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A possible candidate would be the Amora אביי - whose real name was נחמני but was called אביי by the acronym for אֲשֶׁר-בְּךָ יְרֻחַם יָתוֹם. Read more details here. Unless you want to argue it was Avraham Avinu: אַבְרָהָם, כִּי אַב-הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ
Sometimes the name changes because it spells a "bad" idea, but sometimes it's done because the other one is just nicer. 1910 - תר"ע became עת"ר (from Ra - bad) 1912 - תרע"ב became תער"ב (like here) (from Rav - hunger) 1917 - תרע"ז became עזר"ת (like here) (Ezras - help) 1919 - תרע"ט became עטר"ת (like here) (Ateres - crown) 1938 - תרצ"ח became תרח"צ ...
To reinforce the question, why do we spill for Dam vaEsh veSimros Ashan, which are not makkos of Egypt at all, but rather a prooftext that ובמופתים is a reference to דם. I think the answer is that the practice began with spilling / dipping for the makkos. To cite a note in a haggadah from 1590: "I have seen anshei maaseh accustomed to dipping the ...
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