Unisex Names: Yes? No? Boy? Girl?
Unisex names have been around forever, back to the era when Alice, Anne, Emma and Esmé were boys’ names that morphed over to the girls’ side, and Douglas and Clarence were female names. In the sixties there were Jodys and Jamies of both genders, and now we have a whole new set of names popular for both boys and girls.
Some of the unisex names on both current lists include:
The Question of the Week is: Are any of these gender neutral names among your faves, and if so, would they be used for a girl or a boy?
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on February 16th, 2011 at 2:01 am
I know a girl named Ryan and I think it’s an awesome girl name!
on February 16th, 2011 at 3:31 am
I’d love to name my daughter Douglas! Unisex names on my own list include…
on February 16th, 2011 at 4:17 am
I’m a fan of a few unisex names, mostly on girls. My favorites are Parker, Dylan, Noah, Georgia with nn George, Riley.
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:53 am
I think in this day and age unisex names are completely appropriate for either sex! We’re having a girl in June and my entire list were unisex names! I think they absolutely rock for a girl. We’re down to Quinn or Finley.
on February 16th, 2011 at 8:24 am
This is my opinion:
I think the name Riley is purely unisex…fits both genders equally. I dislike most modern unisex names, not because they are unisex, but because they are too trendy for my taste. One exception is Quinn. I think it’s a very pretty girls name- could never see it on a boy! I know a boy named Madison and he gets TORTURED.
on February 16th, 2011 at 8:48 am
I love unisex names- on girls.
Our daughter is Avery.
#2 is yet to be named- our list includes
Riley Taylor and Morgan were all considered as well
on February 16th, 2011 at 8:49 am
Well, Clarence is my #2 name for a boy (nn Clancy), but I’d love to name a girl Douglas. I’ve seen it in a novel on a girl spelled Douglass. Fabulous!
Morgan is the only one up there that really strikes me as solely a boy name. Maybe because of Captain Morgan Rum. Morgan’s very masculine to me.
There’s the sweetest little blonde girl in my Josie’s ballet class, named Morgan. Makes me weep inside.
But all the others on the list seem perfectly suitable either way. *shrug*
on February 16th, 2011 at 9:23 am
It really depends on the name. I am not thrilled by the “unisex” names in the list, except for London, Aubrey, and Harper. I have always preferred Harper on boys, Aubrey for girls, London for both. The rest always seems so overdone and drab to me. However, there are some ‘gender-bending’ names that I just adore!
for GIRLS: Arlo, Hallet, Darcy, Bellamy, Ariance, Adair, Spencer
for BOYS: Robin (so in love with Robin on a boy!), Kelly
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:10 am
For me it also depends on the name. Generally I’m not a big fan, mostly because it seems like a lot of unisex names are also a little to trendy at the moment, but I do like
Spencer, Harper & Aubrey
Reese, Finley, Logan and a secret crush on Carrol
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:54 am
As one of those girl Jaime’s I can’t say I’m fond of unisex names at all…When I was a kid all I wanted was a girls name…I used to plan on someday adopting my middle name as my first name…I wouldn’t say don’t use unisex middle names, but I never could use one myself knowing how much I hated it as a kid.
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:54 am
*unisex names, not unisex middle names
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:55 am
I know some girls with these names:
Cambell (this was kind of cute)
Brady (I have a friend considering this for baby due in June)
And I know some boys with these names:
The ones I see EVERYWHERE!:
I don’t really care for unisex names. I don’t know if it is because they are a newer trendy style. I prefer older, classic, sometimes antique names. Also, I prefer ultra feminine and ultra masculine names. To each their own.
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:58 am
i have a girl cousin named morgan. I’ve always preferred it as a boy’s name. It’s on our long list for a boy.
Rowen (Rowan) is on our long list for girls, even though it’s traditionally a boy’s name.
I have a “facebook” friend from high school that named her two girls London and Booker. I can see London as a girl’s name, but Booker?! definitely a boy.
when i was in high school there was a girl name Kyle, and ever since I’ve always loved it as a girl name. Same goes for Ryan.
I love harper as a boy name, but the only two harpers i know are both girls.
A coworker has a 7 year old son named Peyton, and she’s frustrated that it has turned into a girls name.
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on February 16th, 2011 at 10:58 am
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pam & Linda, Pam & Linda. Pam & Linda said: Nameberry today:: Unisex Names: Yes? No? Boy? Girl? http://nameberry.com/blog/unisex-names-yes-no-boy-girl […]
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:01 am
My brother’s name is Douglas, so I have a hard time seeing it on a girl. In general, I love the sound and feel of many of the popular unisex names on the list, but would hesitate before using one. Not to sound closed-minded, but I like girls’ names to be all-girl and boys’ names to be all-boy. My SIL had no idea Riley was popular for girls when she named her little boy Riley, and now she cringes whenever she sees a little girl named Riley. Too bad they didn’t have Nameberry six years ago!
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:02 am
Oh I forgot, my cousin is a boy names Steele.
Jen, Holland for a girl sounds very pretty!
isabel, do you think the reason we associate Quinn with feminine is because of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”? I loved that show!
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:04 am
I really don’t like unisex names on either gender. But can I please say that Ryan is NOT a unisex name but rather a boys name used on a few girls.
