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Intentionally or Creatively Misspelling Names

A note on intentional or creative misspellings of names:

Sometimes made-up names are great because they combine two names from your family tree, such as combining something like Jasmine and Mira – Jasmira, or sometimes the name at least sounds like it could be a legitimate name, such as Kivora, and sometimes the legitimate names sound made-up, such as Doveva (but usually because they’ve been unheard of for so long). But I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of creating a new baby name, I’ll just say this: research any possible associations, and don’t misplace vowels. Say you want to go for Aliyah/Aaliyah and its variants, something new, so you try Alyia. If anything, that letter I should have been placed before the Y. This is beside the fact that both the I and the Y do not need to be there if the Y comes first, only one does. These are the language laws, which dictate that misplacing vowels (and certain other letters) make for a nonsense word or name. Scrolling through the SSA list these past couple of months I have seen Izsabella and Iszabella, Nathalye and Natalye, and many more names where the misspelling does not benefit the name at all. And I think this is why so many of us are against creative, intentional misspellings – because the misspelling turns the name into something confusing and usually adds unnecessary letters or takes away necessary letters. Most of us get a feeling of disgust when we see something like“Honestiy,” “Lushious” or “Catariyna.” My advice is to be respectful of the original version of the name if you are using something familiar. Variations like Christel or Cristal from the name Crystal make sense. Trying to make people pronounce Alyzeebith the same as Elizabeth does not. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with recent studies that prove children with oddly misspelled names have a much harder time learning to read and write, especially if their name defies phonics.

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*UPDATED
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Forest

Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…