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20 Best Modern Spellings For Traditional Baby Names

When we had my son, we knew, without any thought, what his name was going to be. He was the first son in our family, and with my husband being the fourth in a generation of names, we knew that our first son was going to the the fifth.

So, it wasn’t his name that had us up for hours each night; it was the name we were going to call him. As the fifth in line with a popular name (Robert), we knew that we wanted something that wasn’t very common. His full name is Robert MacKay and my husband goes by MacKay, so that was out of the running. We couldn’t have too many MacKays in the house. Rob, Bob, or Bobby were too general for us, so we opted to play off of his middle name and go for either Mack (which my husband turned down) or a play on a popular name, Macks.

As soon as Macks was born, we knew exactly what we were going to call him. And to this day, his name fits him perfectly. We love the story behind his name, and realize that while he will have to explain it to everyone as he gets older, it’s a conversation starter and something we are proud of. It’s something that makes him unique.

I know that alternative spellings to more traditional names aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a spin on popular baby names, check out the different ways to spell some of our favorites.

1. Olivia/Alivia – This name that means “olive tree” is given a more modern spin when starting with -a rather than the more traditional-o.

2. Mia/Maya – This name that means “water” is a beautiful Hebrew feminine name. And if pronounced with a long -i, it can also be spelled “Maya.”

3. Max/Macks – A name that means “greatest,” Max been popular for decades. Changing the -x to -cks gives it more of a modern touch.

4. John/Jon – John is a traditional name that means “God is gracious.” It gets a more contemporary spin by dropping the -h.

5. Devon/Devyn – A gender neutral name that has substituted the -y for a modern version.

6. Zoe/Zoey – This name that means “life” is commonly seen spelled both ways.

7. Aubrey/Aubree – A popular name that means “elf ruler,” Aubrey has appeared in the top 10 baby names — and updated with the -ee, has soared in popularity.

8. Emily/Emilee – The name that means “rival” is reinvented with a trendy -ee on the end.

9. Jackson/Jaxon – Adding the x has been popular with parents and has brought that spelling of the name up into the top 50 most popular baby names. Meaning “son of Jack,” it is now more commonly spelled with the -x.

10. Caitlin/Kaytlynn – This traditional name that means “pure” is Irish and Welsh. Adding the alternative spelling gives it a more modernized spin.

11. Rebecca/Rebekah – The name that means “servant of God” is seen throughout the Bible spelled with a -k.

12. Jane/Jayne – Adding a -y to this popular name that means “God’s gracious gift” adds a modern touch to a name that’s not so plain.

13. Amy/Aimee – The name that means “beloved” has always been popular — and we love the French spelling of the name, Aimee.

14. Jacob/Jakob – A biblical name meaning “supplanter,” this name has been popular with the traditional spelling for many years. If you want to update the traditional name, swap the -c for a -k.

15. Sophia/Sofia – You can’t go wrong with this feminine name that means “wisdom.” However you decide to spell it, we know it’s a name that will grab attention.

16. Catherine/Kathryn – There are various ways to spell this popular and traditional name that means “pure.”

Image: DisneyBaby

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