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:49 am
Generally speaking, I think unisex names fit better on girls. There are a few that work on both like Casey, Sidney/Sydney and Corey/Cori, but they are very uncommon and usually spelled differently. IMO once a name has mostly crossed to a girl’s name, it doesn’t work for boys anymore. Funny that a post before mine would use Robin or Kelly for a boy and, to me, those are completely off limits for boys.
The new wave of names is harder to tell. Names like Reese, Harper and Quinn haven’t been taken over by one gender yet so I would not use them. Just as I’m sure anyone man named Leslie or Alice wished Mom had chosen something more manly for them.
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:54 am
I’m not a huge fan of unisex names. Partly because I like knowing gender based on a name and I feel I owe it to the rest of society to clue them in too. But mostly because it seems like a name goes unisex and develops two or three more spellings, all equally accepted. Too much confusion.
on February 16th, 2011 at 12:04 pm
My daughter’s middle name is Harper– but to me it was always very girl-oriented, since she was named after Harper Lee.
My cousin has a daughter named Morgan, and while I associate it more with girls I still can’t get past the Captain image.
As for the others, I love Finley for a girl. And my middle name is Ryan– so maybe I’m not the most impartial on this topic. 🙂
on February 16th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
I’m not so much a fan of unisex names. I don’t really have a problem with names like Kelly, Courtney etc… the ones that are most definately girls names, but I do have a problem with a few unisex names.
Any name that ends in son actually means son of, so naming your daughter Addison (which actually means son of Adam) may not be the best call.
I also don’t like names that are traditionally male, like Ryan, Dylan, Noah etc… that parents use for girls. Eventually, there are going to be no more specifically male names.
I know that where I work, I always like if I know if my client is a Mr. or Ms.
on February 16th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I love unisex names. I know there are some people out there who hate the whole ‘namenapping’ thing, as it seems to be called, but so many names out there started out as boys’ names and became girls’ names and vice versa. How many of those people realize that Alice was once a boy’s name? Some of the names are more on one end or the other for me (masculine/feminine) or much more trendy in their current use…so a lot of them, I wouldn’t choose for my own, but unisex names still appeal to me in general. My daughter is Avery. I’ve always loved the name and it’s always sounded very feminine to me. I’ve seen it used equally for both boys and girls in books/television/real life. To each his own!
on February 16th, 2011 at 12:52 pm
I have Harper, Skyler, Riley and Finley on my list. I find them all masculine, to be honest, but I’m not totally opposed to unisex names. I rather like Rowan and Robin / Robyn on girls.
on February 16th, 2011 at 1:09 pm
I like Reese and Kyle for girls.
I like Morgan for boys.
I don’t have a lot of unisex names on my list, though.
on February 16th, 2011 at 1:35 pm
My male friend Shannon was looking over his itemized hospital bill and noticed a pregnancy test charge. Called the hospital and was told it was standard for all females who had that procedure. Told them he was male – they said – well, your name isn’t. He has said it has been a battle his whole life on the boy or girl issue. Named his son Jack.
Unisex names are great, but be prepared for someone to always mess up the gender. My friend’s little boy Riley was finally enrolled in daycare. When she got there the first day to put his bag on his hook – there was his name Riley in a pink cloud. She looked around and there were three other Rileys in the daycare – all pink. She is now worried she messed up. She is considering switching to his more masculine middle name as he is two and it would be easier to do now.
Unisex is great, but like everything else it has its drawbacks.
on February 16th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
I think it’s really funny that a lot of opinions on unisex names rely on the unspoken assumption that it is a Bad Thing to have someone’s gender be confused. It’s not. Just ask this mom: http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/02/08/6010373-mom-says-church-threatened-to-kick-her-out-over-gay-blog-post
I love Morgan as a true unisex name! It can feel masculine, but has the Morgan Le Fey connotations as well. In fact, I know a girl whose full name is Morgan Le Fey! Harper is another great one, and Reese and Riley feel very solidly unisex.
on February 16th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
I have a neice named Addison and also knew a teenaged boy named Addison, with that being said I love the name on my neice and her nn Addie is too sweet, but I also really like it as a boy name too and although it techinically means “son of adam” where i live it is hugely popluar for girls only. Another brother and his wife have the name Avery picked if they ever have a girl another unisex names but that name is still more widely used for boys as well as girls, it sounds more feminine to me maybe because of the beginning sound AVE-ry remind me of AVE-a (Ava), I’ve noticed particularly where I live lots of babies being given unisex names and often they are also given unisex middle names so that makes it even harder to tell on paper if there a boy or girl. I have nothing against it, just an observation I’ve made recently looking at my local papers baby announcements and facebook friends babies names. I myself prefer ultral feminine names for girls and super masculine for boys!
on February 16th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Wish more “girl” names would be used for boys … love to see that reverse trend. That being said … my son (4) goes to school with a Bradley, a Michael, an Elliot, a Dylan, two Sam’s and a Charlie — all girls. Other girl friends include an Owen, a Mason, a Glen and a Billy. Guessing he is safe with Oliver as Olive or Olivia seem to do the trick but time will tell.
on February 16th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Girl: Addison, Aubrey, Harper, Morgan, Skylar,
Unisex: Avery, Bailey, Finley, Harley, Jayden, London, Quinn, Reese, Riley
Boy: Hayden, Jordan, Logan, Marley, Peyton, Ryan, Skyler
on February 16th, 2011 at 5:10 pm
I really dislike boy’s names for girls!
on February 16th, 2011 at 5:16 pm
I think my bottom line is, I could never name my daughter Esmeralda, Isabella, or Araminta. They just sound too frilly, like a suffocating vintage doll dress.
