American Names

What Is It Short For?

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Do you have a nickname in mind but want something more formal?  Or maybe you’ve met someone who goes by a nickname but refuses to divulge the formal, and you’re increasingly frustrated because each of your guesses is met with a resounding “No!”  If it’s short for anything, here are some options. 

To find these nickname reversals, I’ve combed through the Social Security Administration’s extended baby name data for 2015.  That said, not all the names here are even used anymore.  The names that didn’t appear in 2015’s set are italicized (i.e. Annunziata or Beecher), and can be legitimately called “unique” baby names since they’re too rare to chart.  I color-code girls’ names with magenta, boys’ names in blue, and unisex in purple

Nickname -> Formal Names

Ace -> Achilles, Acheron, Acacius, Aceton

Annie -> Anne, Anthea, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthe, Anastasia, Annabel / Annabelle, Annabella, Athanasia, Anais, Anise, Agnes, Hannah, Anna, Moana, Annika, Anniston / Aniston, Annaliese, Annalee, Andromeda, Angelina / Angeline, Annunziata, Antigone, Tiffannie, MarianaLiliana, Luciana, Liviana, Luanne, Louisiana, Emiliana, Ameliana, Britannia

Beau / Bo / Bow -> Beautiful, Isabeau, Bonita, Rainbow, Deborah, Beauregard, Beauden, Beaumont, Beaufort, Bowen, Bowie, Bodhi, Boaz, Bowman, Bocephus, Cabot (depending on whether you pronounce the ‘t’).

Bee -> Elizabeth, Beatrice, Beatrix, Beatriz, Beata, Bedelia, Beecher

Bella -> Isabella, Arabella, Mirabella…for more, read Many Bellas!

Ben -> Benjamin, Bennett, Bentley, Benson, Benton, Benedict / Benedikt, Benicio, Benaiah, KorbenBenito, Benoni, Benzion* / Bentzion*, Ebenezer / Eben, Reuben / Ruben / Rubens, Benuel, Torben, Benno, Robben, Benoit, Bendrick, Benelli

Bert / Bertie -> Robert, Albert, Gilbert, Herbert, Bertram, Egbert, Aldebert, Wilbert, Adalberto, Norbert, Lambert, Dagoberto, Philbert, Dagobert, Theudebert, Engelbert, Adalbert, Ethelbert / Athelbert, Liberty, Roberta, Alberta, Bertha, Albertina, Bertrada

Cam -> Camila / Camilla, Camille, Camryn / Cameron, Cambria, Campbell, Camden / Camdyn, Cambree / Cambrie, Camellia, Camari, Camiyah, Camber, Camry, Camara, Cameo, Camilo, Camarion, Cambridge

Chris -> Christopher, Christian / Cristian, Cristiano / Christiano, Cristobal / Christobal, Chrishawn, Crispin, Chrysippus, Christina, Christine, Christiana, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthe, Chryseis, Christobel / Christabelle, Chrisley, Christabella, Chrisiyah, Christmas, Crystal

Ella -> Elizabeth / Elisabeth, Eleanor, Eliana, Ellison, Ellis, Gabriella, Daniella, Ariella, Antonella, Fiorella, Novella, Ellery, Ornella, Elodie, Elodia, Eloise, Eloisa, Elowen / Ellawyn, Ellasandra

Hal -> Henry, Harrison, Harry, Harold, Halen, Halston, Hallie / Halley, Harriet, Henrietta, Hallelujah, Halcyon, Halsey, Halibut (okay, maybe not that last one)

JennyJennifer, Jane, Genevieve / Jennavieve, Jenna, Jenesis / Genesis, Jenessa, Gentry / Jentry, Jennings, Geneva / Jeneva, Jeniyah, Genavie / Jenavee, Jennavecia, Jennabelle

Leo -> Leonardo, Leonel, Leonidas, Leonard, Leopold, Galileo, Napoleon, Leomar, Leovanni, Leoncio.  There are also some girls’ names that include “Leo” (Leona, Leontine) but it’s up to you whether you’d call her “Leo” or something more conventionally feminine.

Lou -> Lucy, Luna, Lucille, Luciana, Luz, Louisa / Luisa, Lucinda, Luella / Louella, Lucero, Lourdes, Lula, Lupita, Lucina, Lucienne, Lucilla, Lumina, Luthien, Ludovica, Lucrezia, Lucretia, Emmylou, Lilou, Louisiana, Bettylou, Guadalupe, Louis, Loukas, Caillou, Willoughby, Lucius, Luther, Luigi, Alucard, Lucifer, Ludovic

Maddie -> Madison, Madelyn / Madeline / Madeleine, Madigan, Madonna, Madrid, Maddox, Madden

Mae / May -> Margaret, Mary, Marilyn, Maybelline, Mabel / Maebell, Maybree, Maya, Amaya, Maylee, Mayra, Samaya, Macy, Mayla, Maylani, Maisie

Mel -> Amelia, Melanie, Melody, Melissa, Melina, Amelie, Emmeline, Melinda, Pamela, Camellia, Melania, Carmela, Melia, Melaina, Imelda, Melrose, Hermelinda, Mella, Pommeline / Pomeline, Melpomene, Melisande, Melvin, Carmelo, Jamel, Elimelech, Melchizedek, Melchior

Mo -> Maurice / Morris, Mohammad, Mortimer, Moses / Moshe, Morrison, Mosiah, Mostafa, Modesto, Mowgli, Monroe, Montgomery, Mona, Monique, Monet, Moana, Modesty, Momoka

Nora -> Eleanora / Eleonora, Lenora, Anora, Sonora, Leonora, Honora, Evanora

Ollie -> Olivia, Olive, Olympia, Olinda, Oliver, Olaf, Ollivander

Pip -> Piper, Pippa, Philippa, Epiphany, Epiphania, Peregrine, Pippin, Pippilotta (as in Pippilotta “Pippi” Longstocking), Philip

Rosie -> Rose, Rosalie, Rosalind, Rosaline, Rosalyn / Roselynn, Rosabella, Rosemary, Rosemarie, Primrose, Rosamond, Rosamund, Rosario, Milagros, Ambrosia, Melrose, Rosalba, Rosary, Roselani

Sacha / Sasha -> Alexander, Issachar, Alexandra

Do you have any favorites from this list?  Are there any nicknames you’re looking to lengthen for a baby or character, or out of sheer curiosity?  Let me know in the comments!

*Benzion and Bentzion are probably meant to be Ben-Zion and Ben-Tzion.  The SSA still doesn’t recognize hyphens.

3 thoughts on “What Is It Short For?

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