Update of December 2001: What do Al and Elizabeth have in common in reverse?
I declare that there are more names for the nickname Al than for any other nickname, and I declare that the name with the most
nicknames is Elizabeth.
Here are some names for the nickname Al. The count right
now is 96.
Can you add any more full names for the nickname Al?
Update of January 2002: Thanks go to someone whose identity I have lost track of for contributing Alcee Hastings, Alfonse Giardello, Alger Hiss and
Update of November 2002: Thanks go to me for accidentally finding an Alphred. Oddly, his wife was named Elizabeth.
Update of January 2003: Thanks go to Paul Tuhus for reminding us all of Alferd G. Packer.
Now as to Elizabeth, she has the most nicknames. The
current count is 78.
Can you add any more nicknames for Elizabeth?
1Update of June 2002: Thanks go to Bill Burns for contributing Lilibet,
which, as it turns out, was the childhood nickname of England's Queen Elizabeth. Speaking of which, have you ever seen photos of her as a young lady? She was hot. (Needless to say, I'm referring here to Queen Elizabeth,
not Bill Burns.)
2Update of July 2002: Thanks also go to Coral Amende's BOOK
Famous Name Finder for the addition of Betta.
3Update of November 2002: It was the very
helpful Annie who told me about every single one of the nicknames
above with a footnote number of 3. A controversy still remains, to wit, is Ziz or Zizzy a nickname for Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?
. Also, I'm not sure Isabella is a nickname for Elizabeth.
Update of May 2005: According to Hannah, who says she's read P&P about 14 times, "at no point is
Elizabeth Bennett [sic] called 'Ziz' or 'Zizzy.'"
4Update of January 2003: Thank you, Paul Tuhus, for contributing Biz. He says, "Friends of mine have a daughter named Elizabeth, whose nickname since birth
has been Biz."
5Update of May 2003: Thanks go to Chris for contributing Bets, Etta, Ettie, Zab
and Zabs. He or she says, "I haven't read much Jane Austen but I do know a woman who goes by Zizzy (or maybe
Zizzi or Zizi?) whose given name is Elizabeth. And, of course, it barely bears mention that you have omitted
the all-too-common 'Zab' and 'Zabs.' (Maybe those are just Canadianisms?)"
6Update of March 2006: "You have
but I'm called Tibby or Tibs."
7Update of April 5, 2006: A
correspondent added Isabel and wrote later to say, ". . . I'm shocked that
Lizard is not on your list. I was frequently called Lizard by the little
boys in my neighborhood when I was a kid!" Oddly, I received her
mail at just the right moment after two minutes past one o'clock. and
the time stamp on that mail reads as follows:
8Update of April 29, 2006:
Today a caller from Indianapolis to the "Car Talk" radio show
said her name is Elee ("EEL-ee"), which she also helpfully spelled.
She said her given name is Elizabeth, which happens to be the
Magloizzis' mother's name, and it turns out that during one period in
her 40's Mrs. Magliozzi denied her name was Elizabeth and insisted it
9Update of May 2, 2006:
The Empress Elisabeth von Wittelsbach of Austria (see
HERE for a Wikipedia article) is referred to as both Sisi and Sissi.
Note that, strictly speaking, she was not an Elizabeth with a z, but thanks go to
LH for bringing these nicknames to my attention.
10Update of December 24, 2007:
According to an e-mail received today, the writer "had a girlfriend who
called herself Ebeth."
11Update of August 21, 2009:
A crossword puzzle constructor, the world-renowned
ELIZABETH C. GORSKI, tells
me she was referred to as Lizzie-Tish by her uncles.
12Update of September 23, 2010:
A reader named Richard (and see footnote 1 immediately below) points out
that I left out Bettie, and he notes the interesting person name Bettie
Page referred to HERE
13Update of October 27, 2011:
Liebe was the nickname of Elizabeth Winship, according to
Winship, the popular "Ask Beth" advice columnist for The Boston Globe
for 35 years, died four days ago. Thanks to Sandy M for this
Do you agree Al and Elizabeth win?
Now as to men's names with the most nicknames, the pickin's are slimmer. I think Richard wins with
13. If you know of a man's name with
13 or more nicknames, or if you can legitimately add a 14th to this list, please
1Update of September 23, 2010:
A reader named Richard (see footnote 12 above) adds the
He also successfully makes the case for
Ricardo. Despite the fact it's a Spanish name, it's also a
legitimate nickname for Richard. I know because he, the reader
Richard, a born-and-raised American, tells me that he is sometimes
2Update of September 24, 2010:
See HERE for a
reference to the cartoonist Richard Arthur Allan Browne.
Among the second-place finishers are Robert and William with six each. Both of these common mens' names are abbreviable. Robert becomes Rob't., and William becomes Wm.
And abbreviating William makes sense to me. You shorten the name by four characters, or
57%, plus which if you're writing
it you don't have to dot two "i's" you otherwise would have to.
But Rob't. for Robert is the same number of characters, a savings of 0%, plus which you still have a "t" to
cross. In what way is Rob't. better than Robert?
A few other men's names can be abbreviated. There's George (Geo.), Thomas (Thos.), Charles (Chas.) and Theodore (Theo.). If you know
of any others, please
. (Also, can you think of even one woman's name that is commonly
Rob't. E. Lee was the most famous Southern general of the U.S. Civil War. Another famous U.S. general (whose first name is Go, if that helps you
identify him) and his cohort also had odd ways of signing their names. Here are some of the 39 names signed at the bottom of the original U.S. Constitution.
He signed "Go" with no period, and he capitalized his entire last name, as shown. Further, he added "Presdt and deputy from
Virginia." What was going on back then that made it desirable to capitalize one's last name but
not one's first, and to abbreviate President to Presdt?
This is now the more normal abbreviation of George.
| Gouv Morris
|| Gouverneur Morris
Mr. Morris signed it Gouv Morris, as though his first name, with or without the period, were so common everyone back then knew how to spell it.
I myself had to look it up just now.
A colon instead of a period.
||Hubert? Humphrey? Huckleberry?
It turns out it's Hugh. Who knew? And why not
Wmson? Or even Wilson?
||Another colon instead of a period.
This is another one where abbreviating saves not one character.
How much more time and ink would it have taken to write "b"
instead of a colon?
|Gunning Bedford jun
||Gunning Bedford, Jr.
|Wm. Saml Johnson
||William Samuel Johnson
Why one period and not the other?
|Richd Dobbs Spaight.
||Richard Dobbs Spaight
Note the lack of an apostrophe and a period where one should be
plus the period at the end where one shouldnt be
No period, no apostrophe.
|Dan of St Tho. Jenifer
||Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
The weirdest name of all.