please please tell me what names you think bo (for a girl) could be a nickname for. like, since elizabeth has a million nicknames: eliza, liza, eli, bette, bette, bess, liz, lizzy, elle, ella, bitsy, bee, bebe, betsy, and so on and so forth, could bo work?i'm open to random suggestions. i heart bo. bo. swoon. see?i couldn't imagine using it "as is" but i would love a list of options that i might be able to squeeze it out as the baby's nickname... i'd love to know what you & your peeps could come up with.
I know an Isabelle whose family calls her Isabeau (her grandpa started it as a joke, and it stuck); from there it would be a short leap to Beau/Bo. But it seems like that's a route to the nickname that would need to happen on its own, as it did for that family; it's harder to picture putting "Isabelle (Bo) Andrews" on a birth announcement. (Though maybe that would work. Hm.)
I could see it coming from Sophia in the same way: Sophia to So-bo to Bo. Again, it seems like this would have to happen on its own.
Same thing once again: Zoe to Zoe-bowie to Zo-bo to Bo.
I don't know if it would work for Elizabeth or not. It comes up pretty often here that someone will say "If Peg can be a nickname for Margaret, then why not [random nickname] for [any name]?" Well, because it's not how it works, that's why. For the most part, when a nickname comes about on its own, it's considered a legitimate/traditional nickname; otherwise, it's not. This is not to say you can't pair up any name and nickname you want: you definitely CAN do that, and many people DO (and some of those then STICK and become accepted/traditional)---but the Margaret/Peg reasoning doesn't back it up. Using a non-established nickname is a choice that comes with other people's furrowed brows: they'll get used to it if you want to use Zoe as a nickname for Elizabeth or Ella as a nickname for Lillian, but they won't think it makes perfect sense the way they do when they hear of a John going by Jack. It's not entirely fair that it works that way, but it's something to take into consideration when choosing a name/nickname combination.
Here are the only girl names in the Social Security Administrations database for 2011 that have the letter combination "bo" in them:
I can see getting Bo from Bodhi, Bonita, Bowen, Bowie, Ebony, and Rainbow. It also might make an excellent fresh nickname for Deborah, if you wanted to honor a Deborah in the family without the confusion of two Debbies; people are more flexible/accepting about unusual nicknames when honor names are involved.
In 2011, there were 18 new baby girls named Bo, and another 27 named Beau. I see another 13 named Isabeau.
Isabeau is an interesting possibility. I'd need to think about that for awhile. It seems like it would cause some confusion---but on the other hand, many names come into style as variations on names that feel too popular to use: Madison leads to Addison which leads to Adelyn; Ava and Evelyn lead to Avalyn, etc. When a sound sounds good, we look for other ways to use it. Beau is masculine in French---but we're not speaking French, and in any case Bo/Beau is your goal so I already know that's not an issue.
[Edited to add: According to the book The Best Baby Names in the World From Around the World, the name Isabeau is used in France for girl babies. The Baby Name Bible and 100,000+ Baby Names also list it as a French girl name. None of them list it as a boy name. I'd say this crosses out what I said about beau being masculine in French, if even the French themselves don't consider -beau- too masculine for a girl's name. This may be one of those "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" things, where we've all learned that it's "beau for boys and belle for girls"---but without knowing the actual language well enough to draw any conclusions from that, or to understand fully how it applies. This is one reason I don't try to do baby name consultations for other languages/countries.]
My favorite route would be to consistently refer to the fetus as Bo during the pregnancy. Then name her anything you want and call her Bo, saying, "Oh, we started calling her that when she was still a fetus, and it just stuck!" Plenty of kids still get called Bean or Peanut or Bear for that very reason, and it's a simple story that lets people quickly unfurrow their brows about it. I think even Little Miss Overly Picky About Nicknames (that's me) would accept that easily.