Have you ever wished you had been named something different or that you had a nickname?

I was talking with my Mom about how much I disliked the name Mary growing up and that I wished she’d named me something else. My grandmother (Mary Anne) and great grandmother (Mary Jane) were both named Mary and while it’s nice to be named for someone — Mary is still boring.

Mom told me she should have called me Mollie since that’s what her grandmother (Mary Jane) had been called so I decided that’s the nickname I wanted and she’s been calling me Mollie since my visit earlier this month. So will it totally confuse you all if I start going by Mollie 🙂

Here’s an interesting list on nicknames and their given names – helpful if you’re doing genealogy research.

By the way, if you think that RaeRae is a silly/strange name … It’s my nickname for the new baby Chris and Becky are expecting in October. Her name will be Reagan Rae Johnson.

15 thoughts on “Nicknames

  1. Benta

    Hiya Mollie!!! I love unusual (non standard) nicknames. My oldest is Elizabeth (after grandmother and g g grandmother) but has always been known as Lisa. I know a Pauline known as Polly, and Margaret known as Maisy!

  2. Lizzy Hentze

    I can so relate to this Mollie! My mum’s name was Mary and my middle name is Mary and since my mum had Alzheimer’s when I was pregnant with my last child, I wanted to honour her in some way. I decided that Molly would be a great name for my baby if it was a girl. It has the Irish connection and the family link without being ‘boring old Mary’. My Molly turned 15 this year. The other reason I loved the name was that I still remember reading Milly Molly Mandy books as a young girl.

  3. DianeY

    My name is so not conducive to nicknames and I always wished I had one. I have been called Di but I always have not really liked that-sounds more like a threat!

  4. Dee Dee

    I love the name Mary. Such a sweet name. If we had had a daughter we would have named her Mary. I guess most folks would have like a different name. No one can pronounce my name, so glad my brother gave me the nickname of Dee Dee when I was a itty baby. Mollie is my granddaughter’s name, same spelling – with an ie. Have you seen the movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy”? You can probably do a search for a song in that movie called “Mary”, I think you might like it.

  5. Lynne

    My mum is Marion, her dad always called her Mick. My sister is Terrie but was christened Therese. My brother is Jack but was christened John. Dad called him JM. My DD is Susan but I call her Suz; in her father’s phone she is SJ. I’m happy with my name – I prefer it to the nicknames I had as a teenager (Lardi, Dilly and Lynnie). My sister calls my husband Bubbles – no one remembers why!

  6. susan rizzi

    Nicknames are a funny thing – either you love them or hate then. Since my first name is Susan, I have had a variety of nicknames from people who decided to call me something else even though I only use Susan. I have been Sue, Suzie, Susananne (middle name is Ann), Suzy Sunshine and Suz. My husband’s name is James and he goes mainly by Jimmy but has been called Jim and Jimbo and Riz. As a result I tried to name my son with a name that has no nickname – Craig. So of course what has happened is that all of his friendsa and co-workers call him “Riz”. I didn’t win that battle!!!

  7. Robin

    Hello there Mollie, nice to meet ya. In my Mom’s family all first born girls were named Mary, so nicknames developed. My Grandmom was Mamie, my Mom was May, and I have always been called by my middle name Robin. My daughter is Sarah Margaret, so I kinda broke with tradition, although my Mom always said that Margaret was a form of Mary.

  8. Beth in AZ

    I like Mollie alot! I was not over enthusiastic about Beth when I was growing up. Especially since its not a great YELLING name, I got called Elizabeth (which IS a good yelling name! lol), which is NOT my name. I’m Beth..and I was given no middle name. That caused all SORTS of trouble as my dad was active duty AF. I either had 2 initials BK…or three..>B NMI K (No Middle Initial!). Happy was the day I married…and now have THREE initials! Beth suits me now..I’m kinda of a homebody like Beth in Little Women. I love to travel, but the day I get home (to my dogs and sewing machine in that order!), is a VERY good day! Our son when he was little was asked ‘ Is your full name Andrew (we call him Drew)?’ To which he would answer “only when I’m in trouble’! Guess I gave my kids GOOD YELLING names! ROTLF!

  9. marky

    I was named Martha Anne after my mother’s favorite (spinster) aunt, Martha Anna, and also inherited her nickname of Marky. She was born in the 1800s and acquired the nickname when her little brother couldn’t say Martha. I have always preferred Marky to Martha because in many pieces of literature Marthas were old maid school teachers or spinster librarians and that was not my goal in life! Another reason I like the nickname Marky is that when said your face ends up in a natural smile, but Martha leaves your jaw hanging. However, you wouldn’t believe the number of people who read fast and address me as Mary!

  10. Cindy in NC

    My paternal great-grandmother’s name was Mary Ann and she, too, went by Mollie. I have a quilt made from nine-patches she pieced in the the 30’s (genuine Depression fabrics!) and I cherish it.

    My second-oldest daughter, now 30, is named Regan (no “a”). My oldest was not yet two when she was born and called her Rae Rae. The nickname stuck — especially since there were two more sisters born after her who found Rae Rae easier to say than Regan. She didn’t care for her name for a long time (got tired of being asked if she was named for Ronald Reagan, which she wasn’t, or having her name pronounced Ree-gan). By the time she was a teenage she decided she liked having two unique names (her middle name is Loyola after my husband’s aunt/godmother).

    Regan tells me that the name, spelled a variety of different ways, is becoming quite popular. Last year there was a Reagan in my school’s fourth grade. I was hoping I’d have her in my fifth grade this year, but she ended up in another class. Just as well — I’d probably have a hard time not calling her Rae Rae.

    Cindy in NC (who doesn’t like her name either)

  11. Jill

    Many thanks for the info on names. One name was missing from the list – Minnie, this was a popular name and may have been a name in its own right but it was also the diminutive for Mary. On the 1901 and 1911 Irish census there are over 10,000 Minnies recorded each time which can hamper family research if you are looking for a Mary and they are down as Minnie (and vice-versa). This also applies to ships manifestos if you are trying to trace someone from the old country emigrating to the US.
    By the way, how is your research getting on?

  12. Rae Ann

    My name is Rae Ann and my sisters have called me Rae Rae for years, it even stuck with the cousins, nieces and nephews.

  13. Cleta

    Hey Mollie, my nickname is Cleta because no one pronounces my real name right and Im fine with Cleta. You will be the first Mollie that I know. Also I’ve been admiring the pretty colorful string quilts. Love them, Blessings

  14. Sis

    Hi Mollie,
    I am new to your website and did notice the two different names. I was going to email you and ask about it, but before I did, I read the blog and you cleared things up for me. I love nicknames and think you should be called whatever you want to be called. I have been called by my nickname my whole life.
    I am also new to quilting and am loving it. I enjoy looking at your quilts and you are quite an inspiration.
    Blessings to you….

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