What Is Teddy Short For?

boy with his teddy bear

There are plenty of abbreviations for names. Some of which we know or can guess, while others surprise us. There are also names that have lots of nicknames or different versions. In this article, let’s have a look at the name “Teddy” and learn about what it is short for and other variations of it.

What is ‘Teddy’ short for?

Teddy is an interesting name because it is traditionally short for not one, but two boys’ names, Theodore or Edward. Similarly, for girls, Teddy is usually short for Theodora or Edwina. However, there are other names that you can use to shorten to Teddy or Ted for both boys and girls.

If you are considering Teddy as a name for your baby, there are lots of possibilities for a full name. Some parents name their baby Teddy or Ted as a stand-alone name. Others see it as a planned nickname for their child. This way their child has options when they get older. Either they can continue to be known as Teddy or use their full name instead.

For boys

These are names that shorten to Ted or Teddy for boys along with their meanings:

  • Edward

Edward is an old English name. It means rich, happy and prosperous, as well as guardian.

  • Edmund

Edmund is another old English name that means rich, happy and prosperous.

  • Edwin

Edwin also means rich and happy, but also friend.

  • Edgar

Edgar means rich and happy, but the ending translates to ‘spear’.

  • Edison

This means son of Edward.

  • Theodore

Theodore is rooted in Ancient Greek and means ‘gift of god’.

  • Theo

Short for Theodore which means ‘gift of god’.

  • Thaddeus

This name means valiant and wise. It can also mean ‘gift of god’.

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For girls

These are names that shorten to Ted or Teddy for girls along with their meanings:

  • Theodora

Theodore is rooted in Ancient Greek and means ‘gift of god’.

  • Edwina

Edwina means ‘prosperous friend’ or one who is rich in friendship.

  • Dorothea

This name means ‘gift of god’.

  • Thea

Just like Theadora and Dorothea, Thea also means ‘gift of god’.

  • Althea

Althea is a Greek word meaning ‘wholesome’.

  • Theodosia

Theodosia means ‘god-given’ and originates in Greek mythology.

  • Theresa

This name can also be spelt as Teresa. It is a name of Greek origin that means “late summer” or “harvester”. Later on this name became common in Spain and Portugal.

When did the name “Teddy” originate?

The first well known use of Teddy for Edward was in the United Kingdom where King Edward VII went by Teddy. He ruled from 1901-1910.  In the USA, the most famous “Teddy” is of course President Theodore Roosevelt, who was president from 1901-1909. Apparently, he did not like the abbreviation of his name.

How popular is Teddy as a name?

chart showing popularity of the name Teddy in the USA (1900-1996)
Source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

The name Teddy is still used today and over the years it goes through spates of popularity both in its own right, and as a shortened version of another name. However, Teddy as a name itself has declined in popularity in the USA over the years, dropping out of the top 1000 names from 1996, when only 129 boys were born with this name.

Famous people named Teddy

Let’s look at some famous people named Teddy, who they are and what they do. I already mentioned King Edward VII and President Theodore Roosevelt, but there are many more! Most of the well known Teddy’s happen to be male. Although lately there are several celebrities who have called their baby girl Teddy, such as Robbie Williams (pop singer from the UK).

Here’s a list of famous men called Teddy or Ted:

  • Teddy Bridgewater – NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings
  • Teddy Dunn – American actor best known for his role in the TV show, Veronica Mars
  • Teddy Higuera – former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Ted Kennedy – former senator from Massachusetts
  • Teddy Purcell – former Canadian ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League
  • Teddy Sears – American actor
  • Teddy Sheringham – former England football (soccer) player
  • Teddy Wilson – American jazz pianist

There are some characters in well loved TV shows and films named Ted or Teddy too. Here are some of those:

  • Teddy Altman – a long time character on Grey’s Anatomy. She is a doctor with the full name Theodora
  • Edward “Teddy” Lupin – from the Harry Potter book and film series
  • Father Ted Crilly from the popular television series, Father Ted
  • Teddy – a character in the animated series, Bob’s Burgers

Do teddy bears have anything to do with the name “Teddy”?

Yes, teddy bears as we know them today were named after President Theodore Roosevelt of the USA. A political cartoon depicting President Roosevelt on a hunting trip with a bear prompted a candy shop owner to create a small bear and put it in his window. He called it a ‘Teddy Bear’ and it did not take long for them to become popular. Today, we still call stuffed bears ‘teddies’ or ‘teddy bears’.

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