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Should You Give a Girl a Boy’s Name?

October 28, 2008 Pamela Redmond

There’s a lively debate going on over on our bulletin boards about whether boys’ names really work for girls.  An item of particular contention: If a “geezer name” like Seymour or Murray isn’t good enough for a boy, why should it be good enough for a girl?

Good point, kind of.  We’ve definitely moved beyond girls settling for less than boys get in all ways including their names, whether the inferior choice is a fusty old name like Milton or a fluffy-headed one like Fifi.

And why should a girl be more like a boy?  There are thousands upon thousands of wonderful names for girls — check out the Flower Names and the Stylish Girly-Girl Names and even the Old Lady Cool names just for a start — that it’s hard to find a reason to stray into the male territory.

Yet many parents today are searching for something really different, and using a boy’s name for a girl is one way to make a bold choice without totally sacrificing tradition.  Plus, we would (and do) argue that names such as Murray and Seymour simply sound different when applied to a girl.  You’re forced to hear the syllables, the sounds anew, to break free of their association to a pilly old cardigan smelling of cigar smoke and appreciate their intrinsic beauty.

Would you name your little girl Seymour?  Check in at the bulletin boards and tell us what you think.

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, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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