15 Names No One Can Spell

Life is hard enough these days. So one has to wonder why people would give their children a name that is difficult to spell. A child has enough to contend with on the playground without being laughed at. Imagine your 7 year old having to patiently spell out Alyson with a Y instead of I or Kathrynn with two "n's." It's exasperating for the youngster, causing them to be impatient with strangers and angry with his or her parents for causing this to happen.

For instance, a simple name like James can be spelled as Jaymez, Jayms for a boy or Jaimez for a girl. Perhaps people think it's cute. If parents love their child, why would  they want to give them a name no one can spell? Do they think it makes their child special? Shouldn't it be the the child that makes the name special? On the other hand, shouldn't we be looking past someone's name and  be more interested in their personality? Is spelling a name strangely cool or is it just wacky?

Let us look into more difficult names to spell and decide for ourselves.

15 Xzavier

If the first letter of your child's name is X, that may make things hard enough, but adding a 'z' can certainly complicate matters even  further.

Xzavier is pronounced  ZAY-Vee-Ar, so adding the 'z' makes sense. It's a Spanish last name which comes from a place called Xavier in Navarre. The name is in honor of St Francis Xavier, a famous Spanish missionary to Japan and the East Indies, and the patron saint of missionaries in foreign lands. In Spanish, it is Javier, like the actor Javier Bardem, star of the Woody Allen movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Xzavier Dickson is also an NFL player, and Xzavier Da Grind is a designer of hard edge hip hop clothing.

It first appeared on the American naming charts in the year 2000 and the unique spelling matched the concept of a new century. It ranks #728 in 2016 in the US. but the spelling without a Z- Xavier is still more popular, which is in the top 100 favorites across the nation.

For those parents aiming for something different however, Xzavier is an urban, rough, complex, masculine and strong name.

14 Dashiell

Pronounced DASH-el, or DASH-uhl, it's the anglicized version of the French last name DeChiel, who was a member of one of the early reformer French Huguenot families. They moved from France to Scotland, then England, Virginia and finally Maryland. The name evolved from de Chiel to Da Chiell, to Da Shiell. A famous American author introduced it as a first name, Samuel Dashiell Hammet, who lived from 1894-1961. He wrote under the name Dashiell Hammet.

Actress Cate Blanchett named her son Dashiell Upton. Pixar's "The Incredibles" superhero is Dashiell Robert or "Dash" Parr. Of course, the solution to spelling it wrong is simply to nickname your baby "Dash."

13 Hermoine

Of course we are all familiar with Hermione Jean Granger, our Harry Potter heroine. There's also Hermione, a queen in Shakespeare's  "A Winter's Tale," and Hermione Lodge, the mother of Veronica in the Archie comics.

Originally Greek, Hermione is derived from Hermes, the messenger of the gods. The name means "well born." In mythology, Hermes was a boy, son of the Greek goddess Maia and Greek god Zeus. He flew with winged sandals...

In Mythology, Hermione was the daughter of Helen of Troy and her husband Menelaus. In the Shakespeare play, "The Winter's Tale," Hermione is the queen of Leontes, a major character.

Hermione is pronounced Her-My-o-nee. The third syllable can actually be skipped over altogether.

Hermione is not widely used as a baby name for girls, nor is it in the top 1000 names, but with the advent of Harry Potter, it has grown in popularity.

12 Joaquin

Yes, we all love the actor Joaquin Phoenix, but how did his teachers figure out the spelling, much less pronunciation? (OK, it's pronounced wah-Keen).

Yehoyakim means "God will establish," or "God will lift."  Yehoyakim was a king of Judah in the Bible. His son was Jojachin.  Joaquin is the abbreviation of Yehoyakim (Jehoichin). The Spanish version of Joachim is Joaquin (pronounced Xoa -kin in Spanish). Currently, it is in the top 6 in Argentina and Chile, and San Joaquin is the Spaish name of Saint Joachim, the traditional name of Mary's father in the Bible. It has been gaining popularity in the US. since Kelly Ripa named her son Joaquin. It is now number 321 in America.

Among famous Joaquins are Joaquin Andujar, and Dominican Republic baseball player Joaquin Almunia, a Spanish politician Joaquin Arias, a San Francisco Giants baseball player Joaquin Zavala, and perhaps the most famous, hurricane Joaquin in 2015.

11 Quvenzhane

The nine year old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" didn't quite understand what the word Oscar meant when she was nominated in 2013, but she did help the press pronounce her name: Kwah-ven-zsa-nay.

