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How Many Ways Can You Spell Kristen / Kristin / Christin

Updated on November 28, 2016
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P. Williams has a background in statistical analysis and has always been fascinated by the origins of names.

Kristen is a traditional Christian name.
Kristen is a traditional Christian name.

Kristen, Kristin, Christin, Cristen, etc. is a perennially popular name for girls in North America, Europe, and Australia. Like many common names, it is one with many spelling variants. Just how many spelling variations of Kristen are there? If you analyze the name mathematically, you can come up with 176 plausible -- though not necessarily normal -- ways to spell the name. (In comparison, there are nearly twice as many ways to spell the name Derek.) Using math to count all the possible spellings of Kristen is much more efficient than trying to enumerate them one by one. This article shows how the calculation works, along with the history of and facts about the name Kristen.


How to Count the Spelling Variations

The number of ways to spell Kristen is a product of three numbers: The number of ways to represent the "kr" sound, the number of ways the represent the "ist" sound, and the number of ways to represent the unstressed syllable "en." Because the last syllable is unaccented, it admits many more plausible spellings than the stressed syllable. The possibilities are listed in the following table.

Ways to Spell the "Kr" Part
Ways to Spell the "ist" Part
Ways to Spell the "en" Part
Cr
ist
en
Chr
isst
enn
Kr
yst
enne
Khr
ysst
in
Total = 4
Total = 4
inn
 
 
inne
 
 
yn
 
 
ynn
 
 
ynne
 
 
an
 
 
on
 
 
Total = 11

Since there are 4 ways to spell the first part, 4 ways the spell the second, and 11 ways to spell the third, you get 4*4*11 = 176 different spellings of Kristen. To create a variant, just take one element from the first column, add to it an element from the second column, and add to it an element from the third column. For example, you can come up with

Khristyn, Crisstenn, Krystan, Christon, Crystyn, Chryssten, Kristinn, Khrysten

as alternative spellings of the name Kristen. As you can see, many of the possible spellings are much more bizarre than others. In fact, according to US Census data, only 5 spellings have an incidence greater than 0.003%; the rest are each borne by only a handful of people.

Most Common Ways to Spell Kristen and Its Variants

According to US Census and vital records data, the 5 most common ways of spelling Kristen are

  • (1) Kristen - Approximately 1 in 1246 people in the US is named Kristen. The peak popularity as a baby name was in 1974 and again between 1982 and 1990.
  • (2) Kristin - Approximately 1 in 1509 people in the US is named Kristin. The peak popularity as a baby name was in 1970 and again in 1981.
  • (3) Christen - Approximately 1 in 24,297 people in the US is named Christen. The peak popularity as a baby name was between 1980 and 1985.
  • (4) Christin - Approximately 1 in 24,465 people in the US is named Christin. The peak popularity as a baby name was in 1982 and again in 1989.
  • (5) Kristyn - Approximately 1 in 31,536 people in the US is named Kristyn. The peak popularity as a baby name was between 1987 and 1993.


Meaning and Origin of the Name Kristen

The female name Kristen is derived from "Christian," meaning believer in Christ. In Scandinavia, Kristin is usually a man's name, while elsewhere in Europe and English-speaking countries it is a female name. In English-speaking countries, Christian is normally a male name, while Kristen, Christine, and Christiane are female names.

Some variants, diminutives, and nicknames of Kristen are: Kristi, Crissy, Christine, Cristina, Krista, Christianne, Kirsten, Kirsty, Crystal, Chris, Kris, Tina, Kit, and Kitty.

Famous Kristens

  • Kristen Nygaard - Norwegian politician and computer scientist
  • Kristen Wiig - American comedienne and actress
  • Kristen Schaal - American comedic actress and voice actress
  • Kristin Davis - American actress, portrayed Charlotte on Sex and the City
  • Krysten Ritter - American actress, portrayed Jane on Breaking Bad
  • Kristen Stewart - American actress, portrayed Bella Swan in Twilight
  • Kristin Gore - American writer and daughter of Al Gore
  • Kristen Gremillion - American anthropologist

Actress Kristen Davis, classic beauty
Actress Kristen Davis, classic beauty

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