Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When Variations Surpass Originals

I am a huge fan of classic names. And while there are always exceptions, I prefer original spellings (which is funny since my name is Kelli). In looking at the 2012 Top 1000, I have found several variations of names that have surpassed their originals.

So, what determines the original spelling? I am using common sense (Kaydence is not the original spelling of Cadence) as well as historical information from Behind the Name and other baby name sites. I am also using the English form of the name as "original", but I know different languages have a translation of the name and consider its spelling original. It is understandable that, in the United States, the Spanish version of a name could be more popular than the English version, I am just noting the difference in the list below.

This post is meant to spark curiosities and discussions. Discuss away!

Boys - Numbers are how many boy babies were given the name in 2012.

Agustin 215 versus Augustine 197 - Agustin is the Spanish version of Augustine.

Aiden 14,779 versus Aidan 3,189 (Ayden also outnumbers Aidan) - Aidan comes from the Irish and Scottish Aodhán.

Blaze 301 versus Blaise 222 - Yes, Blaze is a word name, but as a name, Blaise is the original.

Brayden 8,451 versus Braden 1,126

Bryan 3,064 versus Brian 2,804

Bryce 3,159 versus Brice 217

Jayden 16,013 versus Jadon 315 (Jaden, Jaiden, and Jaydon also outnumber Jadon) - Some might say Jayden is a made up name capitalizing on the popularity of Aidan, but Jadon is in the Old Testament and that is pretty original.

Jaylen 1,422 versus Jalen 576

Kane 476 versus Cain 288

Kason 767 versus Cason 581 - Not sure of the origination of this name, but I can't help but think a C is original over a K. Also, one can say it comes from Case.

Kayden 3,825 versus Caden 2,669 (Kaden also outnumbers Caden)

Luis 4,349 versus Louis 1,049 - Luis is the Spanish form of Louis.

Mohamed 624 versus Muhammad 580 - Mohamed is a variant transcription of Muhammad, meaning when words in languages with different alphabets are translated into English, spellings may vary.

Phillip 873 versus Philip 705

Ruben 951 versus Reuben 205 - Ruben is the Spanish form of Reuben.

Steven 3,214 versus Stephen 1,549

Girls - Numbers are how many girl babies were given the name in 2012.

Aileen 601 versus Eileen 324 (Ayleen also outnumbers Eileen) - Aileen could be pronounced differently (ay-leen instead of eye-leen), but enough pronounce it the same as Eileen to include it here.

Annabelle 3,025 versus Annabel 579 (Anabelle also outnumbers Annabel) - Annabelle can be considered a variant of Annabel, which came from Anna, or as Anna + belle.

Brianna 4,605 versus Briana 1,057 - May be a little stickler on this, but Behind the Name shows Brianna as a variant of Briana, which is the feminine version of Brian.

Brynn 1,650 versus Bryn 353 - Brynn is the feminine variant of the male Bryn.

Camila 4,776 versus Camilla 706 (Kamila also outnumbers Camilla) - Camila is the Spanish form of Camilla.

Camryn 913 versus Cameron 531 (Kamryn also outnumbers Cameron) - Camryn is a feminine variant of the male Cameron.

Isabelle 2,483 versus Isabel 2,363 - Isabelle is the French form of Isabel.

Jaelyn 647 versus Jaylin 364 (Jaylynn and Jaelynn also outnumber Jaylin) - Jalen is the male form, but Jaylin could either come from Jalen or be a feminine variation of Jay.

Jordyn 2,554 versus Jordan 1,408 - Jordyn is a feminine variant of the male Jordan.

Kaelyn 746 versus Kaylyn 275 (Kaelynn, Kailyn, Kaylin, and Kaylynn also outnumber Kaylyn) - Kaylyn is the combination of Kay and -lyn.

Kaitlyn 2,581 versus Caitlin 738 (Katelyn and Caitlyn also outnumber Caitlin)

Kara 850 versus Cara 402

Karissa 299 versus Carissa 262 - Both are variants of Charissa, but it's hard to overlook the K replacing the C.

Karla 757 versus Carla 365 - Hard to tell if Karla is the German/Scandinavian version of the feminine version of Charles or another K replacing the C.

Kaydence 1,193 versus Cadence 1,084

Lindsey 574 versus Lindsay 393

Madelyn 3,764 versus Madeline 3,137 - Yes, this is one of contention. Is Madeline "mad-uh-lien" with with long "i" or "mad-uh-lynn'? To throw in another wrench, it can also be pronounced "mad-uh-leen". But for the purposes of this post, I see Madelyn as a variant... parents changing the spelling to clarify how they want it pronounced.

Makayla 3,739 versus Michaela 713 (Mikayla also outnumbers Michaela)

Reyna 378 versus Reina 247 - Reina means "queen" in Spanish. Rayna and Raina also outnumber Reina, but they could be considered another language version of Regina.

Other Notes

Kellen 924 beats Kellan 805, but I'm not sure which is the original, if there even is one.

Cael/Cale/Kale is complicated. Cael is an Irish name, Cale could be a shortened form of Caleb, and Kale could either be a variant of Cale, the Hawaiian form of Charles, or from the vegetable. It's hard to say what is "original." In any case, Kale is the most popular spelling, followed by Cale, Cael and then Kael.

Skylar/Skyler is a weird one. Skyler is a variant of Schuyler and more popular with boys, while Skylar is listed as a variant of Skyler and more popular with girls. It seems to be a true unisex name with each spelling being more popular with a different gender. Since they both came from Schuyler, I'll just say they both outnumber their original spelling and not worry about comparing them to each other.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Um... how much would you have to be obsessed with the vegetable Kale, to name your kid that!? :)

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