Names from Children’s Literature – Winnie

The lovable, honey-obsessed bear named Winnie the Pooh was created by the English author Alan Alexander Milne in 1926.

Winnie the Pooh and many of his fictional friends (including Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore) were inspired by toys owned by Milne’s son Christopher Robin Milne. In fact, the original toys are currently on display at the New York Public Library.

Christopher Milne’s teddy bear had been named after Winnie, a female black bear living at the London Zoo. (Here’s her record card.) Originally from Canada, she was named Winnie in honor of her hometown, Winnipeg.

Most of the time, Winnie is not short for Winnipeg but for given names such as Winifred and Winston.

The baby name Winnie was moderately popular as a stand-alone female name during the first half of the 20th century, but fell off the top 1,000 list during the late 1950s.


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