A bunch of quick tricks to make up nicknames for yourself and all your friends

Ready to try out a brand new nickname? Maybe you think it'd just be easier to say. On the other hand, a ton of people might have the same first name, so you want a cool way to stand out. Or, you might just want to have fun inventing a whole new name for yourself. That's totally understandable—lots of us experiment with interesting nicknames to see what works. If you want to start a new chapter and create an awesome name everyone can call you by, check out this easy guide. Here, you'll be able to put together a ton of nicknames in minutes.

Things You Should Know

  • Base nicknames off of your first name, middle name, last name, initials, memorable puns, or rhymes.
  • Try out traditions that your family has passed down. For example, Spanish cultures use suffixes like "-ito" and "-ita," while Japanese people use the suffix "-chan."
  • Take inspiration from personality traits, inside jokes, pop culture, or even online nickname generators.
  • Be kind with nicknames for others—they’re meant to be affectionate and friendly!
Method 1
Method 1 of 4:

Playing Around with Your First Name

  1. Shorten the name you already have. It’s really easy to do, and it’s a fun option if you want a fresh start or to just switch things up. For example, maybe you just changed schools and you want a cool nickname when you make brand new friends. Just remove one of the last syllables in your first name.[1]
    • Jonathan→Jon; Abigail→Abi; Zaire→Zai; Samantha/Samuel→Sam
  2. It’s pretty common to have this type of nickname given to you in childhood, but lots of teens and even adults use this little trick. If your first name only has 1 syllable, then this method makes it sound catchier. You may need to add an extra consonant to get the right “look” when you spell out your nickname.[2]
    • Charles→Charlie; Jennifer→Jenni; Lucía→Lucy
    • Daniel→Danny; Aaliyah→Ally; Mathias→Matty
  3. This tactic makes your nickname sound a little more mature, but it also keeps everything friendly. Use the first syllable of your first name, then add an “e” to the end of it. Since the "e" is silent, you won't hear it, so you'll emphasize the last consonant instead. You might also swap out one consonant for another one to get a more classic nickname.[3]
    • Michael→Mike
    • Kathleen→Kate
  4. It just depends on what calls out to you—does one of the middle syllables of your first name have a nice ring to it, or does the final syllable seem a lot more fun? After you make your choice, see if you prefer to throw out any consonants you don’t want or add vowels like “-ie,” “i,” or “y.”[4]
    • Frederick→Rick/Ricky; Elizabeth→Beth
    • Patrick→Trick
    • Anthony→Tony
  5. If you like history or want to honor your culture, use one of the “diminutives”—shortened versions—of your first name that have been passed down over time. Ask people in your family about any conventions they’re aware of, or look through a name book to read about the meaning and origin of your first name.[5]
    • One Middle English fad was to add and swap letters to make a nickname.[6]
      • Henry→Hank; Edward→Ted
    • Many Spanish “diminutives” end in “-ita” (for girls) or “-ito” (for boys).[7]
      • Guadalupe→Lupita; Juan→Juanito
    • In India, many people use the first syllable of their name and add a "u."[8]
      • Namrata→Namu; Ashwini→Ashu
  6. Give your name an edge with some inspo from Terminator—just take the first syllable of your first name, then add the suffix "-inator" to it. Or, if you want a cuter vibe, use the first syllable of your first name, replace a vowel if you want to, and include the suffix "-boo."[9]
    • Sadira→Sadi-boo
    • Tao-Yi→Tao-inator
      • Pull from affectionate suffixes from your culture, too: for example, in Japan, if your SO or best friend adds the suffix "-chan" to your first name, it means they really like you.[10]
      • Akari→Akari-chan
  7. For an extra sweet or uplifting nickname, all you've got to do is take one syllable from your name you like, then double it up. This is especially common in areas like the Philippines, where nicknames with repeated syllables are considered "terms of endearment" (ways to express affection).[11]
    • Lucy→Lulu
    • Molly-Mae→Maemae
    • Joseph→Jojo
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Method 2
Method 2 of 4:

