ALDOUS m English (Rare)
Probably a diminutive of names beginning with the Old English element eald
"old". It has been in use as an English given name since the Middle Ages, mainly in East Anglia. The British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was a famous bearer of this name.
ALEX m & f English, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Czech, Russian
Short form of ALEXANDER
, and other names beginning with Alex
ALISON f English, French
Norman French diminutive of Aalis
). It was common in England, Scotland and France in the Middle Ages, and was later revived in England in the 20th century via Scotland. Unlike most other English names ending in son
, it is not derived from a surname.
ANDY m & f English
Diminutive of ANDREW
or sometimes ANDREA (2)
. American pop artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a famous bearer of this name.
ANITA (1) f Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Latvian
Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian and Slovene diminutive of ANA
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AUDREY f English
Medieval diminutive of ÆÐELÞRYÐ
. This was the name of a 7th-century saint, a princess of East Anglia who founded a monastery at Ely. It was also borne by a character in Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It' (1599). At the end of the Middle Ages the name became rare due to association with the word tawdry
(which was derived from St. Audrey
, the name of a fair where cheap lace was sold), but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was British actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
BASTET f Egyptian Mythology
Variant of BAST
. This form of the name, a diminutive, was given to her after the similar goddess Sekhmet (protector of Upper Egypt) became more important.
BELLA f English
Short form of ISABELLA
and other names ending in bella
. It is also associated with the Italian word bella
BENNO m German
Short form of German names containing the element bern
BILLY m English
Diminutive of BILL
. A notable bearer was the American outlaw Billy the Kid (1859-1881), whose real name was William H. Bonney.
BOBBY m English
Diminutive of BOB
. Hockey greats Bobby Hull (1939-) and Bobby Orr (1948-) have borne this name.
BROGAN m & f Irish
Derived from Gaelic bróg
"shoe" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
BUCK m English
From an English nickname meaning simply "buck, male deer", ultimately from Old English bucc
BUFFY f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
, from a child's pronunciation of the final syllable. It is now associated with the main character from the television series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997-2003).
CAT f & m English
Diminutive of CATHERINE
. It can also be a nickname from the English word for the animal.
CHANCE m English
Originally a diminutive of CHAUNCEY
. It is now usually given in reference to the English word chance
meaning "luck, fortune" (ultimately derived from Latin cadens
CHARLIE m & f English
Diminutive or feminine form of CHARLES
. A famous bearer is Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic strip 'Peanuts' by Charles Schulz.
CHER f English
Short form of CHERYL
. In the case of the American musician Cher (1946-), it is short for her real name CHERILYN
CHERRY f English
Simply means "cherry" from the name of the fruit. It can also be a diminutive of CHARITY
. It has been in use since the late 19th century.
CHIP m English
Diminutive of CHARLES
. It can also be from a nickname given in reference to the phrase a chip off the old block
, used of a son who is similar to his father.
CHUCK m English
Diminutive of CHARLES
. It originated in America in the early 20th century. Two famous bearers of this name were pilot Chuck Yeager (1923-), the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound, and the musician Chuck Berry (1926-2017), one of the pioneers of rock music.
CIANÁN m Irish
Diminutive of CIAN
. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish saint.
CIARÁN m Irish
Diminutive of CIAR
. This was the name of two Irish saints: Saint Ciarán the Elder, the patron of the Kingdom of Munster, and Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise, the founder of a monastery in the 6th century.
CLAY m English
From an English surname that originally referred to a person who lived near or worked with clay. This name can also be a short form of CLAYTON
CLETUS m English
Short form of ANACLETUS
. This name is sometimes used to refer to the third pope, Saint Anacletus. It can also function as an Anglicized form of KLEITOS
COLETTE f French
Short form of NICOLETTE
. Saint Colette was a 15th-century French nun who gave her money to the poor. This was also the pen name of the French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954).
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
DAI m Welsh
Derived from the old Celtic word dei
meaning "to shine". This name is also used as a Welsh diminutive of DAVID
DAISY f English
Simply from the English word for the white flower, ultimately derived from Old English dægeseage
meaning "day eye". It was first used as a given name in the 19th century, at the same time many other plant and flower names were coined.
DEE f & m English
Short form of names beginning with D
. It may also be given in reference to the Dee
River in Scotland.
DICK (1) m English
Medieval diminutive of RICHARD
. The change in the initial consonant is said to have been caused by the way the trilled Norman R
was pronounced by the English.
DITTE f Danish
Danish diminutive of EDITH
or names containing dit
. It was popularized by Martin Andersen Nexø's novel 'Ditte, Child of Man' (1921) and the film adaptation (1946).
DOLLY f English
Diminutive of DOROTHY
were used from the 16th century, and the common English word doll
(for the plaything) is derived from them. In modern times this name is also sometimes used as a diminutive of DOLORES
DORY f English
Diminutive of DOROTHY
. This is the name of a fish in the animated film 'Finding Nemo' (2003).
EGIL m Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
From the Old Norse name Egill
, a diminutive of names that began with the element agi
"awe, terror". This was the name of a semi-legendary Icelandic warrior.
EIKE m & f German
Short form of names beginning with the Germanic element ag
ELEA f English
Short form of ELEANOR
. This was also the name of an ancient Italian town (modern Velia) that is well known for being the home of the philosopher Parmenides and his student Zeno of Elea, who was famous for his paradoxes.
ELLE f English (Modern)
Diminutive of ELEANOR
and other names beginning with El
. This name can also be given in reference to the French pronoun elle
ELMA f Dutch, German, English
Short form of WILHELMINE
or names ending in elma
, such as ANSELMA
. It has also been recorded as a combination of ELIZABETH
, as in the case of the 19th-century daughter of the Earl of Elgin, who was named using her mother's first and middle names.
ELYSE f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It was popularized in the early 1980s by a character from the television comedy 'Family Ties'.
EMMELINE f English
From an Old French form of the Germanic name Amelina
, originally a diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element amal
meaning "work". The Normans introduced this name to England.
ESTEE f Jewish
Diminutive of ESTHER
. A famous bearer was the American businesswoman Estée Lauder (1908-2004), founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name. Her birth name was Josephine Esther Mentzer. Apparently she added the accent to her name Estee
in order to make it appear French.
ETTA f English
Short form of HENRIETTA
and other names that end with etta
. A famous bearer was the American singer Etta James (1938-2012), who took her stage name from her real given name Jamesetta.
FEMKE f Dutch, Frisian
Diminutive of Germanic names beginning with the element frid
"peace". It also coincides with a Frisian word meaning "little girl".