But some people are into that! I just know that I’m not.
I know an eleven year old boy named Avery. His parents were so set on the name, that they were going to use it regardless of the gender. Which I loved! I don’t think he has a problem with it. It wasn’t all that popular when he was born.
I’ve met a teenage male Loren, as well. He was so rugged (and a bit dirty, to be honest) that the fact that his name is used more commonly for girls didn’t even cross my mind.
The only way I could not have a problem with unisex names, in my opinion, is as long as I see it equally. Boys should be taking back names that are used for girl now, but girls should also be able to use traditionally masculine name.
In a world of usernames that include numbers and underscores, I think we’re a bit beyond judging people’s gender by what they answer to.
on February 16th, 2011 at 5:23 pm
Like Jaime, as a female with a unisex name, I’m generally not a fan. It was embarrassing (to me at least, I was shy!) when teachers who preferred to use miss/mr. and last name would call “Mr. MYlastname” on the first day of classes. And it confuses people that I correspond with over email when I call and am female.
I like my name now and wouldn’t change it, but it’s definitely an issue to consider. I frequently get mail addressed to “Mr. Casey MyMarriedName”!
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:02 pm
I hate the term “unisex names”. These names are largely masculine names appropriated for females. The trend really doesn’t seem to work the other way around. There are plenty of feminine names already (and not all are girly and frilly. Most aren’t, actually), that parents do not constantly need to be stealing from the boys.
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:26 pm
I’m a big unisex name fan for girls. My daughter’s name is Logan and our daughter due in June will be Holland. I also have a unisex name, though it’s unusual either way, and I’ve never had a problem with it. I do get a lot of letters addressed to Mr. ____, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I also work as an attorney and I think women with unisex (or less frilly) names tend to be taken more seriously in certain fields like law, so maybe that’s why I tend to like them.
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Here are my personal preferences for the names listed.
* Addison: boy
* Aubrey: boy
* Avery: boy
* Bailey: boy
* Finley: boy
* Harley: boy
* Harper: girl
* Hayden: boy
* Jayden: boy
* Jordan: boy
* Logan: boy
* London: girl
* Marley: boy (Bob Marley, hello?!)
* Morgan: boy
* Peyton: boy
* Reese: boy
* Riley: boy
* Ryan: boy
* Skylar: girl
I typically lean towards boy when it comes to unisex names, even with names like Ashley or Kelly. There are a few exceptions though. I live in an area where unisex names are very common on boys and girls, so a boy named Courtney or a girl named Devin isn’t that big of a deal to me. What annoys me is not being able to tell if someone is male or female on paper.
Morgan and Quinn are currently on my short list for a boy.
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Having a unisex name, Devon, I’m in two camps. On the positive side, I like having an unique name and once I got over the “I want to be like everyone else” phase when I was a pre-teen, I really appreciated standing out a bit. On the negative side, I am constantly thought of as a man if no one knows me. I can’t tell you how many times I get emails that start out as Mr. Car… or people who when they meet me for the first time say “Oh, I thought you were going to be a man!” I’ve been looking for a job recently and I think the reason I haven’t found anything yet is that I’m looking for jobs in a predominantly female category (clerical/administrative assistant) and with a name like Devon, most if not all are thinking that I am a man. Extremely sexist and it sucks big time. It doesn’t help that my middle name is my grandmother’s maiden name and it’s Johnston. Devon Johnston? Seriously sounds like a male name.
If I was to use a unisex or male name for a daughter (I do like Corbin/Corbyn) for a girl, I would either use the “yn” which usually indicates female like with Robyn or pair it with a very feminine middle name.
on February 16th, 2011 at 6:50 pm
I thought I should add that my mother had no idea that Devon was a unisex name. My grandmother suggested it to her (no idea where she got it from) and I’m assuming that grandmother thought it was female and mum had the same idea. When she found out, I was already named Devon and she was shocked! She said that it’s too pretty to be a boys name. I don’t know if she would have named me Devon if she knew it was a unisex name. My brother’s name is a traditional and explicitly male name, Andrew, so I think if she thought Devon could be either, she would have gone with Lily or Isabelle. Lily for my grandmother, Lilian, and Isabelle for her aunt.
on February 16th, 2011 at 7:35 pm
In my opinion:
Molly Harrison Said
on February 16th, 2011 at 8:27 pm
I personally hate people naming girls boys names. I prefer feminine names on girls. The boys already have very few names to start with, so I don’t like the girls taking over!
Boston Girl Said
on February 16th, 2011 at 8:33 pm
Ummm…I don’t like the idea of saddling a child with a unisex name. When you don’t know the parents or the kids, and never see them (ex. as friends of friends), how do you know if they’ve got a boy or a girl? And imagine all the explanations. Personally, I’d prefer to give my kids names that clearly denote that “this is a boy” or “this is a girl”.
