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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    international girls's names x international boys' names in the SSA list.

    Hey guys! I was looking into the SSA list, and one thing caught my attention. While I was checking the boys' popularity list, I saw many clearly ethnic names in the top 1000. As for girls, most names that were once tied to a specific background lost that ethnic feature, and are now in widespread use. I wonder why is that. I mean, why a clearly italian name like Isabella was so widely embraced by parents who got no italian background, but an equally italian name like Lorenzo is still being used mainly by italian parents? Why are girls' names more likely to become "internationally" used, while the same does not happen in the same degree to boys?

    While looking at the SSA list for girls, I can't really know how many of the following babies actually have links to the background their names come from:

    1-100: Isabella, Sofia, Layla, Aaliyah, Gabriela, Camila, Arianna/Ariana, Genesis, Bella, Sophie, Mila, Annabelle, Gianna, Eva
    100-200: Maria, Brielle, Isabelle, Natalia, Liliana, Eliana, Valentina, Clara, Elena, Isabel, Laila, Gabrielle, Angelina, Juliana, Adriana, Elise, Josephine, Ximena, Alexia, Valeria, Izabella, Luna, Lila, Julianna, Fiona
    200-300: Giselle, Keira, Alexandria, Emilia, Arabella, Lola, Leila, Genevieve, Gabriela, Daniela, Adrianna, Leilani, Amaya, Ana, Lucia, Camille, Alina, Anastasia, Danielle, Lilliana, Erin, Annabella, Arya, Vivienne, Daniella, Miriam, Elliana, Juliette, Noelle, Alessandra
    300-400: Bianca, Yaretzi, Lilah, Fatima, Kiara, Nyla, Alondra, Giuliana, Alicia, Nadia, Amiyah, Malia, Eloise, Mariana, Myla, Briella, Sierra, Gia, Briana, Talia, Heidi, Carmen, Lucille, Kamila, Arielle, Karina, Lia, Maliyah, Esmeralda, Catalina, Nayeli, Janelle, Camilla
    400-500: Elle, Sarai, Alejandra, Vera, Francesca, Sasha, Carolina, Ariella, Itzel, Anya, Viviana, Cataleya, Jimena, Guadalupe, Annabelle, Amira, Elisa, Rebekah, Celeste, Karla, Janiyah, Anaya, Imani, Maeve, Lilian
    500-600: Lorelei, Nia, Aniya, Fernanda, Amari, Lilyana, Luciana, Kaliyah, Zariah, Annika, Gloria, Zuri, Elsa, Johanna, Aryanna, Angelique, Tatiana, Tiana, Dayana, Helena, Danica, Dulce, Anika, Emilie, Anabella, Liana, Aisha, Leia, Anahi, Elyse, Amara, Natasha, Samara, Daleyza, Melina, Amani, Marina.

    Some of those names are international variations of existing English names (Helen, Marian, Emily, Mary, Jane, Jade, etc), and some are completely international names with no standard English version. However, with some exceptions, most of these names are widespread enough for parents with no ties to the culture of its origin to use it without worrying about it looking too "ethnic".

    A girl named Lucille can have 100% irish roots, as can Elena, Annika, Lucia, Luciana, Ariella and so on, and their names are seen as international enough.

    The same does not happen with boys' names. While looking at the list, I saw many names with a clear ethnic origin:

    1-100: Jose, Xavier, Luis, Juan, Carlos
    100-200: Jesus, Mateo, Elias, Santiago, Antonio, Giovanni, Diego, Leonardo, Alejandro, Gael
    200-300: Omar, Luca, Jorge, Amir, Eduardo, Francisco, Javier, Lorenzo, Josue, Ricardo, Fernando, Mario, Marco, Andre, Rafael, Emiliano, Emilio, Dante
    300-400: Angelo, Sergio, Roberto, Romeo, Joaquin, Malik, Ali, Maximiliano, Ruben, Enrique, Esteban, Gerardo, Armando, Ismael, Pedro
    400-500: Pablo, Raul, Rodrigo, Muhammad, Rocco, Mohamed, Adriel, Alberto, Yahir, Uriel, Thiago, Alonzo
    500-600: Arjun, Alfredo, Moises, Arturo, Mekhi, Carmelo, Nasir, Ahmed, Mauricio, Gianni, Aldo, Isaias, Moshe, Mohammed, Orlando, Matias, Ahmad, Dominik, Mohammad, Salvador, Luka, Nikolai, Vihaan, Luciano, Ramon, Raphael

    I'm almost certain that the majority of the babies born with those names have ties to its ethnic/cultural background. I would assume the little Pablos, Elias, Santiagos, Muhammads and Giovannis were hispanic/muslim/italian/etc, which people wouldn't assume if they met a little Lucia, Ariella, Isabelle or Luciana.