Using Your Middle Name or Last Name

  1. If you feel like your middle name represents you a lot better than your first name, just use it instead. If your parents were extra creative and gave you more than one middle name, decide if you want to use both or just one of them. Sometimes, you might just want to go by a middle name if you want to be “low profile” in a new place, like a house party in another city.[12]
    • Ava Marie Thompson→Marie
    • Daniel Christopher Avery Smith→Avery
  2. Guys usually go this route, but girls—or anyone of any gender identity—can totally use their last name if they want to. Sometimes, this kind of nickname is just one you roll with. Someone else in your class or your social circle might have your first name, but your last name helps set you apart. In some cases, your last name is just really short and simple, so you find it super convenient as a nickname.[13]
    • Benjamin Lee→Lee
    • Catherine Albright→Albright
    • Rosa Beck→Beck
  3. Use your first two initials (or all of your initials if you don't have a middle name) to make a nickname. Or, choose any combination of initials that you think really roll off the tongue. Most of the time, people use their initials if their nickname ends with an “ay” sound (like “MK”) or an “ee” sound (like “LD”), but there’s no hard and fast rule. Some people even go by just their first initial.[14]
    • Thomas James→TJ
    • Mary Katherine→MK
    • Lawrence Adam Desai→LD
    • Bellatrix Lestrange→B
  4. An “anagram” is the way you arrange the letters of a word or phrase to create a new one. A popular example comes up in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, when Tom Marvolo Riddle creates the anagram “I am Lord Voldemort” out of his original name. It definitely takes some time and creativity to create an anagram, but it’s a fun activity that ends in a unique nickname.[15]
    • Diana→Nadia
    • Cleo→Cole
    • Kaleb→Blake
    • Corey→Royce
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Method 3
Method 3 of 4:

Cute and Silly Nicknames

  1. To be “punny,” just have fun and make a “pun,” a joke that’s based off of a word (in this case, your first name). For example, turn “Axel” into “Ax-Wielder,” “Sal” into “Salamander,” or “Ryan” into “Rhinoceros.” There are all kinds of ways you can play around with your name to make your friends laugh.[16]
    • Use “alliteration” by making a nickname with the first letter of your name.
      • Hermione→Humble Hermione; Ronald→Radical Ronald
    • Pick a word that rhymes with one of your names.
      • Zoe→Cozy Zoe; Jackson→Relaxin’ Jackson
    • Draw from the original meaning of your name or a word related to it.
      • Sai is Burmese for “lord,” so go for a nickname like Duke.
    • Come up with a pun based on what your name sounds like.
      • Brandy sounds like “sandy,” so try a beachy name like Ariel.
  2. Lots of nicknames celebrate what makes someone cool, special, and memorable: a runner might be called “Lightning Bolt,” a proud New Yorker living away from home may be named “NYC,” a straight-A student could be called “Teach,” or a girl who loves curly fries could be given the nickname “Curly Fry.”[17]
    • Use an adjective that describes a lovable part of someone’s personality.
      • Monti→Thoughtful Monti; Katie→Cheery Katie
    • As a silly twist, try a word that’s the exact opposite of what someone is like.
      • Calm Carlos→Outrageous Carlos
  3. If you're really close to someone, then invent a "pet name" (an affectionate nickname) that you use just for them and that expresses all your feelings. Celebrate your best friend, shower your SO with tons of love, or goof off with your sibling—the possibilities are endless.[18]
    • My best friend Victoria→BFF (Best Friend Forever)
    • My boyfriend Xavier→My whole world
    • My little brother Cody→Little nugget
  4. Bond with your buddies over your favorite TV shows, books, or movies. Make a fun game out of assigning everyone their own special nickname based off one of their favorite characters. It'll bring you all closer together, and each of you will be able to rep the series you love the most.[19]
    • Book Reference: My friend who loves the Percy Jackson series→Nico
    • Movie Reference: My friend who loves The Hunger Games→Katniss
    • TV Show Reference: My friend who loves Stranger Things→Eleven
    • Anime Reference: My friend who loves My Hero Academia→Red Riot
  5. Inside jokes just happen naturally and you can’t really force them to catch on. Once your inner circle does come up with some cool inside jokes though, they’re an awesome source of inspiration. Here are a few of scenarios to give you an idea of how inside jokes turn into nicknames:[20]
    • Your buddy went to three Harry Styles concerts, so you call him Stylin’ Nick.
    • Your friend always predicts pop quizzes, so you call her Fortune Teller.
    • Your crew loves to cheer at events, so you call each other Scream Queens.
  6. When you take quizzes and answer a bunch of questions about yourself, the results will suggest nicknames that probably match your personality. If you type your name into online generators, it's more of a surprise because lots of these will give you a totally random nickname. If you want to play around, try these:[21]
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Method 4
Method 4 of 4:

