Wednesday, April 3, 2013

To -eigh or Not To -eigh

Photo via Wikipedia

The -eigh letter grouping, generally pronounced "ee", is an alternate spelling to -y, -i, -e, -ee, -ie, or -ey. It's usually found at the end of a name, but can also be found in the middle. Maybe it's the added length or the way it looks, but people seem to either love it or hate it. I looked through the names given in 2011 and found the following variations:

Ainsleigh
Aleigha
Amberleigh
Annaleigh
Ashleigh
Aubreigh
Avereigh
Baleigh
Bentleigh**
Berkleigh
Blakeleigh
Bradleigh
Brayleigh
Breigh
Bryleigh
Brynleigh
Calleigh
Carleigh
Charleigh
Elleigh
Emmaleigh
Everleigh
Finleigh
Greenleigh
Hadleigh
Haleigh
Harleigh
Hartleigh
Hayleigh
Heavenleigh
Holleigh
Huntleigh
Ileigh
Jayleigh
Joleigh
Kayleigh
Keeleigh
Kelleigh
Kimberleigh
Kinsleigh
Kyleigh
Kynleigh
Leigh
Leigha
Leighann
Leighland*
Lileigh
Marleigh
Mckinleigh
Molleigh
Myleigh
Nataleigh
Novaleigh
Oakleigh
Paisleigh
Presleigh
Rayleigh
Rosaleigh
Ryleigh**
Skyleigh
Wesleigh
Zoeigh

All of the above were given to girls except the ones marked:
*Given to boys
**Given to both boys and girls

I also found these names, where the -eigh is not an "ee" sound but either an "ay" or "ie" sound:
Breighton (bry-ton) - given to boys
Creighton (cry-ton) - given to boys
Leighla (I'm guessing this is lay-la, but I suppose it could also be lee-la) - given to girls
Leighton (lay-ton) - given to both boys and girls
Peighton (pay-ton) - given to both boys and girls
Teighlor - (This could sound like Tyler or Taylor) - given to girls

All of the names, other than Creighton, have traditional spellings that do not include -eigh. I will put myself out there and say that I prefer the simpler versions. The one exception is Leigh, which I think looks prettier and more feminine than Lee. Other names with -eigh seem heavy to me. I can see how some like the weight it gives though, and that is why we have the variety in monikers that we do. People choose a name and spelling for their child based on personal preference. And I am going purely on the way a name looks and not on whether or not the baby was named after someone or if there is some sentimental reason in using the spelling.

What do you think? Do you like it? Does the -eigh spelling give off a certain vibe or is it just another creative way of presenting a name?

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