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Is this an awful nickname?

(33 Posts)
ClareBell08 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:13:37

Hi all smile

Sorry for my second post of the day. I have just got back from lunch with my sister and would love some thoughts!

So I posted earlier about my final 2 names selected for DD. DH and I think it will be a case of looking at her and seeing what fits. One of the names is Helena. My sister knows that I definitely want a name that can be shortened or turned into cute nicknames. Both her, my other sister and my brother all have names that can be shortened etc and I was always jealous when I was little! The most I ever got was Clarebear!

Anyway she asked what I would shorten Helena to and said that Heli was awful (apparently sounds like "smelly"?) I think though that with NN's they sort of just "happen" and develop but my DH and I have already discussed using Leni as a possible nn which I think is really cute! As soon as I mentioned it, sister blurts out "oh god no you can't call a little girl Leni that's awful!!" She said it's too "boyish" and "old man-y" To me though it's no different than Ronnie, Kenny (I know a little Kendra who gets Kenny) Billie, Bobby, Dani (not that we see many Danielle's these days but you get the point!)...what do you all think? Is Leni truly awful?

Chopsypie Sat 12-Apr-14 16:16:52

I know two Helenas. One gets Nellie and the other gets hels.

I don't think Leni is too bad, but I prefer Nellie. As your sis said, Lenny is a male name, I associate it with the Simpsons!

SolveAProblemLikeMaria Sat 12-Apr-14 16:19:26

aww I think Leni is adorable!! I wouldn't have even though of that but it's really cute. Don't listen to your sister lol anyway like you said nn's often sort of "come about". My nephew was christened James with the intention of calling him Jamie but it somehow just didn't fit with him and my brother and his wife naturally started calling him Jimmy, so he's now Jim/Jimmy.

Similarly with my friend's daughter, named Alexandra with the plan being to nn her Lexi. Didn't seem to fit so she's Ali. Also nothing wrong with Heli.. I know plenty of Ellie/Elly's and never think "smelly!"

PippityPip Sat 12-Apr-14 16:21:30

I also think Leni is quite cute. As you say no different from the "boy" names like Ronnie, Billy, Dani etc. If it fits, it fits smile

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 12-Apr-14 16:22:23

I love Leni. Nellie is cute too

ClareBell08 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:24:09

Chopsypie I'm not a fan of Nellie..can't disconnect it from "the elephant!" Also was my grandmother's mother's name. I never met her but hear she wasn't the nicest of people!

Thanks solveaproblemlikemaria and pippitypip. As you say I suppose the name will form over time

napoleonsnose Sat 12-Apr-14 16:24:20

I went to school with a Leni - proper name Lorraine confused. I like Leni. Heidi Klum's daughter is called Leni.

BlondeMalteser Sat 12-Apr-14 16:28:51

How are you planning on pronouncing Helena? like Helen-ah or Hel-ay-nah? If the latter, then how about Leni but pronounced more like Laney rather than Lenny? (Although I do think Leni is cute!) but just another suggestion.

Have you considered Eleni? I believe it's pronounced El-ay-nee and I think it's a Greek version of Helen. That way the "leni" would be said like Laney not Lenny so possibly a bit less masculine.

BlondeMalteser Sat 12-Apr-14 16:31:53

and as napoleonsnose said Heidi Klum has a little Leni short for Helene. Leni is actually quite a popular name in Germany.

ClareBell08 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:35:36

napoleonsnose and blondeMalteser I didn't realise Heidi Klum had a little Leni. I do think it's very sweet!!
BlondeMaltester it would be pronounced the first way, Helen-ah. DH prefers Hel-ay-nah but I knew of one and no one ever got it right and she would get so fed up with correcting people all the time! I prefer Helen-ah anyway myself. Laney is a nice alternative though, hadn't considered that. Eleni is sweet but I immediately think Blini, those little pancakes!

sleepingbeautiful Sat 12-Apr-14 16:37:21

I don't think Leni is a bad nn! Your sis is over reacting. What's the difference from calling Charlotte nn Charlie or Georgia nn George, Harriet nn Harri, Alexandra nn Alex, Joanna nn Jo etc?
I know two Helenas, one is always Helena and the other is Nell. I think in the old Chalet School books Len was really Helena.

IHaveAFifthSense Sat 12-Apr-14 16:37:47

I like Leni as a nickname. In fact, I prefer it to Helena (which I also think is a lovely name). I generally like boyish names for girls though.

Martorana Sat 12-Apr-14 16:38:51

Nell is utterly gorgeous.

You can be any age and be Nell.

ContinentalKat Sat 12-Apr-14 16:47:54

Heidi Klums daughter is 'Lay-nee'. Another nn for Helena in German would be Lena, 'Lay-nah'.

I love Helena, not keen on Helly or Nelly, though.

Essexgirlupnorth Sat 12-Apr-14 16:50:02

I know a Helena and she gets Len as a nickname.

BumbleeBee Sat 12-Apr-14 16:55:09

Leni is really cute but would it be Lenny or Lay-nee? as ContinentalKat says Heidi's daughter is pronounced Lay-nee. I think both Leni and "Laynee" are sweet. I'm not keen on Hellie/Nellie myself..think Leni is much nicer.

ChishandFips33 Sat 12-Apr-14 16:55:49

I like Leni ❤ and as a child I was desperate to have a name that sounded boyish - needless to say my name doesn't fit the bill

Once anyone meets her they'd know she's not a boy so any mistake of gender would be very short lived!

I know a few Jordan's, Jamie's and Alex's and they were christened like this - and not boys!

I would establish her NN early so she's not likely to get others that aren't as appealing if you're very worried

florascotia Sat 12-Apr-14 16:56:24

I once met a Danish Helena nn 'Hella'

I also knew an old Scottish lady Helena known as Ellen.

I also met a Helena whose name was never, ever, shortened

Helena is a lovely name with a great many possibilities.

BumbleeBee Sat 12-Apr-14 16:59:44

I just found this video of Heidi Klum pronouncing her DD's name..turns out it's not Lenny or Laney like I thought it would be!! Seems its "Lee-nee"

so guess there are 3 options there for you lol. Lenny, Lay-nee, Lee-nee

BumbleeBee Sat 12-Apr-14 17:04:38

Ok now I've seen this interview and at 2.12 it sounds more like "Lay-nee" hahaha so I'm really not sure! as florascotia says I think there are a lot of possibilities with Helena smile lovely name

C4ro Sat 12-Apr-14 17:12:00

Are you pronouncing it Helen-a (like Eleanor) or more like Hell-ayna?

Lena (Ley-na) is nice and fits with the second. We are in Austria and there is a Lina in my DD class.

SolveAProblemLikeMaria Sat 12-Apr-14 18:05:55

I think Leni is a cute nickname, either pronounced Lenny or Laney. (not keen on Lee-nee). I think as you said it depends on her personality. Lenny is perhaps a bit more "edgy" so if she's a feisty little thing perhaps that would suit her more. If she's more placid and calm, maybe Laney as it's a bit "girlier." both sweet names though and Helena is beautiful

Polonius Sat 12-Apr-14 22:16:25

I know 8 Helenas and not one is Heli.

mathanxiety Sun 13-Apr-14 06:17:12

Leni/Lenny is beautiful. Always makes me think of the Dutch singer Lenny Kuhr who won Eurovision long, long ago.

Hella is also beautiful imo.

MerryMarigold Sun 13-Apr-14 06:22:43

I think NN's do kind of 'happen' and can end up sticking. I really regret my dd's NN, as it just developed and has now stuck, but I hate it. If it is important to you, I would pick a name with an obvious NN and then make sure she gets called that NN from small.

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