|Photo Courtesy of Work of Heart Photography|
It feels like not too long ago, we were talking about how vintage flavoured nickname names ending in "ie" are making a comeback. Ellie, Sadie, Gracie and Allie were all in the U.S top 200 in 2012, while current Nameberry favourites include Maisie, Elsie, Millie, Evie, Hattie and Edie. Names such as this were so popular in the early 1900's that it might have felt like all the good "ie" names had been used. But it seems this wasn't necessarily the case. Meet Indie - one of the freshest "ie" nickname names to appear in recent years.
As the top names for the different Australian states were being released recently, I was following Anna's analysis posts at Waltzing More Than Matilda. At first, I was intrigued to note that Indigo is rising as a girls name in multiple states. But then I noticed Indie. Also quietly moving up the charts, and possibly indicative of a future trend for girls names containing "ind".
In 2013 Indie entered the Australian top 100 for the first time at #94. In the U.S it first charted in 1959, but the highest it has ever climbed there (so far) is #3017 in 2011. For girls, Indie is the most popular spelling, ahead of Indi and Indy, while for boys Indy is by far the most popular variant.
So why the higher popularity in Australia? It's likely that in 2013 Indie benefited from the 'Home and Away' effect, in much the same way that Brax and Braxton did in 2012. This time the character was Indigo "Indi" Walker, played by Samara Weaving. The character had been on the show for a few years, leaving in November 2013, so perhaps the news of her departure brought her name to the forefront of people's minds. Or maybe people admired Aussie action hero Chris Hemsworths' choice of India Rose for his daughter in 2012.
This assumes though that Indie has to be "inspired" by a different, longer name, when it's actually a perfectly spunky name in its own right. And that assumption probably isn't too far wrong. Most baby naming sources say it is a form of India, a place name likely meaning 'river' or 'from the river Indus'. Some say it's from Indigo, an Greek colour/word name meaning 'Indian dye'. Or maybe Indiana, meaning 'land of the Indians'. Or even Indira, a Sanskrit name meaning 'beauty'. The allure of simply using Indie is that it could possibly mean any - or all - of these things.
My first thoughts are of Indiana Jones and "indie" movies, songs and artists, so Indie feels like a confident, free spirited, adventurous and smart person to me. Others may think of the colour Indigo, and think of an Indie as a spiritual, intuitive and relaxed personality. With so many different possible sources and associations, an Indie could be many things. Plus it's a great compromise if you love the sound but can't decide between two great, similar choices, or don't feel quite confident using Indigo or India.
But then again, maybe you think Indie is super cute - but suitable only as a nickname. Good news is there are plenty of options for a formal name. So as a final note, here's a list of "formal" names that all lend themselves to Indie as a nickname.