    What I'm saying is, having an Isabella Smith even though you do not have a drop of italian in your blood is something very usual that would not raise eyebrows. But having an Alejandro Smith with no hispanic heritage is something way more unusual. In the foruns, I see people suggesting all kinds of international girls' names, but when it comes to boys, the international suggestions are usually irish/german/scandinavian, and that's it. Alessandra is a pretty name for everyone to use, but Alejandro is too latino for most. What?

    Was I clear? Did you guys understand my point, or was I just rambling?

    Why do you think this happens? Why are girls' names seen as more internationally appealing, while international boys' names are, in most cases, seen as too ethnic?

    Anyway, sorry for the long post and for grammar/spelling mistakes. Please, correct me if there are any. I noticed the girls's in the title when it was already too late. lol.
    Last edited by carolinemchd; May 12th, 2014 at 04:07 PM.

    ___Caroline. 21 year old from Brazil._________________________
    ______ Clara | Beatriz | Cecilia | Antonia | Marina | Luiza | Leonora
    _______Tomás | Raul | Bento | Francisco | Vicente | Renato | Gabriel
    ________________________________ law student and fulltime couch potato.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    I wouldn't say Isabella was 'clearly Italian' since it's incredibly common in many countries and has been used in the English-speaking world for hundreds of years, which gives it more history and usage as an English name than a name like Lorenzo which has had little usage and is still considered a foreign name. Yes, its origins are not English, but then you'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of truly English names in the SSA list.

    As for there being more international girl names (used & suggested), I think this is largely due to parents being more original with girls' names than with boys'. I reckon this is the crux of it. People take more of interest with girl names- that's clear from the number of posts in the girl names forum here, and from the number of signatures I see where there are only girl names listed. Whilst many people put a great deal of thought into a name for a daughter (and come up with 'exotic' names like Vivienne and Francesca), they may be content with just James or Tom for a boy. So as more unusual/foreign girl names have gradually become commonplace, the boy names have lagged behind.

    I'd blame people's infatuation with having beautifully named daughters rather than a vendetta against foreign male names
    Last edited by charlieandperry1; May 12th, 2014 at 06:34 PM.
    William ♠ Thomas ♠ Peter ♠ Henry ~ Rose ♠ Alice ♠ Ivy ♠ Lowenna
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I could be completely wrong, but I'll just say what I think. I think girls are given a lot more freedom to decide who they want to be than boys. A girl can be a girly girl or a tomboy and there isn't much concern; consider how names are more likely to go from male to female rather than female to male. Here are some quotes from
    Quote Originally Posted by livescience
    Boys with names traditionally given to girls are more likely to misbehave than their counterparts with masculine names, research suggests. When in elementary school, boys named Ashley and Shannon, for instance, behave just like their more masculine-named classmates named Brian and other boyish names. "Once these kids hit sixth grade, all of a sudden the rates of disciplinary problems skyrocket [for those boys with girlish names], and it was much more the case if there happened to be a girl in the grade with that same name," Figlio told LiveScience.
    Quote Originally Posted by livescience
    Girls given boy names also see an effect. In a 2005 study, Figlio parsed out names by their phonemic sounds and then figured out their likelihood of belonging to a girl. For instance, the names Kayla and Isabella were so phonemically feminine their predicted probability of belonging to a girl was more than 100 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, Taylor, Madison and Alexis were phonemically predicted to be twice as likely to belong to boys than girls. "I found girls with names that are relatively feminine in high school chose advanced coursework in humanities – and less feminine are more likely to choose math and science courses," Figlio said, adding the research focused on high-achieving girls.
    So, there's already some freedom that girls have in the naming process and potentially less reprocutions for going outside the box. If it is more acceptable for girls to carry a name that is/was commonly used by boys, then it makes sense that they would also be more flexible about names that belong to another culture. Also, many people just give their daughters a name that sounds pretty and don't consider where it is from.

    Additionally, there may be more pressure for boys to carry on family traditions and culture than girls. I've seen more traditions of boys carrying a certain name across generations than girls, whether that be Joe Smith VII or naming every first son George. In general, males keep their name throughout their lives while women lose their maiden, use the maiden as their middle, or make the maiden their second middle. Maybe this leads to males being given more names that tie back to family and culture than women.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    @kakin - You should probably take that guy's studies with a grain of salt; for example that study about boys with "feminine" names was restricted to one school district and the period of time leading up to and when they entered middle school. That's like observing the temperatures of one city at one time of the year and using that to conclude the effects of climate change.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Namefan, I'm aware of that and I know correlation doesn't equal causation. I wasn't trying to say that the results are necessarily true just that it shows there is a bias in favor of females having more freedom in naming. When different girl names were mentioned (female vs. male) the result was one was better in humanities and the other in the sciences. Neither of those is a bad result. With boys, having a girl name was associated with bad behavior. Who knows why he found those results. It could have been a variety of things including bias by the researchers or bullying. Both I feel would suggest that boys names, like boys themselves, aren't as flexible in society as girls names. If people feel that they have to stick with the norm for their boys and not the girls, they don't take the same risks in naming.

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