The week before last I did a whole series of posts on unexpected nicknames for fairly commonplace names, but didn’t talk unusual long forms for nicknames. How very short-sighted of me, but since I’m something like a -7 in both eyes, I have an excuse for the poor eyesight.
So let’s be very daring and kick things off with a nickname I’m not a huge fan of, but the British public have spoken that they like the name because Tilly ranks at #88 with 677 births. Her usual long form of Matilda isn’t far away, lurking as it is at #53 with 1273 births, for the 2010 England&Wales data.
Lest we also forget the many hyphen names which feature Tilly, in order of frequence:
- Tilly-Mae, 19
- Tilly-May, 17
- Tilly-Rose, 16
- Tillie-Mae, 9
- Tilly-Marie, 8
- Tilly-Mai, 7
- Tilly-Ann, 4
- Tilly-Anne, 4
- Tilly-Rae, 4
- Tilly-Leigh, 3
- Tilly-Lou, 3
Since I started this list with many, many ideas in my head which needed to be cut down to a manageable 3 name list, I devised 3 simple rules each name had to abide by:
- It must ranks lower than Tillie, which at present sits at #431 with 98 births.
- It must be three-syllables or more, since it is being proposed as a long form of two-syllable Tilly.
- It must have a prominent t and l, therefore any names with simply silent t etc. were discounted.
So, the three names which are in line with that criteria, and thus made it onto the list are:
She almost missed out on a spot on the list since Clementine ranks at #458 with 90 births, but she qualifies nevertheless. This name was worn by the wife of Winston Churchill, who was known as Clemmie, but I can see Tilly working if one truly wanted it to.
The name is a name of a fruit, but it’s also the feminine form of Clement, a name that itself comes from the Late Latin name Clemens, which means merciful or gentle. Many a Pope has chosen this name – there have been 14 at the last count – which means it died out when England rejected the rule of Rome during the Protestant Reformation. It has since made a return and we haven’t looked back.
I thought this name may be disqualified the list because of my belief that Juliet would rank higher than Juliette, thus above the #431 threshold. But I’d be wrong since Juliette ranks at #482 and Juliet actually ranks lower at #647. Either way, I actually know a Juliette who goesw by Tilly, so I can say with confidence it does work.
Of course, she’s best known as the tragic lover of Romeo from the works of Shakespeare. The name itself is an elaboration of Julie, which comes from the name Julius, a name that could come from the Greek name Ioulos, which means downy-bearded, but we’re speculating. The name could be related to the name of that Roman God, Jupiter.
I was having a hard time trying to decide which name to award the final spot of this list. I could’ve gone old school with Millicent, lovey-dovey with Valentina or opted for the name of next door’s child: Tahlia. In the end though, I decided to go with Ottilie because she made the most sense out of the four names which competed for this spot, since her last two syllables make up the name Tilly; unless, of course, you opt for the variant of Ottoline. She’s the least popular of our trio, sitting as she does at #878 with 40 births.
The name itself comes from the same origins as Otto, which has seen usage as both a first name and surname, which is the German Odo. Therefore the name means wealth or fortune. Ottilie doesn’t directly come from Otto, however, she’s the German form of Odila, an Ancient Germanic name which came from Odo. That means Ottilie is related to the name Odette, another form of Odila.