Having said that…my older stepson’s middle name is Bailey, and Logan is the first name of my younger stepson. One of my friends also named her younger son Logan. That’s one of the big trendy ones; my stepson has a classmate also named Logan. It’s clearly going to become one of those mega-popular, overused names, if it hasn’t already.
on February 16th, 2011 at 9:24 pm
Linelei, that case has nothing to do with unisex names and the subsequent gender confusion. That case is all about the church’s response to a little boy wearing a girl’s halloween costume. I fail to see how it has anything to do with names at all. Yes, it is about gender constructs in our society (and in their smaller church community) but I don’t see how it is relevant to this topic.
Personally, I dislike unisex names. I have one myself, but I’ve never met a male Kelsey. I would never do it to my own children, either. I would rather it be obvious what gender my children were. I also do not care for traditionally male names used on girls, often paired with very feminine middle names. This seems to me like they are sending a message that in society, being a girl is not good enough, and to get ahead you must fool people ahead of time into thinking you’re a male if you want true equality. It also seems like a weird image, a manly name paired with an overly feminine name, eg Keegan Rose or something. Most people I’ve spoken to who want to name their daughter in that way explain it as wanting a strong name for their girl, but the middle name keeps it feminine. It seems strange to me, and very fake. Like wearing a man’s jacket with a playboy bunny suit underneath, all appearance and no substance. Those are just my feelings on the matter though, please do not take it personally if you have a unisex-named child or are planning on naming a future child with a unisex name.
on February 16th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Unisex names make em feel like vomiting.
And I actually saw someone list my name for their daughter. Now I really do need to.
on February 16th, 2011 at 10:36 pm
Wait a minute. When exactly were Anne, Emma and Alice used as boy’s names? Douglas and Clarence as girl’s names sounds fishy too.
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:02 pm
According to the social security site Clarence was #687 in 1880 for boys. Emma #613 for girls the same year. I’m guessing it was higher in earlier years. The others must have pre-dated social security data.
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:02 pm
I meant Clarence was #687 for girls and Emma was #613 for boys.
Kisha Cooper Said
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:09 pm
New girl in my class- CARSON! love IT.
on February 16th, 2011 at 11:10 pm
And those names cited date back to the Middle Ages.
on February 17th, 2011 at 12:10 am
I have mixed feelings about unisex names. I don’t think I’d use one myself but to each their own.
Some names I do hear and think totally girl or totally boy. I always thought Riley would work equally well until recently we had a waitress named Riley and I thought the name was way too masculine for her. The name didn’t seem to suit her at all.
I’d like people to know whether my child is a boy or a girl by their name. At work now we sometimes need to put in a person’s sex and it’s embarrassing if you have to ask (although, usually not a problem when they are sitting in front of you) We had a person come in one day with their child and I think the name was Darby or something like that. Well, after they left my co-worker asked if I thought they were a boy or a girl. I really wasn’t sure. I’m not sure how she eventually found out (she may have asked) but Darby was in fact a girl but a tomboy. I know it shouldn’t matter one way or the other but sometimes it’s nicer for everyone involved if the name shouts girl or boy.
on February 17th, 2011 at 1:12 am
Suzanne – often in earlier collections of data, there are some mistranscriptions that lead to boys being identified as girls, or vice versa. Even more frequently, names are mangled beyond recognition due to bad handwriting, etc. Based on my experience looking at older U.S. censuses, I suspect that most of those male Emmas are actually Emmetts.
Linda – they may date back to the Middle Ages, but I don’t believe that Alice, Anne or Emma were boy’s names then, either. For instance, according to behindthename.com, “Anne” comes from the Biblical “Hannah,” who was the mother of the prophet Samuel.
I still find the author’s assertion bizarre, and would like to hear some evidence that Anne, Alice and Emma used to be predominantly male names.
on February 17th, 2011 at 1:34 am
I really don’t like unisex names on boys at all. I think some of them can sound okay on girls but most traditional male names have meanings with no femininity to them at all. The meaning of a name is very important to me so I think that makes me not care for masculine sounding names on girls.
The only names I can think of that are “unisex” that I really like are…
Arden, Auden, Delaney, Harper and Quinn. I pretty much only like these on girls.
I really wish Addison, Finley and Madison would have stayed more for boys.
on February 17th, 2011 at 3:19 am
I don’t feel like weighing into the debate cause I have quite strong feelings regarding the blatant sexism involved with unisex names but I thought I’d share my opinion on the “unisex” names listed.
Addison – girl
Aubrey – boy
Avery – girl
Bailey – girl
Finley – boy
Harley – girl
Harper – girl
Hayden – boy
Jayden – boy
Jordan – boy
Logan – boy
London – girl
Marley – girl
Morgan – boy
Peyton – girl
Reese – boy
Riley – this is the only one that could really go either way for me
Ryan – boy
Skylar – girl (although I had a childhood friend named this who was a boy)
on February 17th, 2011 at 10:10 am
I’m not a big fan of unisex names becus for some reason I feel sad for kids who always been joked about their names. But anyway there’re some names I really like
Ireland – girl
Holland – girl
Harper – girl
Brooklyn – boy
Ashley – boy
Jamie – boy
on February 17th, 2011 at 12:23 pm
I will never understand this trend. Why is it acceptable (and even encouraged) to give daughters masculine names, but the reverse never happens? I wonder what the reactions be if Nameberry did a post suggesting you should name your sons Alice, Kate, or Bryony – or even legitimate masculine names like Alexis, Meredith, and Hilary?
