Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actor Burl Ives was born in rural Illinois in 1909. His birth name? Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives.
I don’t know the story behind his unique given names, but I do know that his parents, Levi Franklin (“Frank”) and Cordellia (“Dellie”), gave several of their six other children interesting names as well:
Audry Jane, b. 1899
Artie Morris, b. 1901
Clarence Estie, b. 1903
Argola Marie, b. 1906
Burl Icle Ivanhoe, b. 1909
Lilburn Verger, b. 1914
Norma, b. 1919
(During that area, the next-door state of Missouri had a community called Argola — I wonder if that’s where Argola Marie’s name came from…?)
Today, Burl Ives may be best remembered as the voice of Sam the Snowman in the 1964 stop-motion TV movie Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — the longest-running Christmas special in history.
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!
“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.
A reader named Becky recently emailed me with a rather cool request:
We’re looking for a girl name that has an actual spelling and letter combinations to represent the word. For example Evie (EV) and Katie (KT). Any suggestions would be great!
Here’s a long list of (mostly female) names that can be spelled with the names of letters. Some of the letter strings don’t quite replicate the pronunciation of the corresponding name, but, even if they don’t match perfectly, they do come pretty close.