Names Searched Right Now:

Category: names and gender

unisex baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Some unisex baby names start as female choices and shift over time to become more boyish, but many more begin as all-boy names and over the decades cross to the girls’ side.

The baby names here are extreme cases.  Most started life, back when the US government began recording babies’ names, as 100% male choices, and now have become mostly girls’ names.

While we were tempted to narrow the field to only those dozen names that went from 100% male to 100% female, the entire list proved just too interesting to cut.

The baby names that have morphed from blue to pink – and when they made their big switch – include:

Addison

100% male in 1880, 98% female in 2012

Jumped to 55% female in 1996

Alexis

100% male in 1882, 77% female in 2012

In 1942, Alexis leaped to 69% female from 42%

Allison

100% male in 1880, 100% female in 2012

From 1942-1948 it jumped from 52% to 80% female

Ashley

100% male in 1880, 100% female in 2012

Crossed the line in 1965 to become 64% female

Aubrey

100% male in 1880, 98% female in 2012

In 1974, tipped to 52% female

Read More

baby name Luna

by Abby Sandel/Appellation Mountain

Do you name boys and girls the same way?

We often reserve antique gems for girls – lady-like appellations like Charlotte, Amelia, Lydia, and Hattie. But this week, parents proved that retro picks work for boys, too. Several high-profile birth announcements revived grandpa-chic choices for our sons.

Meanwhile, the boldest names have often been given to boys. Think of cowboy-cool choices like Wyatt and Cade, Chase and Luke. But this week, it is the girls wearing the bold, unconventional choices.

I’ve heard parents report that they stick to the classics for their sons, but take risks with girls’ names. Could that be changing? Are fewer parents playing it safe when naming a son?

And if we embrace bold names for girls – ones with interesting sounds and lots of presence – will we feel less pressure to borrow conventionally masculine names for our daughters?

This week’s nine most newsworthy names are:

LunaPenelope and Javier have announced their daughter’s name. Leo’s little sister is Luna Encinas Cruz. Luna has gone from quirky Harry Potter heroine to one of the fastest-rising choices in the last decade. Originally worn by a Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is now a favorite with Hollywood stars. Uma Thurman calls her many-named daughter Luna, too.

Read More

Unisex Baby Names: Going to the boys

unisex baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Unisex baby names, when they begin to veer toward use for one gender more than the other, typically move to the girls’ side.

But not always.  Thanks to the wonderful chart by Steve Ruble that we are delighted to feature on our new unisex baby names home page, we can see how the gender ratio of unisex names morphs over time.  And an increasing number of unisex baby names names are turning decidedly more blue.

The unisex baby names on Steve Ruble’s chart and beyond that are becoming more masculine include:

Amari

The multi-ethnic Amari was two-thirds female in 2000, soon after in entered the U.S. Top 1000, and now has reversed course and is 63% male.

Angel

Angel was used two-thirds of the time for girls in 1972 but by 2012, 83% of the children named Angel were boys, many of them of Hispanic descent.

Read More