Guest Author - Nancy Man
Did you know that symmetrical faces are regularly rated "more attractive" than non-symmetrical faces?
It's true. And humans tend to tend to appreciate symmetry when it comes to other items as well (furniture, buildings, cars, pieces of clothing, and so forth).
So it's not too surprising that some expectant parents are drawn to symmetrical baby names. Namely, palindromes.
What's a palindrome? It's a word or phrase that can be read the same both forwards and backwards. Words like level and kayak are palindromes. So is the phrase "Madam, I'm Adam."
Some of the top baby names in the U.S. are palindromes. The one that ranks highest right now is Ava, the 5th most popular girl name. Other popular palindromic girls names are Hannah (23rd), Anna (29th), Ana (182nd), Elle (442nd), Ada (573rd) and Eve (582nd). The only palindrome that currently ranks for boys is Asa (553rd).
If you like palindromic names but would prefer one that's a bit more unusual, you could try Aviva, Aziza or Otto. None of these are ranked in the top 1,000 at the moment.
And don't forget nicknames. Several names have nicknames that happen to be palindromes. Examples include Robert (Bob), Nancy (Nan) and Vivian (Viv).
Another creative way to use symmetry to name your baby is to "flip" a name to create a new name (so that, side by side, the names form a palindrome). This approach is sometimes used to come up with twin names.
Male twins could be Ari/Ira or Leon/Noel.
Female twins could be Ellen/Nelle, Aileen/Neelia or Iris/Siri.
Male/female twins could be Aidan/Nadia, Alan/Nala, Allan/Nalla, Allen/Nella, Arik/Kira, Aron/Nora, Axel/Lexa or Aydan/Nadya. (Helpful hint: When you flip a male name that starts with the letter A, you automatically have a feminine ending.)
For more name-flipping ideas, try this article on baby names spelled backwards.