Why is Robert called Bob and John called Jack sometimes? What is the history of or reason for this practice in changing the English names of people?

  • 22
    This is not limited to English, by the way. Ever wondered where Sasha comes from? That's a Slavic diminutive of Alexander (an even more obscure one is Shura). Speaking about Russian specifically, Grusha is the diminutive of Agrippina; Kostya of Konstantin; Misha of Mikhail; Nadya of Nadeshda; Kolya of Nikolai; Ksyusha of Ksenia; Masha of Maria or Marianne; Lyowa of Leo; Dasha of Darya; Zhenya of Evgeni; Pasha or Pavlik of Pavel; Senya of Arseni; Seryozha of Sergei; Asya or Nastya of Anastasia; Volodya of Vladimir; etc.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jan 14, 2011 at 9:58
  • 1
    He did not reject a million. Nobody sent it to him and he did not send it back. He rejected the intrusion into his life and making a show from it Mar 5, 2011 at 19:19
  • 2
    My mind has been blown. Jack is the pet name for John?! Like, I could call John Lennon "Jack" and he'd know I was talking to him? Jack Lennon, it just sounds wrong :) And Jack Shepard vs John Locke, just thinking about calling John Locke "Jack" makes my brain hurt :) Sep 26, 2011 at 10:43
  • 2
    @Cyril John Lennon probably wouldn't answer to Jack. My name is John, and I wouldn't answer to Jack. But, it wouldn't be unusual for people to begin calling a John "Jack" early in their life, and then it would stick. Also sometimes people find themselves stuck with a name they don't want. My friend James didn't correct people when they called him Jim, so he is stuck with it.
    – slim
    Jan 16, 2012 at 14:25
  • 3
    John F. Kennedy was known as "Jack" sometimes. Confusingly, he married Jacqueline, sometimes called "Jackie"...
    – GEdgar
    Jan 16, 2012 at 16:29

4 Answers 4


This is called Hypocorism.

A hypocorism is a shorter form of a word or given name, for example, when used in more intimate situations as a nickname or term of endearment.

English forms nicknames in a variety of manners. Shortening, often to the first syllable:

  • Abraham → Abe
  • Anthony → Tony
  • Benjamin, Benedict → Ben, Benny
  • Carolyn → Carol, Lyn, Carrie/Cary
  • Christopher → Chris, Criffer, Topher
  • Deborah → Deb, Debby
  • Elizabeth → Eliza, Libby, Liz, Lizzy, Lisa, Beth, Bess
  • Fiona → Fi
  • Gregory → Greg
  • Jacob → Jake
  • Jonathan → Jon, John, Nathan
  • Joseph → Joe, Joey
  • Katherine → Kate, Katy, Kathy
  • Katrina → Kat, Trina
  • Matthew → Matt
  • Megan → Meg
  • Nathan, Nathaniel → Nat, Nate
  • Peter → Pete, Petey
  • Priscilla → Cilla, Priss, Cilly, Prissy
  • Raymond → Ray
  • Robert → Rob, Bert, Bob
  • Samuel, Samantha → Sam, Sammy
  • Stephanie → Steph, Annie, Stephy
  • Victoria → Tori, Vick, Vicky
  • Zachary → Zach

Addition of the diminutive suffix, usually -ie or -y. It is often added to the end of an already shortened name. This suffix connotes smallness or endearment. Although most often applied to the names of children, it is not uncommon for an adult to be referred to by the diminutive, especially by family, friends and close acquaintances:

  • Alexander, Alexandra → Sandy
  • Anne → Annie
  • Arthur, Arturo → Art → Artie
  • Andrew → Andy → Drew
  • Barnaby → Barney
  • Daniel → Dan → Danny
  • David → Dave → Davy
  • Dennis → Denny
  • Edwin, Edward, Edmund → Ed → Eddie, Eddy
  • Elaine → Lainie
  • Franklin→ Frank → Frankie
  • George → Georgie
  • Isabella → Izzy
  • James → Jamie
  • Jessica → Jess → Jessie
  • Joel, Joseph → Joe → Joey
  • Jonathan → Jon, John → Jonnie, Johnnie, Johnny
  • Katherine → Katie
  • Kimberly → Kim → Kimmy
  • Kenneth → Ken → Kenny
  • Lawrence → Larry
  • Louis → Lou → Louie
  • Nicholas → Nick → Nicky
  • Oliver → Ollie
  • Ronald → Ron → Ronnie
  • Rosemary → Rose → Rosie/Rosy
  • Stephen → Steve → Stevie
  • Susan → Sue → Susie, Suzy
  • Thomas → Tom → Tommy
  • Timothy → Tim → Timmy
  • Tobias → Toby
  • William → Will, Bill, Willie, Willy, Billy

