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Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Get Your Nickname: Ro

A few weeks ago, when I posted about names meaning peace, I mentioned the name Ro. It is a word that means piece in a Micronesian language. For some reason, it really stuck with me, but I don't think I could ever use a two-letter name, and single syllable names really do not sound well with my one syllable last name. However, I think Ro could be an adorable nickname for either sex. So today we have our first double gender how to get your nickname post!

Spelling Options
Ro is the simplest and would give the meaning I described above.
Rho is kind of edgy and is a letter in the Greek alphabet.
Row is a little substantive, but is a word of course, and not a particularly interesting one. 
Roe has the surname feel. Unfortunately, Roe is also associated with the controversial abortion decision Roe vs Wade, and its the spelling that means "fish eggs" in terms of sushi.

This list is by no means complete. You could really use Ro for a lot of names that do not have the sound in them, for example, Robert. Also, there are some single syllable names that could be shortened even more to Ro, but if a name is already that short, does it really need to be shorter (Example: Rhodes). I am going to focus on names that actually have the sound Ro in them for the most part, or some options that might be a little less obvious.

Rowan - I feel like this is one of the most obvious choices, mainly because its trendy right now (for both boy and girl). It is Gaelic in origin and means "little red head" and is also a plant name.

Rohan - Similar to Rowan but with a little twist, this is actually from Lord of the Rings. It is a place name, the kingdom of horses.

Roland - This is of old German origin and means "renowned land". It is actually related to Orlando.

Rodolfo - An Italian take on the Old German "Rudolph", meaning famous wolf.

Rogan - This is gaelic, and like Rowan, also means red head. It could also be viewed as "last name as first name" and is currently associated with comedic actor Seth Rogan

Roman - Forget Roman style names, just use Roman. This is latin and means citizen of Rome.

Romeo - And Juliet? Of course this will forever have the strong Shakspearian reference, but it does have the popular "o" ending. It is an Italian version of Roman.

Rover - This is a name that may have become too strongly associated as a pet name to be taken seriously, but with many other similar "pet" names making comebacks (Bailey, Milo, Shep), why not Rover? It is middle English in origin and means traveller.

Roosevelt - Last name as first name, presidential style. This is Danish in origin and also a place name it means rose field. I think this is probably my favorite source for the nickname on this list because it feels long and classic, and there is not another obvious nickname for it, yet Ro is somehow still unexpected from it.

Arrow - A word name, this would be unique and edgy.

Eros - Eros is the Greek god of love. With other Greek and Roman names on the rise, why not this one?

Charro - This name is Spanish/South American in origin and means cowboy.

Darrow - Old English in origin, also a last name as first name, means spear.

Tyrone - This name is surprisingly Gaelic in origin and means Owen's country. Another possibe variant is Kyrone.

Jerome - Greek in origin, meaning "sacred name", also a saint name.

The long "o" sound appears less in girls names as a rule than it does in boys names, perhaps indicating the sound has a more masculine feel to it for English speakers. That is not to say there are no options, just fewer.

Rowan - As mentioned above, this is a gender neutral name these days, meaning little red head in Gaelic.

Rowena - An old German name meaning fame and happiness. A literary reference to Ivanhoe, or Harry Potter, also historically an Anglo-Saxon princess.

Roanne - A variant form of Rowan.

Romaine  - French in origin, this means "Citizen of Rome", is also a last name as first name.

Romy - Romy already has a nickname feel so I am not sure it needs shortening, and it reminds those of us born in the 80s of "Romy any Michelle's High School Reunion". It is a sh. ortened form of Rosemary  .

Aurora - This is Latin and origin and means dawn, also the Roman goddess of sunrise, also part of the name of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis).

Verona - Depending on who you ask, this is either a variation of Veronica (Latin, meaning "true image"), or a place name after Verona Italy - the setting of three of Shakespeare's plays, including Romeo and Juliet.

I also wanted to add a note about Rose. Pretty much any "rose" based name could also shorten to Ro, but there are so many of them I did not feature them here. Perhaps a "rose" post is in my future!


  1. I knew a girl in college whose nickname was Ro--her full name was Rocio (she was Brazilian, I believe). It definitely, to me, seems more masculine, but she was more of a tomboy, so maybe that's why.

  2. My sister has a close friend who goes almost exclusively by Ro. She's outgoing, friendly and active, so that's what I think of when I hear the name Ro.

    I had to check, but her full name is Rowena.

  3. I love the nickname Ro and many of the names featured in the post. My favorites are Rowena and Roland.

    One to add to the boys list is Eero.