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Boys’ Names for Girls

August 16, 2018 Pamela Redmond
boy names for girls

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were hardly the first parents to use a boys’ name for a baby girl when they named their daughter James. But they helped popularize a trend that includes other celebrities who’ve used boy names for girls Jessica Simpson‘s daughter Maxwell, Mark Zuckerberg’s baby girl August, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s little girl Wyatt.

Thousands of American baby girls were given boys’ names, or names closely associated with male figures, last year. We’re not talking about gender-neutral names such as Riley and Robin, Blue or North that work equally well for children of both sexes. We’re talking about the female equivalent to naming a boy Sue.

So why is it okay, even fashionable and attractive to name a girl James but not to name a boy Jane or Sue? Why indeed, say some. Where some believe that naming your daughter Ezra or Declan is a feminist act, others claim it’s actually sexist, given that it’s hardly considered cool or cute to give traditionally female names — Elizabeth, say, or Maeve — to boys.

Love the practice or hate it, boys’ names are being given in ever greater numbers every year to girls. We combed the social security lists to find male names that rank below the Top 1000 but were given to at least 20 baby girls in 2017. The statistics represent number of baby girls who received each name in 2007 compared with ten years later, showing increases of double, triple, ten times — even 89 times in the case of Jupiter — in the number of girls given these traditionally-male names.

BOY NAMES FOR GIRLS

August, 99 -> 254

Chandler, 135 -> 246

Palmer, 24 -> 246

Lincoln, 13 -> 237

Ezra, 74 -> 205

Noah, 90 -> 170

Quincy, 103 -> 166

Bentley, 81 -> 149

Austin, 87 -> 137

Hudson, 48 ->125

Ira, 17 -> 128

Jude, 46 -> 122

Wyatt, 11 -> 107

Bennett, 40 -> 106

Maddox, 64 -> 102

Charleston, 23 -> 99

Perry, 31 -> 96

Luca, 15 -> 92

Sullivan, 37 -> 91

Jupiter, 0 -> 89

Ryder, 26 -> 86

Asher, 31 -> 85

Beckett, 5 -> 85

Anderson, 39 -> 84

Channing, 77 -> 84

Bowie, 9 -> 82

Hendrix, 10 -> 77

James, 33 ->77

Jameson, 50 -> 72

Asa, 41 -> 71

Hayes, 9 -> 67

Maxwell, 6 -> 66

Wrigley, 8 – > 65

Dawson, 20 -> 64

Everest, 0 -> 64

Landon, 26 -> 64

Wesley, 34 -> 60

Atlas, 0 -> 56

Levi, 15 -> 53

Lamar, 17 -> 52

Tate, 35 -> 52

Beau, 20 -> 51

Bradley, 12 -> 48

Everett, 5 -> 48

Porter, 13 -> 46

Tennyson, 14 -> 43

Judah, 23 -> 42

Reid, 21 -> 42

Max, 8 -> 41

Greyson, 22 -> 40

Declan, 0 -> 39

Liam, 11 -> 36

Davis, 17 -> 34

Soren, 27 -> 34

Finn, 14 -> 33

Orion, 13 -> 32

Archer, 0 -> 31

Lyndon, 7 -> 31

Nixon, 8 -> 31

Blaise, 11 -> 31

Owen, 13 -> 29

Milo, 0 -> 27

Nehemiah, 15 -> 26

Basil, 0 -> 24

Connor, 18 -> 23

Bowen, 0 -> 22

Cohen, 5 -> 21

Roman, 7 -> 21

Clark, 7 -> 20

Preston, 17 -> 20

But while the overall trend of giving boys’ names to girls may be booming, a significant number of boys’ names are given to fewer baby girls today than they were a decade ago, as illustrated by this list of names whose use for girls declined from 2007 to 2017.

Ashton, 230 ->192

Tyler, 319 -> 174

Grayson, 191 -> 127

Cooper, 100 -> 99

Christian, 217 -> 90

Bryce, 115 -> 88

Evan, 115 -> 86

Brady, 64 -> 61

Mason, 95 -> 58

Jaden, 993 -> 55

Tanner, 76 -> 51

Auden, 234 -> 50

Chase, 148 -> 50

Jensen, 50 -> 49

Tristan, 194 -> 48

Colby, 68 -> 47

Kyle, 42 -> 46

Madden, 54 -> 44

Aiden, 175 -> 43

Michael, 51 -> 33

Cody, 35 -> 31

Jackson, 33 -> 26

Griffin, 24 -> 20

Julian, 68 -> 22

Jonah, 26 -> 23

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show of the same name.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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