From Ayden to Zachery, baby names are changing

By Aleta Capelle

For the Post-Bulletin

Pity the poor teacher charged with helping southeastern Minnesota’s children learn to spell their first names a few years from now.

A look at the names picked by parents from July 1, 2006, through July 1 this year for children born in Olmsted County provides a glimpse at some of the less-than-conventional names — and spellings — area parents are selecting for their offspring.

Take, for example, this sampling — Madalyn, Madelin, Madeline, Madelyn, Madelynn, Madelynne, Madilyn, Matalynn — and Adilyn and Adilynn.


"I wanted something a little more unique, a little different," explained Madilyn’s mom, Sarah Schwirtz of Rochester.

Plus, she wanted to call her now 8-month-old daughter Madi, and she wanted a short spelling for that name. Madilyn proved the perfect solution.

Madi joins her brother, 4 1/2-year-old Dominic — a name that sometimes ends with k instead of c. Sarah decided on that spelling since "the family name is with a c."

But Madilyn, no matter how you spell it, isn’t the end of the unusual spellings parents are selecting. Take Madden, Madison, Madisyn and Madyson.

Or Arriana, Arianna, Arijana, Arianne and Rihanna and Riana. Along those same lines, you’d see Aiden, Aidan, Ayden, Aden and Aeyden, and also Caiden, Cayden, Caden, Caedyn, Kaden, Kaeden, Kayden and Kaiden.

Then there’s Kalli, Kally, Kalie, Kailey, Kaylie, Kaley, Kaylee, Kayla, Kaila, Kaileigh, Kyla, Kyleigh, Kylee, Kiley and Kyle.

Those are quite different than Erik, Eric, Arik and Aeric, but they’re there, too, along with Zachery, Zachary and Zackary; Jeramiah and Jeramiya; and Lilli, Lily, Lilly, Liliana and Lillian. There are also several Olivias, plus an Alyvia and an Alivia and, of course, Nevaeh.

Then there are babies named Haley, Hailey, Haylie, Haylee, Hayley and Hallie.


The list includes not only an Ethan, but an Ethyn; Ashley, Ashlinn and Ashlyn. There’s Katherine and Kathryn; Colten and Kolton; Caleb and Kaleb; Shelbie and Shelby; Brayden, Braydan and Braden; Maddox and Maddex; Mason and Masyn; Halle and Hailey; and Colin, Calin and Collin.

Other variations include Savanna, Savannah and Syvannah; Luke, Lucas, Lukas, Luca and Luis; Chloe, Kloey, Khloe and Chloee; and Gabrielle, Gabriel and Gabriella.

The list also includes McKayla, Mackayla, Makaila and Mikaela; Valessa, Vanessa and Venessa; Jackson, Jaxon and Jaxson; Paisley and Paislee; Dane and Dayne; Abigail and Abbigail; Reese and Reece; Connor and Conor; Dylan, Dillon and Dilyn; Bailey and Bailee; Joseph and Josef; and Owen, Owyn and Owin.

There’s Jade, Jaden, Jayden, Jaedyn, Jaiden, Jadyn, Jaida, Jayda, Jaelynn and Jacey; Brayden, Brylee, Brelyn, Brianna and Braylee; Daniel, Daniella, Danielle, and Daniela. Not to be overlooked are Trey, Tye, Ty’Shawn and Ty; Joycelin, Joselin and Jocelyn; Dustin and Dustyn; Tayelor and Taylor.

The list also includes Alyson, Adison, Addison and Adalyn, along with Angel, Anjel, Angela, Angelina and Annabelle.

Aleta Capelle of Spring Valley is a former Post-Bulletin reporter and copy editor.

What To Read Next
Caitlin and Jason Keck’s two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation committee begins next month.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.
Wanda Patsche, new Farm Camp director, has farmed with her husband near I-90 in southern Minnesota since the 1970s and shares her passion for farming on her blog.