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Category: Unisex Baby Names

gender-benders

Can celebrities have an impact on the gender ID of their names?  You betcha.  First there were some earlier actresses with predominantly male names like Glenn Close, Sean Young, Michael Learned and Darryl Hannah, and then, more recently, Bryce Dallas Howard, Elisha Cuthbert, Tierney Sutton, Jules Asner and Mischa Barton, who have opened the door to the gender-bending of their names.

Here are some who have had a perceivable influence in making their lad names more acceptable for ladies.

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unisex names

A lot of people complain about unisex names.

Names like Riley and Rory, they say — never mind Maxwell or James — should never be used for girls.  Those are boys’ names, and should stay on the boys’ side of the fence.

And then there are those people who campaign for names such as Ashley and Evelyn to be repossessed by the boys from the girls.

Other says that word names and place names such as Halcyon and Havana have no intrinsic gender and so are equally appropriate for girls and boys.

We’d like to spin this controversy to a more positive place and ask which names you think truly work best for both genders.  Please name names and let us know why you think  your choices go both ways with the most grace.

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posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
unisex

By Brooke Cussans, Baby Name Pondering

One of the posts I did last year that I really enjoyed was Unisex Baby Names: Five new entries – a list of those names special enough to simultaneously debut for both girls and boys in 2012. There were just five, and it was interesting to learn about names from cultures I am largely unfamiliar with, plus some word names, celebrity names, and spelling variations I hadn’t considered. So I wanted to do the same for the 2013 names. And the three contenders for 2013 manage to deliver on all of those aspects.

CHIKAMSO – Given to 5 girls and 8 boys in 2013

Showing how much I still have to learn about the world of names, when I first saw Chikamso I thought it might be of Asian origin. I learned however that Chikamso is a Nigerian name from the Igbo (or Ibo) people. For a parent looking for a strong Igbo name that honours God, this could be a good choice, as it means ‘God I follow’ or ‘I am following God’. Possible nicknames include Chi – which is also an Igbo name reportedly meaning ‘God’ or ‘spiritual guardian’ – or the more commonly suggested Kamso. Or dare I suggest Kamzo? Kamso itself has never charted, but seems like it would be a cool and spunky nickname for either gender.

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Top Unisex Names 2013

unisex baby names

Rowan maintains the Number One spot, as it has all year, on our list of Most Popular Unisex Names 2013.

Quinn and Kai are second and third.  Our two new entrants to the Top 20 are the celebrity-inspired North along with Arden at Number 16.

We define unisex names as names given to less than 90 percent of either gender in the U.S.  We include the gender split taken from the most recent Social Security figures, which you can view in more detail on the chart on our Unisex Baby Names home page.

Our popularity lists are tabulated by ranking the unique page views each name attracts out of the over 20 million total views of our baby name pages in 2013.  Starting in 2014, we’ll be able to calculate the number of views of our names by gender and so will rank names considered unisex with the overall girls’ and boys’ popularity lists.

One trend evident from this list is the unusual predominance of names that start with the letter R, a trend unique to unisex names, with E-starting names in second place.  Remy is the name most evenly divided in use between the sexes, with Marlowe the choice used most often for girls and Kai leaning furthest toward the male side.

Our Top 20 Unisex Names for 2013 are:

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The Newest Names on Nameberry

new baby names

We’re always adding new names to the Nameberry database, whether new discoveries or expansions of older listings.

Our latest collection includes word names and nicknames, international imports and mythological revivals.  We bring you these new entries not as our latest recommendations but as fresh additions to the lexicon.

Here, our 16 newest names:

Alcina, Alcie, and Alsie

Alcina is best-known as the name of the beautiful sorceress of the eponymous Handel opera drawn from the Orlando poems. Alcina and her sister Morgana live on an island where Alcina seduces every passing sailor but once their novelty wears off, changes them into plants, rocks, or animals. Alcina comes with modern-sounding short forms Alcie or Alsie, which feel more baby-ready now that names such as Elsie, Elsa, and Isla are becoming popular again.

Bruin

Bruin is the Old English term for bear, taken from the Dutch word meaning brown. Bruin might be a sports fan’s choice or an animal name in hiding. As a kind of hybrid of Roone and Bruno, it’s definitely got some cool.

Celestina

We are hearing more of such heavenly names as Celeste and Celia, which opens the door to the range of lovely variations rarely heard before, including the Italian and Spanish Celestina.

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