This or that (name game with different spellings).

I thought we could do a little name game today, to have a bit of fun. In case the post title isn’t self-explanatory enough, below there are pairs of names, which are essentially spelling variants of one name, and I’m curious which of these spellings you prefer. Are you more traditional, or more creative, or a bit of both? Feel free to just list your preferred spellings, or comment on your choice as shortly or extensively as you wish. Here are the names:

Violet or Violette?

Juliet or Juliette?

Katelyn or Caitlin?

Adeline or Adalyn?

Amelia or Amilia?

Louisa or Luiza?

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?

Evelyn or Evalyn?

Cecilia or Cecelia?

Maisie or Maisy?

Mae or May?

Aria or Ariyah?

Wren or Ren?

Emmeline or Emmalyn?

Lucy or Lucie?

Lily or Lillie?

Claire or Clare?

Jane or Jayne?

Lila or Lyla?

Elizabeth or Elisabeth?

Amelie or Amalie?

Seraphina or Serafina?

Sofie or Sophie?

Ariel or Arielle?

Caroline or Carolyn?

Sophia or Sofia?

Zoe or Zoey?

Finn or Fionn (FINN)?

Felix or Feliks?

Greyson or Grayson?

Lucas or Lukas?

Martin or Martyn?

Oscar or Oskar?

Phillip or Filip?

Michael or Mychael?

Emmanuel or Emanuel?

Callum or Calum?

Alasdair or Alistair?

Eric or Erik?

Paul or Pól?

Glen or Glyn?

Tommy or Tomi?

Stephen or Steven?


Violet or Violette? – I don’t care for this name either way, even though I like a lot of floral names and most people with more or less similar tastes to me tend to love it. But I think Violette makes this name look more sophisticated and I much prefer the French pronunciation over the English one.

Juliet or Juliette? – Again, don’t care for it either way but Juliette looks more complete.

Katelyn or Caitlin? – Actually, I have a little bit of a dilemma here. I tend to favour traditional spellings because they’re… well, traditional, they usually have more history to it and often just are more aesthetically pleasing. In this case, Caitlin is the original, Irish Gaelic spelling of this name and yes, I really like it, especially when pronounced the Gaelic way. Katelyn, on the other hand, looks very modern and, I’d say, seasonal, which is to say I don’t think it’ll ever be trendy again. And I tend to dislike names that are seasonal like that and look modernised. But I actually like a lot of names with the -lyn ending, despite my classic/traditional leanings, and while Caitlin has more history and sounds better, Katelyn looks better imo. Caitlin is just not impressive in the way it looks in writing. Plus, I like the nickname Katie, and it’s much more obvious for Katelyn than Caitlin. At least I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Caitlin that would go by Katie, it seems to be Cait most often, which I don’t like at all in this spelling. So yeah, I think I’m voting Katelyn.

Adeline or Adalyn? – Adeline for sure! Adalyn’s not too bad, but Adeline has a lot more character and looks beautiful and refined. I like the frilly Adelina even more.

Amelia or Amilia? – Amelia. I don’t dislike Amilia but it looks a bit like someone couldn’t quite decide whether it should be Amelia or Emilia. 😀

Louisa or Luiza? – That’s super difficult, I really like both. Luiza is the Polish (and apparently also Portuguese) variant and is pronounced pretty much the same. I think I choose Louisa though, it looks a little bit nicer.

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?- Definitely Isla. It’s lovely, even if very popular right now. Ayla meanwhile… I never know how to pronounce it. It can be EYE-luh but it could just as well be AY-luh I guess.

Evelyn or Evalyn? – Evelyn! It looks nicer, is more vintage, plus I don’t really like Eva. I don’t like Eve either, but Eva- feels a lot more prominent in Evalyn than Eve- does in Evelyn. To me Evalyn looks like you deliberately want it to be a combination of Eva + Lyn, rather than a variant spelling of Evelyn whose etymology is totally different from Eve/Eva.

Cecilia or Cecelia? – Cecilia, I think. It’s a lot more graceful. I don’t mind Cecelia but if I wanted to go the -celia route I’d rather use Celia alone than Cecelia.

Maisie or Maisy? – Absolutely Maisie. Maisy is very unattractive aesthetically imo.

Mae or May? – May. It looks a lot fresher and more natural, as in, it makes me think of the month of May, of the plant may, of nature in general. Mae feels bland and boring and rather dated and just like a filler middle name.

Aria or Ariyah? – It feels like I’m seeing Aria in all birth announcements from the English-speaking world these days and I’m a bit tired of it. Ariyah’s not really my thing but you don’t see it everywhere, plus lately I’m liking a lot of -iya(h) names for girls very much.