I’m sorry, but to my (non-English-speaking) ears this is just confusing and really sexist.
Anne was actually unisex in medieval France – but French is a peculiar language in the sense that the feminine and masculine form of a name are often the same. For instance, they have Claude, Dominique, and Maxime for Claudius/Claudia, Dominic/Domenica and Maximus/Maxima.
on February 17th, 2011 at 12:37 pm
My husband and I have chosen the name Reese for when we have a boy.
However, I have known a girl named Azure and the prom queen from my high school graduating class was named Daryl.
My name is considered unisex but the spelling is so distinct that I usually don’t get the gender confusion.
on February 17th, 2011 at 7:25 pm
So. Here’s the gender I see for these names.
Addison: Girl, thanks to Addie
Avery: Definitely Girl
Bailey: Girl, though I guess a boy wouldn’t be too bad.
Finley: Boy for sure.
Harley: Eww. Harley Davidson. But if you had to use it then it would be a boy.
Harper: Either, but probably girl.
Hayden: Either I guess…
Jayden: Jayden for a boy, Jaiden for a girl. But it’s fine for either.
Jordan: Again, Jordan for a boy, Jordyn for a girl.
Logan: Boy. For sure.
Marley: I don’t know… Probably girl.
Morgan: Either, but probably a boy.
Peyton: Either, probably girl.
Skylar: I think a girl.
I don’t like feminine names on boys, but for some reason the other way around can seem cute to me. Not sure why, because it drives people up the wall, but I don’t mind. Switching some vowels around will sometimes make a name look more feminine when written down.
on February 18th, 2011 at 1:37 pm
For me they’re all boy names, would never use them on a girl.
Douglass’ mom Said
on February 18th, 2011 at 11:02 pm
I think in the age of the internet there many more names used for children and teachers have stopped making assumptions of gender. The name doesn’t make the child – the child/person makes the name. We all have met great people and we love their name because of our association with them, same as we hate names of people that we don’t like.
I named my daughter Douglass, which was orginially was a girls name and turned into a boys name – it fits her perfect. My name is Taylor, which everyone in the 70s thought was horrible name for a girl. I liked that I was unique.
Name your kid whatever you like and own it.
on February 19th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
I don’t like any unisex names but if I had to pick:
Addison – Girl
Aubrey – Boy
Avery – Boy
Bailey – Girl
Finley – Boy
Harley – Boy
Harper – Girl
Hayden – Boy
Jayden – Boy
Jordan – Boy
Logan – Boy
London – Girl
Marley – Girl
Morgan – Boy
Peyton – Girl
Reese – Boy, spelt Rhys please.
Riley – Neither. Please.
Ryan – BOY
Skylar – Girl
on February 19th, 2011 at 10:23 pm
Unisex names are cool because they’re so much more open, and nobody knows when their baby is born how they’re going to turn out. You’re not trying to force your child into some ultrafeminine or ultramasculine mould that might not fit them.
I think it’s good to challenge people’s preconceptions and not always be able to tell someone’s gender from their name, after all shouldn’t gender be secondary to that person’s individual qualities? And, don’t forget, not everyone winds up identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth anyway.
on February 20th, 2011 at 12:01 am
Addison – Boy
Aubrey – Boy
Avery – Boy
Bailey – Boy
Finley – Boy
Harley – Boy
Harper – Boy
Hayden – Boy
Jayden – Boy
Jordan – Boy
Logan – Boy
London – Either
Marley – Boy
Morgan – Boy
Peyton – Boy
Reese – Boy
Riley – Boy
Ryan – Boy
Skylar – Boy
There’s no point in arguing, this is how is should be. Respecting the origin of the names, and these are all boy names. London is unisex since its a place name.
People keep saying “oh who cares these days no one knows the sex of the kid”, but what about all the old boy names which were stolen to the girls? A boy Shannon, Kimberly or Lindsay will probably feel like he has a girl name, and so will 95% of the rest of the population because people don’t study names like us. That is why I’m against this trend of boy names on girls, those names that have been feminised will never be male again, and a boy that is named Kelly or Ashley is probably gonna be teased or told that he has a girl name, when he doesn’t.
And some of the newer unisex names, like Kendall, Riley, Kelsey, Peyton, Avery, Bailey, Mackenzie, Addison, Ariel, etc, are in risk of being completely feminised too, and those boys are probably gonna feel or already feeling bad about it.
Sunday Summary: 2/20/11 « Appellation Mountain Said
on February 20th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
[…] was a lively conversation about unisex names at Nameberry earlier this week, and so I thought this was timely: from the Quinnipiac Chronicle, a girl named […]
on February 25th, 2011 at 7:46 am
Ugh, I really hate so-called “unisex” names which are really all just common boys names given to girls, for the most part. I mostly hate it because it’s sooo trendy and overdone in my area, I feel like EVERY SINGLE girl I meet has a boy name. I know little girls named Blake, Camden, Cooper, Dylan, Elliott, Cameron, and Jasper and every single one of their parents thinks they were being so “unique” and original and their little girl is really going to stand out in class for having such a “different” name. bleh.
on March 6th, 2011 at 10:01 pm
Rachel, my name is Leanne, nn Lee. I was named after my dad Leon. I always liked having a “different” name in school. When somebody yelled “Sue” in the hallways 15 girls would turn around. When somebody yelled “Leanne” I knew it was me they were calling.
