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nicks for Helen

(53 Posts)
beet2 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:38:54

I'm thinking about calling my baby Helen, but I'm not sure about possible nick names. Can you tell me what your (UK) gut reactions are to Nellie/Nelly (elephant?), Nell, Hen, Henny, Len (chalet school?), Lenny (55-year old male casino entertainer?), Elle...

I know Hattie is usually associated with Harriet or Henrietta, but would it be strange to use it for Helen?

Which nick do you think sounds most "old aristocracy", or too much so?

ChickenMe Sat 13-Dec-14 12:47:08

Lenny is cute! Hen is cute too! I've only heard Helly or Hels for Helen. Nell/y is fairly well known as a "granny chic" name. I don't think of the elephant in relation to Nelly Furtado for instance but apparently she was named after gymnast Nelli Kim.

RJnomore Sat 13-Dec-14 12:49:33

Hen is a general term for women in south west Scotland. Or alternatively the tall gangly son in th broons. Avoid, in case she moves here.

My gran was Nellie.

munchkin2902 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:51:09

I'm a Helen and only nickname I've had is Hels or Bels (short for Hels Bels I assume!) It's difficult to shorten!

bradders85 Sat 13-Dec-14 14:22:17

I'm a Helen too and get hel, hels and hells bells :-)

CruCru Sat 13-Dec-14 14:22:20

Nell Gynne was the mistress of Charles II. She was an actress and incredibly beautiful, although she died of a stroke aged 37.

JakeyBurd Sat 13-Dec-14 14:27:21

As RJnomore said, avoid Hen if you'll ever be in Scotland. Here it's short for Henry, although only the Broons character uses it now, and once you've heard any woman addressed as "hen", you'd shudder at using it deliberately.

Most Scottish Helens I've know have usually pronounced it "Ellen".

beet2 Sat 13-Dec-14 14:41:20

Nell Gynne - right, maybe that's why I associate "not-quite" and dubious professions with the name!

millymae Sat 13-Dec-14 15:13:25

I like Helen because it's a name that doesn't have an easily identifiable nick name. My Helen is just that, she's not a Nell or a Nelly or anything else. I like Nell and Hetty as names in their own right and struggle to understand why anyone would chose a lovely name like Helen, then go on to use Nell or Hetty/Hatty as a nick name. I know I'm odd, but in my defence I come from a family who have never done nick names even though most of us (including parents and grandparents) have names that have no end of options. My own name has several obvious choices but I've never been called one of them, even by my friends.

bouncingbelle Sat 13-Dec-14 15:37:02

Most Helens I know are just that - Helen. Why do they need a nickname?

In the older generation of Helens, one is Ellen and one is Nellie.

I am scottish and Hen is awful!!

MrsHathaway Sat 13-Dec-14 16:33:07

I know a lot of Helens. They are all always Helen except one who is usually Hel.

I think you could have Nell if you introduced it early.

Len is from Helena - it doesn't work from Helen because the vowel sound and stress is too different.

I prefer Helena for posh IYSWIM. Hattie from Harriet is posher still. Henrietta is awkward, but I do know a Henri whose DH calls her Etty sometimes.

FATEdestiny Sat 13-Dec-14 16:36:03

I know a Helen who's nickname is "H" hay-ch

beet2 Sat 13-Dec-14 17:46:07

Well, maybe it's best to leave it at "Helen" and let the cruelty of classmates take their natural course in a couple of years.

nooka Sat 13-Dec-14 17:57:02

The Helens I've known have only got Hels for short, most are pretty much always Helen. I'd not expect any bullying on the name front, it's a pretty normal sort of name really.

I'd not associate any of the nick names in the OP with Helen really. Nell/Nellie to me suggest Eleanor, and Len/Lenny are mostly men (Leonard).

I'd really not worry too much.

Molotov Sat 13-Dec-14 19:09:53

My friend is Helen and her Dh calls her Len - it's just lovely smile (they're in their 40s)

TheRealMaryMillington Sat 13-Dec-14 19:13:02

Nell is beautiful

I have three mates called Helen, two are "Haytch", one is Our Helen (Arr 'Ellun)

I think most Helens are just Helen

GlitzAndGigglesx Sat 13-Dec-14 19:14:11

A relative called Helen was always known as Nelly and even now when we talk about her we always call her Nelly. Although I did go to college with a Helen who was known as Helen the melon because she was a bit ditzy

sidsgranny Sat 13-Dec-14 19:16:58

My lovely friend Helen is known as H!

Wobblebeans Sat 13-Dec-14 19:18:52

I'm a helen, I'm known as "H" (haych) to family, to everyone else I'm just helen. I had a friend in college who used to call me helly hmm

Eminybob Sat 13-Dec-14 19:21:31

I know a Helen nicknamed Harry

BikeRunSki Sat 13-Dec-14 19:21:42

I love Nell as a nn. The many Helens I know are mostly called Helen, although one is known as H a bit.

mypoosmellsofroses Sat 13-Dec-14 19:23:17

Another Helen here,mainly just been called Helen, was called Troy in my teens by my friends, cue much sniggering when DCs looked through my 18th cards and I worked with a man once who insisted on calling me "H" set my teeth on edge that didsmile
I've grown to really like my name (40s now) my Dad was set on Penelope, I used to wish Mum had caved!

KatieKaye Sat 13-Dec-14 19:24:17

Definitely avoid Hen as a NN!

(another Scot who hates being called Hen by random wee wifies)

PenelopePitstops Sat 13-Dec-14 23:53:11

Love my name. It's classic, easy to spell, people know it and there's not tonnes of us.

Winterqueen Sun 14-Dec-14 10:53:57

As a technically old aristocrat and a Helen ( but I am very very normal can't help the family bit).
I am Nell to my parents but Helen to most.

Have been Nelly/ Nell in childhood to family only.

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