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 worse 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 and uncommon full names that make intriguing pairs.
Abby—Abilene, Arabella, Lullaby
Addie—Adelia, Adelpha, Ariadne, Zenaida
Allie—Alaska, Allegra, Rosalie
Annie—Anastasia, Anemone, Ianthe, Pandora
Belle—Jezebel, Mabel, Mirabel
Callie—Calliope, Callahan, Callista, Clarissa
Cass—Cascade, Cassia, Cassiane
Ella—Auriella, Consuela, Stellaluna
Ellie—Eleri, Elspeth, Eulalie, Felicity
Emmy—Clementine, Emerald, Emmanuelle
Jenny—Eugenie, Genesis, Imogen, Iphigenia
Julie—Anjuli, Jubilee, Jules
Kate—Cadence, Kateri. Khadija
Merry—Cameron, Emerson, Tamera
Mia—Emiliana, Euphemia, Mirabel
Molly—Amalia, Kamala, Romola
Nell—Elowen, Endellion, Helena, Penelope
Nicki—Annika, Monica, Veronica
Nina—Angelina, Clementina, Valentina
Rory—Aurora, Lorelei, Mallory
Sadie—Mercedes, Sadira, Sarita, Seraphina
Sam—Samoa, Samara, Sesame
Thea—Theodosia, Alethea, Timothea, Theophania
Andy—Androcles, Leander, Lysander
Art—Artemas, Bartholomew, McArthur
Ben—Benen, Corbin, Reuben
Cal—Calder, Caliban, Calixto
Cory—Corentin, Cormac, Scorpio
Leo—Achilleo, Galileo, Leonidas, Leopold, Napoleon,
Nick—Dominick, Nicasio, Nicodemus
Ollie—Apollo, Olek, Olimpio
Ray—Dougray, Murray, Thackeray
Will—Wilder, Willis, Willoughby
Originally posted on Nameberry.