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How to Choose Anagram Names for Large Families

February 24, 2020 Sophie Kihm
anagram baby names

The Vaneeno family from Belgium have committed to naming their children with the same set of four letters: A, E, L, and X.

They started with the obvious: Alex, who was born in 2009. After Alex came Axel, the Xela and Lexa.

The names had to get more creative from here—The Vaneenos’ next five children are named Xael, Xeal, Exla, Leax, and Xale. They are now expecting their tenth child, and there are not many name-like combinations left.

It’s a boy, so that means Xlea and Elxa are probably out. That leaves Aelx, Aexl, Alxe, Ealx, Elax, Exal, Laex, Laxe, and Xlae among the most viable options for baby number 10. Xlae and Laxe (if pronounced like “lakes”) seem especially promising since they are different enough from the rest of the siblings’ names.

How to Choose Anagram Baby Names

That’s the key to a successful anagram sibset: differences.

There are three to take into consideration—beginning sound, ending sound, and number of syllables. The higher you score on the difference count between two names, the more likely it is to be a worthy sibset.

Alice and Celia is the exemplar of anagram sibsets. It scores a 3 on the difference count—they begin and end with different sounds, and Alice has two syllables, while Celia has three. A 0, like Carol and Coral, is practically unusable—it becomes very confusing if the names are too similar.

Of course, there’s one element you want the names to share, and that’s style. A set of names can score a 3 on the difference test but still be ill-suited for each other. Take Kory and York, for example. They are different in sound and syllables, but don’t feel cohesive as brother names.

We’ve rounded up the best anagram baby names, pre-approved for sibset use!

Here, our favorite anagram combos beyond Heaven and Nevaeh.

Anagram Combos

Abe & Bea

Adria & Daria

Akira & Kiara

Alice & Celia

Alina & Liana

Amira & Maria

Amy & May

Anja & Jana

April & Pilar

Ari & Ira

Aria & Raia

Arlo & Orla

Arnold & Roland

Blaise & Isabel

Brady & Darby

Byron & Robyn

Dolly & Lloyd

Carmela & Marcela

Caroline & Cornelia

Chaz & Zach

Claudine & Dulcinea

Clay & Lacy

Cleo & Cole

Eliza & Zelia

Elodia & Odelia

Enzo & Zeno

Ernie & Irene

Etta & Tate

Hale & Leah

Iris & Siri

Jonas & Sonja

Kami & Mika

Kamil & Malik

Kamila & Malika

Kassia & Saskia

Nash & Shan

Norah & Rohan

Orlando & Ronaldo

Super Anagram Baby Names

If you’re naming a larger brood, you’re going to need Super Anagram names. A Super Anagram name can be turned into three or more names with the same combination of letters. As with the Vaneeno family, the letters could be further shuffled around to make new names, should more children join the picture. However, these are the most sibset-worthy combinations:

Aden, Dane, Dean, Edna

Adrian, Darian, Nadira

Aidan, Adina, Diana, Nadia

Alan, Lana, Nala

Alec, Cale, Clea, Lace

Alek, Elka, Kale, Lake

Alen, Elan, Lane, Lena, Neal

Alex, Axel, Lexa, Xale, Xeal, Xela

Amil, Liam, Mila

Amor, Mora, Omar, Roma

Ander, Arden, Daren

Anya, Naya, Yana

Arno, Aron, Nora, Oran, Roan, Rona

Cail, Cali, Clia, Laci

Elin, Leni, Neil, Nile

Elon, Leon, Noel

What is your dream anagram sibset? Would you consider using a Super Anagram name?

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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