Everyone’s heard the old trope, “how do you spell the word FISH“, right? The answer: “G.H.O.T.I.” The GH from words like rough, the TI from words such as intuition. English is a funny language. All those words that end in GH never quite look like how one would phonetically spell them, unless you specifically adopt the exceptions.
In efforts to make our children’s lives endlessly more complicated, we’ve embraced such oddities with the naming of our own children.
These gems were all recently spotted on an internet birth board:
Love “Kaylie“ but want to make it unique? Try Kayleigh. Have a hankering for Peyton but don’t want to be associated with Manning? Spell it Peightyn. Perhaps you like Shiloh, but are afraid to look like a Brangelina copycat. Spell it Sheighlough. After all, why not?
I’ll tell you why not. Notice how each of these “eigh” constructions has a completely different sound? We leave our teachers, other parents, and friends to guess at the pronunciation of our little one’s monikers. One can infer that it’s related to the more common name, but what if you want to be really creative? No, little Madeighson is not “Madison“, we say “MadEEsun”, emphasis on the second syllable. Or “Mad-AY-sun.” Can you imagine going through life like this? If you think it’s tough as a parent, what if it’s your own, inescapable name?
Parents, think before you spell kreighatifly on the birth certificate. For my eighballs, for my sanity, for your children.
Elisabeth Wilborn can be found at her online homes You Can’t Call It “It” and The Itsy Factor, and she has part-time residency at Nameberry and Apartment Therapy. In the real world she also enjoys painting, cooking, and raising her two little girls on their farm in Texas.
How do you feel about spelling variations like this?