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 name Possible Nickname(s)
Alexander Al, Alastair, Alex, Alisdair, Alistair, Eleck, Sandy, Zan
Andrew Andy, Drew
Benjamin Ben, Bennie, Benjy, Jamie
Charles Carl, Charlie, Charley, Chick, Chuck
Edward/Edmund Ed, Eddie, Eddy, Ned, Ted, Teddy
Frederick/Alfred Al, Fred, Freddie, Freddy, Fritz, Rick
James/Jameson Jamie, Jem, Jim, Jimi, Jimmy, Mamey
Jonathan Eon, Ian, Jack, Jock, John, Johannes, Johnny, Jon, Nathan
Lawrence/Laurence Larry, Lon, Lonny, Lorne, Lorry
Matthew/Matthias Matt, Matty, Thias, Thys
Michael Micah, Mick, Mickey, Mickie, Micky, Mike
Patrick Paddy, Pat, Pate
Richard Dick, Dickie, Dickson, Rich, Rick, Ricky
Robert Bob, Bobby, Dob, Dobbin, Rob, Robbie, Robin, Robby, Rupert
Thomas Tam, Tom, Thom, Tomi, Tommie, Tommy
William Bill, Billy, Will, Willy
Zachariah/Zachary Zach, 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.