Popular nicknames, like Ellie and Jack, are often much more common than popularity lists indicate. They're given on their own and used as short forms for a wide range of baby names that are popular, from Eleanor, Elizabeth and Gabrielle to Jackson, John and Jonathan.

But what if you use trendy nicknames for much more unusual baby names? To some people, this may represent the worst of all worlds. Your child is known by a name shared with many others, while their "secret" proper name adds only confusion and no public distinction.

But there's another way to look at it. You get to use an unusual formal name that you adore or that's been passed down through your family or simply because you believe in unique names. And then you soften whatever can be difficult about having an uncommon name—no one knows how to spell or pronounce it, other kids think it's weird while your kid feels out of step with their contemporaries—by calling your child by a nickname that's much more easily accepted and liked.


Or, maybe approach it from the other direction and use a trendy short form that you love or your partner loves or that's a family name, but make it stand out from the six other Wills in nursery school by pairing it with a distinctive long form.

Plus, putting together unique names with popular nicknames gives kids a choice. They can use either name at any time for any purpose, for a few moments or forever. Maybe best of all, you get two very different names in one.

Here are some popular nicknames for uncommon baby names that make intriguing pairs.

Baby girl names with nicknames

Abby—Abilene, Arabella, Lullaby

Addie—Adelia, Adelpha, Ariadne, Zenaida

Allie—Alaska, Allegra, Rosalie

Andi—Andromeda, Leandra

Annie—Anastasia, Anemone, Ianthe, Pandora

Ava—Lavender, Octavia

Bee—Brighton, Deborah

Belle—Jezebel, Mabel, Mirabel

Betty—Beatrice, Bernadette

Callie—Calliope, Callahan, Callista, Clarissa

Casey—Acacia, Cassiopeia

Cass—Cascade, Cassia, Cassiane

Cory—Corisande, Cordelia

Edie—Eden, Meredith

Ella—Auriella, Consuela, Stellaluna

Ellie—Eleri, Elspeth, Eulalie, Felicity

Elsie—Elsinore, Felicity

Emmy—Clementine, Emerald, Emmanuelle

Evie—Reverie, Yvaine

Hallie—Halliday, Mahala

Izzy—Isadora, Ismene

Jenny—Eugenie, Genesis, Imogen, Iphigenia

Jess—Jessamina, Jessamy

Julie—Anjuli, Jubilee, Jules

Kate—Cadence, Kateri. Khadija

Lily—Amaryllis, Galilee

Lola—Eulalia, Olympia

Maddie—Amadea, Madrigal

Maggie—Magnolia, Marigold

Merry—Cameron, Emerson, Tamera

Mia—Emiliana, Euphemia, Mirabel

Missy—Armistice, Artemisia

Molly—Amalia, Kamala, Romola

Nell—Elowen, Endellion, Helena, Penelope

Nicki—Annika, Monica, Veronica

Nina—Angelina, Clementina, Valentina

Nora—Eleonora, Honora

Poppy—Calliope, Penelope,

Romy—Andromeda, Rosamund

Rory—Aurora, Lorelei, Mallory

Rosie—Ambrosia, Primrose

Sadie—Mercedes, Sadira, Sarita, Seraphina

Sam—Samoa, Samara, Sesame

Thea—Theodosia, Alethea, Timothea, Theophania

Winnie—Elowen, Winsome

Baby boy names with nicknames

Ace—Acacius, Horatio

Andy—Androcles, Leander, Lysander

Art—Artemas, Bartholomew, McArthur

Ben—Benen, Corbin, Reuben

Bo—Boaz, Bowen

Cal—Calder, Caliban, Calixto

Casey—Casimir, Cassius

Charlie—Charleston, Charlton

Cory—Corentin, Cormac, Scorpio

Dave—Davenport, Davis

Ford—Clifford, Stanford

Gus—Argus, Fergus

Jack—Jasper, Joachim

Leo—Achilleo, Galileo, Leonidas, Leopold, Napoleon,

Luke—Lucretius, Ludovic

Max—Maddox, McCoy

Nate—Ignatius, Renato

Nick—Dominick, Nicasio, Nicodemus

Ollie—Apollo, Olek, Olimpio

Ray—Dougray, Murray, Thackeray

Rob—Robin, Robinson

Sam—Samson, Samwell

Teddy—haddeus, Theophilus

Toby—October, Tobin

Tom—Thompson, Tomek

Ty—Matthias,Tiberius, Titus

Will—Wilder, Willis, Willoughby

Originally posted on Nameberry.

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