'LYN' names and Evelyn....

So I am liking Evelyn more and more but wanted to hear some feedback on this name in particular and the 'LYN' trend that seems to have increased in the past few years....

I really dislike it.  No offense, but when I hear names like Ashlyn, Maelyn, Gracelyn, etc.... they sound so made up and trendy to me and I am going for classic and NON-trendy.   I think names like Marilyn are more similar to Evelyn and are classic even though it "naturally" or "genuinely" has the 'LYN' ending.  Or am I mistaken and these are just where the smoosh-names began?  

This is honestly one of the only reasons I am hesitant to use this name --(the 'LYN' ending).  I almost with I could change the classic spelling to 'Evelin" or something else to avoid the 'LYN' at the end.  

Please be honest in your feedback...  Do you think Evelyn is considered to be lumped in with the other 'LYN' names that are out there?  Am I making too much of this??




By Eko
December 17, 2015 10:36 AM

Since I'm not in the US I can't really say if it would be lumped together with the other 'lyn' names - but my gut feeling is like yours that it wouldn't be the same category because it's a classic name with a classic spelling.


There's also Evelina, pronounced eh-veh-leen-uh. I think it's a good name with the right amount of "cute" but I don't have it on my list because I went to school with two Evelinas and I tend to avoid names of my childhood friends and classmates.

December 17, 2015 11:23 AM

Where are you located, Eko?  Is the 'LYN' trend not common where you're from?

Evelina is pretty, however it's a bit too obsecure for my taste. Thanks tho :)

By Eko
December 17, 2015 11:54 AM

I'm in Sweden and -lyn is not a common ending for names here. Instead we traditionally have -lina, -len, -lin endings.

I have noticed a bit of a trend here to add -li or -lo to names. Like the creation of Nova-Li/Novali/Novalie that's quite popular. And there's a singer calling herself Tove Lo.

December 17, 2015 11:30 AM

Evelin is a legitimate spelling, but it's not the most common and expected one, so it'd be a hassle. Evelina is more standard, and has the extra syllable to signal the different spelling.

I do think you're making too much of this. In the US last year, there were basically 19 names with "lyn" in the top 1000:

Evelyn, Evelynn, Evalyn, Avalynn
Brooklyn, Brooklynn
Madelyn, Madilyn, Madelynn, Madilynn, Madalyn, Madalynn
Jocelyn, Joselyn, Joslyn, Jocelynn
Adalynn, Adalyn, Adelyn, Adelynn, Addilyn, Addilynn
Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Caitlyn, Katelynn, Kaitlynn
Raelynn, Raelyn
Ashlyn, Ashlynn
Gracelyn, Gracelynn
Braelyn, Braelynn
Emmalyn, Emmalynn
Jazlyn, Jazlynn
Kailyn, Kaelyn, Kaylynn, Kaelynn
Jaelynn, Jaelyn, Jaylynn
Roselyn, Rosalyn

Of these, I would categorize 10 (Evelyn, Madelyn, Jocelyn, Adalynn, Kaitlyn, Marilyn, Gwendolyn, Emmalyn, Carolyn, Roselyn) as "classic" names, where the -lyn spelling is either standard (like Evelyn and Marilyn) or used with pronunciation-clarifying intent (like Carolyn and Madelyn). Two (Brooklyn, Ashlyn) are surnames, and thus not "new". That leaves just 7 (Raelynn, Gracelyn, Braelyn, Jazlyn, Kailyn, Jaelynn, Sherlyn) as newfangled inventions or mashups, and even from those, I'm not sure about Jazlyn (possibly a version of Jocelyn?) and Kailyn (isn't it an Anglicized spelling of some Gaelic name?).

In other words, -lyn endings are predominantly found on classic names. Sometimes it's not the usual spelling, but it helps to clarify the intended pronunciation, because the old -line diminutive ending has two forms (rhymes with "wine" versus rhymes with "win").

December 17, 2015 11:44 AM

Ugh, shudder at this list. God I hate the lyn ending. VeeMarie, I feel completely differently about Evelyn than I do about every other name on this list, (with the half-exception of Gwendolyn), so I think you're on safe ground naming your daughter Evelyn.

December 17, 2015 1:14 PM

Since when is Brooklyn a surname?  It's a Dutch place name (Breukelen) transferred to New Amsterdam.  Breukelen is located on the road between Utrecht and Amsterdam.  I have driven past  it many times, but never stopped there.  Brooklyn OTOH is across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, and it's where all the hipsters live :-).  Ashlyn, to the extent that it is related to Ashley, is derived from a place name that morphed into a surname.  I don't know that Ashlyn per se is a surname.

December 17, 2015 2:16 PM

Reaney & Wilson under Ashlin says to see Aslin, which is a surname of patronymic origin (Acelinus).

I originally had the category labeled as "placenames and surnames", but it seemed silly to have two labels for a total of two names, so I made assumptions (brook plus lin or lind, seems plausible)... Sorry.

In any case, the relevant thing for the discussion at hand is that they're not new. (Not even as labels for people, really.)

