Saturday, September 22, 2012

One Syllable "AY" Names

One syllable names are great things. They can be cute and spunky. They can be simple and lovely on girls, or abrupt and strong on boys. As first names, they can balance out a long, complicated surname. Or as middle names they have help tone down a long or "frilly" first name, and often they help to create that highly desired "flow" between a first name and a surname. And they're perfect for parent hoping to head off undesirable nicknames.

If you're after a one syllable name, a great resource is the e-book '1-Syllable Baby Names', written by Nancy Mann and available at Nancy's Baby Names. In it she outlines the 100 most popular one syllable baby names (for girls and boys) in America in 2011. I was reading through it the other day when I was struck by how many of these names contain an "AY" sound. I shouldn't really be surprised, because when I think about it most of my own favourite one syllable names contain this sound, such as Paige, Sage and Dane. Even my husband's name falls into this category. I like the sound of these names, so I can understand why so many others do too.

So listed here are the names that meet this criteria that appeared in the top 1000 last year, as per Nancy's book. I've changed the order slightly to include various spellings of the same name as one entry. Where a name does have various spelling, they are written in order of popularity.

                    GIRLS                                                      BOYS
                    Grace/Grayce                                            James
                    Faith/Fayth                                               Chase
                    Jade/Jayde/Jaide                                       Jace/Jayce/Jase
                    Paige                                                         Blake
                    Kate/Cate                                                  Jake
                    Jane/Jayne                                                Gage
                    Sage/Saige                                                Lane/Layne
                    Rayne/Rain/Raine/Reign                             Shane
                    Maeve                                                       Drake
                    Mae/May/Mai                                            Zane
                    Shea/Shay/Shae                                        Cade/Kade
                    Blake                                                        Frank
                    Layne/Laine/Lane                                      Trey
                    Faye                                                          Tate
                    Chase                                                        Jay
                    Rae                                                           Kane

At this point there are a couple of observations I'd like to make. Firstly, only three names on this list were used for both girls and boys - Chase, Blake and Lane. In all three cases, more males were given the name than females were.

the next is that there were fewer girls names, but they varied the most, as almost all names were used with more than one spelling. Comparatively, only three of the boys names had more than one spelling, and only one name - Blaine - used the "ai" combination that is so popular with the girls. Do we see "ai" as more feminine? Are we more open to experimenting with our girls names than boys names? And for those who think there are more "good" girls names than boys, it seems this would be one category where that is not the case, judging from the length of the boys list.

If this has whet your appetite, but you prefer names that are a little less commonly used, then here are some more for you to think about:

Babe                              Haig                        Pace                         Thane
Bay/Bai                          Hale                       Payne/Paine               Trail
Blaise                             Haze                       Praise                       Twain
Craig                              Kane                       Quade/Quaid             Vale
Dale                               Kay                         Rafe                           Wales
Day                               Lake                        Slade                          Wray
Flame                            Mace                       Slate                           Yale
Gale/Gail                      Maine                      Swain                         Zade/Zaid/Zayd
Gray/Grey                     Nate                        Taye/Tay                    Zale


  1. Ooh, nice sound.

    Love Maeve, Blake, James, Zane, Blaise, Rafe and Zayd.

    Another one for boys is Blade, and a unisex one I've seen is Shade. Oh I've also seen Suede on a boy, but maybe that's unisex as well.

  2. I haven't heard of Suede as a name before, but I like it!

    I've seen Shade - but spelt as Chade - as a character in a Robin Hobb series called 'The Assassins Apprentice'. That would be an interesting one to see used.

  3. Never thought of Chade before - I also saw a baby girl in the Bonds Baby Search called Swai (a type of fish).

  4. Hey! I simply wanted to highlight the fact that you actually succeeded in creating a beautiful portal. Will you be so kind and provide an answer to my question. Do you take place in any blogging competitions?