A short form that differs significantly from the name:

  • Barbara → Babs
  • Charles → Chuck → Chaz → Chicka
  • Dorothy → Dot, Dottie
  • Edward → Ted, Teddy (e.g. Edward "Ted" Kennedy)
  • Eleanor, Helen → Nell, Nellie
  • Elizabeth → Bess, Bessie
  • Gerald → Jerry
  • Henry → Hal, Hank, Harry
  • James → Jim → Jimbo, Jimmy
  • John → Jack
  • Katherine → Kitty
  • Margaret → Peggy, Peg, Meg
  • Philippa → Pippa, Pip or Pippy
  • Richard → Dick
  • Sarah → Sally
  • Theodore → Ted, Teddy
  • Virginia → Ginger, Ginny
  • 5
    Any logic or rationale behind the last ones (that is, the ones which differ significantly from the original name)? Richard becoming Dick and Charles becoming Chuck is something that always confounds me.
    – Mamta D
    Jan 14, 2011 at 9:11
  • 5
    There is a noticeable tendency in English to substitute a plosive (stop consonant) for the initial consonant in forming pet-names: Dick, Bob, Bill, Peggy, Polly. I don't know why this might be, or whether it is seen in other languages.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 14, 2011 at 14:11
  • 3
    Rick/Dick, Bob/Rob, Bill/Will, Polly/Molly are examples of rhyming nicknames, and they've been around in English since the 13th century. A much more obscure example of a "significantly different" nickname is Hudde (as in Hudson), which was used for Richard.
    – JPmiaou
    Mar 6, 2011 at 5:48
  • 1
    Mary --> Molly is another confusing one. Jul 22, 2011 at 11:34
  • 5
    I don't see how this answers the question at all. This is just a list of examples.
    – DCShannon
    Jun 16, 2016 at 1:50

Elizabeth - Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Betty

Patricia - Tricia, Trish

Michael - Mike, Mikey

Robert - Rob, Bob, Bobby

Jacob - Jake

William - Will, Bill, Billy

Katherine - Kate, Kathy, Katy, Kat

Caitlin - Kate (and all the assorted spellings: Cait, Kate, Kait, Cate, etc)

Jennifer - Jen/Jenn, Jenny, Jenna

Pamela - Pam, Pammy

Tamara - Tammy

Christina/Christine - Christy, Chrissy, Chris

Jillian - Jill

Allison - Alli/Alley/Ali

Megan - Meg

James - Jim

Debra - Deb, Debbie

Jessica - Jess, Jessie

Danielle - Dani

Angela - Angie, Ang

Katrina - Trina

Nicole - Nicky

Nicholas - Nick

Samuel - Sam, Sammy

Stephanie - Steph

Andrew - Andy, Drew

Amanda - Manda, Mandy

Joshua - Josh

Kimberly - Kim

Matthew - Matt

Jeffrey - Jeff

Joseph - Joe

Janet - Jan

Rebecca - Becka, Becky

Michelle - Shelly

Benjamin - Ben, Jamie

Joanna - Jo

Kristen - Krissy

Thomas - Tom, Tommy

Margaret - Maggie

(There are plenty more...these are just the ones that I saw while scrolling through my Facebook feed.)

Basically, nicknames are a (usually) shorter, more familiar form of a name, usually used by friends and family. Some people will ask you to call them a nickname - perhaps to differentiate from a relative with the same name, because they do not like their given name, because that is how people in your shared circle of acquaintances know them, or to indicate that they feel a sense of familiarity with you (for example: strangers, acquaintances, coworkers and the like call me Bridget, but my family often shortens my name to Bri [pronounced Bree] or Bridey [an Irish diminutive form of my name] or B, my gamer college friends call me Bizzit or Biz [a corruption of my name from a sleep-deprived late night of gaming that just sort of stuck], my boyfriend's brother calls me Bridgey because he thinks it's funny, another friend calls me Babs because those are my initials...)

While someone may think it's funny to call someone by a certain name (whether it's a given name or a diminutive form of their name that they dislike), it's usually best to ask if they would prefer a nickname before simply calling them by one, especially if you don't know someone very well. A more formal, conservative Michael may think you to be rude if you call him Mike (or god forbid, Mikey.) It's usually best to call someone by the name that they use to introduce themselves.

