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:

Leo and Theo

Loyal Nameberry readers know that we’ve been boosters of names ending in the O sound for years. These are two of the best, with straightforward sounds and positive associations. They’re also, for better or worse, two of the most popular. Leo is in the Top 75; Theo is a bit further down, at Number 354. But most little boys called Theo have Theodore on their birth certificate, and that’s just behind Leo at Number 83.

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