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Gender Neutral Names Changing Direction

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Gender neutral names are susceptible to the same shifts in popularity as traditionally gendered names, but these shifts can differ between the sexes. This makes it more interesting to examine the directions of unisex names, which fluctuate in girl-boy ratio from year to year.

Nameberry defines gender neutral names as those given to a single sex at least ten percent of the time. We looked at the 2018-2019 trend lines of the Top 100 names to determine which unisex names are getting more feminine and masculine, and which are rising and falling for both sexes.

Here, the ups and downs of the most popular unisex names:

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Gender Neutral Names Moving in the Same Direction

The unisex names below are rising or falling for both sexes. Millennial and Gen-Z era unisex names such as Taylor, Jordan, and Hayden are declining in use, making way for today’s fresh picks.

Particularly stylish gender neutral names include those ending in I, such as Armani, Kamari, and Remi, place names such as Denver, Memphis, and Salem, and word names including Legacy, Reign, and River.

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Unisex Names Moving in Different Directions

Among the unisex names with different trend lines for each sex, we looked at the shift in gender breakdown between 2018 and 2019. Increases in femininity and masculinity occur due to names falling, rising, or staying stable for one sex and trending differently for the other.

Palmer is the name with the greatest increase in femininity over the year, shifting from 71 to 80 percent use among baby girls. Lennox had the greatest increase in masculinity, moving from 66 to 72 percent use among baby boys between 2018 and 2019.

Below, names becoming more feminine and masculine, in descending order according to percent change.

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Gender Neutral Names Becoming More Feminine

Palmer
Lennon
Payton
Shiloh
Reese
Jamie
Sage
Frankie
Charley
Peyton
Wren
Camryn
London
Aspen
Monroe
Sloan

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Gender Neutral Names Becoming More Masculine

Lennox
Finnley
Casey
Rowan
Reece
Azariah
Remington
Jaylen
Quincy
Royal
Asa 

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Up for Girls, Down for Boys 

These names skew masculine but are rising for girls while falling for boys.

Ali
Ari
Blake
Chandler
Dallas
Drew
Elliot
Ellis
Francis
Gianni
Karter
Milan
Noel
Parker
Phoenix
Rory

Rowen
Spencer

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Up for Boys, Down for Girls

These names skew feminine but are rising for boys while falling for girls.

Alexis
Ariel
Cadence
Eden
Emerson

Harley
Haven

Henley
Jessie
Morgan

Skyler

Did any of the unisex name trends surprise you?

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

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