  • 12
    Fun fact: a nickname comes from a misparsing of an ekename, where eke was a Middle English term for additional, also, or together. So saying a nickname is rather like saying a nothername. I've decided to bring the term ekename back, because it's cooler. Or hell, maybe I'll just use nothername. sigh
    – Jon Purdy
    Jan 14, 2011 at 8:06
  • 2
    There's also Kate (short for Bob) :-) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_%28Blackadder%29 Jan 14, 2011 at 19:15

complete list of hypocorisms

Aaron       Ron RonnE Erin Ronald
Abel        Abe Ab Eb EbbE
Abiel       Biel Ab
Abigail     Ab AbbE Gail NabbE Tabitha
Abijah      Ab Bige Abiah Ab Biah
Abner       Ab AbbE
Abraham     Abe Abram
Absalom     Ab AbbE
Adaline     Ada Adela Aline Edith AddE Dell Delia Lena Adelaide
Adam        Ade EdE Ad
Adelaide    AddE Adela Adaline Adeline Della Heide Adele Dell HeidE Adeliza Liza Adelia Elizabeth
Adelbert    Albert Del Delbert Bert Ad Ade Elbert
Adelphia    Adele AddE Dell Delphina PhillE        Adeline
Agatha      AddE Ag AggE Agnes
Agnes       AggE Ann NancE NessE Inez Nessa
Aileen      Helen AllE Lena Eileen        Eileen Helen
Alanson     Al Lanson Alan Lonson
Albert      Al Bert Bird Elbert        Adelbert
Alberta     Abertina Albertine AllE Bert BertE Elbert
Alderick    Al Rich RichE
Aleva       Leve LevE
Alexander   Alec Alex AndE Ec SandE Al Eleck Sasha
Alexandria  Alla EllE Elic Sandra Alexandra Lexa Xan Alex SandE Sasha Cassandra Cass CassE
Alfred      Al Alf AlfE Fred FreddE
Alfreda     AlfE Frieda FreddE Freda
Alice       Alicia Elicia ElsE AllE Lisa Alison AlE ElE Alisha Elisha Lish Ellis Elicia
Almena      AllE Mena
Almina      MinnE
Almira      Myra
Alonzo      Al Alphonzo Lon Lonzo
Alphinias   Alphus Aphinius Phineas Finnius
Althea      Thea
Amalia      AmE MollE
Amanda      Armanda Manda MandE
Amelia      AmE EmilE Mel Melia MillE MollE Parmelia MellE Permelia        Mildred
Amos        Moses
Anastasia   Ana StacE
Anderson    Ander AndE SonnE Ance Andre
Andrea      Andria AndE
Andrew      AndE Drew
Angela      Angelica Angelina Angeline AngE Jane Lena
Anna        Ann Anne AnnE Hannah Nan NannE NancE Nana Susanna Annette Maryanne Christina Antoinette Roseanne Hannah
Anselm      Anse Ance Ansel
Anthony     TonE Antonio Antoine
Antoinette  Antonia Net NettE Ann TonE Netta
Aphrodite   Dite Ditus Dyce Dyche Eppa Epaphroditus Epaphroditius
Appoline    AppE
Aquilla     Quil QuillE Acuilla Quilla
Arabella    Ara Bella Belle Arabelle Anabelle Bell ArrE Isabella Mehitabel
Archibald   ArchE BaldE Baldo Arch Archelous
Ardeshir    ArdE
Arielle     ArE
Aristotle   TellE
Arlene      Lena ArlE
Armena      ArrE Mena
Armilda     MillE
Arminda     MindE
Arnold      ArnE        Ronald
Arthur      Art
Arzada      ZaddE
Asaph       Asa Asahel
Asenath     Assene Sene NattE
Aubrey      Bree
Audrey      Dee
Augusta     Augustina AggE AugE GusE GussE Tina Gus August Augusta
Augustus    Augustine Gus Gustus GatsE GatsbE GussE August
Aurelia     Aurilla Orilla Ora RillE
Aurilla     Ora RillE Orilla
Avarilla    Rilla
Azariah     Aze Riah Azarich Tiah
Azubah      Zubiah
Barbara     Babs Barb BarbE BobbE Bab BabbE BarbarE BarberE Bar
Barnabas    BarnE Barnard Bernard BernE
Barry       BerrE Bar Bear
Bartholomew Bart Bartel Barth Bat Mees Meus
Bazaleel    Basil
Beatrice    Bea Trisha TrissE TrixE Trix
Bedelia     Delia Bridgit Fidelia Phidelia        Delia Cordelia Adelaide
Belinda     Bell Belle Linda Lynne Lyn        Melinda Linda Philinda
Benedict    Bennett Ben BennE
Benjamin    Ben BenjE BennE JamE
Bertha      BertE BridE Bert
Bertram     Bert
Beverly     BeverlE Bev
Blanche     Bea
Boetius     Bo
Bonita      BonnE
Bradford    Brad Ford BradlE
Brian       Bryan Bryant Ryan Rian
Bridget     BiddE BridE BrE Delia BridgE
Broderick   RickE BradE BrodE        Richard
Caldonia    CallE Dona
Caleb       Cal
California  CallE
Calista     KissE
Calpurnia   CallE
Calvin      Cal Vin VinnE
Cameron     Cam RonnE Ron
Camille     CammE MillE
Campbell    Cam
Candace     CandE DacE
