Diminutives are common to many world cultures. Louisiana’s Creole culture is by no means an exception. In fact, even in 2016, Louisiana Creoles and their Cajun, Isleño, Adaeseño, Houma, Tunica-Biloxy and Chitimacha cousins, still commonly say “I can’t remember his right name; we have nicknames for everybody.”
Fortunately, these nicknames are often diminutives of a male or female’s first, middle, or last name.
The following list does not intend to be exhaustive. Instead, we hope that the diminutives and the names from which they derive, may guide you in your genealogical research among Louisiana Creolophones, Francophones, and Hispanophones. These will be especially useful for researchers who do not speak Louisiana heritage languages.
We need to stress that these diminutives are attested in Louisiana. They do not account for diminutization elsewhere. Additionally, some diminutives are used purely as nicknames for people whose given names have nothing to do with the source name of the diminutive.
Researchers should use these as an additional tool for tracking ancestors in records, who may be listed under the diminutive or under the source name.