting Josephine nicknames come from the F sound in the name’s final syllable. If Fee can be short for Fiona, surely Fifi works for Josephine? And it’s a very French nickname, mais oui!
If Fifi is French, Fina feels more Spanish. That’s because Josephine becomes Josefina in Spanish – but also in Swedish. Slavic languages often use Jozefina. There’s no reason Fina couldn’t work for Josephine, too.
Love the idea of a boyish nickname in the key of Joey, but want something a little more modern? In many ways, Finn is the modern answer to Jo. Finn might feel like a stretch from Josephine, but the sounds are all but there.
What’s your favorite of the Josephine nicknames? Are there others I missed?
First published on July 20, 2016, this post was revised on May 11, 2020.