Question regarding alternate spelling of the names Malachi and Cian


I’m noticing that [name]Malachi[/name] is sometimes spelled [name]Malakai[/name] and [name]Cian[/name] is sometimes [name]Kian[/name]. Are these legitimate variants of these names? I did find info that said that [name]Kian[/name] is used more often in [name]England[/name] and [name]Scotland[/name] and [name]Cian[/name] in [name]Ireland[/name] (seeing as it’s Irish), but not sure how accurarte that is.

I realize people will have strong preferences for one or the other, however would the alternate spellings prompt rolling of the eyes, or are they seen as do-able?


Hmm. I think people are spelling [name]Malachi[/name] as [name]Malakai[/name] because either they want a spelling that makes the pronunciation obvious, or they want to make it easier/more obvious to use the nn [name]Kai[/name]. As for [name]Cian[/name] vs. [name]Kian[/name]–I think (as far as it goes in [name]America[/name], anyway), people see “ci” and think it should be “see” rather than “key”. Same goes for [name]Ciaran[/name] vs. [name]Kieran[/name] and [name]Cillian[/name] vs. [name]Killian[/name]. For the Anglicized spelling it just gets turned into a “K”, to make sure the pronunciation is right. I can sort of see the reasoning for [name]Kian[/name], but to me, [name]Malachi[/name] is obvious, anyway, the [name]Malakai[/name] spelling just looks trashy to me, and takes away the history and beauty of the Biblical name ([name]Malachi[/name]'s not my thing at all–but I do think it holds much more appeal than [name]Malakai[/name]!)–that, and when I see [name]Malakai[/name], I don’t think Biblical at all, I think of a name from somewhere like Papua New Guinea, or a [name]Masai[/name] warrior type name, etc…

Ok, that makes a lot of sense! I too much prefer [name]Malachi[/name] to [name]Malakai[/name], but I can just hear people saying “Malachee?” I totally get wanting people to pronounce the name right (I have dealt with this issue with my own name and continue to)…but it’s a shame the spelling has to be changed in order to accomplish that. Thanks!

Re: [name]Cian[/name] - I didn’t realize it sometimes gets mistakenly pronounced as “see-an”, ahh so I guess that’s why [name]Kian[/name] came about.

That’s just what I’m guessing, I don’t know for sure. But I’m sure if my mom saw [name]Cian[/name] she would be like, “See-in? I don’t like it.” lol.

I think the issue here is that there’s Irish [name]Malachi[/name] and Hebrew [name]Malachi[/name]. The Irish pronunciation is ‘mal-a-key’ and the Hebrew pronunciation is ‘mal-a-kai’.

I don’t think there’s an issue with spelling [name]Cian[/name] the traditional way. It looks much cleaner than with a ‘k’.