I’ve always liked true unisex names. I like people wondering what gender they are. I think it keeps from stereotyping a gender. Though I don’t care for boys names used for girls or visa versa. To me a true unisex name is Terry or Alex. Though they started out as nn I know people with those names that are not nn.
on March 9th, 2011 at 11:45 am
I really don’t like it when names cross over. It just causes possible stress for the people who hold those names in the future. I have never been a fan of unisex names. I grew up with many “Ryans”, it always bothered me.
Sometimes the names sound interesting for a moment, but the more I think about the more I wish people wouldn’t do this.
I have always liked the name Elliott and Emerson. But I feel like I may put my son at a disadvantage by giving them names that in the future my cross over from boy to unisex to purely girl. I don’t know if that made sense. I do like some names that are unisex, but those names I usually prefer for only a boy or a girl, not either or.
Addison – girl (I guess)
Aubrey – girl
Avery – boy
Bailey – girl
Finley – boy
Harley – girl?
Harper – girl?
Hayden – boy
Jayden – boy
Jordan – boy
Logan – boy
London – boy
Marley – girl
Morgan – boy
Peyton – girl
Reese – girl
Riley – girl
Ryan – boy
Skylar – boy
on March 13th, 2011 at 1:26 am
I have a daughter named Sloane, but I never once considered it a male name. Maybe that is because of Ferris Bueller.
None the less, I really don’t like unisex names all that much. Espeically when they are blatantly male being used as a female.
In my circle of friends there are about 20 kids under 4. Besides the norms, of Emmas and Calebs, there is a girl named Dylan, a boy named Lindsay (who was named after Lindsay Buckingham) and twins named Parker Jaiden and Acton Quinn. Can you guess which one is the boy and which is the girl? Neither could I on paper at first.
Of the names listed, I hate saying this, but any name that ends in son means son of and should never be used for a girl.
Addison – male
Aubrey – female (only because it sounds so much like Audrey)
Avery – female
Bailey – female
Finley – female
Harley – male
Harper – male
Hayden – male
Jayden – I ABHOR this name. So for me neither, because I would never, ever use it.
Jordan – female
Logan – male
London – male
Marley – female
Morgan – male
Peyton – male
Reese – male
Riley – female
Ryan – male
Skylar – female
on March 13th, 2011 at 1:34 am
And my Sloane has two very girly middle names. If she ever grew tired of her first name, then she could just as easily chose from one of those.
I also know a MacKenzie that is a boy who goes by Mack, and a girl named Jaysyn. It’s almost as though people think if they add letters or change letters, it changes the name to more girly.
on March 16th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
I find it funny when people separate unisex names into male and female categories since if they were unisex shouldn’t they be appropriate for either gender?
Looking through the list in the article I honestly can see them working on either gender. Maybe Aubrey I would assign more to the girls, but that would be it.
But as at least one person commented, it can be a crap shoot as to what gender people will assume you are before they actually meet you, which can be irritating at least and embarrassing in some cases, but can also be funny too. And their perception will probably be shaped by how many people of a certain gender they know with a given name.
on March 23rd, 2011 at 5:15 pm
I think that some unisex names are okay, like:
Charlie (short for Charlotte, of course)
But mostly, don’t give a girl a boy’s name just to seem cute. She will be teased!
P.S. I agree with justme.
FINLEY HELENA Said
on April 8th, 2011 at 8:23 pm
You are against boy’s names for girls because “Kimberly or Lindsay will probably feel like he has a girl name”…which you imply would be terrible!!! That idea made me cringe because, frankly, its sexist.
Also, this has been a very curious discussion because my little girl is named FINLEY. I have experienced no confusion so far…in fact, most ppl have never heard of it. I think this would be the case with many of the names on this list. We’re the name-aholics, so sometimes we forget that most ppl haven’t even heard many of these names, let alone which gender they “belong” to!
on April 21st, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Logan is one of my favourite names for a boy. And it is most definitely boy!
on April 26th, 2011 at 7:36 pm
I am really not a fan of unisex names! For the most part I find them horribly confusing for everyone, and so unfair to the child. When I first heard Addison and Madison etc. I found them girly and feminine sounding, but once I learned the ends really meant “son of” it changed the names to male in my eyes. Logan and Ryan are completely boy to me. Some spelling changes can make names more girly, I think, like Harleigh and Jordyn seem like girls, but Harley and Jordan do not. Reese is a girl name I think; the boy version is Rhys. And I am SO sad that Finley seems to be girl now!! 🙁 It was my grandfather’s middle name, so I always considered it completely boy and wanted to name a son after him, but I feel he would be teased now as there are so many little girls named Finley?
on May 5th, 2011 at 6:29 am
Can you guess what sex I am by my name?
Most English speaking nations assume girl with a chance of boy. Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries KNOW it’s a girls name. Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese are much like English speaking countries on the topic. On anything official where an assumption must be made, girl is chosen.
I’m a guy.
