Category: unisex baby names
There are many names that look unisex, feel unisex….but are they really? Going by the strictest definition of the term, are these names truly used for babies of both genders?
In many cases, no. The names here, which many people consider unisex, were actually used overwhelmingly for one gender over the other. Figures are based on the 2013 US statistics, and were compiled with the help of intern Megan Garon.
It’s tempting to predict the future. Difficult, too.
Twenty years later, it’s all come true!
But it’s also become increasingly difficult to imagine what’s next for names, and the most recent high profile birth announcements illustrate why.
In our anything-goes age, possibilities abound. From Arabella to Zhang, the names parents are choosing make for an eclectic bunch.
And yet there are definite trends to spot and celebrate in this creative and daring age.
A lot of people complain about unisex names.
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.
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.
There are a handful of super-controversial topics in baby naming.
Creative spellings. Surnames-as-firsts. And, of course, boys’ names on girls.
The first two are easier, I think. They’re about style and preference. If you love the look of Madelyn, no amount of cajoling will convince you that it really must be Madeline. And either surnames like Lincoln and Bellamy make your shortlist, or not.
But when it comes to gender, there’s more at stake.