December 17, 2015 11:39 AM

To me Evelyn is different from the other Lyn names, both because of history of use and because of pronunciation. I find the "lyn" sound to be much less stressed, and very much a schwa sound.

It certainly has an antique feel that the Katelyns, Ashlyns, etc. do not. Even Marilyn sounds more like the others than Evelyn does, it just happened to take off a bit earlier.

December 17, 2015 11:40 AM

Evelyn is not a mashup.  It goes back to the 1600s, and its origins go back even further to the Middle Ages.  It should be analyzed as Evel-in with the -in being a diminutive.  It isn't Eve+lyn.  It was also frequently given to males.  Now people may perceive it as Eve+lyn and lump it in with Gracelyn, but my personal policy is to never cater to ignorance.  Ashlyn btw is a mashup of sorts: the ash- of Ashley plus the suffix -lyn, but it is also an Anglicized spelling of the Irish name Aisling/Aislinn.  You pays your money and you takes your choice.

December 17, 2015 11:45 AM


December 17, 2015 11:53 AM

Very interesting, Miriam!  I never thought of it as Evel-in, but I like thinking of it in those terms and very separate from the other 'lyn names.

Can you please clarify what you mean by "You pays your money and you takes your choice?"

December 17, 2015 1:04 PM

I meant that you can look at Ashlyn as Ash as in Ashley plus lyn or as an Anglicization of Aisling/Aislinn.  Either way, your choice.


December 17, 2015 1:53 PM

I can easily imagine a grandmother or great-grandmother named Evelyn. I can easily imagine it appearing for generations along a family tree. I have difficulty, however, imagining a current grandmother named Raelynn or Shaylyn. The name's history gives it a timeless feel that differentiates it from the modern mash-up -lyn names.

And so you know, when I see the spelling Evelin, I want to pronounce it EVE-lin, not EH-veh-lin.

December 17, 2015 2:21 PM

Very true! Thanks. 

December 17, 2015 3:40 PM

I grew up with an Evelyn, pronounced EEV---I don't know why.  Perhaps it was an honor name for a grandma Eve or Eva.  And then there's Evelyn Waugh.  So Evelyn is not completely unambiguous when it comes to pronunciation.

December 17, 2015 3:42 PM

No, it's not. However, I think that the default for Evelyn is not EEV-. Yes, it's a known alternative, but I don't think that too many people would assume that pronunciation when seeing a child name Evelyn. However, seeing an Evelin might get that assumption more frequently. Maybe not, but that was how it hit me when I read it and I thought I'd raise that issue as something to keep in mind if considering the alternative spelling.

December 17, 2015 3:49 PM

You are right.  The first thought would be Ev-, but I just wanted to point out that's not the only possibility.  Some people really don't want names with alternative pronunciations, and some people don't mind.

December 17, 2015 3:56 PM

I always thought the EEV pronunciation was either British or masculine. Checking on Forvo, the two females from the UK say EHV, and the one male from the UK says EEV, so maybe it's masculine in the UK (that would be consistent with Waugh) or maybe it's just a matter of choice. In the US, all three pronouncers use EHV, but in other parts of Europe there are a couple of EEVs and one that's more like AYV.

Interestingly, one of the UK women says it with three distinct syllables, and the other (whose user name is Evelyn) says EHV-lin, just two syllables (or maybe two and a bit of a swallowed syllable). In the US, 2/3 say it with three syllables, and the third again just 2 or 2.25. I think you'd want to be OK with hearing both Ehv-uh-lin and EHV-lin on occasion.

I confess that I still think of Evil-Lyn, the villainess from He-Man, when I hear the name. I'm sure that I'm in a vanishingly small minority in that, though.

December 17, 2015 4:07 PM

I think the Evelin spelling would get more "EEV" pronunciations than the Evelyn spelling.  It just seems like the parents are trying to communicate something, and so I might pronounce it differently.

I have trouble remembering to pronounce it correctly anyway.  I talk about Evelyn Waugh more than I talk about any other "Evelyn" and so I get used to the "EEV" pronounciation.  Speaking of which, do you know how did his first wife Evelyn Gardner pronounce it?  Same as him or with the "EV" pronounciation?

As for the initial question, I don't hear Evelyn as a "-lyn" name.  I dislike the "-lyn" names but I don't see Evelyn as being part of it.  My problem with the normal "-lyn" names is that they seem made up and ill thought out.  Evelyn does not seem that way at all.

December 17, 2015 4:44 PM

I love this site for all the history several of you posters share. :) 

OP regardless of trend if you love Evelyn, it is classic, use it!

My personal opinion is that Evelyn has become popular again because of the 'lyn' trend. I love the lyn names on others kids. None of them ever came on our list for first names. Our middle name may end up Emmalyn. Now I'm second guessing because we don't like Emma, just the lyn! Lynn doesn't work well with our 3 name combo. Too many l's! Oh well. DH gets final pick of the middle from our list since I can't decide. :)

December 17, 2015 6:20 PM

Evelyn also fits in with the current interest in Evie/Eve/Eva/Ava, sort of a fashionable two-fer.

December 19, 2015 2:54 AM

Rosalind is a -lyn sounding name with a long history.