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How Many Ways Can You Spell Lindsay / Lindsey / Linsy / Lyndsey

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.

Actress Lindsay Lohan
Actress Lindsay Lohan

The classic English name Lindsay (pronounced LIN-zee) is one of many girl names that started out as a name for boys and has its origins in English surnames. Today it's rare to find men under the age of 50 with the given name Lindsay, or its many spelling variants such as Lindsey, Lyndsay, Linsy and others.

Just how many ways can you spell Lindsay or Lindsey? If you were to write them all out systematically using every possible variation for each sound component, you would get a total of 192 ways to spell Lindsay. (In comparison, there are 176 ways to spell Kristen and its variants.) However, there is a much faster way to count all of the names using simple combinatorial math.


Counting the Alternative Spellings of Lindsay

The name Lindsay is made up of 5 components that each have more than one way of being spelled. They are: the "L" sound, the "i" sound, the "n" sound, the "z" sound, and the "ee" sound. The total number of different plausible ways of spelling Lindsay is the product of the number of ways to spell each of these components. These variations are listed in the following table.

Ways to Spell the "L" Sound
Ways to Spell the "i" Sound
Ways to Spell the "n" Sound
Ways to Spell the "z" Sound
Ways to Spell the "ee" Sound
L
i
n
s
ay
Ll
y
nn
z
ey
Total = 2
Total = 2
nd
Total = 2
y
 
 
nnd
 
i
 
 
Total = 4
 
ie
 
 
 
 
ee
 
 
 
 
Total = 6

In English, the double L is pronounced like single L, so we get two possibilities for the first part. The vowel sound of short i can be represented with an i or a y, giving us another two possible spellings. The d in nd is silent, so we can represent the third component with four choices. The z sound can be represented with s or z, giving us another two. And finally there are six ways to produce the ee sound in an unstressed final syllable. Working out the produce 2*2*4*2*6 gives us 192.

To produce a spelling variant of Lindsay or Lindsey, simply pick one element from each colunm and string them together. For example, if you pick "Ll" + "i" + "nd" + "z" + "y" you get Llindzy. Some other spelling variations include

Lindsy, Lynnsy, Linndzey, Linzie, Lynsie, Linnsay


Origin and Meaning of the Name Lindsay / Lindsey / Lyndsay

The surname Lindsay comes from the toponym (geographic place name) of Lindsey in the Lincolnshire county of England, a territory that borders the North Sea on the West. Lindsey means "Island of Lincoln." The name "Lincoln" is a portmanteau derived from "Lindum Colonia", what the Roman occupiers called the "Colony of Lindon." Finally, "Lindon" appears to be related to some Celtic-language word for "pool" or "pond." Thus tracing back the origins of the name Lindsay you can say it roughly means pool or pond.


Most Common Spellings of Lindsay as a Given Name

The rise of Lindsay as a woman's name started with the rising fame of actress Lindsay Wagner, who portrayed the Bionic Woman in 1976. According to US census and birth records data, the most popular spellings of Lindsay as a first name (not as a last name) are

  • (1) Lindsey - About 1 in 1758 people in the US are currently named Lindsey. The peak popularity of Lindsey as a baby name was 1982 to 1985.
  • (2) Lindsay - About 1 in 2111 people in the US is currently named Lindsay. The peak popularity of Lindsay as a baby name was 1982 to 1985.
  • (3) Lyndsey - About 1 in 19465 people in the US is currently named Lyndsey. The peak popularity of Lyndsey as a baby name was 1982 to 1990.
  • (4) Lyndsay - About 1 in 40653 people in the US is currently named Lyndsay. The peak popularity of Lyndsay as a baby name was 1982 to 1985.
  • (5) Linsey - About 1 in 54723 people in the US is currently named Linsey. The peak popularity of Linsey as a baby name was 1981 to 1986.
  • (6) Lynsey - About 1 in 55812 people in the US is currently named Lynsey. The peak popularity of Lynsey as a baby name was 1981 to 1988.

Variants with "z," "nn," "ie," or "y" are quite rare. All told, about 1 in 866 people in the US is currently named Lindsey/Lindsay/Lyndsey/Lyndsay/Linsey/Lynsey.


Famous Lindseys and Lindsays

  • Lindsay Wagner - American actress
  • Lindsay Lohan - American actress and trainwreck
  • Lyndsy Fonesca - American actress
  • Lindsay Bluth Funke - Fictional character from Arrested Development
  • Lindsey Buckingham (male) - Guitarist in Fleetwood Mac
  • Lindsey Vonn - American skier and Olympian
  • Lyndsey Rodrigues - Australian TV personality
  • Lynsay Sands - Prolific Canadian author


Actress Lindsay Wagner
Actress Lindsay Wagner

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    • profile image

      Robert Perlberg 12 months ago

      Lindsey Jacobellis - Olympic snowboarder

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      Lhynzee 10 months ago

      My name is spelled Lhynzee no one will expect a silent H in my own unique name

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      Lyndzey 5 months ago

      I feel unique

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      Linsy 3 months ago

      Not to be another joker but I prefer the way my name is spelled, not because it makes me yooneek but because I find it more aesthetically pleasing. The silent d is unnecessary the way it's pronounced in modern English. I guess if I had to spell it a so-called "normal" way I would pick Lindsey. I don't have too much trouble with people misspelling Linsy.

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      Lindsy 2 months ago

      The way mine is spelled also seems to be quite rare I had a teacher in the second grade who seemed to think I didn't know how to spell my own name and went so far as to send me to the office when I wouldn't tell her weather I spelled it with an a or e

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      Lynsie 3 weeks ago

      Auto Correct always spells my name Lindsay. Because of this, my nickname was Lindsay Lohan.

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