The Curious Case of -YS Names

I’ve recently been pondering a possible trend: names ending in “ees,” as in “Elise.” It seems that there are quite a few creative names ending in the sound “on-ees” or “lise” out there, especially for Hispanic women. I’ve known women, mostly Puerto Rican, named Ivelisse, Nashalys, Xianlyze, Anabelize, Angelis, Analyse, and Emalise, all pronounced “ees” at the end. (As a note: names ending in -ys(e), -is(e), -iz(e), and -yz(e) can all be pronounced similarly in Spanish.) It seemed too frequent an occurrence to be a coincidence, so I looked into it, and there does seem to be something of a trend.

Alanis is the 18th most popular name in Puerto Rico, and Alanys, Alianys, Elianys, Arielys, and Darielys also rank in the Puerto Rican top 100. In 2010, a different bunch of -ees names- Nayelis, Yarielis, Angelis, and Yarelis- ranked in the top 100.

There seems to be an almost infinite number of these names, and I really like many of them. So I’ve compiled a list of names given to 5 or more girls in 2016 that fit this category. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, and I had to make some guesses about pronunciation. For example, Evalise pronounced in English is the way Ivelisse would be pronounced in Spanish, but they’d be pronounced differently in reverse, so I’m not 100% sure that these parents all say the names the same way. I excluded names like Charlize and Damaris that have clear origins and names like Alyse that are likely respellings of more common names. I’ve also grouped names that could be pronounced the same or nearly the same. There are two main sets: names that end in -lise and names that end in -anys. The former is more popular.

Of course, it’s possible that some of these names are pronounced “-iss” and/or are chosen by parents with no ties to Puerto Rico or the Spanish language at all. But, based on the statistics and my own experience, I think it’s likely that a large number of girls with these names are born to Spanish-speaking parents. I have no explanation as to why these names are popular. Many of them, like Nayelis and Angeliz, seem like other names with the endings changed. If there are any readers out there knowledgeable about this trend, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

-ANYS NAMES
Alannys, Alanis, Alanys
Aliannys
Aolanis
Arianys, Arianis
Arlenis
Elianys
Julianys
Karlianys
Keilianys
Milianys

-LISE NAMES
Adalise, Adalis, Adelis, Adaliz, Adeliz, Adelise
Angelis, Angelise, Angelisse, Angeliz
Annalyse, Analyse, Analize, Annaliz, Aneliz, Analiz, Analis, Anelise, Analisse, Annalisse, Anelisse, Annalis, Anelis- I wasn’t sure whether to include these, as Anneliese is popular in many spellings throughout the US. But many of these spellings- like Annaliz and Anelis- seemed so Spanish that I thought they should be included.
Aracelis
Arelis, Arelys, Arielis, Arieliz, Arielyz
Danielys
Darielys, Darielis
Dayanis
Dianelys
Elianis
Emalise
Idaliz, Idalis
Iselis, Iselys
Ivelisse, Evalise, Evalisse, Evelise
Jaelys, Yaelis
Janeliz, Janelys, Janelis, Yanelis, Yaneliz, Janielys, Yanieliz
Jarielys, Jarielis Yarielis, Yarieliz, Yarielys, Yarelis, Yareliz
Jaylanis, Jaylianis
Jenalise, Jenalys
Joeliz, Joelis
Julianis
Karelys, Karielys
Keylianis
Marielis, Marielys
Marliz, Marlys
Nayelis, Nayeliz
Novalise
Odalis, Odalys, Odaliz
Xarielys
Zoelys

And bonus: Adamaris, Adamariz

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