Formal Names for Oak

I had an acting teacher in high school nicknamed Oak, and I always thought it was a great name. The oak tree often symbolizes strength and endurance, great associations for a name. But Oak seems a bit brief to me as a full name, so I’ve compiled a list of longer options:

Oakley, Oakland- The most obvious routes to the nickname, Oakley and Oakland make great surnames-as-first-names. Oakley is the more popular of the two, ranking #577 for boys and #579 for girls. But that ranking is deceptive- there were actually slightly more girls (531) than boys (478) given the name in 2016.

Roanoke- The 16th century disappearance of the Roanoke colony settlers is one of America’s greatest mysteries, but today,  Roanoke is Virginia’s 4th largest metropolitan area. Roanoke isn’t commonly used as a name, but it could work as a more unusual alternative to Rowan.

Androcles/Damocles- These gloriously Greek names have similar meanings- “glory of man” and “glory of the people.” They’re logical routes to Oak, but probably bit too Hellenic for most tastes.

Ashok/Ashoka- Ashoka the Great was a 3rd century emperor of India. His name, and variant Ashok, mean “without sorrow”- something every parent wants their child to be.

Chanokh- It’s the original Hebrew form of Enoch, meaning “dedicated.” I’ve yet to find a recording of the pronunciation, but my best guess is “HAHN-ohk,” with a bit of phlegm in the first H.

Iokua- This Hawaiian form of Joshua, like many Hawaiian names, is bright and vowel-rich. It’s quite unusual, but with Hawaiian names rising in popularity, it may not seem terribly out of place on the playground.

Ottokar- This German name is quite rare, even in Germany. It comes from the name Odovacar and means “wealthy and vigilant.” Otto is an obvious name, but Oak and Kari could also work.

Caradoc- The O in this name isn’t pronounced like the O in Oak, but I’m all for nicknames that are a bit of a stretch. It’s unusual, but not shocking, and could make a great choice for parents who want to honor a Welsh heritage.

Leocadio- Feminizations (like Charlotte from Charles or Alexandra from Alexander) are common, but Leocadio is the opposite. It comes from the Roman name Leocadia and was worn by a 3rd century saint.

Nicolo- Although it doesn’t technically contain an “oc” or “ok,” I think Oak still works as a nickname for this one. Nicolo doesn’t rank in the top 1000, but Nikolai, Niko, Nico, Nicole, and 4 spellings of Nicholas do, so Nicolo would fit right in.

Octavio- Octavio is one of the rare names that is very familiar, easy to spell and say, and not ranked in the top 1000. It makes for an unusual but straightforward choice with plenty of nickname possibilities.

Joachim- Like Nicolo, Joachim doesn’t contain an “oc” or “ok,” but Oak is still in the realm of possibility for a nickname. Pronunciation variants for Joachim abound-there’s JO-ah-kim, zho-ah-KEEM,  yo-AH-kim, and many more.


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