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31 Unisex Names for Boys

October 7, 2020 Emma Waterhouse
unisex names trending male

Unisex names for boys don’t get a lot of press these days.

We’re living in an era when an increasing number of parents are choosing not just unisex, but even traditionally male, names for their daughters. Famous examples include Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson’s Maxwell, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutscher’s Wyatt, and Blake Lively and Ryan ReynoldsJames.

The current Top 50 girls’ names in the US includes seven choices that first entered the US popularity charts for boys: Harper, Avery, Madison, Riley, Addison, Aubrey and Skylar.

But on the boys’ side? Zero. Not one of the Top 50, or 100, or even 200 boys’ names in the US started life on the girls’ side. You have to scroll all the way down to #222 Kyrie to find a predominantly male name that did.

We’ve talked before about the subconscious bias of unisex name trends, but here’s some better news for you!

We’ve analyzed the US baby name data from the past two decades to uncover 31 unisex options which are going against the grain and moving further toward the boys’ side. Some of these male-trending names are rising much more steeply for boys than girls, some are falling much less steeply for boys than girls, and some are rising for boys while falling for girls.

We’ve limited the field to those which saw at least a 5% shift towards the boys’ side. They are shown in order of biggest gender shift, with figures rounded to the nearest whole number.

Unisex Names Trending Male in the US

Gale — Given a new lease of life by The Hunger Games

0% male in 1998; 100% male in 2018 (+100%)

Hero — Tragic heroine turned modern hero name

unranked in 1998; 81% male in 2018 (+81%)

Kyrie — Catapulted up the charts by basketball star Kyrie Irving

38% male in 1998; 92% male in 2018 (+54%)

Honor — Vintage girl name turned modern virtue

0% male in 1998; 48% male in 2018 (+48%)

Dominique — Falling for both sexes, but far faster for girls

17% male in 1998; 61% male in 2018 (+44%)

Ashton — A non-Ashley route to Ash, popularized by Ashton Kutscher

52% male in 1998; 95% male in 2018 (+43%)

Yael — Staged a dramatic gender switch in the early noughties

27% male in 1998; 68% male in 2018 (+41%)

Brecken — Fits the fashionable two-syllable, n-ending mold

54% male in 1998; 94% male in 2018 (+40%)

Rowen — Boosted by its visual similarity to Owen

37% male in 1998; 76% male in 2018 (+39%)

Onyx — That cool X ending makes it a winner for boys

39% male in 1998; 77% male in 2018 (+38%)

Tatum — Boosted by actor Channing Tatum and cool short form Tate

4% male in 1998; 42% male in 2018 (+38%)

Corin — From Corinne variant to suave Shakespearean choice

32% male in 1998; 68% male in 2018 (+35%)

Darian — Movie-inspired girls’ name turned Darius alternative

58% male in 1998; 93% male in 2018 (+35%)

Ocean — Followed River onto the boys’ side

34% male in 1998; 69% male in 2018 (+35%)

Kerry — Jaunty Irish choice falling more slowly for boys

43% male in 1998; 76% male in 2018 (+33%)

AmariBorne by several male sports stars

34% male in 1998; 62% male in 2018 (+28%)

Mica — From short form of Michaela to variant of Micah

23% male in 1998; 51% male in 2018 (+28%)

Rowan — Solid nature name that’s really taken off for boys

41% male in 1998; 68% male in 2018 (+27%)

Zephyr — That Z initial and -er ending sound are red hot right now

53% male in 1998; 79% male in 2018 (+26%)

Carey — Despite actor Carey Mulligan, dropping much more steeply for girls

47% male in 1998; 71% male in 2018 (+24%)

Jamie — Feels increasingly fresh as a cute twist on James

17% male in 1998; 40% male in 2018 (+23%)

Ali — From Alison nickname to popular Arabic boy name

70% male in 1998; 91% male in 2018 (+21%)

Milan — Italian place name with a super-stylish sound and shape

45% male in 1998; 64% male in 2018 (+19%)

Robin — Sweet old-fashioned choice now making its way back

24% male in 1998; 43% male in 2018 (+19%)

Echo — Boosted for boys by that fashionable -o ending

0% male in 1998; 18% male in 2018 (+18%)

Eden — Cool shape and bonus Biblical connection

11% male in 1998; 24% male in 2018 (+13%)

Joan — Old lady name turned stylish Catalan pick

88% male in 1998; 100% male in 2018 (+12%)

Elisha — From Alicia variant to cool Biblical boy name

54% male in 1998; 62% male in 2018 (+8%)

Kamari — Lively choice with Swahili origins

61% male in 1998; 69% male in 2018 (+8%)

Camden — Edgy place name with echoes of popular Cameron

88% male in 1998; 95% male in 2018 (+7%)

Zion — Spiritual choice which sounds like an updated Brian and Ryan

85% male in 1998; 90% male in 2018 (+5%)

Girl – Boy Crossover Candidates We’re Watching

As well as the 31 names above which are already showing a marked shift towards the boys’ side, we’ve picked out 18 more unisex baby names we think could be heading that way.

Some of these choices, like Cadence and Cassidy, are dropping off sharply for girls while continuing to rise steadily for boys. Others, like Indy and Remy, have alternative spellings which are much more popular for girls. And a third group, including names like Charlie and Valentine, have been generating a lot of buzz lately – inspired by stylish celebrity parents who have chosen them for their sons.

Here, the next wave of unisex names we predict will swing further toward the boys.

Cadence

Cassidy

Charlie

Finley

Gentry

Indy

Jules

Kit

Laurie

Mackenzie

Merritt

Misha

Morgan

Remy

Sasha

Sky

Wren

Valentine

Would you consider any of these for a son? What girl-leaning unisex, or even traditionally male, names would you love to see firmly back in the boys’ camp? Tell us below!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from where to find a cool vintage boy name to why some names become popular memes. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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