Not nicknames, Nic/k- names — names that start with Nic/k: Nicholas, Nicodemus, Nicanor, Nikolai, Nico, to name a few.
Last Saturday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, which got me thinking about this post. We’ve considered it once or twice for our boys, mostly to get to the nickname Cole, but I like Nicky too. Cute for a little boy, strong for a man. (Side note about Cole: I love Cole, and we considered using it just as it is as a given name, but it feels just a little too Caden/Brayden/Jayden to me, despite it’s long history of use [Old King Cole!]. We also considered Kolbe nickname Kole, but it too is too trendy feeling to me=just too cool for us.) (I also don’t love the possibility of Cole becoming Coley, as names for babies seem so wont to do. Coley’s a girl’s name.)
Nicodemus: One of my fave fave favorites. (My husband? Not so much.) I’m a big fan of names that are similar to “regular” names but have a twist of some kind; Nicodemus feels that way to me because of the Nic nickname, and because it’s Biblical/New Testament — theoretically it should be just as acceptable as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Right? But it’s so so rare that I guess no one else agrees with me. 😦 (The Nicodemus of NIMH hasn’t helped.)
Nicanor: Pretty cool huh? It’s a saint’s name, it’s got a great nickname, it’s unusual, it kind of sounds like a Lord of the Rings/Narnia/Sword in the Stone kind of name. Why aren’t more parents choosing Nicanor?
Nikolai: Swoon. That’s all I have to say. Because it sounds so Russian to my ear, if we were of Russian extraction, I’d be all over this. (Though it’s also Scandinavian, as are my children … and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau rocks it, and he’s not Russian — he’s Danish … hmm …)
Nico: I just love Nico. It’s short and sweet; it’s traditional and masculine; it’s pan European, which I really like in a name. But it feels too cool/hip/Italian for us.
There are other loads of other Nicholas variations besides those mentioned here (e.g., Nils, Claus), and feminine versions as well (e.g., Nicole/Nicola, Colette) — if you want to honor a Nicholas in your life/family tree or St. Nicholas himself, you have loads of options. Which are your favorites?