15 Baby Boy 'Nicknames' That Make Kickass First Names

Tanvier Peart | Feb 6, 2017 Pregnancy

Cute happy smiling baby laying on belly on soft surface wearing diaper, looking at camera
Hakimata Photography

One of the many benefits to choosing a good baby name is the ability to have a memorable nickname we can use over and over (and over) again. But what happens if the very nickname we look forward to using starts to sound better than the actual name? We should totally use it as the whole name -- DUH! Nicknames are a huge trend in baby names right now, so feel no shame in choosing these short monikers! 

"There are plenty of reasons to love nickname style," says Laura Wattenberg of BabyNameWizard.com. "The names are light, friendly, and cheerful, and usually easy to spell and pronounce. They come across as straightforward and likable." Sometimes these "nickname-style" names actually are derived from longer names, and sometimes they're just short and sweet names that seem like they could be nicknames.

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Aside from the obvious (being head over heels for our newfound sobriquet), there are no rules in the realm of baby names. Who says one has to choose a title that's expected or stays with the grain? 'Cause heaven knows if we did that, we wouldn't have some of the awesome and unique baby names that we have today. Here's a look at some of Laura's top picks for boy names in the "nickname" style -- they're too good to pass up!


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  • Wynn

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    How adorable is this baby name? Wynn, pronounced WIN, is a common short name for names like Winfred and Winston that can hold its own. A Welsh title that comes from gwyn (meaning "fair" or "pure"), Wynn is an airy baby name that's perfect for your little boy.

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  • Jace

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    Are you a fan of the names Jason and Ace and can't decide? Now you have Jace! (It totally works, right?) Jace is a nickname for the Hebrew Jason (it means "the Lord is my salvation") that can stand on its own. Parents really seem to love this name, as BabyNameWizard.com shows Jace's popularity continues to climb, climb, climb the charts!

  • Tate

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    Tate is one of those baby names that we know as a surname, but can also shine as a first name. Growing in popularity over the years (an estimated 192 millions babies were named Tate in 2012), Tate is an English name with Norse roots that will likely give you the feels, as it means "cheerful."

  • Ari

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    Baby names don't need to be super long in order to pack a punch, and little Ari is proof of just that. Hebrew for "lion of God," Ari might look cute, but can be ferocious when he needs to be -- so watch out!

  • Finn

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    Not only is Finn a cute nickname (you can use it as a short name for Phineas or Finley) that makes for a great stand-alone name, but Finn also happens to possess some pretty wicked superpowers ... well, sort of. Hailing from the Irish Fionn ("fair" or "white"), Finn tips its hat to the mythical Irish warrior Finn MacCool -- aka Gionn MacCumhal in Gaelic. 

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  • Cade

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    Cade is known to have many meanings, but one in particular is quite interesting. BabyNameWizard.com notes the name Cade comes from an Old English nickname for a person (or thing) that's "lumpy" or "rotund" -- providing an interesting twist to our list of nicknames that work as first names.

  • Niko

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    Aren't a fan of Nikodemos -- or think it's a little long? Go with Niko! A hybrid of the Greek nikē (victory) and dēmos (people or population) that means "victory of the people," Niko, pronounced NEE-koh, is an adorable short name that continues to grow in popularity.

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  • Guy

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    "What guy are you talking about?" That Guy. (Sorry, couldn't help it.) Guy is a baby name that will score your kid some serious cool points. Not only does Guy sound awesome, but it has a leadership aura about it. Hailing from the Old French guie, Guy means "guide" or "leader" -- a name that could have your little one calling shots in the boardroom.

  • Von

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    A derivative of the Dutch Van, Von could be a nickname for Vaughn or Vontell that knows how to stand on its own two feet. Von has Old Norse roots and means "hope," which is something we all need now more than ever.

  • Pax

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    Pax is a playful title that's all about "peace." This Latin baby name (Pax comes from the Latin pax) also happens to be the name of one of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's sons. How can you not love this nickname for Paxton? It's so cute!

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  • Lake

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    Ahh -- doesn't this baby name make you want to find the nearest Adirondack chair and read a good book? Lake is a beautiful name with strong ties to nature. A common nickname for Laikin -- or Laiken, depending on how you spell it -- Lake is full of so much charm and fluidity.

  • Case

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    As you probably guessed, Case is a short name for Casey or Cason that will make you think of home. Aside from having French roots, this English surname is thought to come from the Latin casa that means, you guessed it, "house" or "dwelling place." So perfect, right? 

  • Lev

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    Not to be confused with Levi or Levko, Lev (pronounced LEHV) is a unique baby name that's strong and fearless. If you didn't know, Lev has international roots, as it means "heart" in Hebrew and "lion" in Russian. Yup, it's pretty badass.

    More from CafeMom: 17 Unique Hebrew Baby Boy Names Rich in History & Meaning

  • Avi

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    Sweet little Avi. Parents-to-be will likely fall in love with this Hebrew baby name that has some strong family ties. Hailing from Aviel that means "God is my father," Avi is Hebrew for "father," which could have you dreaming of future grandbabies. (Calm down, Mom.)

  • Luca

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    Luca is a beloved baby name that provides an exuberant spin on the classic Lucas. A derivative of the Ecclesiastic Late Latin lux (light), Luca also has ties to Greek as it comes from Loukas, a short version of Loukanos that means "man from Lucania." Yeah, it's pretty special.

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