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Unique Spellings: The New Twist on Baby Names

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It is becoming increasingly popular in recent years to bestow first and middle names that are more unconventional and unique.  More and more parents are changing the spelling of common names with the desire to make their baby stand out from the crowd.

Some parents take a common name and alter the spelling to focus on a particular syllable, such as Brian and Brayan, while others take the spelling game to the top, often coming up with completely new names.   Nevaeh is a phenomenon of spelling changes.  Taking the word heaven and re-arranging the letters backwards, parents have begun a trend that is rising fast in popularity.  Before 2001, Nevaeh was not even noted in US name popularity charts.  In the past few years, it has amazingly grown to rank 70! 

What’s the catch?  Parents are choosing Nevaeh for its connection to the beauty and ideal of heaven, in addition to getting a name that sounds like it came from a fantasy novel.    It seems that even the most original name spelling can, within a few years, soar to be one of the most popular names in the country.   Parents considering such names for their babies should keep in mind that they may be creating a lasting trend, and although their baby may have a one-of-a-kind name among their peers, they may be followed by a younger generation of name-alikes.

Unique spellings should be well-thought out.  It is best to make sure that the name is pronounceable.  Your baby will have to deal with others reading their name out loud throughout their lives – names that are difficult or complicated to pronounce will put your child in the position to constantly correct others.  Sometimes it may be worth it to stick to a more common spelling and give your baby an easy time in such situations.  Sometimes the slight change can add enough uniqueness without the potential problems.  Spelling Natalie as Natalee is a great example.  The spelling has changed, but it is still obvious how the name should be pronounced. 

It is recommended to have a reason for changing the spelling of a name.  Consider why it is that you are making the alterations – do you want to bring out certain aspects of a name, to connect a name to a certain ethnicity, or to make the name more meaningful to you?  Spelling changes that are well thought out will bring more meaning to your baby’s name and will add to their sense of identity later on in life.  Your child may ask you a few years down the line about the name you have chosen and giving them a satisfying answer can add to their self-confidence.

If you are looking for a unique twist to your name choices, you can use our advanced search to look for different spellings of names with the same meaning.

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