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Alternate names

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


chrisa Report 13 Mar 2008 14:11

Hi everyone I just read a thread asking if people named Henry were also called Harry & I thought it might be a good idea to list all the names we know of where people are known as somethg else.

Henry - Harry
John - Jack
Margaret - Peg Peggie Meg Maggie Meggie
Francis - Frank Frankie
Isabella - Bella Bell Issy
Elizabeth - Betty Liz Bet
Eleanor - helen Ellen
Any More?


Nickydownsouth Report 13 Mar 2008 14:17

Mary - Polly
Elizabeth - Bessie, Lilbeth,
Sarah -Sally


♥Athena Report 13 Mar 2008 14:37

Elizabeth - Betsy, Beth
Ellen - Nellie, Nell
Henrietta/Harriet - Hettie
William - Bill

Nolls from Harrogate

Nolls from Harrogate Report 13 Mar 2008 14:53

Bridget - Betsy
Mary - May
Robert - Bob
Marion - Minnie


Merlin38 Report 13 Mar 2008 19:04

Elizabeth - Nancy
Louisa - Lucy


Eileen Report 13 Mar 2008 23:24

Margarets are also often Daisy, as the flower family for daisys is Marguerite I think, or something like that.

Helen-Mary = Mollie Molly in Scotland

In the Services
Men with the surname Sykes are often nicknamed Bill as in Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist, although Dickens spells Sykes with an i.

Surname White, often Chalky - obvious reasons
Clarke is Nobby, no idea why.


♥Athena Report 14 Mar 2008 14:22

Eileen - re Nobby Clark - here is the explanation from Wikipedia as to how the nickname came about - quite a few versions:

"Nobby is a nickname most commonly used in English for those with the surname Clark or Clarke.

The explanation given for the use of this nickname is that clerks (pronounced "clark" in British dialects) in the City of London used to wear Nobby hats, or top hats. Alternate spellings include "Knobby" and "Clarke".

An alternate explanation for the name Nobby attached to the surname Clarke is thus: 16th century monks wrote letters for the illiterate. These monks were referred to as "Clerks". The outcome of so much writing causes callouses on the fingers "nobs" and therefore Nobby Clerks was born'

In England the term "nob" is used to refer to a member of the aristocracy and by extension a posh person. A clerk (pronounced "clark" in England) would deal with the common people but would be better educated, better paid and in a position of relative power. To the uneducated, clerks were posh and therefore considered to be "nobs". Hence, nobby Clark. Clerks were also required to maintain a high standard of dress, and were paid a clothing allowance. The result was that they always appeared smart. Both the Oxford English and the English Dialect Dictionaries list nobby as being of a rich man, a nob or toff, or “smart”, and gives it a wide distribution, so smart persons were "nobby"."

Thought that was interesting - I'd always wondered about that myself as Clark is one of our family names and so have heard references to plenty of Nobby's!



MarionfromScotland Report 14 Mar 2008 17:06

Elizabeth...Lizbeth,Beth Liz,Lizzie,Bess,Betsy
Isabella....Isa, Isabel,Bell,Bella,Izzy


mgnv Report 16 Mar 2008 21:40

Site with a Scottish bias:


Jane Report 16 Mar 2008 21:59

Hi there Does anyone have alternatives for Fred please?Cheers Jane


Jane Report 17 Mar 2008 21:36

Dear Libby9 THanks You knew of two more Freds than me Jane

:) still smiling :)

:) still smiling :) Report 17 Mar 2008 22:02

Hubert= Bert
Francis= Frank

i looked for aged to find "bert" as i assumed he would be albert but nope he was Hubert.


Tawny Report 18 Mar 2008 13:35

John=Ian or Iain


Tawny Report 18 Mar 2008 19:38


Janet 693215

Janet 693215 Report 18 Mar 2008 20:41

Some that have changed with the passage of time as well.

Hannah- Anna- Anne

Hannah Maria- Ann-Marie

Mary Anne- Marion

Can't think of anymore offhand, apart from the obvious one of Janet being changed to Jenny in Scotland.

Men with the surname Slaughter are known as "Todd"

Frances- Fran


Tawny Report 9 Apr 2008 18:45

Serafina= Sarah


Kate Report 9 Apr 2008 19:19

There's a lot of variants on Catherine -

Katherine, Catharine, Kate, Katie, Kitty, Cathy, Kathy, Kathleen.

I was also looking up an Emma once - variations I've seen include Emiline, Emily and Emeley (think that was a misspelling).

I've also seen Lily and Lilian interchanged.

Jane - Jenny/Jennie, Jin/Jinny, also Janet, Janey (Jinny can also be Virginia)

Elizabeth - Cissie, Eliza, Lizzie, Betty, Betsey, Bessie

Mary - May, Polly

Marian - Minnie

Florrie - Florence, Flora

Margaret - Mag, Maggie, Rita

Dorothy - Doll, Dolly

Sarah - Sally, Cissie

Nellie - Ellen, Eleanor, Helen (I have recently tracked my 3xgreat grandma and her siblings through the parish records - their mother's name switches between Helen, Nelly, Eleonor and Ellen, seemingly depending on her mood at the time, also in the Latin Catholic church records, "Helena" is used as a Latin form of Ellen)


Merlin38 Report 10 Apr 2008 20:40

Charles - Chas, Charlie


Kate Report 14 Apr 2008 01:23

Other Latin names I remember seeing in church records are:

Jacobus = James
Joannis = John
Josephus = Joseph
Maria = Mary
Francisca = Francis
Gulilemus (I think that's how you spell it) = William
Helena = Ellen
Joanna = Jane
Stephanus = Stephen


Battenburg Report 14 Apr 2008 04:40

I know a Hubert who is known as Tom because his second name is Tomlinson.

His wife didnt know his real name till she married him and it was mentioned at the wedding