When I book a flight, hotel, hostel, rent a car, sign up for a social group, meeting, go for a job interview, get calls from telemarketers, get involved in a new work project, always girl. I’ve missed out on rooms in pre-booked hostel accomodation as they’ve put me in a girls dorm. When a hotel or car rental locks me down as a Ms/Mrs, its a problem to change. Yes, its irritating and knocks you down when all receipts etc. have Ms/Mrs. If I’m late for a flight I can guarantee “Would Ms Lindsey X please make yourself known to the checkin staff” will be called out and yet again I have to explain it is me and I’m a guy. Know how sad it is to expect an external call from someone who doesn’t know you and know the first thing you’re going to hear is “oh.. oh, umm, ok, ah Hi Lindsey” or even better “Hi Sir, is Lindsey home please?” with no question it could possibly be me.
Please don’t steal a guys name for a girl and visa-versa. Name your boy a boy’s name, name your girl a girl’s name. Its selfish and unthoughtful not too, and even if it works fine as both ways in your country think of the child’s future international life.
@FINLEY HELENA, I agree with @Macy and disagree with you. The biggest point I feel missed in this discussion is the international nature of life these days – remember you’re child is going to cross multiple cultural and lingual borders during their life and their name needs to work on that front.
on May 7th, 2011 at 6:33 pm
My oldest daughter is Skylar Jade. She is almost 18. I think it sounds more feminine. When I was pregnant with her, and people asked me what we were naming the baby and I’d say “Skylar”, the respone I would get is “Oh! You’re having a boy!” I’d say “No, I’m having a GIRL!!!!” I just asked her if people assume she is a boy just by her name if they don’t know her or have not met and she said “YES!! It’s very annoying and insulting!!!!” I’m sorry, baby girl 🙁 But, she DOES like her name 🙂
on June 1st, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Avery and Hayden are girl names– Skylar and Jordyn/Jorden/Jordan are boy names, and I find that Unisex names are kind of personality-less and NORMAL. I do not like them.
on June 2nd, 2011 at 2:32 am
I don’t know what you guys are talking about. Alice, Anne, and Emma have always been female names. If you are thinking of King Anna of East Anglia, his name is not etymologically related to the female name Anna, so that doesn’t count.
on June 7th, 2011 at 10:51 pm
this is one i feel strongly about- i do NOT like unisex names. and i hate how parents try to be “creative” and name their boys ashleigh, etc etc… i dont care how you tweak the spelling, ashley isnt a friggin boys name. do you even stop to think how that poor kid is gonna be teased their whole life? i mean damn…
on June 15th, 2011 at 4:45 pm
I absolutely DESPISE the name Riley for a girl. I’ve always wanted to name my son Riley Peyton since I was nine years old but both of those names have been taken over by baby girls. I’m not a big fan of masculine names for girls. As far as not wanting to give your daughter a ultra-girly name because it might not suit her, she could always go by a nickname. Ex.; Alex instead of Alexandria.
This is what I think:
Addison – Although it means son of Adam, I think of a girl.
Aubrey – Girl.
Avery – Girl, but I always think of a boy because of a boy I go to school with.
Bailey – Girl.
Finley – Boy.
Harley – Boy.
Harper – Girl.
Hayden – Boy.
Jayden – Very wimpy, but boy.
Jordan – Either, but mostly boy.
Logan – Boy.
London – Girl.
Marley – Girl.
Morgan – Boy.
Peyton – BOY.
Reese – Could truly go either way.
Riley – BOY!
Ryan – Boy.
Skylar – Girl.
on June 15th, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Just named my daughter who was born on St. Patricks Day
Riley Grace. To me Riley is a girls name. It is is the top 50 baby girls names for 2010. It didn’t even rank on the boys list. All the Riley’s I know are girls!!!
on June 17th, 2011 at 1:15 am
well I guess unisex names are my style, my 22 month old daughter is Haidyn Grace. I’m expecting another girl in October and Aubri is top of my list! I like Aubri Belle 🙂
on July 17th, 2011 at 5:26 am
I have to say I too hate this trend! Some names such as taylor and harper, I can see as boys or girls names but to me names such as Ryan, Riley and even hayden and finley are definate boys names and ashley girls side! Girls don’t have to be pretty flowery names if that’s not your particular style there are plenty of alternate names that are still feminine! I think its the adult life that has to be considered when using names that are considered strongly as male or female! Ashley/shannon and Jamie/Douglas for example!
on July 25th, 2011 at 7:29 pm
It’s interesting how mad people get over a naming trend, it cracks me up. So what if you have a daughter named Avery or a little boy named Kelly, the world will keep on spinning reguardless. If we all liked the same names, our world would be a pretty boring place to be.
on July 28th, 2011 at 1:07 pm
We just named our daughter London. Seems very much like a girl’s name to me, but we also paired it with a classic, feminine middle name.
on October 14th, 2011 at 9:32 am
Addison- very girly to me
Aubrey – again girly
Avery – Boy name
Bailey – always like for a boy ever since party of 5, but its associated to much with girls these days to name a boy this.
