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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    290

    "Girly" sounding boys names

    Would you give your son a name that most people thought of as girly, if it was one you loved? I mostly mean unisex names, or names that are masculine in other cultures but are mistaken for feminine in North America (eg. Luca (from another post), Sidney, Emlyn, Bryn, Avery, Ashley, Kelly, Campbell).

    Pretty much all my life I've finally come around to a particular boys name to discover that half the internet thinks it is irreducibly feminine (I'm a little slow on the uptake) and I keep liking them, but I've no idea where I stand on the "actually giving it to a child" issue. Sometimes I tell myself not to worry because kids will tease over anything, but other times I stray to less open minded naming sites and am brought down. In a perfect world I think I'd like all names to be equal, but unfortunately we still see girls with boys names as strong and boys with girls names as weak. The feminist in me desperately wants to take a stand against such nonsense, but then I worry it's not really fair to make a child into a political statement.

    I'm not anywhere near being pregnant and hope not to be for some time, but this tendency has been with me for years so I doubt it's going anywhere soon!

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,957

    Re: "Girly" sounding boys names

    If I loved it, then yes. I live in an area where names that have "gone girl" are still fairly common on boys, so it's much more accepted here. Some of my favorite boys' names are considered "girly" by most people. The idea of a name making a person strong or weak is just ridiculous. Sidney and Meredith can be just as masculine as Magnus and Axel.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: "Girly" sounding boys names

    Yes, unless the name is just too far gone (e.g. Ashley, which in the U.S. is more than 100-to-1 used for girls) I wouldn't have a problem. My own name is one of them (Kelly) and I'm male. Just one bit of clarification: Kelly does not really belong in the "more masculine in other cultures" category (this name's gender usage does not vary as much by country or geographic area as some of the other examples you gave; if anything its masculine usage is slightly higher here).

    ETA: Here's the U.S. vs. U.K. comparison of the gender usage of Kelly for 2009 (based on the official stats for each country):
    U.S.: 1,243 girls and 139 boys, 8.9 girls for every boy
    U.K.: 95 girls and 6 boys, 15.8 girls for every boy
    (The difference between the two countries is narrower now than it was in the past; in the late 1990s stats they have for the U.K. Kelly did not even have enough boy births to register in the stats [3] and was about three times more common for girls than it was in 2009. Contrast that to the U.S. where Kelly has averaged a little over 10 girls for every boy since the late 1970s or so.)
    I can't find stats comprehensive enough to make any gender usage determination for Kelly's native area (Ireland) but nonentheless this name is not one of those "feminine here, masculine in some other places" names.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    103

    Re: "Girly" sounding boys names

    I have no problem with giving my kids unisex names (I have a son named Rowan). For what it's worth the only Ashley's, Sidney's, Avery's, Kelly's and Campbell's I know are boys/men. My son has had no issues at all even though there is a a female Rowan in the same year at school with him. Hope that's of some help!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,050

    Re: "Girly" sounding boys names

    I've known too many guys with 'girly' names that I've concluded a name really forms to fit the person more than the person is affected by the name. I've known guys named Kelly, Kelsey, Morgan, Ashley, and none of them were ever teased for there names
    Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

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