Several days ago, a reader e-mailed me for help combining the names Ivon and Rion into a baby name. I thought this was a really interesting case. Not only are Ivon and Rion both very short, but they're also comprised of nearly the same set of letters. This makes combining them difficult.
The traditionalist method I normally like to use wouldn't work well with these particular names, so I skipped straight to the modernist method. My breakdown looked like this:
Syllables - "iv," "ri," "on"
Similar syllables - "yv," "ree," "ry," "onne"
Letters - iinnoorv
Using these elements, I brainstormed and came up with the names:
Iona, Novi, Nori, Ovi, Ori, Oni
Ryan, Ron, Roni, Riv, Riona, Vion
Viona, Vini, Viri, Vin, Von, Yvonne
But I wasn't too happy with this output -- it seemed too restricted -- so I thought I might try to come up with other options.
Ivon and Rion don't offer much to work with letter-wise, but they do both share that "-on" ending, so I decided to capitalize on that. A large number of names end in "-on," such as:
Aaron, Baron, Byron, Davon, Dion, Leon, Jadon, Jaxon
Javon, Keon, Orson, Simon, Trevon, Tyson, Ramon, Zion
And what if we take that ending, flip it, and use at the beginning of a name? Names starting with "no-" include:
Noah, Noel, Nolan, Norman, Norris, Norton
Noelle, Nora, Noelia, Norma, Noemi, Nola
Another idea would be to focus on what the Ivon and Rion don't have in common -- specifically, the letters V and R. This helped me come up with a few more ideas:
Raven, Reeve, Reva, River Valerie, Vera, Vern, Verlin
Verna, Vernon, Verona, Virgil, Irvin, Irva, Marvin, Merv
So, when your starting names don't give you much to work with, try looking for commonalities, differences, and other types of connections between them.
I hope the reader who wrote to me finds this helpful, and I encourage anyone else having difficulty with name-combining to either stop by the forum and ask for suggestions.