The name of the star of Annie and talented child actress has a few unique meanings attached to it. It's not listed as a common or even rare name anywhere, nor is it listed in the US social security administration. Perhaps this is because her parents made up this unique name.  The first part "Quven " is a combination of her mom's name Venjie Wallis and her father's Qulyndreia. The last part" zhane " is the translation of the word fairy in Swahili.

Quite a ruckus broke out after the 2013 Academy awards when the media did not learn to correctly pronounce the stars name, rather resorting to calling her "Q," "Little Q," and one reporter said "I'm going to call you Annie." To which the amazing actress replied "My name is not Annie. It's Quvenzhane!" Kudos!

10 Nikolaj

Pronounced Nee-ko-LY, this boy's name means "Victory of the people." It generally  is given to children of people born in Russia, Ukraine, Denmark, or Bulgaria, which makes it's various pronunciations very interesting.  It comes from the Greek name Nikolaos (victory of the people), and made up of the elements nike (victory) and laos (the people).  St. Nicholas was a 4th century bishop who was the patron saint of Russia and Greece, and of children, sailors and wolves.

In Russia the name is spelled Nicolai, as well as in Scandinavia. The star of Game of Thrones is Nicolaj Coster Waldau. A name closely related is a beloved childhood favorite, Saint Nicholas, aka Santa Claus, which comes from the same root. In America, it's mostly translated to Nicholas, and while that spelling is very popular (number 269 in 2015), the original spelling is not (14,700 in 2015 on list of names).

9 Azariah

Azariah is a strong biblical name. It announces itself in an equally strong way: "G-d helps"(azar means "to help"). Pronounced az-ar-yaw, it's the name of 25 men in the Bible. These are named in the books of Chronicle, Daniel, and Kings. Among them was a son of the high priest Yochanan from the tribe of Judah. It was the name of other high priests during the time of King Uzziah and Hezkiah. At the time of the evil King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Azariah was a man thrown into a burning furnace who walked out unharmed by a miracle.

Azarya is also spelled Azariah in English, and a variation of the name Ezra in English, France and Spanish. It's very popular as a baby boy's name since 2010. In 2015 it was ranked number 699. Some girls are also given the name which was ranked at 849. Ezra, the variant of the name is more widely used. Azariah Flagg was a new York Politician in the 1800's. It's the name of a farming community in Israel.

8 Ndamukong

Number 8 in the list of hardest names to pronounce in sports; the name is an African family name and a compound one which means "house of spears," and is pronounced (En-DOM-Ah-ken).

The history of this name is very enchanting. What does a "house of spears" mean? In the Cameroon region, historically there was inter-tribal warfare. Each kingdom had various army units that were named after the war instruments or types of battles. Ndamukong was an army unit that used spears as its main weapon. After a battle was won, the leaders of the unit adopted these titles as family names, and continued down the ages to name their children after them.

The name Ndamukong became popular with the popularity of the National football defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins. He is the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. In 2010, the National Organization of Women President asked Ndamukong to change his name because it's "too violent." She suggested "Ndamukong Beludi," which means "House of Muffins" instead. Needless to say, her request was rejected.

Ndamunkong is not listed in the US. registry of names or social security bureau.

7 Siobhan

Irish names are some of the most difficult to pronounce for us in the USA. A very common girl's name is Siobhan (pronounced "SHIV awn," not "SEE o ban"). The name is actually an Irish form of Joan which means "God is gracious." This is derived from the Latin Ioanna, which in modern English is Joanna. In English it can be spelled as Shevaun, Shavon, or Chevonne.  It also has Greek origins, as a feminine form of Ioannes, which is a shortened form of the Hebrew name Johanan (Yohanan), meaning "God is gracious," and is the origin of the name John.

Siobhan McKenna, a famous Irish actress who died in 1986 was so popular that there was a resurgence of the name. Many Irish actors, actresses and writers carry the name. And the popular singer Sinead O'Connor's name is derived from Siobhan as well.

In 2015 Siobhan ranked 3,042 in the USA, while in 1979 it was number 282.

6 Bodhi

A popular Sanskrit name, Bodhi was number 499 in 2015, and has quickly been creeping to number 17. It has become surprisingly popular. One of its meanings is "enlightened." It comes from the Buddhist idea of "Bodhi" which means being free of hate, greed and ego. A person who reaches this state of "nirvana" is considered "englightened," another meaning of the name.

There is also a fig tree called "Bodhi" under which Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, sat as he became knowledgeable about the teachings.

