Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elizabeth: Nickname-Rich Name of the Week (May 31)

Since I've never done a regular series on my blog before, I thought that over the course of this summer (or winter for the antipodal readers of this blog) on each Thursday I'd feature a name that lends itself to numerous nicknames and see which ones (or simply the full name itself) is preferred. Each week I'll be alternating between girl and boy names (except for the week of July 4th which would normally be a boy's week but I'm taking off in celebrating my country's Independence Day).

To start off with, what better than to feature what is probably the Queen of Nickname-Rich Names: Elizabeth. As with many of the more common names I will be featuring, a lot of her nicknames derived in order to distinguish the many bearers of the name. For centuries she's been one of the most popular girl's names throughout the English-speaking world (in the U.S. she's never ranked lower than #26 on the SSA list and was at #11 last year). As a result Elizabeth has too many spin-offs to mention here, but I'll mention some that strike my fancy:
Betsy - My "old favorite" among Elizabeth nicknames.
Betty - Mad Men is making many fashions of the era retro-chic again, and this name is one of them. You probably know some middle-aged-to-older Bettys, both as an independent name and a nickname for Elizabeth.
Eliza - Although I like this one better as a stand-alone name (and is not "unprofessional" like many other nicknames-as-full-names are), she's among the 19th Century antique revivals that are fashionable right now.
Libby - Probably the quirkiest of my favorites, she's been growing on me lately.

What nicknames for Elizabeth do you like (both among those I've mentioned and those I didn't)? Or do you simply like Elizabeth by herself in her classic glory?


  1. I also like Betsy, Eliza, and Libby. In addition, I like Liz (but not Lizzy) and Ellie. I also like variants Elspeth, Elsa, and Lisbeth.

  2. Libby is cute and Eliza is spunky, but since I've seen one or two little Bettys, it seems really sweet.

    My favourite atm is probably Elsie - adorable. Beth comes a close second.

    The only ones I can't stand are Liz and Lizzie.

  3. I have an aunt Betty, and I like it but would only use it as a nickname for Elizabeth. The same with Libby - love it as a nickname only. For a full-name I like Eliza, Liza, and Bess.