The present study was aimed to validate two normalised short-form (SF) Mini-Nutritional Assessments (MNA) that contained either BMI (Taiwan version 1, T1) or calf circumference (CC; Taiwan version 2, T2) for rating the nutritional status of elderly Taiwanese. Both versions adopted Taiwanese anthropometric cut-offs, but T2 further had the BMI item replaced by CC. We compared the ability of the two SF in rating the nutritional status of 2674 elderly Taiwanese in the 1999 ‘Taiwan Longitudinal Survey on Aging’ with their respective full versions. We evaluated the agreement between the SF and full scales with weighted κ and performed Cox regression analysis for the follow-up 4-year mortality according to nutritional status rated at baseline. The results showed that the agreements between the respective SF and the full MNA were good (weighted κ: 0·679 for T1 and 0·667 for T2). Both SF performed well in predicting follow-up 4-year mortality relative to the full MNA. In conclusion, MNA-T1-SF and -T2-SF have good consistency with the full MNA and have quite comparable abilities in rating the nutritional status of elderly Taiwanese. Both SF versions appear appropriate for functioning as stand-alone units for rating the nutritional status of the elderly in community-living settings or the general population.