• Delphina Moon

Cool Ways To Get Nicknames

I’m sure I’m not the only sad, destitute individual who constantly mourns their nickname-less name. Nicknames bring personalization to the table, and allow an individual to adjust their one and only moniker as they grow and change without having to legally alter their name. Hello to the Summers of the world, the Bookers and Zebs, the Sidneys and the Jesses. This one’s for you. Of course, there’s a chance that the names you’re considering, yet are fretting lack short forms, or the name you’ve had your whole life without a nickname will still not have a nickname, even following these ways to draw a couple short forms from a name. In that case, I’m very sorry. Go ahead and join the club. And pet names are always an option from those close to you! Fear not though, for if I do my job right, there will be very few nickname-less souls standing by the end of these tactics. Friends, let’s take a look!


Disclaimer: I had written this article previous to Nameberry’s release of their article Initial Names: From AJ to Zee. All similarities to their article are entirely coincidental.

Oh, and while we're noting things, there is one more little detail: SSA data is out! My Name Profile that I didn't click publish for really threw off my whole rhythm, so unfortunately this is out first. However, next up is Data Analysis!

Ahh initials. Initials can be incredibly helpful when coming up with a nickname for a name that doesn’t have any intuitive or clear short forms. There are a multitude of ways in which initials can be used, one of which is the very obvious first/middle or first/last letters. For instance, if you happen to be Justin John, Bridget Jessamine, or Jordan Delphia, BOOM! You’re in luck! If you’re a fan of JJ, BJ, or JD, then you’ve got yourself the perfect nickname for your supposedly nicknameable name. Congratulations!

Sadly, there are still Gena Myrtles and Nova Bernadines, and GM and NB aren’t necessarily top-commodity nicknames for a reason. This type of initial based nickname unfortunately can’t work for everyone. While TJ and AJ work fine, IB and PD go pretty much untouched. There’s not really a way to tell whether or not a certain initial combination will be appropriate. Js are typically a safe way to go, and consonants are generally preferred in the world of initials as names (i.e. RJ, JT). It’s pretty easy to tell when the name just sounds unnatural: vowels are heavily frowned upon (you don’t hear of many EBs and AOs, do you?), and going without a J somewhere is already pushing it quite a bit (HD and YF don’t quite have the right ring to them, do they?)

Luckily for you, there’s a vowel friendly version that I find even cuter and more fun to play with! If AF isn’t quite for you, this next idea might be slightly more helpful. If your initials are RT, but you feel a little strange going by something as cool and hip as RT, then Artie might be your solution. May Elizabeth? Why don’t you try Emmie! Isla Victoria transforms into the slim, trim Ivy. Zander Owen flips into hot and trendy Zio. Georgia Glenn becomes vibrant Gigi. And Lena Eleanor translates right into bouncy, playful Ellie. Of course, this doesn’t always work. There are exceptions to both. OG or Ogie aren’t really great nicknames, and neither are CT or Seety. Some of you will again slip through the cracks, just like the name Delphina Moon fails to measure up. Thankfully, I have two more strategies below this one to catch your fall! Don’t give up quite yet, dear readers, there’s more.


Who ever said that nicknames have to be the first syllable? Perhaps Adelaide is Addie and Theodore is Theo, but there are plenty of ways to find nicknames that derive directly from a first name without being limited to a first syllable. This might not work so well if your name is under two syllables, so feel free to scroll right on by, but there is some value here for those of us with two syllable monikers. For example, a Jonas (who isn’t super keen on the nickname Joe) could contract his name to create something a bit more exciting, like Jas. Idalia to Illy, Henretta to Hettie, and so on. Just because the first syllable of your name, whether it be Jo, Id, Hen, or something else entirely is not conducive to a short form doesn’t mean that you have to reach into a middle name for some assistance.

There are several variations on this technique, of course. You can take two letters that stand out in a name (for instance, Caroline) and smash some vowel of your choice in between them (Cal) and then add the ending of your choosing to create your contraction nickname (Callie). Or you can take a beginning and end of a name (Barrett) and smush them into one (Bt) and then add some element of the original name back in (Bet) to create a short and sweet condensed version of your name, even when you either don’t have or don’t like nicknames stemming from the first syllable.

Some examples of this include Lin for Lillian, Miv for Minerva, and Wim for William. A quick tip if you’re struggling with which method to use: if your name ends in a vowel, go for the first method, the one in which you choose a prominent consonant to appear in your nickname. If you have a name which ends in a consonant, grab the last letter for your contraction nickname. With Delphina Moon (and my real name), this completely fails. And so, I’m forced to travel down to the final method. Join me, readers! That is, unless you’ve already found the perfect nickname for you.

Use your other names to blend

Got a middle name? Great. Pull that out, because you’re definitely going to need it. This tactic is perfection for those of us with short little names that not only have no intuitive nicknames, but also lack a whole lot of material with which to draw from. That’s where your (hopefully at least slightly longer or more nickname rich than your first name) middle comes in strong. Say your name is something more or less like Clay Byron. At first glance, no nicknames. But when you blend your first and middle name (or even first and last if you lack a middle name), you can potentially harvest some nicknames. For instance, in the case of Clay Byron, you can smush those together to create something like, say, Cai/Kai. In the case of Delphina Moon, you could come up with Demi. Got the gist? Now let’s move on down to some examples and variations of this strategy.

If you have one of those middles that is just bubbling at the brim with cool and creative nicknames, you have a couple options. A Reid Fernando definitely can play around more than a Reid Bart. So if you have a nice long middle name with a lot to work with, I suggest picking out a couple key nicknames for that name. Rae Marietta, for example, you would pick out a Mari, Etta, and Ri. Then, snag a letter from the first name, typically the first initial, and plop it on some of the middle nicknames. Rhett works! And so does Rory (though a stretch). If your middle name isn’t quite as fortunate as to be blooming with ready-made short forms, then I’ll suggest an alternate option. To the Chloe Sarahs of the world, I’m talking to you. For this variation, you need to rely less on predetermined nicknames and more on making up your own. Blend up your sound by just methodically taking some chunks of syllables here and there that you enjoy and complying them until you get something that is pleasant to you. Clare would be an option for a Chloe Sarah. Carrie or Cara could also function. If you like a little unconventional, then you can even use a name/word scrambler to achieve the results you want.

I’ll be frank, vowel beginnings are a bit tricky to handle. Grab something like Emma Grace. Eggy? Not really all that great. In fact, I would strongly suggest against calling your kid Eggy. Eace? How do you even pronounce that? For vowel beginnings that aren’t compatible with any letters within the middle name, I would take a strong letter from the center. You could probably get away with Mace! Other than that little hiccup, this method tends to be quite fantastically helpful. I even found a nickname for myself that kinda-sorta a bit works.

Thank you so much for reading, friends! That’s all for today, but I hope that you found the perfect way to a nickname for the sad, nicknameless person in your life. As previously mentioned, I kinda sorta a little bit did, so there’s some success! I think a key thing to ask yourself when nickname shopping for yourself is “if my given name didn’t matter, what would I want to be nicknamed?” Then try and manipulate your given name around those sounds or that vibe you want to capture. Alright, farewell friends, and have a lovely rest of your day (unless, of course, you stay up all night memorizing all the top 1000 names)!


-Delphina Moon

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