Babie Nayms – Part 1

Names that someone already bears, A-Z

Even though the list begins with ‘A’ I hardly know where to begin to “wrap my mind around it.”  Each name is followed by a year, which for many is the year I know someone was given the name, or is the best I can estimate the year of birth.  Am I suggesting that these are all terrible names?  No!  Many have been around for quite a few years, are lovely names for a child or adult, and deserve to be perpetuated.  Therefore a few classic examples are included.  Many, though, leave a lot to be desired, especially an explanation.  So, here we go:

– A –

  • Abrielle, 2006
  • Acadia, 1984
  • Addie, 1980
  • Addyson, 2008
  • Adelina, 1969
  • Aderyn, 2005
  • Adria, 1982
  • Adyn, 2006
  • Alane, 1948
  • Aldea, 1919
  • Aleeza, 1989
  • Alelia, 2000
  • Alene, 1926
  • Aleyne, 1971
  • Alexus, 1999
  • Aliah, 2008
  • Alicen, 2007
  • Alina, 2009
  • Alkira, 2009
  • Almida, 1923
  • Almire, 1947
  • Almon, 1942
  • Almond, 1937
  • Aloma, 1944
  • Alona, 1947
  • Aloura, 2004
  • Alric, 1913
  • Altara, 2002
  • Alycin, 2002
  • Alyvia, 1998
  • Amapola, 1961
  • Ameliese, 2000
  • Anaraivyn, 1998
  • Anethia, 1962
  • Annaliese, 1993
  • Ardean, 1933
  • Ardella, 1931
  • Arden, 1935
  • Aren, 2000
  • Argos, 2004
  • Arica, 1980
  • Aryn, 1999
  • Asher, 1991
  • Ashli, 1990
  • Atrus, 2006
  • Atwood, 1917
  • Aubine, 1930
  • Aubrey, 1976
  • Aubrie, 2010
  • Augusta, 1906
  • Avard, 1957
  • Avena, 1940
  • Averie, 2008
  • Avilda, 1930
  • Avner, 1988
  • Axie, 1921
  • Ayden, 2004
  • Ayn, 1905
  • Ayva, 2009
  • Aziza, 2006
  • Azure, 1980

Now, examine a couple of these, if you will.  Alyvia: Was mom looking for a different way to spell Olivia?  Sounds almost the same, but is no longer a tribute to the mighty olive.  Ameliese: A twist on Analiese?  Atrus: son of Gehn and grandson of Ti’ana is the main character in the Myst computer game series.  (For a whole bunch of additional contrived names, just Google “Myst”.)

– B –

  • Baileigh, 1999
  • Baline, 1994
  • Bayleigh, 1999
  • Bettina, 1945
  • Bion, 1961
  • Birchum, 1923
  • Blane, 1961
  • Blayke, 2003
  • Bode, 1977
  • Braigan, 1997
  • Breckin, 2004
  • Breighane, 1986
  • Brenna, 1988
  • Breonah, 2008
  • Breylee, 2007
  • Bronie, 1945
  • Bryttani, 1990
  • Bryttnie, 2001

Baileigh and Bayleigh: touching variants of Bailey and the suffix -leigh, (a rightful name unto itself, from the English “meadowv).  Bailey, as a name unto itself, stands corrected — or corrupted.  Baline: meant to put one in mind of a cetacean?  Bion: a little too old to have derived from bionic; maybe there’s a family history.  Birchum: Great name!  It recalls a woman I once knew named Birchard, which was also the middle name of our nineteenth President.  Breonah: Were we trying for Briana, the feminine form of Brian?  Bryttani/Bryttnie: Lord have myrci…  Some time back it became de rigueur to drop heavy-sounding names on girls, such as Madison and Courtney.  Did it seem bolder, then, to suggest a dog, that is, the Brittany spaniel?  A pretty name, though, and who could argue with an audacious name on a pretty girl, especially one who could smartly point out that Brittany is not a dog but a region in France?  (A region recognizing Great Britain.)  So, what happened to the name in the 1990s?  Is it anything else but an attempt to be cutesy with the original spelling?  (A revolt against the original spelling?  Britney Spears wasn’t heard of in 1992, was she?)  I confess to assuming that two spellings with the same pronunciation are the same name, Stephen and Steven, OK?  Marc and Mark.  Candi and Candy.  Maybe Bryttni is not a reference to Brittany at all!  Maybe it’s a made-up nonsense word.  Or maybe I’m missing the simple explanation: Maybe Bryttni is to Brittany as Libby or Beth are to Elizabeth, as Meg or Peg substitutes for Margaret, Sandy for Sandra, Dick for Richard, Tom for Thomas, Bill or Willy for William, Gerry for Gerald, Bob for Robert.  As with Willy and Sandy and Gerry, what is sometimes the nickname to one is someone else’s given name; I’ve met plenty of people named Betty or Cindy whose original name is not Elizabeth or Cynthia.  Maybe that’s what Bryttni’s mom had in mind, (and assumed everyone would understand).

