Allie, Elly, or Nellie?

DH and I are having a tough time with our first daughter's name! Please comment your favorite name, and if you have any suggestions, that would be awesome! Thanks in advance!


December 29, 2015 10:32 PM

First up - Are you considering these names as nicknames or full names? This will definitely change people's preferences of each name (would Elly be just Elly or Eloise/Eleanor/Ellianna etc); from previous experience most of the people on this forum prefer full names over nicknames.

Personally I love the name Nell, but couldn't imagine a grown up Nellie. I do, however know several grown up Elly's and Allie's - spelling is also a preference. If Allie is the full name I would go with that spelling, but with Elly I would automatically assume it was Ellie. 

If these were the full names my preferences would be 

Ellie (ie spelling)



This changes to the opposite order if they are nicknames to full names: as these are all great nicknames but need grown up/ professional names. Examples include

Nellie - Eleanor, Helen/a, Nell, Penelope, Elena and Cornelia

Allie - Alexandra (and other Alex- names), Alicia, Alia, Alison, and Alice. (Or Rosalie, Natalia)

Elly/Ellie - Ellianna, Eleanor, Eloise, Elise, Eliza, (or Noelle, Gabrielle/a)

Other nicknames/ nickname sounding names that (I believe) can stand on there own

- Etta, Mina, Abbey, Della, Lena, Elsie, Bridie, Clem, Connie, Stella, Lainey and Carly

December 31, 2015 5:45 PM

Yes, of course they are nicknames. I should have been more clear on that. We are deciding between Allison (Allie) and Eleanor (Elly/Nellie)

December 29, 2015 11:11 PM

I agree with the previous commenter: it all depends on whether these are meant as full names or as nicknames.

If they're under consideration as the full name to go on the birth certificate, I'd go with Allie, because the TV character Ally McBeal makes it feel slightly less diminutive than the others.

If they're nicknames, I vote for Nellie, because it feels freshest. It can be a nickname for any name in the Helen/Ellen/Eleanor family, but my favorite use is as a diminutive of Cornelia.

December 30, 2015 11:25 AM

I looked at the social security database to see the popularity of each as a name on its own in the US (I am not sure about foreign counterparts).  Elly has not been in the top 1000 since 1900, but Ellie is currently 55.  Allie is 257, and I think looks the most consistant in ranking.  Nellie has not been in the top 1000 since 1979, but is my favorite as a stand alone name– I think the other two sound nicknamey since people associate them with other names, but Nellie is a name that is not as well known.

As a nickname, I like Ellie (most people spell it with an ie, so that is how I would spell it, but a y would be fine), but that is just a personal preference.

If you are planning on using it as a nickname, I would maybe stay away from the "ends-in-elle" names just because they frequently lead to other nicknames (Gabrielle to Gabby, Isabelle to Izzy, Danielle to Dani).  I would add Elizabeth and Amelia to "Ellie" names.

December 30, 2015 12:56 PM

I know this sounds a little crazy because the names have such similar sounds, but the "personalities" of these names are SO different! 

Allie - I know a ton of Allies (short for Allison) who are my age (early 30s), so that's what I picture when I hear the name. Every Allie I've known has been fun, friendly, and generally bright personalities.

Elly - Curious about the y--I have a feeling her name would be often misspelled. I picture Elly/Ellie to be a very sweet little girl. In my mind, Elly/Ellie is an under 5 name, but I think that's because I don't know any older than 5. I think it will grow just fine.

Nellie - I picture Nellie to either be the cutest great grandmother in the world, or the baby daughter of a hipster. I associate Nellie with lace and tea parties (both the real and pretend kind). 

You have a very clear direction in sound, so I would suggest Halle as another option. It has the same sound, but it doesn't look like a nickname in the same way that "ie" names look. 

December 30, 2015 1:06 PM

As an Allison myself, I detest the nickname Allie. I just don't feel like it's a full name and I guess I've just never liked being called that... So, on a personal level, it is just really NMS. I am not big on nicknames for full names, either. Nellie itself could be a fine name. I have no real feeling towards it one way or the other. Elly to me is a nickname for Eleanor.

Some other ideas for you:

Penelope with nn Nellie

Annelise- many nicknames with this one

Alyssa- Allie nn


Genevieve- again, tons of nickname choices!


Stella- nn Ellie


December 30, 2015 3:36 PM

If name popularity is a factor for you, keep in mind there area a LOT of "Ellie's" out there that aren't reflected on the SSN name lists since they have a different given name and use Ellie as a NN.


December 30, 2015 8:51 PM

Nellie is the only name you list the others are nicknames IMO. If you like that it's ok. I prefer Ellie. 

I like the suggestion of Halle. I'll add Haddie or Hattie. 

December 31, 2015 1:51 PM

I agree, if these are simply nicknames, I would pick differently than if they were the actual given names.

With nothing else to go on, I'd probably pick Nellie.  However, I would vastly prefer Helen, Eleanor, or even Nell as the given name, with Nellie as the nickname.  Nellie is super cute on a little one, but I would personally want something a bit less cute & more serious sounding for her to fall back on as an adult.