Choosing a name for a baby is tough. It's one of the biggest decisions new parents have to make. And that's on top of buying things for baby's nursery, working through the pains of pregnancy, getting on daycare lists and regular household duties. But choosing a name is definitely the most monumental thing. The moniker parents choose is going to be with their child forever.
A baby's name has to do so many things. It has to totally encapsulate his or her personality. It has to sum up a child in just one word. And it has to be something that the entire family approves of. The name should be easy to pronounce, easy to spell and fit in with the rest of the family. That's a lot for one little name to do!
Speaking of little names, many parents also worry about their child's nickname. Mom may love the name Florence but don't want her daughter to be teased by the nickname Flo growing up.
But instead of shying away from nicknames, modern parents are embracing them. Instead of naming their child Elizabeth and waiting to see if she gets called Liz, Beth or Betsy, parents are cutting out the middle man and just giving their kids nicknames as real first names. And we are loving this trend!
Addie, usually short for Addison or Adele, is a great choice for a nickname turned real name. There's something really cool about using names that end in "y" or "ie" as first names because they so often are just nicknames. It will be so cool when your daughter introduces herself as Addie, someone asks her what it's short for and she gets to say, "Nothing. That's my full name." She's going to get so many cool points for that one!
Charlie is one of my favorite names. I love that it's unisex and can be used for a little boy or a little girl. For girls, Charlie is usually short for Charlotte. And for boys, it's usually short for Charles. But so many Charles and Charlottes choose to go by Charlie. So let's just skip the middle step and call your baby Charlie. If everyone else is going to call him or her Charlie anyway, there's no point naming him or her something else.
I think Bea is such a sweet name! Bea is usually short for Beatrice or Beatrix and pronounced "bee" like the letter or the bug. But you could also pronounce it "bee-ah" if you wanted to. I think this name is super cute and would suit a little girl so well. It's melodic and inspired by Mother Nature without literally being a name like Harmony or Lily. Your daughter may also feel like she's part of Beyonce's beyhive since it could just as easily be the Bea hive.
Eli has got to be one of my favorite names. It has everything I love in a name! It's short and sweet, meaning your son won't spend hours trying to spell out his name in preschool. And it sounds cool! Eli is definitely a cool name, which isn't always the case for names that have a biblical background. Traditionally, Eli can be short for Elijah or Elliott. But you know what? This name can be unisex too! Why not make Eli the shortened version of Elisha, Elizabeth or Eliza and use this for your little girl? I love that idea.
You may be used to seeing the name Bill or Billy for a guy. Traditionally, Billy would be the nickname for someone named William. Williams have all the nicknames! They can be called Will, Wills, Willy, Liam, Bill or Billy. That's a lot of names! But spelt with an "ie," this form of Billie is often reserved for girls. And it's actually short for Wilhelmina or Willa, which makes sense since Bill is short for the male version, William. And you've got lots of famous Billies to name your daughter after like Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, tennis legend Billie Jean King and Carrie Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd.
If you were a major Gleek like me back in the day, you know Finn as the loveable football star with the heart of gold and voice of an angle. Finn Hudson, played by the late Cory Monteith, was the male lead of Glee. He sang, danced and acted his way into our hearts every week. Even without the great role model in Glee's Finn, Finn on its own is a great name. It can be short for Finnigan or Finley, so it actually works for both boys and girls.
Full disclosure: Ellie is my dog's name. But I promise this name works for humans too! Ellie is an awesome name because it sounds like the more down to earth version of fancy Ella or Elle or trendy Elsa. Ellie sounds more casual and also a lot sweeter for a little lady. Ellie can be short for many names such as Ellen, Eliza, Elizabeth or Eleanor. So if you can't decide between those names, just go with the nickname! In Greek, Ellie means shining light, which is a pretty sweet name meaning.
Fitz is a name that just totally oozes cool. You know that someone named Fitz is going to be popular. He will fit right in with the coffee drinkers and moustache wearers in Brooklyn. There aren't too many names out there that have a "z" in them so if you've got one, you know it's something special. Fitz can be a short form of traditional Christian names like Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Fitzroy or Fitzwilliam. Just like Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. It can also be a nickname based off of a last name.
At first, I wasn't a huge fan of the name Frankie. That's probably because I was thinking of forgotten teen star, Frankie Muniz, or adorable children's book character, Franklin the turtle. Either way, I wouldn't want my son to be associated with that name. But a daughter? Now I was intrigued. While Frank, Franklin and Frankie may be tired for a little boy, it's a super cool choice for a little girl. For a girl, Frankie can be short for Frances, Franny or Francesca. It's also the name of one of Drew Barrymore's daughters.
How cool is the name Jules? We don't often get names that end in an "s" which gives this name even more cool points. Jules, for a little boy, can be short for Julian or Julius. But it also works for a little girl, being a nickname to Julia, Julie, Juliet or Juliana. So it's definitely a versatile name. Jules is a French name and means youthful. Could there be a more perfect baby name meaning than that? I don't think so!
The name Mackenzie has been all the rage the last few years. So instead of jumping on that popular bandwagon, why not mix things up and just go straight for the nickname? Kenzie is a really cool name. It sounds very pretty but not too dainty. This name can work for a little boy or a little girl, since the name Mackenzie is also unisex. Based off of Mackenzie, Kenzie is a Gaelic name that means good looking. Way to guarantee you'll have a cute baby!
