15 Baby Names That Give Your Kid Options, Because Flexibility Is Good


When you're deciding on a name for your future child, you have to think of everything. Do their initials spell anything offensive? Is there a random relative or ex you don't like with the same name? Does it have a meaning they'll appreciate later in life? Choosing a name for your baby before you've even met them is as hard as it sounds. And although different parents put different amounts of thought into naming their kids, you may want a baby name that will give your kid options as they grow up. Or, in other words, a name with a lot of nicknames.

As I was growing up, I always wished my name had a great nickname to go with it. Although I love my name now and, thanks to my husband, finally have a nickname that stuck, I couldn't help but be envious of my friends with short, quipy names to go along with their longer, more formal ones.

Picking a name with several nicknames will give your child the gift of choice as they get older — something many shorter names don't allow for. Furthermore, most of these names are classics, popular for the very reason that they're so versatile.

1. Elizabeth

One of the most classic girl's name of all time also happens to have a plethora of nicknames to choose from. The name means "pledged to God" and could go by Liz, Liz, Beth, Eliza, Lizzy, Bess, Ella, or Lisa (and even more!).

2. Theodore

After a long stint of unpopularity, Theodore is making a comeback. And for good reason too. With nicknames like Theo, Teddy, Teo and more it's not surprising that parents are opting to bring back this old favorite meaning "gift of God."

3. Alexandria


Meaning "defending men," Alexandria is a gorgeous name that is long enough to have almost an unlimited supply of nicknames like Alex, Lexie, Alexis, Drea, Allie, and Sandra to start.

4. Katherine


This powerful and feminine name meaning "pure" is a great choice for parents who want a classic name with lots of nickname potential. Names like Katie, Kathy, Kate, Kat, Kit, and Kitty are all common choice for Katherine.

5. Leonardo

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The name Leonardo may seem a bit inapproachable, but with nicknames like Leo, Leon, or even Leonard, the name becomes a bit easier to pull off. It means "brave lion" and is a powerful choice for any baby boy.

6. Margaret


The amount of nicknames for this name is staggering. Greta, Madge, Maggie, Maisie, Margie, May, Meg, Megan, Meta, Peg, and Peggy to name a few of them. The full name Margaret means "pearl" and is a vintage name that deserves a comeback.

7. Gabrielle

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Elegant and feminine, Gabrielle means "God is my strength," and has Gaby, Bria, Elle, Bree, Brielle, and Abby as potential nicknames.

8. Nicholas


A classic boys name meaning "people of victory," Nicholas has a few great nickname options like Nick, Nicky, Nicolo, Cole, Colin, and Nikos.

10. Christine


A popular choice in the '80s that has been trumped by Kristen and Kirsten, Christine has a lot going for it, as it turns out. The name means "anointed" and has nicknames like Chris, Crissy, Crystie, and Tina.

11. Isabella

The Italian variation of Elizabeth, Isabella means "pledged to God" and has gorgeous nicknames like Bella, Isa, Izzy, Belle, and Ellie.

12. William


One of the most classic boys names of all time is still as popular as ever. William means "resolute protector" and has nicknames like Will, Liam, Willy, Bill, and Billy.

13. Victoria


The Latin word for "victory" makes a gorgeous choice with several just as beautiful nicknames like Tori, Vicky, Vic, Toria, or even Vika.

14. Charles


This classic name meaning "free man" has nicknames that are just as well known as the name itself. The most common ones are Charlie, Chuck, Cal, Chase, and Chaz.

15. Evangeline


Gorgeous and ornate, Evangeline means "bearer of good news" and comes with nicknames like Eva, Evie, Angel, Angie, Lina, Vangie, or Evan.