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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    408

    "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

    Catkin Winifred, Celandine Ceridwen, Nettle Chiyo, Pennyroyal Matilda, Dandelion Jane
    Fox Atticus, Huckleberry Ivan, Senna Lazarus, Bramble Gideon, Thistle Dorian

    Crushes: Myfanwy, Merewen, Ferelith, Heliotrope
    Angus, Jules, Bear, Larkspur, Blue, Robin

    http://bloominggardenofnames.blogspot.com/

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    481
    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 cents
    Ladies: Anna, Audrey, Emilia, Josephine, Lucy, Margaret, Miranda

    Gentleman: Grady, Everett, Isaac, Jonah, Morgan, Rory, Stellan

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    4,491
    I see both categories as unisex, albeit for different reasons.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,567
    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

    XY: Antoine Raphael
    XX: Cassia Viviane Noor

    Aurea * Chrysanthe * Emmanuelle * Endellion * Ione * Jacinda * Lysandra * Melisande * Myrrine * Rosamond * Seraphine * Sylvana * Theodora / Blaise * Cyprian * Darius * Evander * Jules * Laurence * Lionel * Malcolm * Marius * Quentin * Rainier

    كنوز الصحراء الشرقية Hayat _ Qamar _ Sahar _ Maysan / Altair _ Fahd _ Faraj _ Khalil _ Najid _ Tariq

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    836
    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.

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