Wren or Ren? – Wren. Ren looks like a nickname to me and is so short that it doesn’t feel very interesting. I don’t like Wren enough to use it myself or anything, but it looks lovely as a middle name with something longer and frilly haha.

Emmeline or Emmalyn? – I like both but Emmeline looks better, and here it’s a bit the same as what I was talking about regarding Evelyn vs Evalyn – Emmalyn looks like Emma + Lyn and Emma is SO popular for babies right now in SO many places and I’m quite fed up with it.

Lucy or Lucie? – It’s nice to see Lucie because it’s less common and always draws attention, or that’s at least how it is in my case, but I guess I’m more attached to Lucy.

Lily or Lillie? – I like Lily, but I also see Lily everywhere in the English-speaking world where newborn babies or people’s future naming plans are concerned, I guess especially in the UK, and it probably feels even more so to me because in Poland we’ve been having a bit of a Lil-
names epidemic (Lilianna is particularly popular). So neither feels particularly breathtaking at the moment, but Lillie stands out a bit more so I’m gonna pick Lillie.

Claire or Clare? – I think Claire looks fuller, but I much prefer Klara from either of these.

Jane or Jayne? – 100% Jane! Jane may be plain and boring but to me it’s actually a lot more interesting than Jayne.

Lila or Lyla? – A lot of girls with Lil- names in Poland are nicknamed Lila so it’s also everywhere, but I’m still choosing Lila over Lyla because it looks better. Also, even though it’s so popular here, I much prefer the LEE-lah pronounciation over the LIE-la one, and Lyla isn’t so flexible where pronunciation is concerned.

Elizabeth or Elisabeth? – I love both, but because Elizabeth is so common in the English-speaking world, I always appreciate seeing Elisabeth more. It also looks more elegant to me and has a strongly Scandinavian air.

Amelie or Amalie? – Amelie. I also prefer Amelia over Amalia, for no specific reason I guess.

Seraphina or Serafina? – Serafina. – I almost always will prefer a name spelled with an F rather than Ph. Also Serafina lends itself a bit easier to the nickname Fina that I find adorable.

Sofie or Sophie? – Well, today I feel like I’m more inclined to say Sophie but ask me tomorrow and the answer might be different. I can just never decide which one is better!

Ariel or Arielle? – Arielle. Here in Poland Ariel is viewed as pretty much exclusively masculine (and very rare) name and while I myself don’t see it as either exclusively feminine or exclusively masculine, I prefer Arielle or Ariela for a girl. Also I don’t know where it’s produced, sold and wherever else it might be known under the same name but here I think Ariel is more commonly known as the name of a type of detergent than actual people.

Caroline or Carolyn? – The Carolyn as such is a lot less interesting than the Caroline spelling, but I much prefer the -lyn pronunciation over the -line, so I pick Carolyn.

Sophia or Sofia? – Sofia, I think. Sophia is too popular. Not that Sofia is not, but in the English-speaking world it’s slightly less than Sophia, and I am less exposed to the naming trends of the countries where Sofia is currently in like top 10. For me Sofia is very distinctively Swedish.

Zoe or Zoey? Undisputably Zoe.

Finn or Fionn (FINN)? – Maybe some of you expected me to choose Fionn, because I’m a Celtophile and Fionn is the original, Irish version of the anglicised Finn, but in this case I think I prefer the look of Finn.

Felix or Feliks? – Felix has more character and is kinda zippier, I like it more. Feliks feels a lot more serious.

Greyson or Grayson? – Greyson, just because I’m more used to this spelling, but I don’t like the name either way.

Lucas or Lukas? – Lukas, I suppose, but I like both and my preference isn’t very big at all.

Martin or Martyn? – Martin. Martyn makes me think of the Polish feminine name Martyna, which I don’t like.

Oscar or Oskar- Definitely Oskar, although that doesn’t mean I don’t like Oscar.

Phillip or Filip? – I prefer the way Filip looks, I’m actually really fond of it, though I don’t like how popular it is here among children and teens. In the English-speaking world, it would be really cool and refreshing to see a Filip though, I think it could give Phillip a younger feel, although perhaps Phillip itself will be ready for a comeback in a while, I’m not sure.

Michael or Mychael? – Michael for sure.

Emmanuel or Emanuel? – I think it looks more full with the additional M but I don’t mind it with one M.

Callum or Calum? – I guess I’ve been exposed to Callum a lot more because Calum feels glaringly incomplete.

