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Patsy (F)>

Patsy (female)

Variants:Mattie (F) Matty (F) Pattie (F) Patty (F)
Pet Name for:Martha (F) Pat (F) Patricia (F)
Masculine form:Patsy (M)
Source(s): The Oxford Names Companion, OUP
Personal correspondent [MB]

1. Irish and English pet name for Patricia, from Latin "noblewoman".  It may also be a male pet name for Patrick but this use is generally restricted to Irish communities.

2. A US correspondent [MB] has written as follows:

"... throughout the southern colonies (pre 1776) and states, Patsy was a common pet name for Martha."

We are unable to formally determine the true etymology for this but note that Patty is a well-known pet name for the Gaelic Moireach, equivalent to Martha [Whyte]. Patsy is a clear variant of Pattie/Patty and we think it might have been adopted for Martha via the pet name Mattie/Matty in the same way that Molly has been transformed to Polly.