Here is the ‘right’ way to spell 21 of the most popular names around.

You may ask what constitutes an unusual way to spell a name, and what’s the “normal” way to spell them?

Business Insider compared the most popular variations of common names – think Shawn or Shaun instead of the more popular Sean – using data from Names.org, which tracks the names of babies born in the US dating back to 1880.

The results were surprising: According to the records, there have been 345,000 babies named Alan born in the US since 1880, compared to 268,000 named Allen and just 94,000 named Allan.

Meanwhile, girls named Makayla outnumbered those named Michaela by more than 50,000 making it by far the most popular variant of that name.

Check out how Sara, Caitlyn, Steven, Alison, Erica and Lindsay rated below.

geoffallenalison  anne brian brittany carl catherine dwayne elizabeth erica  kaitlyn lewis lindsay makayla mark megan phil sara sean steven

Are you surprised by some of these more popular spellings?

Share your comments below.

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  • It seems some countries spell names differently to what others do.
    Sometimes the spelling is different because it may be the combination of two names (possibly from each side of the family e,g, Sue from one family and Ellen from of the other side.
    Kay from one side and Lena from the other. They named the girl Kaylene


  • Some of these names have different spellings due to origin.
    Variances can be good, but sometimes they are unnecessary. My name is Simone and the amount of times I get Simmone or Simon addressing me in text is unfathomable. They manage to get my email right though.


  • Other variations are Robin Robyn
    Dannielle Danielle Danyel


  • It’s so confusing, especially when you have to write to/email someone and have no idea how to spell their christian name.


  • I think the title is misleading, most popular doesn’t equal correct. There is original, most popular, newest but not correct when it comes to a name.


  • English is not my native language. When someone tells me their name on the phone and next I have to write them an email, I’m often so confused as I don’t know how to write their name !

    • I always do this and then recheck first names and last names as there are so many variants. :)


  • There are so many variants on names and the differences do not surprise me.


  • It does get confusing at times with spellings. My own name is spelt 3 different ways.


  • Some of those are just variations depending on the language they originated from.


  • Interesting but they’re all acceptable anyway. I think making the name different is better more unique


  • Wow very interesting name spelling I really enjoyed going through and reading all the names


  • No, not surprised – my name attracts some strange spellings too!


  • I personally use Anne more than Ann for example. I’ve never seen the name Brittani spelled that way. Or Duane.


  • This is very surprising!
    Mind you my name is never on anything like this!


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