How to Find a Person by Their Nickname

friends image by Dennis Carrigan from

In the not-so-distant past, one of the only ways to find someone you lost contact with was to hire a private detective for the case. Now, thanks to technological advancements and the popularity of social media, the possibility of finding someone has increased, even if you only know that person's nickname.

Run a Social Media Search

Social networking sites such as Facebook usually allow their users to feature their nicknames or maiden names in their profiles along with their full legal names. For example, if someone named Emily Cook often goes by the nickname "Cookie," she might opt to include "Cookie" in her Facebook profile name by adding a nickname in her Facebook bio. Her profile would then display as "Emily Cook (Cookie)," making her nickname searchable along with her actual name.

You can also pair the name search with a city, employer or school name to try and narrow down the results. Even if your Facebook search results don't yield the person you're looking for, they might lead you to some mutual classmates, teachers, friends or professional colleagues. You could reach out to these people to see if they know how to get in touch with the person of interest.

Ask Their Family

Find a family member of the person you are looking for. Many people’s parents still live in the same house they have lived in for at least 10 years. If possible, call with your query of this person’s whereabouts. This is an especially helpful step if you have previously been introduced to the parents or other family members of the person you are looking for. This is not a step to be followed if you have a negative past relationship with this person’s family members.

Check Their High School Archives

Visit the person's old high school. Libraries in high schools are home to yearbooks from decades past, and high schol students sometimes choose to be listed by their nicknames in their school yearbooks. If you are not an alumni of the school you are visiting, notify the main office so they can connect you with the school librarian to set up the best available time for your visit. Once there, search through the yearbooks. Even if the person didn’t take grade-level pictures, it is still possible to find him or her in a team or group photo.