I’ve been planning a post along these lines for a few weeks given how much love both versions of this name get on the ‘boards, but recent conversations have suddenly made it a very topical post for me to write about since I had a friend say the above statement to me today. I found myself initially agreeing with her, in that the obvious two have never really ‘rocked my boat’ – and when I say obvious two, I’m talking Bea and Trixie. This post therefore goes out to my friend who is at a sticking point with her relationship with Beatrix, and thus this post is likely to be a bit of a shambling walk through my mind as ideas pop into it.
My problem with Bea is quite simple: I want to give it two syllables and rhyme it with Leah. Proof even we ‘pros’ still have issues with pronunciations. If I were to use Bea, I would insist on it being spelt with two ‘e’s, hence, Bee. I remember once doing a monologue about a cat called Bumblebee, and I actually prefer Bee as a short form for Phoebe, Thisbe or even Belphoebe. This is what I spend my days thinking about. That and wondering why UCAS hates me.
It seems rich of me to not particularly like Trixie, since I’m actually a closet Pixie fan. I’m not sure if I’ve ever made this clear, but I plan on changing my middle name sometime in the future because I just can’t agree with it, and Pixie is actually one of the names in consideration. Alas Lucy Pixie is borderline cutesy. I guess you could use Pixie as a nickname for Beatrix should you so choose. Jacqueline Wilson gave one of her characters, in her novel Diamond Girls, the name Dixie. It could work, but the slang of today makes it nigh on impossible. Dixie’s sisters were called Martine, Jude, Rochelle and Sundance. Their mother? Sue.
We mentioned a Beatrix who goes by the name Betty last week, and I maintain that it’s a fantastic interpretation of Beatrix, as indeed are her the names of her siblings. As an extension of Betty, there’s also several other Elizabeth nicknames which could work, specifically Betsy, Bets and maybe Elsie at a stretch. Could Beth work as well? Maybe, I think nicknames really are an open arena.
Kristen mentioned on her guest post over at Nameberry today the possibility of using Birdie as a nickname for Beatrice, and one could take things further by suggesting the slightly re-arranged Bridie. It also reminds me that I think the name Beatrix looks a lot like the word biscuit – that may say more about my inner psyche than I really want people to analyse (did I mention I had a psychology teacher pin me down as an affectionless psychopath a few weeks ago for smirking during a video on violence?). There’s a French film, titled in English A Very Long Engagement, which featured a WWI soldier named Biscotte, which translates to the English word rusk. I think it mentioned in the film why he was named so, but I fail to remember exactly what the backstory behind it was.
Simply using the end three letters of Beatrix could work, and there are several other ways to exploit Rix, first off by pulling off some letterphilic substitution to create Ria, or indeed the very jazzy, yet slightly gender neutral depending on your interests name Rio. When I say depending on your interests, I’m talking about the song Rio (her name is Rio and she dances….) and the footballer Rio (Ferdinand). There’s a Japanese name, Riko, which is also worth considering. It can either mean child of truth or child of jasmine. The Spanish name Rico is a shortening of Ricardo. Rix also could go to Ricky/Rikki/Ricki, or if you’re feeling very brave, the word Risk.
Specifically targeting Beatrice, and going back to my favourite sport, we could put forward the case for Becks, or simply Bec(k). That therefore opens the door to most of the imaginable Rebecca nicknames – I know a Rebecca who is most often referred to simply as Rebs. Simple, yet effective. Another simple option is Rae, or even Bay. I promised myself as a child that I would always live in a country with a coastline, and always be at least 2 hours away from it. I love the beach, specifically what one finds at a beach; we’re talking good ol’ fashioned British seasides here, not palm trees etc. rather donkey rides, piers and rock. Just to give you a scale of my seaside addiction, over the summer period I visited no less than 6 seaside locations in England and won a game of mini golf at each one, so Bay’s a nice way for me to acknowledge that I have this addiction, and plan to pass it on to up-and-coming generations. You can splice Bay and Rebs together to get Babs, which was the name of one of the chickens in Chicken Run, set up north in Yorkshire and made by those who gave us one of the best comedy duos: Wallace and Gromit. As a rather unexpected finale, if you love cats but dislike the name Tabitha, there’s also Tabby as an option.
There ya go friend of mine. Proof there are some great possibilities for nicknames of Beatrix/Beatrice if you put some hard thought into it. Or just read this post and nick one of my ideas, in which case fair enough. That’s what the internet is for.