Baby name needed: Formal name for nickname Susie

A reader named Kristina writes:

My husband insists on naming our daughter after his mother. He doesn’t necessarily want to name her Susan, her full name, but insists on calling her Susie. I have been trying to come up with names containing the word Sue in them not necessarily at the beginning, but more so in the middle or end of the name.

Hm. This is a tricky one.

Here are some names that include a “su” element:

  • Atsuko, Etsuko, Kasumi, Mitsuko, Sumiko, Suzu, Suzume, Yasu, and other Japanese names. Though these probably won’t make sense unless the baby has some sort of connection to Japan.
  • Sumana, Sumati, Sunita, Suniti, Sushila, Sunila, Suparna, Supriti, and other Indian names. But the connection thing applies for these as well (and to the group below).
  • Consuelo, Asunción, Jesusa, and perhaps a few other Spanish and/or religious names.
  • Ursula seems to be the only traditional “English” name that fits the bill, but the nickname Sula is more natural-sounding for Ursula than Susie. Also, there’s that unshakable (and unfortunate) sea-witch association.
  • Sunny, Sunshine, Sunday, and Summer are word-names that could work, though they seem like a stretch because the vowel-sounds don’t match up.

So, as you can see, I had a pretty tough time coming up with suitable “su” names.

Of course, I’m avoiding the obvious — the many Susan-related names (e.g. Susanna, Suzette, Suellen) out there. It seems Kristina wants to avoid “Susan” specifically, but maybe some other name from this family would work?

Another idea would be get a bit abstract about the nicknaming. For instance, Alexandra, Alessandra and Anastasia include S- and Z-sounds…instead of the typical nicknames like Alex and Ana, what about Susie for these?

What other ideas would you offer to Kristina?

9 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Formal name for nickname Susie

  1. One suggestion: I have a friend named Suleen…I have always loved her name…it kind of has an Asian sound and is very feminine.

  2. I’d go with Susanna. I love the name — and it’s the name of my youngest daughter. I think Susanna sounds more “today” than Susan (so many popular girls names end in ‘a’ now), yet Susanna is clearly connected to the paternal grandma’s name Susan. Since Kristina’s husband is insisting on naming their baby after his mother and Kristina seems okay with that, why not Susanna, the name Susan came from?

    “Oxford Dictionary of First Names”:
    Susanna — New Testament form of the Hebrew name Shoshana (from shoshan ‘lily’, which in modern Hebrew also means ‘rose.). Cognates: English:Susan…
    Susan — English vernacular form of Susanna.

  3. I noticed that Kristina and Susanna are very similar: 3 syllables with the accent on the second syllable and both names ending in ‘na’. I like the symmetry of the two names for a mother and daughter. Maybe Mom’s middle name could be shared with her daughter; then “Susie” would be named for both her paternal grandma and her mother.

  4. Nancy, I’ve been wondering if you often hear what parents end up naming their baby after asking for your suggestions — and if so, where you post that.

  5. Thank you for your input, Mary and Patricia! Much appreciated. :)

    Whenever I find out what name a parent ends up choosing, I go back and add a comment to the original post (like I did here). I also publish round-up posts (like this one) every so often.

  6. Is his mother’s middle or maiden name an option? A friend named their daughter after the mother in law using her middle name. Other names from his mother’s side of the family (her mother, for an example) might be an acceptable way of honouring is mother, and will broaden out your choices a bit.

  7. A couple of suggestions:
    What about Sunniva? It’s pronounced Soo-NEE-va, so Susie is a pretty intuitive nickname.

    Otherwise, they could use the original form of the name, Shoshannah. Susie is a bit of stretch as a nickname, but it could work out pretty easily.

  8. There are also the “retro” combination names: Suanne, Sue Ellen, Su Kim, etc. Or try flipping them around: Ella Sue, Merisue (French), etc. Any two syllable name ending in a vowel might work in front of “sue”.

    Or, she could just name the baby Suzy and be done with it.

  9. What about the name Susa?


    Gender: Feminine

    Usage: Dutch, Italian

    Frequency: rare


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