Carlotta    LottE
Carmellia   Mellia
Caroline    CaddE Carol Carole CarrE CassE Lynn Carolyn CallE Carolina Lena Orolia KerE KarE
Carthaette  Etta EttE
Casey       KasE KC
Caswell     Cass
Cecilia     Celia CissE CecilE Cilla CecelE
Cedrick     Ced Rick RickE
Celeste     Celia LessE
Celinda     Linda LindE Lynn
Charity     Chat
Charles     Buck Carl Chad CharlE Chick Chuck Karl Karel
Charlotte   Car Carlotta LettE Lotta LottE Char SherrE LollE
Chauncy     Chan
Chesley     CheslE Chet
Chloe       Clo
Christian   Chris Christopher Kit
Christiana  Christine Chris CrissE ChristE Tina Xina Christina Kris KerstE Xena Cristina Cris KristE Kristine
Christopher Chris Christian Kester Kit
Clarence    Clair Clare
Clarissa    Clarinda Clarice Clair Clara Clare CissE Claire        Belinda Melinda Philinda
Cleatus     Cleat
Clement     Clem
Clementine  Clem
Clifford    Cliff Ford
Clifton     Cliff TonE
Columbus    Lum Clum
Conrad      Con ConnE
Constance   ConnE
Content     TentE
Cordelia    CordE Delia Adelaide Bedelia Fedelia
Corinne     Cora
Cornelia    CornE NeelE Nelle NellE Nelia
Cornelius   Neil NeelE Cono ConnE Niel Neal
Courtney    Court Curt
Curtis      Curt Kurtis Kurt
Cynthia     CindE Lucinda Cinthia
Cyrenius    Cene Cy Renius Serene Swene
Cyrus       Cy Si
Dalton      Dahl Dal
Daniel      Dan DannE Danial
Danielle    DanE Danelle
Daphne      Daph DaphE
Darlene     Lena DarrE
Darwin      DarE
David       DavE Dave Day
Deborah     Deb DebbE Debora Debbe Debi Debra
Deidre      DeeDee
Delbert     Bert Del Dilbert
Delilah     Dell Della Lil Lila
Deliverance Della DellE DillE
Delores     Dee DodE Lola Dell LollE Della
Demerias    Demaris Maris Dimmis Damaris
Democrates  Mock
Denise      Denys Denyse
Dennis      DennE Dennison
Derrick     Eric Rick RichE Dirch
Desiree     DesE Desree DesrE DesirE
Diana       Diane Di DicE
Dominic     Dom Nick
Donald      Don DonnE
Dorothy     Dee DollE Dot Dotha DottE Dode DodE Dortha Doda Dora Dorothea Dorinda Doris Medora
Douglas     Doug
Drusilla    Silla
Duane       Dewayne Dwayne Dwane
Duncan      Dunk
Earnest     Ernest ErnE
Ebenezer    Eb Eben EbbE
Edith       DicE EdE Edna EdnE
Edmund      Ed Ned Ted        Edward Sigismund
Edward      Ed Ned Ted Edgar Edmund EddE TeddE
Edwin       Ed Ned Win        Edward
Edwina      WinnE        Edward
Egbert      Bert Burt
Elaine      Helen LainE Alaina Elaina        Eleanor
Elbertson   Elbert Bert
Eleanor     Elaine Ella Ellen Helen Lanna Leonora Nell NellE Nora EllE Elenora Elinamifia Elnora        Honora
Eleazer     Lazar
Electra     Electa Lecta
Elias       ElE Lee Lias
Elijah      ElE Lige Lig
Eliphalet   Left Eliphal FallE
Elizabeth   Bess BessE Beth BettE Elis Elissa ElsE LibbE Liz Liza Lizabeth LizzE Tess BitsE Eliza LiddE Lisa Lise Lib BetsE Bethia BaisE BaissE        Alice Alisha
Elmira      Mira Myra EllE
Elsie       Alice Elizabeth        Elizabeth
Elwood      Ells EllE WoodE
Emanuel     MannE Manuel Immanuel
Emeline     Emmer EmmE Lina MillE Em Emma Emeline Emiline Erma Emm EmilE        Amelia
Enedina     Nina
Ephraim     Eph
Eric        Rick RickE        Derrick
Ernestine   Erna Tina
Eseneth     SenE
Estella     EssE Stella Estelle
Eudora      Dora        Dorothy
Eudoris     DosE DossE
Eugene      Gene
Eugenia     Euy Gene GenE JennE
Euphemia    EffE
Euphrosina  Fenee Fena RosE
Eurydice    DicE
Eustacia    Stacia StacE
Evaline     Eva Eve Lena
Evangeline  VangE
Evelyn      Ev Eve Evelina Evelyn
Experience  PeddE
Ezekiel     Ez Zeke
Ezra        Ez
Faith       Fay
Felicity    Flick Tick Felicia
Ferdinand   FerdE
Fidelia     Phidelia Delia        Delia Cordelia Adelaide
Florence    Flo Flora Floss FlossE
Floyd       Lloyd
Frances     Fan FannE Fran Sis CissE
Francis     Frank FrankE Frankisek Franklin Franz
Frederica   Fredricka Freda FreddE Ricka Frieda
Frederick   Fred Fredric FreddE Frish Fritz
Fredonia    Donia Donna
Gabriel     Gabe GabbE
Gabrielle   Ella GabbE Gabriella
Gabrilla    Rilla        Gabrielle
Genevieve   GencE JinsE JennE Eve Jean Gen Neva        Jane Virginia
