Frequent visitors will now be more than familiar with my french friend Tellou, who was actually born as Estelle. She recently celebrated a birthday, so this post goes out to her in all her wonderfullness.
As a name, Estelle appears to be quite popular in my generation of French people, but that may be because I went on two consecutive exchanges to France and was partnered with an Estelle on both occasions. I suspect one of them had origins in perhaps Algeria or another old French colony, such as Lebanon, given her surname but at that time my French wasn’t adequate enough to probe without sounding rude. either way, Estelle is commonly assigned the meaning star and 33 were born in England&Wales in 2010, putting her just outside of the Top 1000.
The two prominent letters in this name, for me, are e and t which is how I got to Etta. Personally, I would be thrilled to see people use Etta au lieu de Ella or Ellie. She seems like a natural enough progression, such as the one from Emily to Emma.
Now, a quick rundown of the popularity in England&Wales of the mentioned similar names:
Emily – #3 (previous #1)
Ella – #18
Emma – #48
Ellie – #21 (previous #1)
And Etta? She’s at #1993 with 13 births. That means she may just not be accessible as a first name because people will miss-interpret Etta as one of the above. I guess part of it will fall down to your accent, I doubt I’d have much problem because I pronounce my ts clearly but if you’re not from the Midlands as I am, you may soften your ts which means you’ll say the name more like Ella.
The good news is that there is a well known jazz singer by the name of Etta James, who was born as Jamesetta. It isn’t unknown to see people with -etta names, such as Henrietta and Elisabetta, using this name as a nickname.
I used to love the name Sally and always felt that it needed a longer form. Sally came to me after a slight rearranging of the letters of the possible nickname Stella. As for the popularity, 50 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010, which equates to a ranking of 730. Traditionally speaking, Sally is a short form of Sarah.
Here in the Sycamore household, we’re major Doctor Who fans, and one of the best episodes of the rebooted series is one called Blink, which features Weeping Angels that only move when you’re not looking at them. The main character in that episode (The Doctor gets all of 10 minutes screen time, if that) is called Sally Sparrow, so she’s the first person I think of when I hear the name. You may think of someone else, but if you haven’t seen the episode rest assured, it was well received and Sparrow was one independent lady.
I love the name Tess as a nickname, I’m always on the lookout for new names to derive her from. Equally, one could also go for the alternate option of Tessa, especially if you’re opting for Estrella or Estella rather than Estelle. The name Tess was at #499 with 81 birth in 2010, whilst Tessa was at #576 with 69 births. Tess is likely to be more popular because of the presenter, Tess Daly, who currently fronts the high-profile BBC1 show Strictly Come Dancing.
Normally speaking, Tess/a is used as a nickname for the declining Theresa/Teresa, but I can see her working equally as well with Estelle, especially since you can find all the letters of Tess in Estelle.
Once again, I hand the baton onto you my dear readers. Are there any other nicknames you can think of which could work well that I haven’t made mention of?
Ester or Essie are sweet too.