Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kel's Story

My name is Kelli. I've never really had a strong feeling one way or the other about my name. I know I love it when people call me Kel. I know that I was always frustrated that there were other Kellys in my class, especially in my middle school Spanish class in which the other Kelly had a last initial that was alphabetically before mine, so she got the pretty Catalina as her Spanish name and I was stuck with Chabela (yes, my friends did end up calling me Chubs because of this, all in good fun of course). And I know that even though I'm a purist in name spellings, I like that my name ends in an -i. It is a pain to specify how my name is spelled, but I like the look of Kelli. And DO NOT spell my name with a -y. I don't know who Kelly is, but it's not me.

Historically, when looking at the Top 200 for the decades, a name with the Kel- beginning didn't appear until the 1950s, and that was Kelly for boys. The boy Kelly had been on the Top 1000 since the beginning of record (1880) and was at its peak at #97 in 1968, but fell out of the Top 1000 after 2002. Kellen is the current top boy Kel; it overtook Kelly in 1999, is still gradually rising, and reached #337 in 2012. As you will see below, other boy Kels have also surpassed Kelly, as it has firmly been taken over by girl Kelly in the United States.

Kelly was also the first girls Kel- name to appear in the Top 200 for the decades, doing so in the 1960s. The girl Kelly has been ranked since 1944, started ranking higher than the boy Kelly in 1958, and reached its highest rank at #10 in 1977. (Side note: Kelli also ranked the highest in 1977 at #117; I was born in 1975. Kelli fell out of the Top 1000 after 2004.) Kelsey is the new top Kel- girl name, passing Kelly in 1989, but they are both falling gradually.

I was curious how my spelling of Kelli ranked in terms of other spellings in 2012 (number of births):

Kelly 890
Kellie 68
Kelli 66
Kelley 44
Keli 11
Keleigh 8
Kellee 8
Kely 6
Kelee 5

Because of the popularity of girl Kelly in the 1970s and 1980s (it didn't fall out of the Top 100 until 2000), I know people consider it to be "dated." I fully accept that opinion, but it doesn't keep me from thinking it is a pretty name and I smile when I find out it is still being used.

Thank you for following this somewhat narcissistic random stream of consciousness. In conclusion, and for your reading pleasure, I have grabbed all names beginning with Kel- from the 2012 list...

Top 2012 Boy Kels (Over 100 boys named, with the various other spellings given)

1. Kellen - Kelan, Keland, Kelen, Kelin, Kellan, Kellin, Kellon, Kellyn, Kelon, Kelyn

2. Kelvin - Kelvyn

3. Kelton - Kelten, Keltyn

4. Keller

5. Kelly - Kelley

Top 2012 Girl Kels (Over 100 girls named, with the various other spellings given)

1. Kelsey - Kelcee, Kelcey, Kelci, Kelcie, Kelcy, Kellsey, Kelsea, Kelsee, Kelseigh, Kelsi, Kelsie, Kelsy

2. Kelly - Kelee, Keleigh, Keli, Kellee, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie, Kely

3. Kelis

Note: Kelsey is also given to boys. Kellen, Kellan, Kelin, Kellyn, Kelyn, and Keller are also given to girls. Kelynn is a version of Kellen that is only given to girls.

Other Kels

Keldon, Keldan, Kelden
Keldrick, Keldric
Kelson, Kelsen

Kelby, Kelbie, Kelbi
Keleah, Kelia, Keliah, Keliyah
Kellyann, Kellyanne
Keltie, Kelty
Kelyse, Kelise

What is your favorite Kel- name?

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