George      Jorge
Georgia     Georgiana Gee
Gerald      JerrE GerrE        Jeremiah
Geraldine   Dina GerrE JerrE DeannE GerE
Gerhardt    Gay
Gertrude    GattE GertE TrudE Gert
Gilbert     Bert Gib Gil Wilber
Gloria      GlorE
Greenberry  BerrE Green
Gregory     Greg Gregg
Gretchen    Margaret
Griselda    Grissel
Gwendolyn   Gwen WendE
Hamilton    Ham Hamp
Hannah      Anna Nan NannE Susannah        Joanna Susannah Anna
Harold      Hal HarrE Hank        Henry
Harriet     HattE
Helena      Helen Aileen Eileen Elaine Eleanor Ellen Lena Nell NellE Helene Ella Elena Ellender Eleanor
Henrietta   Etta Hank HettE NettE Retta EttE
Henry       Hal Hank HarrE Hen Hence        Harold
Hepsabah    HepsE Hepsibah Hephsibah Hebsabeth Hepsabel        Elizabeth Rosabella
Herbert     Bert Herb
Herman      Harman
Hermione    Hermoine HermE
Hester      Esther HessE HettE EssE
Hezekiah    Hez Ky Hy Kiah
Hiram       Hy HilE
Honora      HonE Nora Norah NorrE        Eleanor
Hopkins     Hop Hopp
Horace      Horatio HorrE
Hortense    TensE
Hosea       HosE
Howard      Hal HowE
Hubert      Hugh Hugo Bert Hub
Ignatius    IggE Nace Nate Natius
India       IndE
Iona        OnnE
Irene       Rena RennE ReenE
Irvin       Irving
Irwin       Erwin
Isaac       Ike Zeke
Isabella    Isabelle Bella Belle Elizabeth Ib IssE Nib Sabe Sabra TibbE Isabel Rosabella NibbE Arabella Rosabella
Isaiah      ZadE Zay
Isidora     Dora IssE
Isidore     IzzE
Jacob       Jake Jaap Jay Jacobus Jeb
Jacqueline  JackE JakE Jacque Jaclyn Jacklyn Jaclin Jacklin
James       JamE Jim Jameson Jem JimmE
Jane        Janet JanE JessE JennE Joan Joanna Virginia Janette Jean JincE JinsE Jeanne NettE Jan Janett Janice Janyce Jayce Jc Janiece        Genevieve Virginia Joanna
Jasper      Casper
Jedediah    Diah Dyer Jed Jedidiah
Jefferson   Jeff SonnE JeffrE GeoffrE Geoff        Jeffery
Jehiel      Hiel
Jehu        Jayhugh Gee Hugh        John
Jemima      Jemma MimE Mima
Jennet      JessE
Jennifer    Winifred JennE        Winifred
Jeremiah    JeremE JerrE Jereme
Jerita      Rita        Margarita Rosarita
Jessica     Jess Jesse JessE        Jane Virginia
Joanna      Jane Jean Joan JodE Johanna NonE Joannah Johannah Hannah Joann Joanne        Anna Hannah Suzannah
John        Hans Ian Ivan Jack Jan Jean Jaques Jock JackE JohnnE Jackson        Johnathan
Jonathan    John JohnnE Jonathan Nathan        Nathaniel John
Joseph      Joe Joey Jos JodE Josefa
Josephine   Josepha PhenE Jo Joey JosE Fina JodE
Joshua      Josh Jos
Josiah      Jos Si        Joseph
Joyce       Joy
Juanita     Nita NettE
Judah       JudE
Judith      JudE
Judson      Jud SonnE
Julia       Jill JulE Juliet
Julias      Julius Julian Jule
Junior      Jr June JunE
Justin      Justus
Karonhappuck CarrE Karen Karon HappE
Katherine   Katarina Kathleen CathE Kat KitsE KittE Kate KatE KathE Kit Kay Trina Tina Lena Cathleen Catherine CassE Karen Kathryn Katherina Kathe
Kendra      Kenj KenjE
Kenneth     Ken KennE Kendall Kendrick Kent
Keziah      KezzE Kizza Kid
Kimberly    KimberlE KymberlE Kim Kym KimmE
King        Kingston KingslE
Lafayette   Fate Left LeffE LaffE
Lamont      MontE
Laodicia    DicE Cenia
Laurinda    Lorinda Laura
Lauryn      LaurE LorrE
Laverne     Verna
Lavinia     VinE Wyncha Lavina Ina Vina VinnE Louvina Louvinia
Lawrence    LarrE Lars Laurence LawrE Lon LorrE LonnE Lorne
Lecurgus    Curg
Lemuel      Lem
Leonard     Leo Leon Len LennE Lineau Lenhart
Leonidas    Leon
Leonora     Loenore Elenor Nora Lee        Eleanor
Leroy       Lee Roy LR
Leslie      Les Lester
Lester      Les
Letitia     LettE Lettice Titia Tish
Levi        Lee
Lewvisa     VicE
Libuse      Liba LibbE
Lillian     Lil LilE LillE LollE Lillah
Lincoln     Link
Linda       LindE Lynn LyndE Lynette Linette LydE Lidia LyddE LiddE        Belinda Melinda Philinda
Lionel      Leon
Littleberry BerrE Lb Little
Lois        Heloise Louise
Lorenzo     Loren
Loretta     Etta Laura LorrE Retta
Loretta     Retta        Lorraine
Lorraine    LorrE Rana
Lotta       LottE Charlotte Charlotta