– C –

  • Cade, 1997
  • Caden, 2001
  • Cadence, 2007
  • Cadie, 1996
  • Cadin, 2002
  • Cadye, 1997
  • Callier, 1936
  • Cami, 1981
  • Camryn, 1998
  • Carmalene, 1949
  • Caroly, 1945
  • Cash, 1961
  • Cassi, 2000
  • Caylub, 2008
  • Chalize, 1990
  • Chalon, 1992
  • Charbeth, 1974
  • Charlize, 1975
  • Chauntelle, 2002
  • Chaz, 1992
  • Chelci, 1990
  • Cherelle, 1984
  • Cheryldene, 1932
  • Chessintra, 2001
  • Chevala, 1974
  • Cheyanne, 1997
  • Chimere, 1950
  • Clotell, 1990
  • Clydean, 1952
  • Codi, 1984
  • Codie, 1995
  • Cole, 1891
  • Colt, 1990
  • Connar, 2008
  • Coreyna, 2003
  • Corinth, 1995
  • Cormac, 2006
  • Coty, 1993
  • Creagan, 1991
  • Cressa, 1933
  • Cydney, 1993
  • Cynara, 1971

Cadye: Is this a play on Katie?  Camryn: Nothing says that there is only one spelling for Cameron, derived perhaps from a Scottish word describing a crooked nose earned in battle.  But if we spell it Camryn (see also the abuses under ‘K’) we can make something cutesy from something dignified.  Chelci: Is there a tradition I’m not aware of that we are invoking to corrupt these names?  There is a place called Chelsea.  We seem to like the sound of it, but we butcher the spelling.  I just don’t get it.  Codi: There are many variants of this.  It seemed to peak in the early 1980s about the same time as the more common Cory and its many spellings.  Colt: I’ve already asked whether he becomes Stallion when he grows up.

– D –

  • Daegan, 2000
  • Dakoda, 2006
  • Dakotah, 1993
  • Dallis, 1930
  • Danarae, 1963
  • Dante, 2004
  • Darcel, 1967
  • Darel, 1988
  • Darian, 1999
  • Darice, 1947
  • Darrick, 1977
  • Daryn, 2004
  • Daveena, 1982
  • Dayna, 1987
  • Dayne, 1960
  • Daynel, 1949
  • Dayson, 2002
  • Dax, 2007
  • Deaja, 2000
  • Deegan, 2003
  • Deiken, 2009
  • Deja, 1996
  • Delcie, 1968
  • Delicia, 1920
  • Delight, 1931
  • Delphin, 1925
  • Deltha, 1946
  • Demiken, 2001
  • Deni, 1963
  • Denielle, 1989
  • Deron, 2003
  • Desarae, 1985
  • Desaray, 1993
  • Deshon, 1973
  • Desman, 2000
  • Destina, 2003
  • Destyni, 1987
  • Devan, 1988
  • Devra, 1946
  • Devvan, 1991
  • Dezaray, 1995
  • Deziree, 1985
  • Diem, 1984
  • Dietra, 1960
  • Dillanne, 2003
  • Diondre, 2000
  • Dola, 1939
  • Dominyk, 1999
  • Donaldeen, 1928
  • Donat, 1930
  • Donni, 1986
  • Dontay, 1996
  • Dorice, 1947
  • Dorleene, 1946
  • Dorrice, 1945
  • Dreama, 1973
  • Drouin, 2008
  • Dulcey, 1968
  • Dushane, 1992
  • Duska, 1969
  • Dwaine, 1976
  • Dwinal, 1937
  • Dyana, 1983
  • Dyllon, 1998

Dakoda/Dakotah: The Dakota were a band of Sioux, and maybe when the language was first rendered in English these alternate spellings were used and the young moms who conferred these spellings on their babies are much better informed about 19th-century US history than I am; but then again, maybe not.  (Cutesy wins again.)  Dallis: actually a valid spelling of the Gaelic that is commonly seen as Dallas, implying from the dales (valleys).  Dante: Why don’t we see this name more often?  Dante Alleghieri had a profound and positive influence on literature and the Italian language, a worthy name to bestow on a modern child.  Delicia and Delight: Wow!  These names must have created a stir in the 1920s and 1930s.  Donat: Actually, I know this to be a French-Canadian name, but I admire the man I know whose name is Donat so I couldn’t resist including it.  Destyni: Ah, swete mystyre of lief!  What dose it mattre wheer the leettrs flla?  As with Bryttani, the letters are all there, and let the reader unscramble them!  Devvan: A real double vé, may the French rejoice!  It almost looks like a ‘W’.

– E –

  • Easter, 1918
  • Echo, 1988
  • Eliesha, 1986
  • Elisheva, 2007
  • Ellora, 2010
  • Eloi, 1944
  • Elxis, 1995
  • Emden, 1936
  • Emmi, 1935
  • Emmieleen, 1950
  • Eola, 1959
  • Ervilita, 1982
  • Esmae, 2005
  • Estenna, 1922
  • Euretta, 1925
  • Evaughn, 1978
  • Evette, 2003

Easter: Named for the holiday of the Paschal season in Christianity, which has nothing to do with the compass direction, east.  But you could go that way anyway, especially if you have quadruplets.  Name one for each compass point.  Evette: equals Yvette?

– F –

  • Falisha, 2010
  • Farrah, 1947
  • Fatia, 1989
  • Fatune, 1986
  • Finbar, 1957
  • Fonda, 1955
  • Forest, 1932

Falisha: equals Felicia?  Forest: I first saw it as Forrest.  But that doesn’t mean it has to be misspelled.  (Add a third ‘r’ and make it Forrrest.  Then you could trill the ‘r’.)  If you did, imagine your kid going through life correcting everyone who doesn’t give it the trippple ‘r’.)

– G –

  • Garnet, 1951
  • Gayleen, 1963
  • Gaynell, 1927
  • Gean, 1926
  • Genesis, 2007
  • Goldie, 1882
  • Graelyn, 1959
  • Graylin, 1956
  • Greylen, 1973
  • Greyson, 1996
  • Grita, 1932

Galen is a name that many middle-aged men bear.  It has gone out of favor because it sounds like gay.  Frankly, Gay (sometimes Gaye) was a great name back when gay meant light-hearted and carefree.  Graelyn: I know quite a few men whose names are built on the color gray-grey.


This is a sample of the book’s first part. The entire book, Babie Nayms, is available in quality paperback, 245 pages, for under $5, Kindle edition $3, at Amazon.com.

=DAVID A. WOODBURY=