Neoteny in Parenting / Misspell Your Child’s “Novelty” Name

Baby names with a modern flair – Since Americans routinely misspell simple words, do they really need instructions on “how to misspell” names?

Baby names with clever spellings

Are you looking for a baby name that is a little different? Make your baby’s name less traditional with a modern new spelling.

One look at the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 Baby Names indicates that many parents opt for trendy, alternative spellings. All of these spelling variations listed below appeared on the most recent SSA list. In each case, we’ve listed the spelling that is currently most popular.

Change C to K, or vice-versa

The letters C, K, CH and CK are generally interchangeable. (Really?) A traditional name, such as Christopher, becomes more modern when the hard CH sound is changed to just a C (Cristopher) or a K (Kristopher). Within the top 1,000 names for boys, some C and K names boast as many as seven different spellings!

  • Cameron: Camren, Camron, Camryn, Kameron, Kamron and Kamryn.
  • Colton:  Colten, Kolten, Kolton
  • Connor:  Conner, Conor, Konner, Konner
  • Kason:  Casen, Cason, Cayson, Kasen, Kaysen, Kayson

The same holds true for the names we love for baby girls:

  • Carly:  Carlee, Carleigh, Carley, Carlie, Karlee, Karlie
  • Kalyn:  Cailyn, Kaelyn, Kaelynn, Kailyn, Kailynn, Kaylen, Kaylyn, Kaylynn
  • Kailey:  Caylee, Kailee, Kaleigh, Kaylee, Kayleigh, Kaylie
  • Katelyn:  Caitlyn, Caitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Katelynn

Popular boy names such as Caleb, Carter and Colby become Kaleb, Karter and Kolby, while girl names Cassandra, Catalina and Chloe become Kassandra, Katalina and Khloe.

When C/K swaps are made within the name, you see modifications like these:

Add, omit or change vowels

A, E, I, O, U (and sometimes Y) are fun to play with. Mix them up or swap them out and enjoy a brand-new version of a traditional name. Occasionally, you’ll find examples of first-letter modifications (Ian to Ean and Emmanuel to Immanuel) but, unlike Cs and Ks, most vowel changes occur within the name.

On the list of Most Popular Baby Boy Names, there are 28 combined spellings of Aiden, Brayden, Jayden and Kaden!

  • Aiden:  Aaden, Adan, Aden, Aidan, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, Aydin
  • Brayden:  Braden, Bradyn, Braeden, Braiden, Braydon
  • Jayden:  Jaden, Jadon, Jaeden, Jaiden, Jaidyn, Jaydon
  • Kaden:  Caden, Caiden, Kaeden, Kaiden, Kayden

Girl names are great for vowel-swapping, too:

  • Adalyn:  Adalynn, Addilyn, Adelyn, Adelynn
  • Raina:  Rayna, Reyna
  • Reagan:  Raegan, Regan
  • Zoey:  Zoe, Zoie

For boy baby names, the vowels most frequently changed are those near the end of a name: Brandon becomes Branden and Weston becomes Westin.

Girls love the long E sound

For baby girl names, the long E sound might be represented by E, EE, IE, Y, EY or EIGH. The name Bailey, for example, is pronounced just the same when it’s spelled Bailee, Baylee or Bayleigh, all of which are in the Top 1,000 Names for Baby Girls.

  • Aleah:  Aleigha, Alia
  • Amy:  Aimee
  • Aubrey:  Aubree, Aubrie, Aubri
  • Avery:  Averi, Averie
  • Brylee:  Bryleigh
  • Destiny:  Destinee
  • Emily:  Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee
  • Hailey:  Hailee, Haleigh, Haley, Haylee, Hayleigh, Hayley, Haylie
  • Layla: Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
  • Riley:  Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie

Play with X, Y and Z

For both masculine and feminine names, adding or removing uncommon consonants results in fresh new names.

Double or half the consonants

One of the most common ways to modify the spelling of a girl baby name is to add or remove one or more of the consonants within the name. In many cases, adding an H seals the deal.

  • Alana:  Alanna, Alannah
  • Aubrianna:  Aubriana
  • Ava:  Avah
  • Braelyn:  Braelynn
  • Eliana:  Elianna
  • Emmalyn:  Emmalynn
  • Giselle:  Gisselle
  • Janiyah:  Janiya
  • Liliana:  Lilianna, Lilliana, Lillianna
  • Madison:  Maddison

There is a drawback

When it comes to baby name spellings, there really are no hard and fast rules, but keep one thing in mind. Your modifications may make your baby’s name personal and unique, but he or she may end up spending a lot of time correcting people who misspell it –

like their idiot parents or the court system.


Restrictions by government on baby names in foreign nations:




2 thoughts on “Neoteny in Parenting / Misspell Your Child’s “Novelty” Name

  1. That’s the *formal* restrictions (currently).

    In the past, ‘name days’ supplied parents with close-circumscribed possibilities for naming their progeny – and one might have the ‘church’ on one’s back if one bucked custom in those times.

    (Oh, the shame…)

    In a highly-structured hierarchy, ‘honor-shame’ tendencies tend to overshadow guilt-based understanding.

    Is ***that*** why we seem to be under an impenetrable pall of shame? Because we’re outside of the hierarchy – as if we are effectively living in the land of the pharaohs, as if we were actually slaves of Normdom? Does society want to return to a magic(k) based comprehension of life (which the social world in truth never left)?


    • Shame – what a horrid concept and practice! I think there is a response in children to having transgressed rules or having ‘hurt’ another living thing; a ‘bad feeling’ that is instinctive, but it’s about true empathy – the “shock” of understanding that life is not a toy objec that is something one owns and has the right to damage or kill. “Natural empathy” needs to be cultivated by parents – but of course, the social hierarchy demands that this natural feeling of empathy for other life is to be perverted into an opportunity for control: shaming the child may be used to convert “doing something bad” into “permanent self-loathing”. Need I mention religious indoctrination? This feeling of natural empathy ought to be understood as very painful for the child; empathy for the child’s “discovery” of the consequences of “hurting others” is the proper response: a lesson learned; a step from childhood narcissism toward adult cognitive comprehension. We see the disaster of shaming all around us. ASD people are shamed constantly: idiots believe that children may be made to “shape up” (be obedient). It “works” with typical children – at great cost. I think that for “us” it doesn’t work, in that we tend to go our own way, behaviorally, but “shame energy” hangs around like a radioactive cloud of particles over the social domain, a cloud that is poisonous to our “desire” to enter and be a part of social groups.


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