Usually when people ask for alternatives of other names, they tend to look at similar-sounding names. However, in this post we’re delving into names related to popular names and picking out some intriguing possibilities for alternative names.
1. Harry and Amelia
Harry was born as a nickname for Henry, and these days is living it large in the #1 spot. Another offshoot of Henry is the Scottish variant Hendry.
Whilst choices were plentiful for Harry, the pool of potential names is smaller for Amelia and basically revolves around the same letter combinations, e.g. Amalia, Amélie etc. Perhaps the best bet is Emelia.
2. Oliver and Olivia
There are plenty of weird and wonderful international variants of Oliver, but I’m rather partial to Noll, which is an old medieval diminutive for the name.
Oliver and Olivia are interrelated, and my favourite other female name in the family tree is almost certainly Olivette.
3. Jack and Lily
There were quite literally a bazillion choices for both names here; in terms of Jack I’m thinking either the Welsh Ianto, or the French Yannick. The name Ianto is a diminutive, like Jack, of Ifan which is the Welsh form of John. As for Yannick, he comes from Yann which is the Breton form of John.
However, a last minute acknowledgement must go to the name Manech: he’s the Basque form of Jean, and Jean is of course the French form of John.
Then we have Lily, and my initial thought was the Scottish form of Lilian: Lillias or Lileas. Or go psuedo-chemistry with Lilium.
4. Alfie and Jessica
The complete opposite of the above pair of names, in that both Alfie and Jessica have few options. Alfie is, of course, a nickname for Alfred, and my best suggestion is Avery: a medieval form of Alfred.
Jessica is a toughie for the simple reason that she has few cousins, however Iscah is an intriguing possibility, being a possible source of the name Jessica.
5. Charlie and Emily
Charlie is a nickname for Charles, and in France they have Charlot. Anyone familiar with the French language will note that the t is silent, thus the name does not sound like Charlotte, more like SHAR-lo.
With Emily we encounter the same problems as with Amelia; there is a tenuous link between Emily and the Welsh name Emlyn, but alas, Emlyn is technically a male name. Best suggestion is likely to be either Emmy, Émilienne or Aemilia.
6. Thomas and Sophie
The Welsh short form for Thomas is Twm (said something like tuwm), or alternatively there is the Scottish variant Tavish.
As for Sophie, in Scandinavia they use Vivi as a nickname for Sofia.
7. Jacob and Ruby
There are, again, a plethora of options to choose from here, but I’m opting for the short’n'sweet option with Jeb.
Being a word name makes Ruby difficult, but the French for Ruby is Rubis and the German is Rubin.
8. James and Grace
For James, I would opt for Jem, which is an old and now rarely used nickname for James.
Ditto Ruby when it comes to Grace; once more turning to French we have both Grâce and Joliesse as translations. The former isn’t so practical, given that the French pronounce it to sound more like grass than grace.
9. Joshua and Ava
We’re venturing into the Arab world for Joshua, with the name Isa; the Arabic form of Jesus.
As for Ava, Chava is undoubtedly a wonderful suggestion – being the Hebrew form of Eve – but she’s mostly reserved to parts of the world not inflicted with the word chav. There is also the option of Hungarian name Évike.
10. William and Isabella
With William, I’m thinking maybe the German and Dutch dimiutive, Wim. Aside from him, we also have the option of Wiley, or even the Dutch Pim.
As for Isabella, being related to Elizabeth gives us plenty of options. As for the ones vaguely similar to Isabella, we have the German name Ilsa, which is a diminutive of Elisabeth.