Frankie Sandford, from gcstatic.com
This weeks musings were sparked off after I went to pick my littlest sister up from her childminders this week, and they seem to fit nicely with this week’s accidently theme of nicknames. See, a new lad started at my sister’s childminders this week. A new lad named Lou. Just Lou. To be honest, I find myself not particularly bothered by this occurence. I know that the name I introduce myself to the world as has historically been used more for males, even if we Europeans are rushing to flip that coin, even before Heidi Klum got in on the act back in 2008 when she welcomed her own Lou Sulola. It’s part of a growing trend of boyish nicknames on girls, though. In the case of Lou, 5 girls were given the name in England&Wales last year, whilst less than 3 boys were given the name. Of course, when it comes to longer forms, Louis (#69) is certainly more popular than Louise (#208), but not as popular (yay!) as Lucy (#21).
Frankie Cocozza has really been trying to tarnish the chances his name has of ever re-entering the Top 100 of late. This week he was kicked off X Factor for pushing the limits, so now seems a good time to talk about boyish nicknames on girls. Back in June, Anna reported that Australian swimmer had welcomed a daughter named Frankie, sister to Stella and Rocco. Frankie is a great name to mention in this post, since the male and female rankings are one of the closest in terms of male nicknames picking up momentum for females. For the males, Frankie ranks at #108 and slips down to #191 for females. This could be a girlband thing, since The Saturdays has a member called Frankie Sandford, even if it’s short for Francesca in her case. Personally, I still remember her from her S Club Juniors days, which just shows my age more than anything because I remember watching them being formed on the CBBC show S Club Search back in 2001. To be honest, people probably only began to take note of this Frankie once The Saturdays emerged in 2008, when Frankie ranked at a still respectable #306 for females and #137 for males. For the sake of completetion, Francesca currently  ranks at #102 with Frances trailing a little behind at #521. I actually have a friend named Frances who hates her name and goes instead by her middle name of Nicole; personally, I actually quite like the name Frances, not that I’d admit that to her face.
Another tidbit to add into the discussion that may interest you all is the startling fact that Stevie ranks at #608 for females, and #1551 for males. The name Steve ranks the same as Stevie for males, which is even more baffling, especially when you consider the success of their long forms: Stephen ranks at #217 and Steven at #245. Then there’s the Beau/Belle conundrum – where Beau (#351) ranks higher than Belle (#463) for females in England&Wales. I’m not sure I can explain how that’s happened, given the popularity of Bell(e/a) names at the moment thanks to Twilight.
Lily Allen, daughter of actor Keith Allen, recently retired from her relatively short-lived pop career which brought us such hits as Smile and The Fear; she has a little sister named Teddie, who was born in 2006. There’s also a female Teddie in my littlest sister’s favourite TV show: Good Luck Charlie. For those not in the know, Teddie is the second eldest of four children, with her three siblings being called: ‘PJ’, Gabriel ‘Gabe’ and Charlotte ‘Charlie’. The other three all go by nicknames, so by this logic, Teddie must be a short form of something, but it’s never been revealed on the show, according to Google. Generally speaking, when it comes to males, Teddie is short for Theodore so the missing full name we’re looking for could simply be Theodora. That just doesn’t fit, though. Speaking of Disney shows, there’s another one called Shake It Up which features a girl named Raquel, but nicknamed Rocky.
Ronnie ranks at #683 for females as well, and this could be attributed to the Eastenders character, who became embroiled in a controversial baby-napping storline earlier on this year. Ronnie Branning was born as Veronica Elizabeth, however, and is the elder sister to Roxanne Lizette ‘Roxy’, making them a rather oddly named sibset to me. One with traditional sounding names, one with more modern sounding names – but maybe that was the intention? I wouldn’t know, I avoid Soap Operas on principle. Back at the beginning of October there was also a couple on Million Pound Drop called Teri and Terry. It’s also a good moment to mention that Rory has certainly not been embraced as a female name here in England&Wales – only 3 females were given the name in 2010, compared to 456 males. I do believe Rory was in the USA Top 1000 in both 2008 and 2009, before dropping out in 2010. Then again, Rory isn’t technically a nickname, he means red king in Irish.
To conclude, yes, people are naming their daughters male nicknames, and in some cases it can work, and in some cases it may not. I reckon I suffer from slight bias when it comes to this area, so I turn to you dear readers. How do you feel about the subject? Boyish nicknames for longer girly names? Or just boyish nicknames full stop for females?