Thanks to the popularity of Game of Thrones and Jon Snow star, Kit Harrington, this name has become super popular in the last few years. And who wouldn't want to name their child after the heartthrob of the most famous show on TV? Kit is generally short for Christopher and in Greek means carrier of Christ. But Kit can also work for little girls. Kitty is a well known nickname for Katherine or Kathleen, so why not shorten that to Kit?
When I hear Maggie, I think of famous actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dame Maggie Smith (or our favorite Hogwarts professor). Maggie is traditionally short for Margaret but can also be a nickname for Magdalena, Marjorie, Margot or Magnolia. Maggie is a sweet name. It's definitely more down to earth and casually than some of its longer versions. Not sure if Maggie can be a real name on its own? Just ask Jon Stewart! He chose the name for his daughter, Maggie Rose Stewart.
I think Nat is another awesome name that just oozes with cool. Nat is one of those names that totally sounds like a nickname. Everyone will assume it's short for something. And when you tell them it's not, they will be so blown away! Nat is very versatile as it can be a short form for both male and female names. Nat for a little boy could be short for Nathan or Nathaniel. And for a little girl, it could be short for Natalie or Natalia. I love how casual and easy breezy this name sounds.
Millie is a really fun name. It's not one you hear all the time, which makes it even more cool and unique. It's definitely a cute name and would suit a sweet little girl. Traditionally, Millie was a nickname for Emily or Amelia. But it can also be a shortened version of Millicent, Camilla, Camille, Amelie, Wilhelmina or Mildred. So if you're really stuck on which of these longer names to pick, just jump the gun and opt for the nickname! Millie is an awesome name all on its own.
Joey is a great classic nickname. We all think of Joey Tribbiani from Friends and his classic line, "How you doin?" But Joey can be more than that. Of course, Joey is usually a short form for Joseph. But it can also be used for girls. Joey is a super cute name for a little girl. There's young actress Joey King proving that this name can totally work for girls as well as boys. We all know that joey is the name of a baby kangaroo, which is actually pretty cute for a new baby!
Can I tell you a secret? Penny is my Starbucks name. Baristas never can spell my name right and I never want to spell it out for them so I just resort to something easy, Penny. Everyone knows the name Penny and it's easy to spell. Plus, it's not that common, so when they call out Penny at Starbucks, I can assume I'm the only one picking up that drink, unlike a Sarah or Emily. Penny is short for Penelope, which is an English name meaning weaver.
Kester is a super cool name. One of the reasons why this name strikes me so much is that I have just never heard of it before. I have heard of Kesler and Chester, but never Kester. Apparently, Kester is a nickname for Christoper - I guess Chris and Topher needed one more option. Kester is also seen as a last name. Kester certainly isn't a very popular name - and that could be a good thing. That means that your baby boy will be unique and few other people will have the same name as him.
How beautiful is the name Lena? It's so pretty! I first fell in love with the name Lena after reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and meeting the character played by Alexis Bledel in the movies. Lena, pronounced like "lee-nah" or "leh-nah," sounds delicate and pretty. It also has a bit of foreign flair to it. Lena is short for Elena, Helena or Helen. It has both Greek and Russian origins and means alluring and light. It can also be spelt like Lina and be short for names like Angelina, Carolina, Evangelina and Melina.
Kent is another name that I think is really cool. It sounds strong and sturdy. It manages to be both modern and a choice that grandpa will approve of. Kent is short for the full name Kenneth, which also has Ken and Kenny as nicknames. But Kent is a much cooler nickname, in my opinion. Kent is also a surname in Ireland and Scotland, denoting people who lived in the area of Kent. And it can also be short for the name Kenton, which we don't hear very often.
Evie is a great nickname turned real name. It's cool and a nice modern spin on the more traditional, Eva. Evie is very versatile as it serves as a nickname for Evelyn, Yvonne, Evita, Evangeline, Yvette and Isadora. Of course, it can also be a nickname for the traditional Eve. In Hebrew, Evie means life, living or lively. So you can be sure that your little one is going to be full of life and light. Evie has become a more popular name in the last few years and peaked in popularity in 2012.
Theo is one of my all time favorite baby names. I think it has such a cool sound to it. Theo is a nickname for Theodore. We also hear Teddy as a common nickname for Theodore. But Theo sounds a bit more refined and suitable for a growing boy than Teddy. Theodore means divine gift - which is the perfect definition for a baby! In the last 20 years, the name Theo has really grown in popularity. Parents are realizing this awesome name totally works as a real name and not just a nickname.
I think Bri is a really cool name for a little girl. I like that it sounds super airy and modern. It can be sassy or sweet. This name would totally work for someone sensitive and someone tough. It manages to say a lot in just three little letters. Bri is usually a nickname for Brianna or Brianne. You can also spell it Bree, which we see more often as a full name. And then there's Brie, like actress Brie Larson, whose full name is Brianne. So you have lots of options with this nickname, spelling it like Bri, Brie or Bree.
Leo has become such a classic and well loved name that we often forget that it is usually just a nickname. Leo is short for Leopold, Leonard, Leon or Leonardo. But Leo is become a more popular choice in its own right. In Latin, Leo means lion and in German it means brave. So you're setting your little one up for success since his name will give him courage and presence. This name is a great modern choice that still sounds foreign and very cool.
Nico is definitely one of my favorite names on this list. I like Nico because it totally works as a real name. Most people might not even realize that Nico started out as a nickname. Nico can be short for Nicholas, Nicolas, Dominic or Domenico. But Nico could also work for a girl! It could be short for Nicola or Nicole. Nico means victory of the people. And that's because it's the "short form of Nikodemos, a Greek compound name composed of the elements nikē (victory) and dēmos (people, population)," according to Baby Name Wizard.