Why did Addison and Emerson become popular names for girls, while Harrison and Jefferson stuck to the boys’ side of the charts? The answer is in the nicknames. Addison and Emerson trim down to the familiar girls’ nicknames Addie and Emmy—cozy counterweights to the unisex formality of the full surnames.
This 2-for-1 punch of surname and pet name has propelled a series of hit names for the past generation. Contrasting nicknames offer a best of both worlds scenario for parents who like the two different styles. Even more importantly, their daughters get a choice of how to present themselves as they grow into new roles.
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With another wave of cozy nicknames on the rise, are there more undiscovered surname options ready to meet them? I’ve identified 38 prospects. Some may be hard for you to picture as girls’ names right now, but remember that it wasn’t so long ago that Cassidy and Madison meant Butch Cassidy and James Madison, not Cassie and Maddie.