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I just wrote an article about the most popular nicknames around—you'll hear nicknames like Kate, Abby and Maddie around the playground for girls, and Charlie, Max and Ben for boys. In fact, many of the most popular names in the country—including names like Jack and Liam for boys, and Bella and Ellie for girls—are actually nicknames that were given as official names, in lieu of the more formal versions. And even looking through the top names, you can see where some names were given to arrive at a certain nickname—like Madeline for Maddie, or Elijah for Eli.

But you don't always have to go for the popular choice to get to the same nickname destination. Here are a few options for some of the more popular nicknames:

If you love Ellie—try Elizabeth, Eliana, Emmanuelle, Noelle or Estella

If you love Ben—try Benjamin, Benedict, Bennett or Bentley

If you love Addie—try Adele, Addison, Adeline, Adelaide or Adina

If you love Max—try Maxim, Maximilian or Maxwell

If you love Millie—try Millicent, Amelia, Camilla or Milena

If you love Eli—try Elijah, Elias or Elliot

If you love Fi—try Delphine, Fiorella, Fiona, Felicia, Fidelity or Josephine

Girls' names tend to have more nickname possibilities—if you really want to give your daughters the ultimate in flexibility with their names, consider one of the names that allows a ton of nicknames. There's Elizabeth (Eliza, Elise, Lisa, Liza, Liz, Beth, Bess, Betsy, Ellie, Ells, Ella), Margaret (Maggie, Mags, Maisie, Daisy, Margie, Greta, Margo, Madge, Gretchen, Peggy), Katherine (Kathy, Kath, Kate, Katie, Kat, Rina) and Evangeline (Angel, Eva, Eve, Evie, Angela, Angeline, Van, Lina, Angie) for starters. With that many choices, you're sure to find the right nickname to suit your daughter's personality. But there's always William (Will, Willy, Bill, Billy and Liam) and Nicholas (Nico, Nick, Nicky, Cole) for the boys.

So, what nicknames are you loving right now? And did you pick your kids' names just for the nicknames?

Photo: Cute baby by postolit /