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  1. #1

    Question Strong/weak names - what do you think?

    So I've noticed in a number of posts, on this and other sites, people asking for suggestions of masculine or unisex names because they want a "strong" name for their child.

    It has got me thinking about the unstated implication that recognisably feminine names (e.g. Elizabeth) are somehow "weak" names. This idea does give me the irrits a bit, as it seems to me to play into outdated/sexist stereotypes.

    I just wondered though if anyone else has noticed/thought about this too, and what your take on it is?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    East Coast, US
    Someone else can probably word this in a more eloquent manner than I, especially running on no sleep. I've noticed a similar trend when it came to boy names on girls. You can list a whole bunch of non "frilly" girl names (Mavis, Tamsin, Neve, etc.), but they always go back to a masculine name. The boys list usually ranges pretty masculine too.

    I don't know where the idea that feminine names are weak came from. Out of the top 100 influential women on the Forbes' list, only 1 goes by a male name (Drew) and it's her middle (probably because she shares her fn with her mother). There's no proof that having a male name gets you ahead in life. "Women today get the majority of college degrees in America. It doesn’t matter what kind — associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral — women beat men in all the categories. In the 2009-2010 academic year, women earned 57.4 percent of all bachelor’s degrees." Some schools still sway one way or the other, especially STEM, but with more push for the sciences and math in school I doubt it's going to come down to a name.
    Freya Lucine ◊ Saskia Margo ◊ Thea Luljeta ◊ Nora Kalina ◊ Esme Juliet ◊ Thalia Bastet ◊ Silje Artanis ◊ Zinnia Maris ◊ Eleni Solveig ◊ Leonie Anouk ◊ Aurora Eydís ◊ Eloisa Fawn

    Dominic Adair ◊ Henrik Einar ◊ Ivor Lachlan ◊ Vladimir Orrin ◊ Magnus Ilmari ◊ Mirek Ronan ◊ Ragnar Orson ◊ Stian Reed ◊ Casimir Idris ◊ Abram Llewellyn ◊ Gabriel Hawthorne ◊ Lev Ögmundur

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Birmingham, UK
    I've noticed this too and it bothers me a great deal. There still seems to be a pervasive stereotype that Daisies will be silly and simple but Dylans will be spunky and strong willed.
    Part of the problem is that parents are much more willing to use names traditionally given to boys for their daughters but won't use traditionally female names for their sons.
    It's all well and good recognising that girls should be allowed to be 'masculine' but we have to allow boys to be 'feminine' too, otherwise all we are doing is reiterating that femininity is somehow weaker.
    Harriet Grace / 19 / name lover / potential author & mother

    Ladies: * Thalia Rose * Annabelle Wren * Freya Hayley * Isabella Maud * Anna Elizabeth * Katherine Luna * Arabella Ingrid *
    Gents: * Jasper Henry * Lucas Levi * Andrew Rory * Reuben Isaac * Laurence Julian * Hugo Vincent * Rowan Jude *
    Singletons: * Arthur * Colin * Connie * Eden * Elijah * Ella * Eric * Hope * Lydia * Mark * Max * Opal * Ruby * Sophia *

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I hadn't noticed. I think of strong names as something with meaning (a positive one) that makes you imagine a person who is successful with their endeavours. regardless of what they may be. For example I think Elizabeth is a strong girls name. Shes the freakin queen! but Daisy doesnt sound as strong to me. For male names i feel like Hector is a stronger name than Tyler. I dont know how better to explain it. When i think of a strong name i dont automatically think it needs to be a male name. I just think it needs to be a name with some staying power. Nothing openly trendy or made up. like Sarah is stronger than Skye. Bridgette is stronger than Brittany. James is stronger than Jordan. Not that theres anything wrong with the less strong names, they just dont feel as strong to me. I wouldnt call them "weak" either, just simply not as strong. im not sure im explaining this well, just took a sip of my morning coffee so i might be half asleep still but i hope you get the idea.
    My Kids
    ~Abigail Lucina Violet
    ~Nathan Kenneth Michael
    ~Joseph Liam James

    ~TBA Nov. 2016.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Eh, this has been hashed about on here several times, but it really just boils down to each individual's preferences and point of reference. I will use the adjective "strong" in reference to a name, but never "weak". To me, strong means substantial, rooted in history (or at least common usage at some point), one that ages well, works well as a full name (so no nicknames as first names, with a few exceptions) and that it doesn't sound sugary/cute-sy. Thus, William is strong. Willy or Billy is not. I find Elizabeth very strong, btw. Lizzie, no. Beth, no. Macie no. Margaret, yes. Benjamin, yes. Bentley, no. Brody, no. Giana, yes. Gigi, no. It is hard to explain, though. I don't think that strong automatically refers to males though. People still like to stir the pot and think that, but no, that isn't everyone's agenda.

    As far as people using more masculine names/traditionally male names for their daughters...I think that is just to be edgy and cool. You know, trying to be nonconformist, but subscribing to a trend in actuality? I'm not sure why naming your daughter Wyatt, James, or Dylan would make her more special than if she had been named Grace, Sarah, or Jane. But hey, gotta use children to prove a point, huh? :/ that's what irritates me, personally. But to each their own. I'm only responsible for naming my own kids and pets.

    Married since 06/2015...TTC 2016...hoping for a 2017 Miracle!
    List under construction, as always

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