Luann       Luanne Louanne Louann Lulu Lou Ann Anne AnnE        Anna Louise
Louis       Lewis Lou Louie
Lousie      Eloise Elouise Louise Heloise Eliza Lois Lou Lulu Louisa Louetta        Loretta
Luciana     Lucia LucE CindE        Lucinda Cynthia
Lucias      Lucas Luke
Lucille     Ceall Cille LucE Lu Lou
Lucinda     CindE LucE Lu Lou        Cynthia
Lucretia    CreasE Crese Crece
Luella      Ella Lu Lula
Lurana      Lura
Luthor      Luke
Lyndon      Lynn LyndE LindE
Madeline    Lena MaddE Madge MaggE Maud MiddE Magda Maida Madeleine        Magdalena
Magdelina   Lena Madge Magda Magdalen Maida        Madeline
Mahalla     HallE
Malcolm     Mac Mal MalachE
Manerva     Minerva Nerva NervE
Manoah      Noah
Manuel      Emanuel MannE
Marcus      Mark
Margaret    DaisE Greta Madge MaggE MaisE Marge Margo Peg Meg Metta Midge PeggE Margaretha Meta Gretta Rita MargerE MarjorE MargE Margaretta Megan        Mary Margarita
Margarita   Rita Margauerite        Rosarita
Marianna    Marian Ann Marianne Anne MarE Maria Mia        Mary Anne
Marla       Mar
Marylou     MarE Lulu Lou        Mary Louise
Martha      Mart MartE Mat MattE PatsE PattE MollE        Patricia
Martin      MartE
Marvin      Marv Merv Mervyn
Mary        Mae MamE Marietta Marion Maureen May MercE MinnE MitzE MollE PollE Moll MimE Mate Maura Moira Marilyn Maria Mariah Marian MarE Marcia Marica        Maryanne Martha Margaret
Maryanne    Marianne Maryanna Marianna MarE Ann Anne AnnE        Mary Anna
Matilda     Mat Tilda PattE TillE MattE Maud Mathilda
Matthew     Matt Matthias Thias Thys
Maureen     MarE ReenE Rena        Mary
Maurice     MaurE Morris MossE MorE
Mavine      MaverE Mave
Maximillian Max
Maxine      Max
Mehitabel   HettE Mabel MittE HittE Bella Mehetable Mehitable Mehetabel Amabel
Melchizedek Dick Zadock
Melinda     Linda LindE Mel MindE Lynne MellE        Belinda Linda Philinda
Melissa     Lisa Mel MillE MissE Lissa
Melody      LodE
Melvina     Vina
Mercedes    MercE
Merlin      Merlyn Merle
Mervyn      Merv
Micajah     Cager
Michael     MickE Mike Mitchell Micah Mick
Michelle    MickE ShellE
Mildred     Mell MillE MimE
Millicent   MillE MissE
Mindwell    Mina        Wilhelmina Minerva
Minerva     Mina MinnE Nerva NervE
Miranda     MandE Mira RandE
Miriam      MarE MitzE MimE
Mitchell    Michael Mitch
Mitzi       MarE
Montgomery  Gum MontE Montesque        Lamont
Mortimer    Mort
Moses       Amos Mose Moss
Muriel      Mur
Myrtle      Mert Myrt MyrtE
Nadezhda    Nadia
Nadine      DeeDee Nada
Nancy       Agnes Ann Nan Nance NannE        Ann
Napoleon    Leon Nap PonE NappE
Natalie     NettE NattE TallE
Nathaniel   Jonathan Nat NattE Nathan Nate Than FannnE        Johnathan
Nelson      Nels
Newton      Newt
Nicholas    Nick NickE Claas Claes Nicodemus
Nicolena    Nicole NikkE NickE Nicolene Nicolina
Ninell      NettE
Noel        Nowell Knowell
Norbert     Bert NorbE
Obadiah     Diah Dyer Obe Obed ObE        Jedediah
Obedience   BiddE Obed Bede BeedE
Oberon      Obe ObE
Octavia     Tave Tavia
Odell       Odo
Oliver      OllE
Olivia      Livia Olive OllE NollE LivE
Orlando     Roland
Ophelia     Phelia Orphelia
Oswald      OssE Waldo OzzE
Othello     Otis Ote
Pamela      Pam
Pandora     Dora
Parthenia   ParsunE PasoonE PhenE PattE ThenE
Patience    Pat PattE        Patricia
Patricia    Pat PatsE PattE Tricia TrixE Trish Tish
Patrick     PaddE Pat PatsE Peter Patricia Pate        Peter
Paulina     Paula PollE Lina Pauline
Pelegrine   PerrE
Penelope    NeppE PennE
Percival    Perce PercE
Permelia    MellE MillE
Pernetta    NettE
Peter       Pete Pate
Pharaba     FerbE Pherbia Pheriba
Pheney      Josephine
Philadelphia Delphia Delpha Puss
Philetus    Leet Phil
Philinda    Linda Phyllis        Belinda Linda Philinda
Philip      Phil Pip
Philipina   Phoebe PenE Phililpa
Philomena   Mena
Phineas     FinnE
Pleasant    Ples Pleas
Pocahontas  PokE
Posthuma    HumE
Prescott    Pres Scott ScottE
Priscilla   Cil Cilla Ciller PrissE CissE Silla
Prudence    DensE PrudE Prue Pru Puss
Quince      Quint Quinn
Rachel      Rae Ray Raech ShellE
Ramona      Mona
