I was wondering your opinion on using names with non-traditional spellings. My name is spelled in a non-traditional way: Karlee instead of Carly. I am almost always called Kaylee or Callie when first meeting people; not to mention I have to spell out my first name or have it spelled wrong every time. Even after I have told people how to spell my name they still spell it wrong (even family members)! Honestly, it can be a bit frustrating at times. I know my case isn’t as drastic as some such as Emmalie for Emily or Cidnee for Sydney. Just to clarify I’m not against changing a letter or two, and I’m not saying everybody has to be the same either. I just think sometimes people go too far with it. I would love to hear your insight on this. Thanks so much!
Carly with a K and two EE’s
Personally, I hate them. Professionally, I hate them. For the reasons that you stated, above. When I approach a name professionally, I approach it from the perspective of the child–the person who will bear the name for the rest of his or her life. Can the name be a burden on the child? And how much of a burden? Will he/she have to spell it for people their entire lives?
Some people with (what I call) “Kreatyve Names” say that they like their different spelling. That it makes them unique. But most of them say they only learned to accept it as an adult. As a child, it was a burden.
If you want a unique name, choose a unique name. Don’t choose a popular name and misspell it. Life is hard enough for kids. Any comments from Kreatyve namers or namees?
First, I have to thank you for this amazing site! I’m always on here looking for inspiring baby names. I have read nearly every Q&A so I am familiar with your “rules for baby naming”. One thing I have always wondered about, and have never really seen you talk about (forgive me if you have and I missed it!) is if you have an opinion on the cohesiveness of sibling names. Does it matter to anyone out there that all their children have names that mesh well? Or would you have a “Fifi”, a “Zion”, a “Shantel” and a “Keoni” all in the same family?
Thank you for being a loyal reader!
My opinion is that every child in a household should have his/her own identity. I therefore advise against naming children after parents, “matching” twins names or even creating sibling patterns, such as all names starting with the same letter. I understand that parents like to show the cohesiveness of the family unit through naming patterns. It’s sort of like doling out uniforms for a team. However I believe sharing a surname is cohesive enough. Don’t box your children (or you) in with unnecessary name rules! I would love it if I met a family with a Fifi, Zion, Shantel and Keoni! Those are fascinating name choices.
I have recently met someone who named their daughter “Lillia” (LIL-LIA). Could you add it to your database? Do you know what the meaning of this name is? Thanks!
The name Lillia is a variant of Lily/Lilly/Lilia and means “lily flower.” I have added it as an alternate spelling to our LILIA page.
I’ve seen you advise many times not to name your child something ending in -ie or -y. I really like the name Emily for my daughter, but do you think it would age well? Or should I name her Emmeline and call her Emily for short?
Emily has been a very popular name in the last ten years and yes, I think it would age well. But because it has been so popular, I would recommend a less common variant, like Emilia or even Emile. Emmeline is a great choice too. Let me know what you choose and thank you for reading my column.