Alasdair or Alistair? – Alasdair, the properly Scottish way. –

Eric or Erik? Neither is interesting, but I think I have a very slight preference for Erik. –

Paul or Pól? – Pól is the Irish spelling and I really love it. I’m rather neutral about Paul. –

Glen or Glyn? – Glyn is amazing, Glen is meh. –

Tommy or Tomi? – Actually, I don’t care for Tommy, but I’ve seen Tomi used as a legit Cymricised (Welshified) version and when I first came across it I was like “Well, it’s actually quite nice”. So yeah, Tomi.

Stephen or Steven? – I don’t like either at all, but if I seriously had to choose, I’d choose Steven. I know the ph was the original spelling but it doesn’t make sense. 😀

Okay, now over to you, which spellings do you prefer? 🙂

8 thoughts on “This or that (name game with different spellings).”

  1. I agree, the Stephen spelling doesn’t make sense.

    Maisie strikes me as a very non-North American name. Caz is another example. I know a couple of British bloggers named Carol who go by Caz, but I’ve never come across anyone North American who goes by Caz.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are interesting observations, and I totally agree both about Maisie and Caz. I also don’t know and have never heard of any Americans going by Caz but have come across quite a few Brits with this nickname. And Maisie is a very British/Scottish thing for sure, but I think it’s changing now because Maisie’s climbing the US baby name popularity charts quite quickly from what I hear. I think Gemma is another such name. I hardly even hear it in the American context but very often from the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boy I want to play! 😮

    Violet or Violette? Definitely Violet. It’s simple and matches the gorgeous flower!

    Juliet or Juliette? I think I prefer the simplicity of Juliet again here, but it’s a near-tie.

    Katelyn or Caitlin? Neither! The name rubs me the wrong way.

    Adeline or Adalyn? I’d go traditional with Adeline.

    Amelia or Amilia? Amelia! I must be a traditionalist here!

    Louisa or Luiza? Louisa! Yep, I see a pattern here…

    Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)? Hmm…. I’m unfamiliar, so I’ll choose neither.

    Evelyn or Evalyn? Oh, definitely Evelyn. It was Granny Franny’s middle name, and I want to use it if I ever name a child as the first or middle name.

    Cecilia or Cecelia? It’s a tie!

    Maisie or Maisy? A tie!

    Mae or May? Ohh, Mae has a uniqueness to it! Not bad! It reminds me of how I’ve always wanted to spell Meg with two dots over the e!! HA HA HA HA!

    Aria or Ariyah? Neither, but Aria if we need one! 😮

    Wren or Ren? Wren is pretty cool!! Rocking the silent letter!

    Emmeline or Emmalyn? Hmm… neither?

    Lucy or Lucie? Definitely Lucy!

    Lily or Lillie? Hmm…. Lily!

    Claire or Clare? I prefer Claire!

    Jane or Jayne? Oh, definitely Jane! No need for an ugly y there! It comes off less like a silent letter (like in Wren) and more of a deliberate misspelling! Ugh.

    Lila or Lyla? Neither!

    Elizabeth or Elisabeth? I have to choose Elizabeth, my middle name! You’ve got everyone’s middle names here! 😀 I’m Elizabeth, Granny Franny was Evelyn, and my mother’s middle name was Louise. (You had Louisa, which is close enough!)

    Amelie or Amalie? Oh my. Neither.

    Seraphina or Serafina? Not a favorite name of mine… can’t choose one here! No preference.

    Sofie or Sophie? I like the traditional ph.

    Ariel or Arielle? Ariel.

    Caroline or Carolyn? Oh wow, you’re asking the tough questions today! I feel that I should have a preference here, but I don’t! 😮

    Sophia or Sofia? I still like the ph!!

    Zoe or Zoey? Hmm…. I prefer Zoey, becuase Zoe looks like it rhymes with toe! 😮 And Zoey is spelled correctly as per my language, like Joey, for example.

    Finn or Fionn (FINN)? Oh my! Only Finn please!

    Felix or Feliks? Felix, for sure!!

    Greyson or Grayson? Hmm…. the color gray can go either way, the way I see it, so I have no preference. Slight preference (I guess) for Greyson, just because I love British spelling!

    Lucas or Lukas? Lucas! As a reading teacher, I learned to use a c instead of a k whenever you can. For example, cat would be cat, and not kat. But kiss would be kiss and not ciss, or it would be pronounced siss. In this case, a c can be used, and therefore it should be.

    Martin or Martyn? Martyn is far too feminine! I’d stick with Martin!

    Oscar or Oskar? As per the above Lucas response, I’ll go with Oscar!

