Traditional Teresa or Nickname Names?

I like the idea of giving a baby a name that has more than one nickname possibilities.  I like names that sound current but are also traditional, and not overly popular.  My husband and I are considering trying to concieve and I am very excited at the prospect of nameing.  My current favorite is Teresa, but nicknames Tessa and Reese are both more popular.  We have a Chinese last name (sounds like "learn") and I like the gravitas of a traditional name, but is Teresa too dated?  I don't want to go overly trendy for fear of rearing into tackiness.  If we ask people to use a nickname, will they?  We are not Catholic so having a saint name is not overly important, though I like the association and the meaning.  Here are other names we can agree on:

Eleanor (he likes nn Elle, I like Nora)


Elizabeth (lots of fun nicknames!)

I'd like suggestions, opinions and anecdotes on the nickname issue.  


August 6, 2015 6:18 PM

I've considered Tessa as a nickname for Esther.  I think Theresa is a lovely name, and I know of at least one child named Theresa who I think goes by Tessa.  Tessa is also a lovely name by itself.  Reese seems trendy, but Tessa seems timeless. 

August 7, 2015 3:44 PM

My name is Esther but I've never heard of using Tessa as a nn for it.  Thanks for the weigh in on Reese vs Tessa.  I'll have to give it some thought.  They rank about the same in popularity right now.

August 7, 2015 8:51 PM

I particularly mentioned Esther nn Tessa in case that swayed you toward or against a subtle namesake. 

August 6, 2015 7:07 PM

I don't think Teresa is too dated.  I once knew a Theresa who went by Resa (rhymes with Lisa) so that's an option.  If you want something less popular than Tess/Tessa or Reese, Tracy and Terry are also options.  Though, Tracy & Terry do feel dated to me in a way Teresa doesn't.

I wouldn't worry too much about trendiness verging into tackiness if you are considering a classic name like Teresa (or any of its nicknames).  People will usually use a nickname if you ask them too, and other than family & close friends, people probably won't even know what her proper name is.  If you want a nickname, I think you should pick it in advance though. People don't assume nicknames like they used to, so they won't assume it's OK to call her Tess unless you specify.

Eleanor is lovely, though I will point out that Elle & Nora are both more popular than Tess/Tessa.  Elle is also used as a nicname for lots of other names, and is used as a stand alone name (alone with Ella) so it's popularity is a bit stealthy.  If popularity or trendiness is a concern, you might want to monitor your names on the SSA babyname website (assuming you are in the U.S.)

Hudson is very trendy right now.  I wouldn't exactly say it's vergining on tackiness, but it is not as classic/timeless as your other options.  It's the most likely to feel date stamped one day.  It also doesn't seem to offer any nickname options, which seems important to you.  Hudson is also pretty exclusively used for boys, it does not even rank in the top 1000 for girls. This may not bother you, but I mention it since your other names are very definitely feminine.

Elizabeth is lovely & I agree it does have a ton of nickname options.

Other classic names with a fair amount of nickname options include Margaret, Katherine, Amelia, Caroline, Gabrielle/Gabriella, Victoria, Genevieve. 

More modern names with a similiar feel to Hudson that offer nicknames include Delaney, Hollis, Bellamy, Everly.

August 6, 2015 8:37 PM

Re Eleanor, the traditional nickname is Nell, which is not overused at present and does not sound date-stamped to my ears.  It's also a compromise between Elle and Nora.

August 7, 2015 3:46 PM

Nell sounds very sweet and hip.  I've never considered that one, thanks!

August 7, 2015 7:17 PM

Lenore and Lenni(e) are also sometimes used.  If my son had been a daughter, the name would have been Eleanor since that was my mother's name.  That was 35 years ago before all the Ellies came on the scene.  I was thinking of Nell as the nickname or Ellie since that was my father's nickname.

August 7, 2015 3:45 PM

Thank you for all the suggestions and your feedback!  I did mean Hudson for a boy, and it's  my fault for not being clearer.  My husband is very picky and shoots down almost all suggestions.  I think we've settled on Hudson or Augustin if we have a boy.

August 6, 2015 9:12 PM

I like Teresa! And Elizabeth too!

And I haven't heard them alot with young children. I have met a few young Hudsons and Eleanors.

Not sure if those are just more popular in my area though.

August 7, 2015 3:46 PM

That's interesting that you haven't met any Elizabeths, as it is ranked way higher than any of my other name choices.  

August 7, 2015 3:49 PM

Personally my favorite kind of names are classic (maybe even a little dated) full names, with modern or interesting nicknames. So Teressa nn Tessa (or Reese) is right up my alley. 

For the most part I think people are very happy to use a nickname. When someone asks you what your daughter's name is, just tell them the nickname. They might ask if it's short for something, and then you just tell them. Super easy. (I suspect it is MUCH easier to get people to use a nickname than it is to enforce a full name only preference. )

By mk
August 7, 2015 4:33 PM

I don't see Teresa as dated at all. People will use whatever name you introduce her as, full name, nickname, pet name, etc. Tess is also a nickname for Teresa, as is Terri, though that is probably more dated.