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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    461

    A couple of questions about boy names used for girls.

    I'm due in July and have been spending (too much) time at the babycenter boards. I am fairly appalled by what the general pop is deciding to name their children* - but it is raising some interesting questions for me.

    #1 - Which is worse? An ultra-cutesy name for a girl (i.e. Brynnlee and the like) or a very masculine name on a girl (i.e. Cooper, Hudson - yes these are names actual people are planning to name their daughters! I actually met a Cooper today...wtf?) My opinion on this is that I can picture a high level, powerful executive woman named Hudson better than I can picture one named Mykennlee.

    #2 - If a grown man is named something that was a boy name when he was young, but has turned into a feminine name now (let's say Avery, Rylie, Addison for example). Does this adult male have any ill effect on him because of this transformation? Do people begin looking at him differently because little girls now have his name, or is it the new baby boys that would be looked at strangely if they were given the newly-feminine name? This is something I've been pondering as we are considering the name Wesley and I have heard mention that this *might* become a girl's name, or that people have randomly heard girls named that. I recently heard of some girls being named Greyson too...wtf?

    Anyway - would love some NB opinions on these topics!

    *yesterday a woman shared the name of her son, Zayden and is naming this new baby Dreydon. So clever. *eye rolling*

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15,308
    There is no difference for me between giving a female an overly cutesy/made up name or a traditional boys name. The choices just give off different messages at opposite ends of the spectrum: the first gives me "don't take women seriously; they're delicate flowers and need to be protected for the outside world so we'll name her something childish and dress her in frilly pink dresses so no one will hurt our precious angel" and the second is "choosing a boys name for my girl will make her stronger and she'll be able to get ahead in the professional world because people will treat her with respect". Of course, my statements are sarcastic generalizations but that's where my head is right now. Neither trend is to my liking.

    I don't have a problem with boys taking back the names that were once predominently given to boys in the first place. Why should a man feel embarassed or ashamed for being given a name that was traditionally male? Do girls somehow taint it? Do the names have "cooties"? I find parents really hung up about this issue and its quite perplexing. I noticed you didn't ask the same question for the girls (how does having a boys name effect the female perception?). Wesley WAS and STILL is a fine boys name. I've heard of a few parents choosing Wesley for their girls but it's usually spelled Weslea or Weslee (yikes!). I don't think you should fall into the same trap. This misogyny (and that what it is, unconscious or not) really has to stop. I'm sure you'll get much heated debate on your questions. Hopefully, it won't turn into an ugly one. I wouldn't worry about Wesley. If you love it, I would encourage you to use it.
    All the best,
    Mischa.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    611
    1 - I agree with PP "There is no difference for me between giving a female an overly cutesy/made up name or a traditional boys name". - I personally think naming a boy a girls name (Ryan) is just like naming a some a overly feminine name like Caroline, Sophia or Isabelle, it's not right. - names like Brynnlee to me are tacky just by adding Lynn, Leigh or Lee to the end of a name does not change anything it just causes more agro for the child.

    2 - I don't think people would really take much notice TBH. I know about 5 Boy Ashley's (4 Ashley's & 1 Ashleigh I'm not joking) and about 10 Ashley's (0 Ashley's, 5 Ashleigh's, 2 Ashlee's, 1 Ashlea, 1 Ashlye, 1 Ashli & 1 Ashlie). - I think people are so used to all the differnt names that are being used on either gender because they have been used for a number of years. But I think names that have just started being used on differnt gender's Riley, Finley, Jordan possibly might cause a problem.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    461
    Quote Originally Posted by mischa View Post
    I noticed you didn't ask the same question for the girls (how does having a boys name effect the female perception?).
    I don't know of many girls names turning into boys names, so I supose that's why I asked the question the way I did, and as for how a boy name effects female perception - that was sort of the idea behind question #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischa View Post
    I wouldn't worry about Wesley. If you love it, I would encourage you to use it.
    I'm not *really* worried about it, it just came to mind when pondering the topic.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    281
    I have to disagree with PPs a little bit about your first question. There is a difference between giving your daughter a masculine name vs. an overly feminine, misspelled name. For instance, when a child is older and trying to find work. I work in HR and I can't tell you the number of times a name has been the reason a resume was rejected. I'm not saying it's right, but it is a reality. When someone in charge of hiring for a prestigious or professional position reads a name that seems to be misspelled or une3k, it reads that the person's parents were uneducated and that, therefore, the person is also. And there's also a chance that someone in charge of hiring might have trouble taking someone with a made-up or really over-the-top name seriously. Giving a girl a man's name on the other hand doesn't have the same effect. The person reading the resume doesn't know if the person is male or female. They don't treat a woman differently for having a man's name because they don't know whether she is a woman or man. This same kind of problem arises in applying for college also.

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