Origins

Lilibet, Elsa, or Zibby

Q.

Congratulations to the Sussexes on the birth of wee Lilibet! Take it from a decidedly non-royal Elizabeth, certain names – especially those that have been around for a while – have an endless roster of commonly used variants (can we still use that word without cringing?) and nicknames. What are some examples of English names with multiple, well-established AKAs?

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A.

In combing through books current and historic, we do find some strange ones. How, for instance, does Margaret become Peggy? Some of the less obvious nicknames come from olde habits of rhyming. Margaret becomes Meg or Meggie, which becomes Peg or Peggy.  Richard becomes Rick then, soon, a Dick.

Other variants come from name translations. How does one get from Henry to Hank? Well, Hendrick is the Dutch equivalent of Henry. Henk is a nickname for Hendrick. With one wee vowel change, Henk becomes Hank. The every-morphing Margaret is Marguerite in French. A ‘marguerite’ is the French word for a ‘daisy’. Hence the use of Daisy as a nickname for Margaret.

Then, to add to the confusion, there are those short forms that apply to more than one name. Harry is short for both Harold and Henry. Ted is short for Edward and Theodore. Fifi is short for Delphine, Josephine and Faith.

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Alexandra
Alessandra, Alessia, Alex, Alix, Allie, Ally, Lessa, Lexi, Sandra, Sandrine, Sandy, Sasha

Alexander
Alex, Alex, Alistair, Ander, Lex, Sandy, Sander, Sasha, Xander

Alfred
Al, Alf, Alfie, Alfredo, Avery, Ed, Fred, Freddy, Fritz, Reed

Amelia
Amy, Amélie, Amalia, Emilia, Lia, Mia, Mel, Millie

Charles
Arlo, Cal, Carl, Carlo, Carlos, Charlie, Chase, Chaz, Chuck, Huck

Christopher
Chip, Chris, Christo, Christof, Kip, Kit, Stophel, Topher

Delphine
Delfina, Dell, Della, Delphina, Elphie, Fifi

Dorothy
Dee, Dodie, Dolly, Dora, Dorie, Dot, Dottie, Tea, Thea

Edward
Ed, Eddie, Eduardo, Edvard, Ned, Neddy, Ted, Teddy

Elizabeth
Beth, Bess, Betty, Buffy, Elise, Eliza, Elsa, Ibby, Izzy, Lisl, Lissa, Liza, Lizzie, Libby, Liddy, Lilibet, Zibby

Genevieve
Eve, Evie, Gene, Genna, Genny, Gigi, Gia, Gin, Gina, Ginny, Neve, Nevi, Viv, Vivvie

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
Comtes de Tournon, née Geneviève de Seytres Caumont. 1812

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Gertrude
Gatty, Gerda, Gert, Gerta, Gertie, Gertrudis, Trudi, Trudy

Henry
Enrico, Enrique, Hal, Hank, Harry, Hendrik, Hendry, Henk, Henny, Huck

Isaac
Ike, Ikey, Isaak, Ise, Itzak, Izzy, Yitzhak, Zac, Zak

Jacob
Cob, Coby, Cub, Cubby, Jaco, Jacobo, Jacoby, Jake, Jay, Yakov

John
Gianni, Ian, Jack, Jan, Jean, Johann, Johnny, Jon, Juan

Josephine
Fifi, Jo, Jody, Joey, Jojo, Josefina, Josephina, Josette, Josie, Posy

Margaret
Daisy, Madge, Maggie, Mags, Maisie, Mame, Marge, Marguerite, Meg, Margo, Midge, Peg, Peggy, Rita

Richard
Dick, Hitch, Ricardo, Rich, Richie, Rick, Rickert, Ricky, Rico

Theodore
Fyodor, Tad, Ted, Teddy, Teo, Terry, Thaddeus, Theo

William
Bill, Billy, Guillermo, Liam, Wiley, Wilhelm, Will, Willem, Wills, Willy, Wim

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Header: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Delphine Ramel, Madame Ingres. 1859

 

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