Kelle Horreur

One of the most well-known naming phenomena in (and out of!) baby circles is the explosion of K names. ┬áKaylee, Kylie, Katelyn, Kayla, Kaylin, Keely — as hard as it is to believe, before 30 years ago these names were quite rare, and appeared with only a few spelling variations.

A look back at the charts from 1983 reveals the following (all numbers represent number of babies born with that name in that year):

KAYLA (3525) is likely the progenitor of the K-name trend. Its popularity received a boost from the character Kayla Brady on the popular soap opera Days of Our Lives. I didn’t even have to research this one because I was addicted to Days for most of the 80s.

CAITLIN (1884) had just begun its ascent and barely registered as a blip against the almighty JENNIFER (54335).

The now-overwhelmingly popular KATELYN was only used 424 times. As a comparison, that’s the same number of COLETTES born in 2012. How many baby Colettes do you know?

KYLIE showed up near the bottom of the charts with only 261 uses.

KAYLEE (63) and KAYLIN (60) were all but unknown. Even accounting for spelling variations, the names hovered around the 200 use mark.

Just 157 babies were named KEELY in 1983.

Compare to today’s numbers. Note the multitude of spelling variations. Also of interest, the phonetic KATELYNN has outstripped its properly spelled sister CAITLIN.


Kla,6 Keylah,6 Keyla,313 Khayla,13 Kaylah,195 Calah,7 Cailah,8 Caila,19 Caela,16 Caylah,12 Cayla,209 Kayla,3738 Khaila,8 Keilah,44 Keila,171 Kala,21 Kailah,53 Kaila,198 Kahla,6 Kaelah,13 Kaela,59

Kaytlynn,22 Kaytlyn,25 Kaytlin,25 Kaytelynn,6 Kaytlen,5 Kaitlyne,5 Kaitlynne,13 Kaitlynn,400 Kaithlyn,14 Kaetlyn,7 Kaitlyn,2581 Kaitlin,316 Kaitlen,5 Kaitelyn,12 Katlynn,40 Catlyn,6 Katlyn,83 Katlin,14 Katelynne,14 Katelynn,732 Katelyne,11 Katelin,65 Catelynn,52 Catelyn,76 Catelin,6 Caitlynne,5 Caitlynn,119 Caitlyn,816 Caitlin,738 Caitlan,5 Katelyn,2396

Kyley,48 Kyleigh,1086 Kylei,78 Kylee,2032 Kyilee,12 Kyelee,5 Kyllie,7 Kyliegh,21 Kyliee,68 Kyli,81 Kiylee,16 Kiley,589 Kileigh,27 Kilee,66 Khylie,42 Khyli,17 Khyleigh,9 Khylei,15 Khylee,57 Khiley,11 Khileigh,6 Khilee,19 Cylie,23 Cyleigh,23 Cylee,27 Chylee,7 Kylie,4151

Kiele,11 Kielee,5 Kieley,7 Kiely,22 Kieli,7 Keely,168 Keelie,48 Keeli,19 Keeley,159 Keeleigh,18 Keelee,17 Kealy,8 Kealey,10 Kealee,5

Kleigh,10 Klee,19 Keyly,16 Keylie,10 Keyli,80 Keyley,6 Keyleigh,13 Keylei,7 Keylee,82 Khaylee,8 Kayly,17 Kayliegh,18 Kayliee,9 Kaylie,730 Kayli,147 Kayley,215 Kayleigh,1215 Kaylei,95 Chailey,5 Chaeli,5 Caylie,48 Cayli,12 Cayley,25 Caylei,11 Cayleigh,113 Caylee,611 Caliegh,5 Calie,46 Cali,941 Caley,29 Caleigh,153 Calee,25 Caily,6 Cailey,117 Caileigh,44 Cailee,49 Caelie,6 Caeli,41 Caeley,7 Caeleigh,6 Caelee,5 Kaylee,5571 Kaylea,69 Kayeleigh,5 Kayelee,21 Khali,37 Khaleigh,7 Khalei,5 Khalee,5 Khailey,5 Khailee,8 Keily,225 Keilly,31 Keili,6 Keiley,23 Keileigh,20 Keighley,5 Keilee,23 Kaly,9 Kalii,8 Kaliegh,12 Kalie,54 Kali,743 Kaley,238 Kaleigh,335 Kalei,41 Kalee,44 Kaily,107 Kailie,25 Kaili,75 Kailey,756 Kaileigh,88 Kailei,18 Kailee,371 Kahli,12 Kahlei,5 Kaely,40 Kaelie,21 Kaeli,49 Kaeley,12 Kaeleigh,38 Kaelee,24

Klynn,33 Klyn,5 Keylin,56 Keylen,9 Keylan,7 Kaylynne,23 Kaylynn,453 Chailyn,11 Chaelynn,7 Chaelyn,5 Caylynn,20 Caylyn,17 Caylin,97 Caylen,22 Caylan,5 Caoilinn,6 Caoilainn,8 Calynn,19 Calyn,20 Cailynn,66 Cailyn,255 Cailin,81 Caelynn,50 Caelyn,193 Caelin,14 Caelan,17 Kaylyn,275 Kaylon,8 Kaylinn,25 Kaylin,660 Kaylenn,6 Kaylen,272 Kaylan,85 Kayelynn,18 Kayelyn,10 Khailynn,9 Khailyn,8 Keilynn,5 Keilyn,57 Keilin,9 Keilen,6 Keilan,8 Kalynne,14 Kalynn,93 Kalyn,100 Kalin,20 Kalen,18 Kalan,5 Kailynne,9 Kailynn,270 Kailyn,619 Kailin,23 Kailen,21 Kaelin,48 Kaelan,8 Kailan,28 Kahlynn,5 Kahlyn,13 Kahlen,8 Kahlan,125 Kaelynn,282 Kaelyn,746