Creative spellings

I found some interesting quotes:

[name]Baby[/name]-naming advice books and blogs often suggest changing up the spelling of a common, or on-the-rise, name, in order to add some flare. Preliminary results from Figlio’s work suggest that may not be wise. Children with a deviant spelling of a common name tended to have slowed spelling and reading capabilities.
“That suggests a lot about internalizing,” Figlio said. “You have the child named [name]Jennifer[/name] spelled with a “G” – her teacher says ‘Are you sure your name is spelled that way?’ That can be incredibly hard on a person’s confidence.”

Creating your own variation on the name through unconventional spelling choices. “[name]Olivia[/name]’s a popular name, so you see some parents creating variations, like ‘[name]Alyvia[/name],’” says Satran. “This is basically never a good idea. People will always be misspelling your child’s name, and they’ll assume that you, as the parent, didn’t know how to spell the name correctly … which doesn’t reflect well on you or your child.”

This isn’t as black and white an issue as that quotation presents it.

Almost all names have some variation possibilities, some more accepted than others.


There is almost no chance you’re never going to have to spell your name.
Variant spelling are so common these days that many variations are hardly even thought of, much less judged and derided.

I completely admit that there are some variations that go overboard, but I hardly think you’re condemning your child to a life of shame and disgrace by choosing [name]Haylie[/name] instead of [name]Hayley[/name].

Seems uncommon sense is required to determine where the gray line falls, but that’s why nameberry is great. You can have a whole flock of people tell you when you’re taking it too far.

I agree with kala_way.

There are so many “okay” ways to spell certain names–i.e. [name]Ashley[/name], Ashlei, [name]Ashly[/name], [name]Ashlee[/name], etc.–that as become more than accepted by most of society. I admit their are some spellings that will give many a second glance or a while to figure out, that may be a little overboard, but who you to judge how a parent spelled that child’s name. It will only make that child feel less confident about it, even if they love their name.

As an aunt, all six of my nieces have creative spellings, two of which may seem a little out there, but still great for them. Lol

[name]One[/name] [name]Sib[/name]-set (4 girls)–their names all have a “y” somewhere in their first name. Although the eldest spelling can sometimes catch you off guard at first. She was named after a singer, which actually have a little alternate meaning to it (if broken apart), although it’s not traditionally spelled. Most older generations are not sure the first time, but the many from the age group of 45 on down recognize her name and love the spelling.

Second [name]Sib[/name]-set (2 girls)–The eldest sister name mostly fits in the first sib-set because my eldest sister was the main name-giver/speller at the time. The youngest sibling name was spelled by the wishes of her father, so I believe he really took her spelling a bit far. To some it make be a bit recognizable, but to others it may not. Not sure about it since I really never asked her about it.

Personally, I do not want to give my children extravagant name spellings. If I want to use [name]Neal[/name] as a middle name, I may have to decide between–[name]Neal[/name], [name]Neil[/name], [name]Niall[/name] etc., so I am fine with that. For instance, I love the “[name]Liliana[/name]” spelling, if I saw it spelled, Lyllyahnah (lol, a stretch, I know) it would make me a little squeamishness, but what might work for you may not work for me–and I will just have to get use to it.

At some point, names go through a phase. [name]One[/name] generation was too hippy, too green, too creative spelling, too whatever…usually children are fine with another persons name until they noticed adults reaction, which may cause the problem.

[name]Johnathan[/name] is just wrong, to me. Like, not just not my taste, like [name]Kathryn[/name] instead of [name]Katherine[/name]/[name]Catherine[/name], but a sign that the parents didn’t know [name]John[/name] and [name]Jonathan[/name]/[name]Jonathon[/name] are different names.

I agree any name will have to be spelled, as generally it’s not good to assume that any particular person is using any particular spelling. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t going to have different impressions of a name depending how its spelled.

My own name is mispelled because my mom tried to make it “easier” for people not of our background. It’s a huge pain in the ass; people not of our background still often wreck it, and now people who [name]DO[/name] know what it is, can’t spell it. No-win.

It’s why I’m torn on using [name]Aidan[/name]. I like it, my husband likes it. But the spelling most people default to nowadays is [name]Aiden[/name], which I do not like, it’s not the correct spelling, it’s a jump on the [name]Jayden[/name]-train, and I don’t want to use it. If I use [name]Aidan[/name], though, people will often mispell it. Aggravating, when the traditional spelling gets lost.

Maybe because I like names… but I would spell it [name]Aidan[/name].

I think some subtle variations are OK. I don’t mind [name]Kaitlyn[/name] or [name]Caitlin[/name]. [name]Katrina[/name] or [name]Catriona[/name]. [name]Eliott[/name] or [name]Elliott[/name]. But draw the line at [name]Georgia[/name] as [name]Jorja[/name].

[name]Johnathan[/name] always looks terribly wrong to me as well, but it’s a very accepted spelling these days. I’ve seen quite a few people old and young with that spelling.

