The only thing worse than not being able to find a baby name you like is finding two names that you just can’t decide between — but if you combine the names, you don’t have to choose. Contrary to popular belief, you can successfully combine two names to make one beautifully unique one — and no, the name doesn’t have to turn out sounding like your kid is one of the Waltons.
If you’re looking for a truly unique name, then combining baby names is a great way to go. There are several techniques that you can use, and they all produce different results. Here’s how to combine names to form a special, one-of-a-kind name for your baby.
One of the simplest ways of combining baby names is to link them with a hyphen. This allows both names to retain their individual meaning while creating a name that will be special to your child.
How to use this: This technique is great if both parents have separate ideas of what the child’s name should be. Use both names in the order that sounds most natural, placing a hyphen between the two. For instance, Robyn and Ava can become Robyn-Ava. John and David can become John-David. The key to successfully combining two names is to use two short names. Browse our lists of one syllable names and two syllable names for inspiration.
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Looking for a unique baby name? Take two names and make a new one! Start with two names that you like and consider how you can piece them together to form a special, new combined baby name.
How to use this: To join two names, start with the two names and then look at different ways to combine them into one. Techniques can include dropping portions of each name, interweaving the names or rearranging names. For instance, Audrey and Melissa could become Audlissa or Melrey. Samantha and Isabella could become Samisa or Anthabella. Get creative and be open to the possibilities!
One big ongoing trend for combining names is to take a relatively simple or common name and add a prefix to it. This gives the name a more unique and personalized feel.
How to use this: First, choose to the name that you want to start with. Then, try it with a few prefixes such as De-, Ke-, La-, Le- or Ra-. For instance, Anne could become Deanne or Luca could become Keluca. Be sure to keep the name that you start with short though. Longer names could get too long and lose the interest (wouldn’t Ralexander be a mouthful?)
Want to give your child a sense of family and history with their name? Then combine parent names to form a very special, very sacred name. This concept is similar to Technique #2, except it uses truly meanful names.
How to use this: Use Mom and Dad’s first names to create an all-new name. You can also use a combo of grandparent names or godparent names. Mix and match the syllables to create a special new name. For instance, Silvia and Paul could become Silpa or Pauvia or Pausil. Daniel and Jessica could become Danica or Jessiel or even Daness.
More: Unusual Irish Baby Names That Are Over-The-Top Beautiful
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
Originally published September 2011. Updated April 2017.