Baby Names

50+ Nicknames That Make Great First Names

Source: @creatingsteph
Source: @creatingsteph

You may be surprised just how many people you know who go by a nickname rather than their full given name. Gina may have ‘Regina’ written on her birth certificate. And Tony may actually be referred to as ‘Anthony’ by close family members. The more we think about it, we realize that people going by nicknames is perhaps more common than we thought.

However, many parents are cutting out the confusion between full names and nicknames. Instead of giving their little ones a formal “full” name, they’re skipping straight to their desired moniker. More parents than ever have been giving their kids traditional nicknames as, well, their names. If you love the sound of a traditional nickname like Lucy and don’t want to go with the full form, Lucinda or Lucille, you shouldn’t have to.

With this in mind, we wanted to cut to the chase—or cut to the nickname, we should say. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite nickname baby names to be used for parents who love short(er) and sweet titles. Check them out below.

Our Favorite Nicknames as Names

For Girls


From: Agatha

Make your Halloweentown dreams come true—at least partially—by giving your little pumpkin this adorable name meaning “good” and “pure.”


From: Beatrice

We can’t think of anything much cuter than a little baby Bee/Bea—plus, it opens the door to a whole realm of baby shower, first birthday, and nursery decor inspiration centered around honeybees.


From: Cecelia

While Cecelia might be “breaking your heart,” a little girl named Cece certainly won’t be! Reminiscent of the classic Simon & Garfunkel song, this sweet name means “blind.”


From: Dorothy/Dorothea

You may know some Dotties who were born in the 1960s, as this nickname was a fairly common choice in those years. Don’t be surprised if you see this short form of Dorothy, meaning “gift of God,” inch its way back up in the charts.


From: Edith

Also fairly popular in the 1960s is this sweet but strong title meaning “prosperous in war.”


From: Elizabeth

Not to be confused with Elsa from Frozen, this feminine nickname of Elizabeth means “pledged to God.”


From: Emmeline

Similar in charm to Emily and Emma, this old-fashioned title has German origins and means “universal.”


From: Harriet

While there’s nothing cuter than a grandma-style baby name for a little girl, Hattie, meaning “home estate” or “ruler,” is pretty precious, too!


From: Isabelle

If you love the charm of Isabelle but want something a little edgier, look no further. The two both hold Biblical meanings, the latter referring to “God contends.”


From: Katelyn/Katherine

This may be one of those nicknames as names we’ve gotten so used to we forgot they traditionally came from a longer title. A little girl of this name would share a title, meaning “pure,” with some iconic figures like Princess Kate and actress Kate Winslet.

nicknames as names
Source: @tarynnewton


From: Helena

Popular in Arabic, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, French, and Finnish cultures but traditionally seen as a nickname in the U.S., Lena holds the lovely meaning of “light.”


From: Olivia

Olivia may be a highly popular name already, but we happen to believe Livia is just as darling. Plus, if your favorite color matches the sky and ocean, this name, meaning “blue,” may be the perfect choice.


From: Dolores

As far as old-fashioned baby names go, Dolores is pretty lovely. But Lola, meaning “sorrows,” may be the perfect modern spin on the classic title.


From: Charlotte

While Charlie has become a popular nickname choice for girls named Charlotte, let’s not forget the other charming sobriquet that also means “free man.”


From: Lucinda

Lucy has become a common first name option in recent years, so much so that some may not have realized it started as a nickname. The sweet two-syllable name means “light bringer.”


From: Mary

A lovely middle name option, Mae is as cute as can be. The name holds several meanings, like “pearl,” “beloved,” and “rebellious.”


From: Margaret

As many of us know, Margaret has quite a few options for nickname potential. There’s Margot, Maggie, and the adorable Maisie. Of Scottish origins, it means “pearl.”


From: Maria

A full name in the Japanese culture but a nickname in others, Mari refers to “truth” or “reason.”


From: Mildred/Millicent

A cuter nickname turned to a full name might not exist. Bestow upon your little one “gentle strength” with a title that holds this meaning.


From: Wilhelmina

Welcome your little one with a sweet moniker matching her soon-to-be-favorite cartoon mouse. Although, if you ask us, the long form is pretty iconic as well.


From: Eleanor

It’s no surprise that Eleanor has reached new heights in the baby name charts in recent years. But its shorter counterpart, which means “light-hearted,” is unsurprisingly not far behind.