Nickname Don'ts

  1. One easy rule to remember is to just avoid bragging too much. For example, even if you work out a ton and put a lot of effort into fitness—which is a good thing—you don’t need to call yourself “Muscle Man” every day. If people give you compliments, great! Just wait for them to praise you.[22]
  2. Most nicknames that stick are super straightforward and relatable. “Cthulu” might seem like a cool idea, but it's unlikely to catch on. Stick to nicknames that are no more than a few syllables, are easy to spell, and are simple to say.[23]
  3. If you want to be able to use your nickname everywhere you go, consider whether it would fly in the classroom. Go a step further—do you think your future professors, bosses, or co-workers would approve of the nickname? To be extra careful, Google your nickname to see if it has any meanings you’re not aware of.[24]
  4. A nickname should be a fun, casual thing—it’s a bonus if it catches on and everyone calls you by it, but it’s definitely not a requirement. Plus, there are always other chances to remind people of your nickname, like when a teacher starts an icebreaker game or you introduce yourself at parties.[25]
  5. The whole point of a nickname is to express friendship and affection. Remember—if you give someone a nickname that hurts their feelings or makes them uncomfortable, that counts as bullying. To avoid being insensitive, even if it’s an accident, keep these manners in mind:[26]
    • If you're unsure about whether a nickname is ok, try it out in a one-on-one setting. This makes sure that the other person feels safe and has a chance to say if they don’t like the nickname.
    • If you are having trouble figuring out your friend's reaction, ask, "Did I make you uncomfortable when I called you Tina just now?" If their answer is “yes,” then thank them for their honesty and don’t use the nickname in the future.[27]
    • Even if you didn’t mean to be insulting and thought you were just playing around with your friend, it’s important to respect their wishes.
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Expert Q&A

  • Question
    What could I use as a nickname for Hasti Sheladiya?
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    Our goal at wikiHow is to deliver trustworthy articles that engage our readers and meet their informational and emotional needs. For 15 years, we've committed to our step-by-step teaching model, and we continue to refine our content to create the best how-to experience on the Internet. We’ve helped millions of people solve problems, learn new skills, and feel supported in the ordinary and complex moments of life.
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    Expert Answer
    What an amazing name! You might use the last syllable of your first name and go by "Ti" (or "T/Tee"). You may also combine the final syllable of your first name with the first syllable of your last name and come up with "Tishe." Or, you can refer to yourself by the final two syllables of your last name, "Diya." Interestingly, "Diya" has Indian origins and is Hindi for "light" or "glow." If you do decide on a nickname, report back and let us know what you chose!
  • Question
    What are good gender neutral nicknames for Isabella?
    The most trusted how-to site on the internet.
    Our goal at wikiHow is to deliver trustworthy articles that engage our readers and meet their informational and emotional needs. For 15 years, we've committed to our step-by-step teaching model, and we continue to refine our content to create the best how-to experience on the Internet. We’ve helped millions of people solve problems, learn new skills, and feel supported in the ordinary and complex moments of life.
    The most trusted how-to site on the internet.
    Expert Answer
    Since "Belle" or "Bella" are feminine nicknames for "Isabella," you may wish to try "Is," "Isa," "Izzy," "Len," or "Lee." You can even go with "Sabe," "Sable," "El," or "Z." Fun trivia—"Isa" is the name of a character in the popular video game franchise, "Kingdom Hearts."
  • Question
    What could I use as a nickname for Calla Lee?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    You could use Cally, Calee, Kale, Callae, Cae, Lea, Leah, Leela, Lla, Cal, or any other creative nickname that you could think of.

About This Article

Madeleine Flamiano
Co-authored by:
wikiHow Staff Writer
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Madeleine Flamiano. Madeleine Flamiano is an Editing Fellow at wikiHow based in Berkeley, California, as well as a Team Organizer, Copy Editor, and Movie Critic for Incluvie. Madeleine has 12 years of experience in literacy advocacy and the creative arts that span tutoring, teaching, writing, public relations, and non-profit support. She has penned seven novels under a pseudonym and loves all escapist genres, from cozy fantasies to hard-boiled sci-fi. Her professional path started at NaNoWriMo, where she scripted and hosted a series on worldbuilding. Madeleine graduated from Mills College with a B.A. in English with a concentration in Literature and a Minor in Philosophy. This article has been viewed 734,534 times.
9 votes - 38%
Co-authors: 75
Updated: November 12, 2023
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Article SummaryX

To come up with a nickname for yourself, choose something simple that people will remember. If there’s something characteristic about you that makes you different, use this. For example, if people are always commenting on your red hair, you could call yourself “Red.” Or, you could use an inside joke to identify yourself. For instance, if your friends always joke about the time you fell over while bowling, you could call yourself “Strike.” If your initials sound good together, like TJ or AK, consider making this your nickname. Alternatively, make an anagram from your names. For more tips, including how to base your nickname on your real name, read on!

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