I recently updated my old Anagram Baby Names post to make it much more comprehensive. As I worked on it, though, I noticed that many of those sets of names had obvious similarities, such as the same first letters and/or the same rhythm.
So I thought I’d make a second, shorter list of anagram names that were less conspicuously similar. Specifically, I wanted the second list to feature sets of names with different first letters and different numbers of syllables.
And that’s what you’ll find below — pairs of anagram names that are relatively distinct from one another. So much so that, at first glance (or listen), some might not even strike you as being anagrammatic at all. :)
Click on any name to check out its popularity graph…
Most of the names above have a clear number of syllables, but a few do not. (I categorized them according to my own interpretation/accent.) So, if you’re interested in using any of these pairings, just remember to test the names out loud first!
The last native speaker of Manx Gaelic — a fisherman named Ned — died in the mid-1970s.
Since then, one of the ways the Isle of Man has attempted to keep the Manx language alive is through baby names.
In mid-2003, the government released a short booklet, “Some Manx First Names” (pdf), to encourage expectant parents to give their babies traditional Manx names.
In recent years there has been an increase in the use of Manx names but often prospective parents were only aware of the more common names. The booklet includes the more popular names, for example Juan (well born) for a boy and Breeshey (shining) for a girl and less commonly used names for example Fintan (a little fair one) for a boy and Blaa (flower) for a girl.
I have yet to see any Manx names at the top of the Isle of Man rankings (e.g., 2020), but perhaps they’ll get there one day.
In the meanwhile, here’s a sampling of names from the booklet. The booklet’s original definitions are in quotes, and I’ve added some extra info in parentheses.
Male Manx Names
Austeyn, “venerable” (form of Augustine)
Conylt/Conal, “love” (form of Conall, “strong wolf”)
Finlo, “fair Scandinavian” (form of Finlugh, possibly “fair Lugh“)
Gilno/Dilno, “saint’s servant” (from the Manx words for “servant,” guilley, and “saint,” noo)
Mayl, “like God [Michael]”
Ramsey, “place name” (Ramsey is the Isle of Man’s second-largest town; “wild garlic island” in Old English)
Stoill, “with a will” (I can’t figure out the derivation here)
Female Manx Names
Aalid/Aelid, “beauty” (from the Manx word for “beauty,” aalid)
Ailstreena, “feminine of Alister” (both come from Alexander, “defending men”)
Creena, “wise” (from the Manx word for “wise,” creeney)
Malane, “magnificent [Madeline]” (form of Magdalene, “of Magdala“)
Onnee, “grace [Annie]”
Renny, “a fern” (from the Manx word for “fern,” rhennee)
Vorana, “great” (I can’t figure out the derivation here either)
In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.
My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.
In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.
So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.
Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames
Surname starts with:
Potential full initials (& example combo):
A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.) A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.) A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.) A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.) B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.) E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.) G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.) I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.) I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.) I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.) I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.) K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.) L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.) M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.) N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.) O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.) O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.) U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.) U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.) J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.) L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.) R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.) S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.) S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.) T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.) Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.) M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.) N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.) V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.) Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.) R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.) T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.) Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.) A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.) E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.) F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.) I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.) J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.) L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.) M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.) M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.) R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.) S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.) Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.) D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.) G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.) H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.) L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.) M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.) M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.) M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.) S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.) S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.) V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.) W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.) Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.) D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.) J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.) J.I.M. (James Irvin M.) K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.) L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.) P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.) R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.) S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.) S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.) T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.) T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.) T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.) D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.) D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.) J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.) L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.) M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.) P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.) R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.) R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.) T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.) G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.) I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.) J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.) J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.) K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.) M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.) R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.) R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.) S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
A reader named Heath is expecting his third child, a boy, and would like some name suggestions. Here’s what he says:
I’m Heath, wife is Aspen, daughter is Channing and son is Deacon so we’re looking for a name that most kids won’t have but also want something that isn’t feminine, will get him picked on or doesn’t sound like we are trying too hard.
Here are some of the names they’ve been considering:
My favorite is Justice but that has no chance with my wife. She likes Ridge but I quickly vetoed that. Her favorite is Easton but I was looking for something more. Some others that we have thought about is Beckett, Kingston or Tate but again I’m not overly thrilled.
Many of the names above come from surnames, so that’s what I focused on as I brainstormed: