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April 3rd, 2014 08:21 PM #1
"Unisex" names vs. gender ambiguous names
I wanted to ask everyone's opinion on this. I hope I am explaining the thought correctly.
Do you think there is a difference between names that are currently considered unisex (Morgan, Ashley, etc.) or even gender bending (I am looking at you Elliot) and names that are gender ambiguous? Do you know of any names that you feel fit in the 2 categories? Example: For me, I do look at the concepts differently. I considering names like Evan and Morgan (and sadly Ashley...love this on a boy) to be "unisex", however I see most nature names as being gender ambiguous as they do not really denote a gender - other than the obvious Rose and the like. I see unisex as being names that are established as being for either gender through historical use. Gender ambiguous names are not assigned to either gender and can be used either way because of that - if that makes sense.Mommy of Juniper Teagan & Pyrus Nikolai
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April 3rd, 2014 08:29 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
I consider unisex names to be original boy names that have been slapped onto girls and hence dubbed unisex as a way to justify it. One name I see as truly ambiguous is Rowan. I know it's a tad more popular on boys (I think...?) but I've heard it used on both sexes. It seems neither masculine nor feminine, just neutral. Not sure if I answered the question, just my two centsNolan Zachary
April 3rd, 2014 08:29 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
I see both categories as unisex, albeit for different reasons.
April 3rd, 2014 08:43 PM #7
It's an interesting distinction, and I think I understand what you mean. "Unisex" means that at one point in time the name had a distinct gender associated with it-- Morgan and Ashley being great examples-- but over time, the name was given to enough people of both sexes to make it unisex.
"Gender ambiguous," by your thought, is a name that is new enough that it doesn't readily connote one or the other-- something like River or Sage.Blade, MD
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Hayat _ Qamar _ Sahar _ / Altair _ Faraj _ Tariq
April 4th, 2014 05:26 PM #9
Names aren't inherently masculine or feminine. What sounds like it is masculine or feminine changes through time or culture. English likes to put -a at the end of girl names but in other languages the -a ending means boy. At one point people thought pink was masculine and blue feminine! To me the only truly gender neutral names are word names that are mostly recent introductions, because they have little association based on use. Like Phoenix. Surname names have historically been boy names, sometimes some of them cross over but there aren't many that are truly unisex. Maybe Jordan, mostly once it becomes popular for girls it falls off for boys.