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. 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!
The same holds true for the names we love for baby girls:
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.
On the list of Most Popular Baby Boy Names, there are 28 combined spellings of Aiden, Brayden, Jayden and Kaden!
Girl names are great for vowel-swapping, too:
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.
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.
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.
Click the banner to check out our database of over 30,000 baby names >>
More baby name ideas