Trendy names definitely get the worst treatment!
[name]Aidan[/name], [name]Aiden[/name], [name]Aidin[/name], [name]Aydan[/name], [name]Ayden[/name], [name]Aydin[/name], [name]Aydon[/name], [name]Aidyn[/name], [name]Aydyn[/name], Ayedan, on and on with the horrible ‘uniquifiers’.
And girls names are far worse! [name]Kali[/name], [name]Kallie[/name], [name]Kayle[/name], [name]Kaylee[/name], Kaile, [name]Kailee[/name], [name]Kaylie[/name], [name]Kaleigh[/name], [name]Kayleigh[/name], [name]Kayli[/name], Kaely Kaeli, Kaelee, Kaeleigh, Kaelie, grrrrr, then C for all of the above. Makes me want to strangle someone. But honestly with those, since there really isn’t any ‘normal’ spelling none of them are going to be seen as truly wrong.

The ones that I think are truly a disservice to the child are spellings that don’t feel ‘intelligent’. Madycyn for [name]Madison[/name], Aevaeh for [name]Ava[/name], Jenafer for [name]Jennifer[/name], Sofeya for [name]Sophia[/name].

The problem is: where is the line to be drawn between [name]Sophia[/name]/[name]Sofia[/name]/[name]Sofiya[/name]/Sofea/Sofeya/Sofeyah/Sohfeyah?

The first two are fantastic and the last two ridiculous and honestly, a little cruel.

What do you guys think of [name]Scarlette[/name] instead of [name]Scarlet[/name]/[name]Scarlett[/name]? The other spellings look wrong to me, I just feel like something’s missing.

I don’t really get the current obsession with changing the spelling and acting like the name is a new name entirely, especially when the change is very glaring and could actually cause mispronunciations. (I.e., Syrineti. I read it as “sigh-rin-ETTE-ee” the first time I saw it. What’s wrong with [name]Serenity[/name]?)

Going for pure phonetic changes also irks me; a pp mentioned “[name]Jorja[/name],” and I agree-ugh. The Duggar’s “[name]Jinger[/name]” has a similar effect on me. I read it as rhyming with “Ringer” the first time I saw it.

I also can’t stand misspellings of [name]Jennifer[/name]–especially if they begin with a “G.”

(And if you note my preferred version of “[name]Gryffin[/name]” versus “[name]Griffin[/name]”–well, I’m a huge fan of [name]Harry[/name] [name]Potter[/name] and would only be using the name as a tribute.)

I think having lette as the end subltey changes how it is pronouced.
[name]Scarlet[/name]/t = Scar-lt (the e is so short it isn’t really heard) whereas [name]Scarlette[/name] is Scar- let
Ette endings are certainly classic- [name]Lynette[/name], [name]Annette[/name], but [name]Scarlett[/name] is the “O’[name]Hara[/name]” spelling so I prefer that one as it is more likely to be spelled correctly in her life.

at work I always ask people with names that have many different spellings if it’s the “original spelling” if not I ask them to spell it.

I’m not a fan of creative spellings,it doesn’t make your child more unique,it just makes the parents look less intelligen (in my own personal opinion).
Before I was about 12 I never knew that there was another way of spelling [name]Hayley[/name],found out via an American film/book/tv programme. Although the variations are all still the same name,in the UK eyebrows would be raised.
But variations like that,in which the pronounciation remains the same and it’s just for aesthetics are perhaps less of an issue than names like [name]Alyvia[/name] instead of [name]Olivia[/name]. What is that? It’s made up,looks stupid and isn’t pronounced in the same way. Put simply it’s not the same name.
I don’t understand what is so wrong with using the correct spelling,if you like a popular name,changing the spelling doesn’t make it less popular…though it can make it a different name.
Making a rod for a child’s back is what it is.

[QUOTE=hayley88;1520811] I don’t understand what is so wrong with using the correct spelling,if you like a popular name,changing the spelling doesn’t make it less popular…though it can make it a different name.

I was reading a post on NB about how to spell [name]Kaia[/name]… well there are lots of ways! Some original, some created.
Interestingly [name]Kaia[/name], [name]Caia[/name] and [name]Kiah[/name] are all different names- so best to know which meaning you intended. :slight_smile:

As a teacher I can tell you that from what I’ve experienced so far makes the above seem very true, and my mother was a teacher, then principal, and she also believes this from what she’s seen. Not [name]Katherine[/name]/[name]Catherine[/name]/[name]Kathryn[/name] etc, but stuff like Mahlikai, Payshence and Huhlayna. Spelling is often their worst subject because, in my opinion, since they spell their name phonetically they think they can spell everything phonetically. It’s even worse because kids these days are so used to text speak and auto-correct that it’s hard on them as is.

Another problem is that they are less educated about where the name even comes from. The majority of people from my generation knew what their name meant and where it came from, but when something is altered so often the history can be forgotten or people start to think of [name]Ayden[/name], for example, as the original, without ever questioning the etymology.

I’ve had to spell my name before, and my name is [name_f]Rachel[/name_f]…so no matter how common your name is, well, someday you’ll have to spell it.