Randolph    Dolph Randall RandE
Raphael     Raff Ralph
Raymond     Ray
Rebecca     BeckE Reba Becca Beck
Regina      Gina Ray ReggE
Reginald    Reg ReggE Reynold Renaldo Naldo RennE
Relief      Leafa LeafE
Reuben      Rube RubE
Rhodella    Rhoda RhodE Dell Della
Richard     Dick Rich Rick RichE Dickon Dickson RickE
Robert      Dob Dobbin Bob BobbE Rob Robin Rupert Hob Hobkin RobbE
Roberta     Bert BobbE RobbE BertE BirdE
Rodney      Rod RoddE        Roger Reginald Ronald
Roger       Hodge Hodgekin Rodger Roge Rod        Rodney
Roland      Orlando Rowland LannE Rollo RollE        Roland Orlando Reginald
Ronald      Ron RonnE Naldo Ronaldo        Roland Reginald
Rosabella   Rosable Belle Rosa Rose Roz        Isabella Roseanne Rosarita Rosalyn
Rosalyn     Rosalinda Rosa Rose Linda Roz Rose Linda Rosabella Roseanne Rosarita Roseanne Roseann Rose Ann Roz RosE Roseanna Rox RoxE Roxanne Roxanna Roxane        Rosabella Rosalyn Rosarita Anna
Rudolphus    Adoph Adolf Dolf Dolph Rolf Rollo RudE Rudolph Olph Adolphus Ad Ado
Rufina       Refina Fina
Russell      Russ RustE
Sabrina      Brina Sybrina ReenE Rena Serena        Selina Serilla
Salvador     Sal
Sampson      Samson Sam
Samuel       Sam SammE Samantha        Samson
Sarah        SadE Sal SallE Sara SurrE SukE
Selina       Celina Lena        Sabrina
Serilla      Rilla
Seymour      MorE MorrE Seymore
Sharon       Sharyn SharrE Shar SharE SherE Sheron Sheryn Sheryl Cheryl
Shaun        Sean Shawn Shane Shayne
Sheila       Cecilia
Sheldon      ShellE TonE Shelton Shel
Sheridan     Dan DannE Sher
Shirley      Lee SherrE Shirl
Sibbilla     Sibyl Cibyl SibbE Sibbell
Sidney       Sid SydnE Syd
Sigismund    Sigmund Sig
Silas        Si
Simeon       Sim Simon Si Sion
Smith        SmittE
Solomon      Sal Salmon Sol SollE ZollE Saul
Sophronia    Frona Fronia Sophia FronE SophE
Stephen      Steve Steven Steph
Submit       MittE
Sullivan     SullE Van
Susannah     Hannah Sue Susan SusE Suzanne SuchE Susanna SukE SuzE
Sylvester    Si Sy Syl SlE Vet Vest Vester VessE Silvester Sylvanus Silver
Tabitha      TabbE
Tamara       TammE Temera Tamarra
Tasha        Tash TashE
Temperance   TempE TillE
Tennessee    TennE
Terrance     Terence TerrE
Thaddeus     Tad Thad
Theodore     Ted Theodrick Theodorick Tad Theo TeddE
Theodosia    Dosia Theo Theodora Dora        Theodore
Theophilus   OphE Theo
Theresa      Therese TerrE Tess TessE Thursa TicE TracE TrissE Thriza Teresa Thirsa Tessa
Thomas       Thom Tom TommE
Thomasine    Thomasa Tamzine
Tilford      TillE Ford
Timothy      Tim TimmE
Tipton       TippE TipsE
Tobias       Tobe TobE Bias
Tryphena     Phena PhoenE PhenE Pheobe        Tryphosia
Tryphosia    PhosE        Tryphenia
Uriah        Riah
Valentina    Val VallE ValerE Valeda
Vanessa      Nessa Van VannE Vanna Essa
Vernisee     NicE
Veronica     FrankE RonnE Ronna VonnE FronE Ron VickE
Victor       Vic Vick
Victoria     TorrE TorE VickE
Vincent      Vin Vince VinnE Vinson
Violet       Viola Vi
Virgil       Virg
Virginia     Ginger GinnE Jane JennE JinE VirgE Gen VergE Gina        Jane Genevieve
Vivian       Vi
Vladimir     Volodia
Waitstill    WaitE
Waldo        Oswald
Wallace      WallE
Walter       Wat Walt
Webster      Webb
Wesley       Wes
Wilber       Wib Will Wilbur        Gilbert
Wilda        WillE
Wilfred      Fred WillE Will
Wilhelmina   HelmE Mina MinnE WillE Wilma
William      Bill Will WillE BillE Bell Bela WilE Wilhelm Willis Liam
Winfield     Field Win WinnE        Winifred
Winifred     FreddE WinnE Winnet Wenefred Fred
Winton       Wint
Woodrow      Wood Drew WoodE
Yolanda      Yolonda
Yulan        Lan Yul
Zachariah    Zach Zacharias ZacharE Zeke ZachE Rye
Zadock       Dick Dock Melchizedek Zed
Zebedee      Zeb
Zebulon      Lon Zeb
Zedediah     Zed Diah Dyer        Jedediah Obediah
Zelphia      Zel Zella ZelphE
Zepaniah     Zeph
  • 4
    I have to assume that the capital 'E' at the end of some names here represents all the possible alternate spellings, CarrE = Carry, Carrie, Carri, Carrey, etc.
    – Jim
    Oct 6, 2016 at 3:55

