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Your Male Ancestors’ Nicknames

By Editors of Family Tree Magazine Premium
Male nicknames can be critical in finding your ancestors, particularly if your ancestor had a common name.
Photo courtesy the Library of Congress

Like we do today, our ancestors sometimes used nicknames to stand out. And knowing about those nicknames can help you find ancestors “hiding” in records. While some might seem obvious, others male nicknames might take you by surprise. We’ve put together a list of alternatives for historically popular male names. You can also check out our list of female nicknames.

The same nickname might be associated with different given names. If all you have is a nickname and you’re looking for possible given names, use control-F (apple-F on a Mac) or go to Edit-Find to search this page for a nickname.

Given namePossible Nickname(s)
AlexanderAl, Alastair, Alex, Alisdair, Alistair, Eleck, Sandy, Zan
AndrewAndy, Drew
BenjaminBen, Bennie, Benjy, Jamie
CharlesCarl, Charlie, Charley, Chick, Chuck
Edward/EdmundEd, Eddie, Eddy, Ned, Ted, Teddy
Frederick/AlfredAl, Fred, Freddie, Freddy, Fritz, Rick
James/JamesonJamie, Jem, Jim, Jimi, Jimmy, Mamey
JonathanEon, Ian, Jack, Jock, John, Johannes, Johnny, Jon, Nathan
Lawrence/LaurenceLarry, Lon, Lonny, Lorne, Lorry
Matthew/MatthiasMatt, Matty, Thias, Thys
MichaelMicah, Mick, Mickey, Mickie, Micky, Mike
PatrickPaddy, Pat, Pate
RichardDick, Dickie, Dickson, Rich, Rick, Ricky
RobertBob, Bobby, Dob, Dobbin, Rob, Robbie, Robin, Robby, Rupert
ThomasTam, Tom, Thom, Tomi, Tommie, Tommy
WilliamBill, Billy, Will, Willy
Zachariah/ZacharyZach, Zachy, Zack, Zak, Zeke

A version of this chart appears in the Family Tree Factbook, a quick-reference guide to genealogy’s most important facts. This comprehensive book contains key information about names, historical records, genealogy websites and more.