Truly Unisex Baby Names
This biblical name, which means “God’s help” in Hebrew, has risen into the Top 1000 for both girls and boys over the past few years. There are 25 Azariahs in the bible, all male, including a prophet and two high priests. Azariah was given as a name to 326 baby girls and 358 boys in 2015 and is traditionally pronounced a-za-RYE-ah but may also be pronounced a-ZAHR-ee-ah, particularly for girls.
- Azariah was given as a name to 326 baby girls and 358 boys in 2015 and is traditionally pronounced a-za-RYE-ah but may also be pronounced a-ZAHR-ee-ah, particularly for girls." >
- Charlie is traditionally short for Charles or Charlotte, the name has seen a rise in popularity on its own in recent years, especially for girls. Male celebrities from Charlie Chaplin to Charlie Sheen have been in the public eye longer, but one of the newest star Charlies is Instagram model Charlie Barker. With over 1600 boys and 1500 girls named Charlie, this is the most popular of the well-balanced unisex names, standing at Number 207 for girls and 229 for boys. Add to that all the Top 10 Charlottes and Top 50 Charleses called Charlie and you have a mega-popular name for both genders." >
- Denver was used for nearly 200 girls and 240 boys last year. Another even more evenly-distributed place name is Indiana, given to 73 babies of each sex Indiana in May 2004." >
- Jael was a Biblical heroine, the slayer of Sisera in the Book of Judges who helped take back Israel. It means mountain goat and is traditionally given to children born under the sign of Capricorn. While Jael has appeared for only a single year on the Top 1000 for either sex – in 2012 for boys -- it was used for 150 girls and 128 boys in 2015. One disadvantage: While the proper pronunciation is yah-el, some people will default to “jail.”" >
- Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry. In 2015 it appeared on both the boys’ and girls’ Top 1000, given to 297 girls and 260 boys. Another surname-name used evenly for both genders is Gentry, given in 2015 to 112 girls and 97 boys." >
- Linda, part Lyndon, and part tree name, Linden appeared briefly on the boys’ Top 1000 in the early 1940s but today is used equally for both sexes: In 2015 78 girls and 86 boys were named Linden." >
- Emmy award winning actress Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie and The Walking Dead has helped popularize the name for girls, with 80 girls and 71 boys were named Merritt in 2015." >
- Nicholas, Nikita was given to 93 girls and 92 boys in 2015. Its popularity peaked in 1986, at Number 250 on the girls' list. 1950’s and 1960’s Russian politician Nikita Kruschev was once the most famous example of the name until recently. Then in 1990 Nikita’s image got a reboot via the sexy Russian spy title character in the film Nikita, its adaptation as a popular Canadian TV series called La Femme Nikita, and its readaptation by the CW as Nikita. In fact, Nikita has historically been more popular for girls, peaking in 1986 at Number 250." >
- Oakley had a brief historic period in the Top 1000 for boys before falling off in 1920. In the past three years, though, Oakley has been shooting up the charts for both boys and girls, now at Number 611 for girls and Number 567 for boys and used for nearly 500 babies of each sex. The most popular example of Oakley in popular culture is Oakley sunglasses, but NBA star Charles Oakley and female wild west sharpshooter Annie Oakley also popularized the name." >
- Ridley means cleared wood, and until recently (male) director Ridley Scott practically owned the name. Now, though, Emmy Rossum plays Ridley Duchannes from the Beautiful Creatures series, and Daisy Ridley has become a household name for her role in Star Wars. In 2015, 71 girls and 62 boys were named Ridley." >
- Salem may initially call to mind the famous witch trials and menthol cigarettes, but as a first name it’s traditionally Arabic. It means peaceful or complete, and is both a surname and a first name pronounced sah-leem. It’s also a Biblical place name in Canaan, and the name of a city in Oregon. In 2015, 162 girls and 139 boys were named Salem." >
- Storm is a word name that had a brief stint on the bottom of the boys’ chart from 1991 to 1997. It’s the superhero name of one of the more popular X Men. There were 76 girls and 63 boys named Storm in 2015." >
- Tracy was once a popular name for both genders, reaching as high as number 10 for girls in 1970 and number 111 for boys in 1972. Now it's a quietly-used unisex choice: only 83 girls and 72 boys were named Tracy in 2015. Several celebrities of both genders are named Tracy, including singer songwriter Tracy Chapman, NBA all star Tracy McGrady, and comedian Tracy Morgan. Another once-popular name whose star has now dimmed but which is used equally for girls and boys is Jackie." >
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on June 23rd, 2016 at 11:30 pm
I really don’t like unisex names, they’re just not my style. To each their own.
on June 23rd, 2016 at 11:42 pm
I’m glad to see Denver on the list.
on June 24th, 2016 at 12:07 pm
Linden and Merritt are two of my favorite names, both for girls. I was surprised to see Denver on the list. I had assumed it was strictly boy.
on June 24th, 2016 at 1:33 pm
You didn’t disappoint, Nameberry. Truly unisex names indeed. Glad we’re not endorsing “girls named Abraham” and “boys named Arabella”. There is a line, folks, I’m just saying.
on June 24th, 2016 at 4:14 pm
Honestly, I’m a little disappointed in this list. Most of the names were strange and out of the question (in my opinion). While I do like Merritt and Linden, the rest were no-goes. What about classic but under-used unisex names like:
on June 25th, 2016 at 2:49 am
I would add:
on June 25th, 2016 at 9:47 am
I agree with every name on the list except for Nikita. Let’s leave it to boys.
on June 26th, 2016 at 10:51 pm
Hey everybody — this is not a qualitative but a quantitative list. Yes, Rory ( my daughter’s name) and Riley and Shane are great names, but they are not truly unisex by the numbers. Especially not Shane, which is predominantly a boys’ name!
Rule-Breaking Baby Names – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on February 21st, 2017 at 11:49 pm
[…] as Jennifer and Sarah remain exclusively used for girls, there has been a rise in true unisex names. Choices as traditional as Charlie or as modern as Storm are tough to pin down. Other names, like […]
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