From: Aurora, Lorelei

It’s also no surprise that this name, with a nod to Gilmore Girls, has increased in popularity in recent years. The short form has only left the top 1,000 of baby names a handful of times since the show’s inception in 2000.


From: Sarah

Another name you may have not known started as a nickname is the sweet Sadie. A derivative of the Hebrew Sarah, either option is perfect for your little “princess.”


From: Althea

Not just the name of Ross and Monica’s grandmother, but a great nickname as a first name option, too! The Greek diminutive means “godly” or “goddess.”

For Boys


From: Abraham

Drawing inspiration from one of the most famed U.S. presidents doesn’t sound like a bad idea to us. With highly Biblical ties, the name refers to a “father of many.”


From: Alfred

If you’ve found yourself loving the eclectic grandpa trend of 2024, Alfie may be the perfect title to bestow upon your little rascal. With the noble meaning of “wise,” it’s a great option to consider.


From: Asher

For a name that’s short and snappy and has a bit of an edge to it, consider Ash. Derived from Asher, the title embodies exactly what you want for your little guy with the meaning of “happy.”


From: Sebastian

Fans of Schitt’s Creek may equate this name to the sneaky photographer, Sebastian Raine. But don’t let him give this strong, masculine Latin name a bad rep.


From: William

A highly popular choice in the early 1900s, it’s no surprise this name may come to mind when we think of black and white films. Give your little guy a James Dean level of coolness by bringing back this nickname.


From: Abraham

If you like the meaning behind Abraham but aren’t sold on Abe, maybe Bram will tickle your fancy. Giving an air of classic literature, it shares the Hebrew meaning of “father of many.”


From: Calvin

Short names are having their moment right now, and it doesn’t get much shorter than this ultra-cool title. Meaning “devotion,” it may be perfect for the little boy who has your heart.


From: Charles

We love that this less formal form of Charles has started making a name for itself in the baby girl realm as well. No matter what baby it’s given to, it holds the noble meaning of “free man.”


From: Clayton

Raise a little artist-to-be with this British moniker meaning “clay worker.”

nickname baby names
Source: @homeoftheharveys


From: Cyrus

Just when we thought the name Cyrus couldn’t get any cooler, innovative parents shortened it. The Greek name is perfect for a warm-weather baby with the meaning of “sun.”


From: Dexter

Fans of the popular drama series Dexter may hold a special affection for this chic name meaning “fortunate.”


From: Elias or Elliot

Another highly Biblical name, Eli has been used as a full name and a nickname for quite some time. It holds the attractive meaning of “elevated.”


From: Everett

Let your little one know that you’ll love him for-ever with this highly unique name meaning “always.”


From: Griffin or Finnegan

There’s no denying the parents of today’s kids love the name Finn, with its popularity steadily climbing since the year 2000. With the meaning “fair” or “blessed,” it’s no surprise!


From: Augustus

Though Augustus is a pretty cool name in itself, there’s something extra “majestic” about its nickname.


From: Henry

Henry has been getting lots of love in recent years. If you ask us, though, Hank has some old-school charm that may be perfect for the next generation of future “home rulers.”


From: John or Jackson

As a society, we’re no strangers to having copious amounts of Jacks running around. Most of them from older generations, though, are likely using the nickname of John or Jackson. These days, parents are cutting out the middle man and going straight for their desired title.


From: Joseph

Similar to Jack is Joey. Lots of parents have loved the Biblical ties of Joseph. Parents these days may feel the same but opt for the sweet sobriquet.


From: Julius

It feels appropriate that this sweet, gender-neutral title holds the meaning of “youthful” as it does have a boyish air to it.


From: Christopher

Another gender-neutral option is this snappy name that’s perfect for the coolest little guy in town.


From: Leon

Detroit Lions football fans and parents who want to raise a fierce little one can both appreciate this short name meaning “lion.”


From: William

Currently number one on the top baby names for boys, it’s no surprise parents are loving this charming name that means “protection.”


From: Lucas

While Lucas may have been a popular choice earlier in the millennium, today’s parents are opting for the shorter form more often now.


From: Nicholas

Give your little one this Italian moniker to ensure he’s always victorious. It holds the meaning of “victory of the people.”


From: Raphael

We’re not sure a cooler name exists than this snappy nickname of Raphael, which means “God heals.”


From: Theodore

Just like your little one will be to you, this chic baby name means “God’s gift.”


From: Alexander

Perhaps the most noble of names, this nickname of Alexander means “defender of humankind.”