Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy Juvonen Fallon couldn’t be happier as first time parents. Their baby daughter is cute as a button. So is the name, Winnie Rose. Winnie is what pundit Linda Rosencrantz calls a vintage “nickname name.” She discovered an interesting trend in the U.K. where 10% of the top-100 names are old-fashioned nicknames instead of more formal given names: nicknames like Vinny instead of Vincent, and Winnie instead of Gwyneth.
But after the birth of George Alexander Louis Windsor which has caused Brits to go gaga over traditional names with a formal vibe, how likely is the trend towards informal “nickname names” going to be on a going-forward basis in the U.K.?
You may have read that thousands of Brits put off naming their babies until they knew which name William and Kate had picked. And over 20% of those surveyed said they would definitely consider a royal name for their babies. Names like George, Edward, James, Diana, Elizabeth and Alexandra create the impression of good breeding, good manners and good character. That’s the benefit of “proper” names.
Which is why nickname names may be cute, but they’re short on credibility when want to put your best foot forward to make a good impression. That’s why I think the Fallons short-changed their daughter by naming her Winnie instead of Gwyneth, Winnifred, Winona or Wynne. Instead of giving their adorable daughter a strong name that could work well for an elegant movie star or a Ph.D. candidate in Physics, Jimmy and Nancy’s daughter got a name that reminds one of a Teddy bear.