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Category: unisex baby names

Unisex Names 2013: The top 20 (so far)

silhouettemulti

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Rowan has taken over from Quinn as the most popular unisex name on Nameberry.

Rowan attracted the most views of all the unisex names on the site, defined as names given to at least 10% of the minority gender. Rowan, a Scottish and Irish name meaning “little redhead,” is more evenly unisex than Quinn, ranking 455 for girls and 301 for boys on the U.S. popularity list.

The other big news on our unisex list is the appearance of North, thanks to little North West, daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. While North was used for only 12 boys and fewer than five girls according to the official U.S. tallies for 2012, the current interest is almost entirely as a girls’ name.

The unisex names ranking highest in the 14 million views of our name pages in the first nine months of the year are:

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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

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palindromes (1)

If you’re looking for a name with perfect symmetry and balance, nothing could fit the bill better than a palindromic appellation, meaning one that reads the same backwards and forwards. Granted, that’s a pretty limited field, and a lot of the choices begin and end with the letter ‘a’ with only one consonant in-between, but there are a few others as well. Here are the most usable:

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Unisex Baby Names: Five new entries

posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
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By Brooke Cussans, aka bluejuniper, of baby name pondering

Every year names move up and down, on and off the US Social Security Administration (SSA) charts of popular names. A name will appear on the charts if it has been given to more than four babies of one gender in that year. Usually when a name enters the lists, it enters for one gender first and takes some time to chart for the other one (if it ever does).

Take the now unisex name Cameo for example. Cameo first entered the girls chart in 1957. But it wasn’t until 1979 – more than 20 years later – that it started to chart for boys too. It also charts more irregularly for boys than it does for girls.

So it’s fair to say that it takes quite a special name to simultaneously enter both the boys and the girls charts for the first time in the same year. There is something about it that has captured the imagination of parents, who think it has a sound and feel that could work for either gender.

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unisex names

Unisex names most popular among Nameberry’s visitors include those that lean girlward and those more favored for boys.  To qualify as a unisex name for this list, a name needs to be given to at least 10 percent of the minority gender.

Check out the graphic on our new Unisex Names home page to get more specific statistics on how these names divide along gender lines.  Our Number 1 unisex name Quinn, for instance, is now 68 percent female, a dramatic swing toward the girls’ side thanks to its starring role on television’s Glee.  Number 2 Rowan, meanwhile, is 63 percent male.

Names such as Sawyer and Kai are predominantly male, edging toward our 90% cutoff, while choices such as Avery and Emery are more than 80% female.

This is a fascinating list, including names such as Charlie and Elliot that were long traditional male names and other choices such as Reese (Witherspoon) and Peyton (Manning) that are heavily identified with celebrities of one gender but are still used for babies of the other.

If you’re interested in these or other unisex names for your baby, be sure to check the gender progression over time on the chart on our Unisex Names page.

The Top 20 Unisex Names so far this year on Nameberry are:

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