These are commonly referred to as nick-names. A nick-name is typically a shorter, more personal, and less formal version of someone's name. They are generally a shortened, but phonetically similar version of the original name. Many standard English names have garnered popular nick-names over the years. Some others:

Christopher -> Chris
Richard -> Dick, Rick
Charles -> Chuck, Charlie
Donald -> Don
Stephen -> Steve
Patrick -> Pat
Ronald -> Ron
Edward -> Ed

(being a guy, I'm more familiar with the male names, but there are many more for women as well)

  • But that actor uses: Christopher -> Topher
    – GEdgar
    Sep 26, 2011 at 11:43
  • Did Brunhilda ever refer to Siegfried as "Siggy"? Did Juno ever call Jupiter "Jup"? I'm told that "There once was a dentist named Ross, / Who married the lovely Miss Moss. / But he held in abhorrence / Her given name, Florence, / So he renamed her his dental Floss."
    – tautophile
    Jun 10, 2018 at 16:54
  • Has anyone noticed how in English royalty there weren't a lot of names? For example, in 1450-1500, in The Cousins War era, we had tons of Edwards and Elizabeths. Lots of variations had to evolve, logical and non-logical, like "Teddy" from Edward (Edward Plantagenet). I wonder if a lack of actual names had a hand in forcing nickname evolution.
    – jphansen
    Apr 29, 2021 at 18:41