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:

Noah and Josiah

For each of the past three years, Noah has been the most popular boys’ name in America -- even though, before 2009, it had never even been in the Top 10. Josiah is still behind, at Number 55, but we wouldn’t be altogether shocked if it overtook Joseph at some point soon. Worth noting: These are just two of many Old Testament boys’ names ending in “-ah” that are now white hot.

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