The New Generation of Boys’ Names

Gender identity takes a turn for the middle

By Pamela Redmond

Many of today’s most fashionable boys’ names carry a gender identity that’s decidedly masculine but not conventionally so, softer than macho but stronger than unisex. These boys’ names fall right in the middle on the gender scale, in contrast to their stylish female counterparts, which tend to be ultra-feminine (Arabella, Ophelia) or frankly boyish (Hayden, Frankie).

Many of these hot new boys’ names carry sounds that are soft and/or traditionally connected to girls’ names, such as vowel endings, and so depart from the classic male names once dominant. These stylish boys’ names with a fresh gender identity include:

Ethan and Elijah

Ethan and Elijah, two immensely popular Old Testament names, carry a new masculine gender identity by virtue of their shared vowel beginnings and their soft sounds – th, j -- in the middle. Elijah carries the bonus of a vowel ending plus a similarity to the stylish girls’ name Eliza.

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