Bodhi became popular in the US via Jenna Elfman's  (from the TV series, Dharm and Greg) husband, Bodhi. Other celebrities have named their sons Bodhi. The name rhymes with Brody and Cody. Patrick Swayze played a character named Bodhi in "Point Break." Bobby Brown's daughter is also named Bodhi.

Alternate names are also interesting: Bode is Scandanavian and means "shelter." Another possible spelling is Bodie.

5 Kaia

A lovely girl's name with various meanings in different languages. In Hawaiian it means "the sea," as well as in Greek. It's pronounced KY-a and rhymes with lie-ah, and now is at number 446 in the US. Model Cindy Crawford named her daughter Kaia. After this, the name shot up in popularity.

Kaia is also a variation of Kaja which comes from the Scandinavian name Katherine. Many languages have adapted the name for their use, for example, in Norway, it's also spelled Kaia. In America, a variation could be Katherine, and in France Catherine. All these variations are based on the name of an earlier figure - a Christian Saint martyred in the 4th century in Egypt. Despite it's history, the name's sound is laid back and mellow. Kaia shows up on the Top 100 list yearly in Hawaii, and it's derivatives, like Caitlin, Kathy, Katie, Kaja, Katya, are popular world wide.

4 Eliana

A beautiful name from Hebrew meaning "God has answered." There are three Hebrew elements, El means God, Ana-answered, and Yud-first person (me). Pronounced El-ee AH-nah, it also has Spanish and Italian roots in the form of the Roman family name Aeliana. It may also have come from the Greek word for the sun which is helios, and means "daughter of the sun." In Arabic it's translated as "the bright."

There are many creative forms of the name like Liana, Leana, Aliana. It has become a very popular name, ranking in the top 1000 female names for the past sixteen years. In 2015, it was ranked 103 in the US, and is also popular in Israel, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Italy. In France, a similar name is Eliane. Eliana is the name of a romantic novel, a Brazilian TV hostess (Eliana), an American politician (Eliana Pintor Marin), and Hilda Eliana Tenorio Patino who is a Mexican bullfighter. Thus, the name is evidently fashionable all over the world.

3 Chloe

An enchanting name, difficult to spell, Chloe rhymes with Joey and is pronounced KLOH-ee. It comes from the Greek name "Khloe" and represents Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. In the New Testament, Paul mentions the name in one of his epistles, (Corinthians 1:11) in the context of "The house of Chloe." Chloe was a convert of St. Paul, and the name means "blooming" or "young greet shoot." The name has been in use in English since the Protestant Reformation. The French changed the spelling to Chloe.

The actress Chloe Sevigny has the same name pronunciation as Khloe Kardashian, and it is likely that the original spelling was Khloe. It was listed as number 20 in 2016, clearly a real favorite. Chloe was a character in the famous book "Uncle Tom's Cabin." It's very popular in Northern Ireland where it was number 1 ranked between 1997-2002.

2 Zosia

This name originated in Greece, and was mostly popularly adopted in Poland. It's a diminutive of the name Zofia which means wisdom. It's pronounced ZAW-shah. It has been in use in England since the 17th century, when King James the 1st bestowed it upon his daughter. It's also a rare first name for a girl in England and Whales. Zosia Mamet is a star of the hit series "Girls." The actual spelling of Zosia is not very popular in the US but Sofia or Sophia, which come from the original Zofia, is. According to numerology, Zosia's number is 7, and the bearer of the name is gifted with an analytical mind, on the quest for knowledge and wisdom, and loves being alone.

Zosia is pronounced Zo-sia. It ranked #952 in 2015 in the US. Zosia is naturally upbeat and charismatic. For those looking for a change from the common Sofia, perhaps Zosia is the way to go.

1 Giuliana

A fancy name with an even fancier spelling, Giuiliana is a female version of the old Roman name Julianus, or Julius. This was probably a combination of the Italian Giulia (Julia) with the suffix Anna. It's pronounced joo-LYAH-nah and ranks 314 in popularity for 2016. Julius means "descended from Jove," or refers to the Roman god Jupiter who ruled over Rome. Julius Caesar, the great Roman Emperor, was one of the early bearers of this name.

In Europe the male and female forms of Giuliana are very popular. The name began to be used for girls in the US when Giuliana Rancic appeared as news anchor on the E! channel. Many loved the name and used it for their daughters. Today it has a moderate level of popularity, and Italian flair.

The "Julia" family of names are very popular in the US in general and are given to 12,000 baby girls every year.


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