You may be wondering why many common names are spelled so many ways. Usually, different spellings of the same name occur in different regions of the world. In one language, a name may be spelled one way, while in another language it may be spelled in another.
For instance, the name Sophia is often spelled as Sofia in Italy, because “ph” is not a common spelling for the sound of “f” in the Italian language.
The spelling of a name is also due to fashion. Oftentimes, a more unusual spelling of a common name may appear because parents want a little more originality in the name of their child but do not want to stray too far from a classic. The spelling of a name may also become popular if a celebrity spells the name of his or her child a certain way. To learn more about names that are often spelled in a variety of ways, continue reading below.
Blaise, Blaize and Blaze
Blaise was originally a masculine name, though it has now become a feminine name as well. According to one study, the name Blaise did not rise in popularity until recently, even though the name has been around for centuries. For instance, it was the name of the famous patron saint of wild animals, Saint Blaise, and a French mathematician, physicist and philosopher in the 17th century, Blaise Pascal.
Blaise may be spelled as Blaze, Blaize, Blaise and Blase, and several other spellings exist as well. Blaise is a French spelling and more traditional, while Blaze is thought to be a more fashionable spelling. Overall, Blaise is not a very popular first name, though it is a very common last name.
Cameron, Kameron and Camren
Cameron is a traditional Scottish and Gaelic name, which originally meant “crooked nose.” It was originally thought of as a masculine name, though there has been a recent surge in the name for girls after the celebrity Cameron Diaz became well-known. Cameron is also very popular in Scotland and soon became popular in America.
In fact, the name skyrocketed to the top of name popularity charts since the 1940s and has remained at the top since the 1990s. Though the spellings Kameron and Camren are not as popular, they are often considered creative alternatives to the original.
Katherine, Kathryn and Catherine
The name Katherine is thought of as a classic name, reminding people of nobility and power. Spelling the name with a K is often thought to be a strong choice, while spelling the name with a C is sometimes thought to soften it. There are many variations of this name, though Katherine, Kathryn and Catherine are the most common in the U.S. Catherine was at the height of its popularity in 1914, while Kathryn reached its height in 1951 and Katherine peaked in 1988. In the 1940s and 1950s, all three names rose in popularity. The name is also very common in England, while the variant Kathleen is more common in Ireland.
Other spellings of the name include Katharine, Katheryn, Catharine and Catheryn. Of these, Katharine is the most popular, perhaps because of the famous actress Katharine Hepburn. However it is spelled, the name is often accompanied by a nickname, such as Kat, Kate, Kathy, Katie, Kay, Kit or Kitty.
Muhammad, Mohammed and Muhammed
Muhammad is one of the most popular names in the world, though there is an ongoing debate as to how many variations of the name should be considered in that count. Muhammed is a more traditional spelling in Arabic, while Mohammed is more popular in South Asian languages. Other spellings include Muhammed, Mohamed, Muhamad and Muhamed. Muhammad is known for its Arabic origin, given that many people name their children after the founder of Islam. The name has steadily risen in popularity in the U.S. and is currently at its peak, ranking at the 366th most popular name in 2017. It is also the most popular name in Britain. Many people with the name do not shorten it, though others go by the nickname “Mo.”
Sophia and Sofia
The names Sophia and Sofia are among the most popular female names in the world. Sofia is particularly popular in Europe and Italy, where it became the number 1 name in 2016. Sophia is more common in the U.S., England and Germany. The name began increasing in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, Sofia has remained in the top U.S. 100 since 2003, and Sophia has been in the top U.S. 100 since 1997.