I have a theory – completely without proof – that “Elizabeth” has more variants than any other name. You have:
- Elsa (for you Frozen fans out there)
- Buffy (no, really)
(Thanks to Baby Name Wizard for helping with that list.)
Other names have variants you might not expect. Peggy, for instance, is a diminutive of Margaret.
And John is fun to trace around the world:
- Jean (French)
- Johan (German)
- Giovanni (Italian)
- Juan (Spanish)
- Ivan (Russian)
- Sean (Irish)
…not to mention Jack.
James, meanwhile, is a derivative of the biblical Jacob, which means “heel-grabber.”
Coming soon: weird old American names that nobody uses anymore. Like “Philander.” No, really.