    Phillip or Filip? You got another family member! I like the traditional ph. Interestingly, my dad’s birth name was Phillip, but he hated the double l and has informally (no legal name change) gone by Philip his whole life. And my brother’s legal name is Philip. The same as my dad’s, and same middle and last name, but no double-l (and no added-on “junior” or “the second”).

    Michael or Mychael? Ohhh! Way to distort a name! I’d chose Michael, but honestly, it’s one of my least favorite names of all time. Parents, be more original, please! The world has enough Michaels!

    Emmanuel or Emanuel? Emmanuel! It looks more traditional!

    Callum or Calum? Hmm… unfamiliar, but I don’t like either!

    Alasdair or Alistair? Another family name, our English springer spaniel when I was very young! I prefer his spelling: Allister.

    Eric or Erik? As with the debate about using a c when you can, I’ll go with Eric! Using the k would be like spelling -ic words with a k, like magik, musik, septik, etc. So wrong!

    Paul or Pól? Paul, for sure!!

    Glen or Glyn? Glen, please!

    Tommy or Tomi? Neither!!

    Stephen or Steven? I swear, for years as a kid, I thought it was pronounced Steffen. Go figure. I don’t like the name, so I won’t choose either!!

    This has been fun!! I love name games!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wowww, you’re so traditionally English, that’s really interesting and I loved reading your responses! 🙂
      So true about the silent W in Wren being very cool, but the silent Y in Jayne looking like a misspelling. 😀
      What an interesting point about Zoe/Zoey. Never looked at Zoe this way that it looks like it would rhyme with toe, but it certainly does. Similarly, I’ve never thought until now that Zoey is, after all, the properly phonetic English spelling, because it looks really artificial to me. 😀 Then again, my perspective is probably different because I first came across Zoe as a Byzantine name rather than one used in the English-speaking world.
      It’s really interesting for me that you’ve never heard of Isla and Callum! They’re both Scottish names and so predominantly used in the UK but they’ve been rising as baby names in the US for some time so it’s interesting that people in the US might actually still not have heard them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Violet or Violette? I’d say Violet but don’t know why.

    Juliet or Juliette? Don’t really have a preference.

    Katelyn or Caitlin? Definitely Katelyn, I love its modern look and feel.

    Adeline or Adalyn? Adeline. Adalyn just sounds a bit too outlandish for me.

    Amelia or Amilia? Amelia, though I don’t dislike Amilia either.

    Louisa or Luiza? Louisa!

    Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)? Ayla!

    Evelyn or Evalyn? Evelyn (same as why I like Adeline).

    Cecilia or Cecelia? Cecilia.

    Maisie or Maisy? Don’t like either.

    Mae or May? Love both, but Mae sounds more exotic.

    Aria or Ariyah? Ariyah.

    Wren or Ren? Wren.

    Emmeline or Emmalyn? Both look rather off to me.

    Lucy or Lucie? Lucy.

    Lily or Lillie? Both but if I have to choose, I’ll go with Lily.

    Claire or Clare? Both but I’ll pick Claire.

    Jane or Jayne? Jane.

    Lila or Lyla? Lila.

    Elizabeth or Elisabeth? Elisabeth.

    Amelie or Amalie? Amelie (though to be honest it should be Amélie).

    Seraphina or Serafina? Serafina.

    Sofie or Sophie? Sophie.

    Ariel or Arielle? Arielle (assuming you’re meaning it as a girl’s name).

    Caroline or Carolyn? Carolyn.

    Sophia or Sofia? Sophia.

    Zoe or Zoey? Zoe.

    Finn or Fionn (FINN)? Finn.

    Felix or Feliks? Felix.

    Greyson or Grayson? Greyson.

    Lucas or Lukas? Lucas.

    Martin or Martyn? Martin.

    Oscar or Oskar? Oscar.

    Phillip or Filip? I like both.

    Michael or Mychael? Michael.

    Emmanuel or Emanuel? Emanuel.

    Callum or Calum? Callum.

    Alasdair or Alistair? Don’t like either.

    Eric or Erik? I don’t care either way.

    Paul or Pól? Paul.

    Glen or Glyn? Neither, it should be Glenn.

    Tommy or Tomi? Tommy.

    Stephen or Steven? Stephen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your choices! 🙂 Regarding Amelie vs Amélie, I think that would depend on a language a lot, and whether a language traditionally does accents or does not. Like in English I’ve mostly come across Amelie rather than Amélie on real life people, though I guess Amélie is more traditional in other countries.

      Liked by 1 person

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