Finley – Boy, nn Fin
Harley- boy, dated a guy named Harley
Harper – Girl name to me
Hayden – Boy name
Jayden – Boy name
Jordan- Either or..for a girl I would spell Jordyn
Logan- Boy, have a nephew named this
London- girl name definitly
Marley-Girl, makes me think of Marley Matlin
Morgan- Girl name
Peyton-too girly for me to name a boy
Reese- Reese Witherspoon makes it too assicated with girls
Riley- too girly for me
Ryan-Boy name hands down
I think part of why I think certain names are girl names is that for me if there is even a thought it might be considered a girl name, I would never name a boy it. Boys need masculine names that say BOY.
on October 25th, 2011 at 7:38 pm
I see these more as girls:
And these more as boys:
The only one I see as truely unisex is London. I see Cameron, Taylor, Tyler, Emerson, Sidney, Casey, and Dakota as unisex, as well.
on December 24th, 2011 at 10:19 pm
I’ve got to admit it – I absolutely HATE this trend! Come on. There are very, very few names that I would actually consider to be unisex names, everything else should stick to the gender it started as, thank you VERY much. There are so many wonderful boys names out there (Noah and James come to mind) that are being stolen by all the hipster parents who think it’s cool to name a girl Spencer. No thank you. Same in the reverse, I seriously pity the boy who gets saddled with Ashley. Sadly, a ton of my favourites list is ripe to be stomped all over by some celebrity who thinks it’s cool to name a girl Henry or James.
I sincerely apologize for the venting, but that’s been pent up for a while.
on February 5th, 2012 at 4:57 am
I think Taylor and Skyler are very girly. I like names that are all girls and all boy and would hate to be a Jordan Riley or
a Logan Bailey that sounds masculine.
on February 8th, 2012 at 7:04 pm
Well my name us Taylor Morgan so im a big fan of unisex names.
Jordan: both ( I have an ex-bf and a niece with this name)
London: neither I hate this name
Marley: girl, I would name a daughter this
Morgan: girl, obviously
Rhys/Reese: botth but mainly boys
Riley: both, spelled Reilly for a boy
on April 17th, 2012 at 11:53 am
Addison- both, more girl though
I really like names that would be normally used for boys or surnames on girl, but occasionally spelt slightly differently for example;
on April 24th, 2012 at 9:27 am
Growing up I had no idea my name was unisex – I didn’t figure it out until high school when I fell in love with Blind Melon’s lead singer Shannon Hoon. My 13 year old self just thought that this was the coolest thing. So for me obviously it was never an issue.
Fast forward to today and at 32 I’m pregnant with our second daughter and we found the perfect name that we both agreed on – Avery. Started doing a little research only to discover it was originally a BOYS name. What? I only know girl Averys how is this possible? Guess I have a really bad memory because I did read Charlotte’s Web as a child. But it only made me love the name even more!!
Here are others I was shocked to find were used for boys:
Addison (should have caught the ‘son’ on this but didn’t)
I am a huge fan of unisex names so I say let’s keep naming those boys AND girls these names!!
on May 7th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
My daughter is Tylar Jade. I LOVE unisex names and HATE when people refer to it as “stealing” names from boys…that just doesn’t make any sense. There are plenty of males with female names (Courtney, Kelly, Tracy, Terry, Dana etc.) but I don’t see anyone saying that they “stole” those names from the girls.
I like to let the person define their name…not the other way around.
on May 27th, 2012 at 7:38 pm
I absolutely love spencer as a girls name-I think it’s adorable! I’m not crazy about Morgan,bailey, or Aubrey as boy names, I just see them more likely belonging to a girl.
on August 5th, 2012 at 6:46 pm
I know sisters named Jessie and Shannon and my friend is Jordan and her sisters middle name is Quinn. And I most of the time wished I had a unisex name as when I was a teen it was hard to be taken seriously as a Priscilla.
on December 27th, 2012 at 1:46 pm
I like Aubrey(my best friend’s name), Avery, and Finley on this list and they would all be for girls. I really like unisex names for girls but for some reason I can’t stand them for boys. Not sure why.
Also (for girls) I like Austyn, Kodie, Quinn, Taylor, and Dakota.
on January 7th, 2013 at 9:24 pm
I am all for unisex names especially when the name has a special meaning for the parents. I am Lesley. I was named after an uncle who passed away. My daughter is Marley. Her name was a combination of my name and her father’s name. We also loved the fact that it was a nod to my culture (I am Jamaican and grew up listening to Bob Marley).
on July 7th, 2013 at 11:34 am
The only names on that list that actually seem unisex to me are London and Morgan…
on July 13th, 2013 at 11:44 pm
Harper for a girl and Finley for a boy
on September 13th, 2013 at 1:49 pm
I don’t mind unisex names at all there are definately some I like better than others but that’s just my opinion. Everyone likes to put their two cents in but….. parents it is ultimately your choice. My daughter has a boy name …..daelin I loved it as soon as I heard it I changed the spelling to Deylinn. My daughter is 10 now and we have yet to come across another girl with this name and even online no others with this spelling. I have only seen one boy with this name and he was much older before she was even born. I get wonderful comments about her name too.
I will share some unisex names I really like
on September 15th, 2013 at 7:52 am
I think most are unisex names although i much prefer Bailey on a boy. But i’am bias as my son is named bailey.
Logan- more of a boys name. but can be usable as a female.
Marley- hmm.. unisex i think.
Peyton- defo female for me.
Reese- this is how reese witherspoon spells hers so i see it a female. is spelt reece or rhys i see it as male.
Riley- this spelling strikes as a boys if spelt differently it would be a different opinion.
Ryan- too masculine to be a girls name
Skylar – defo a girl name.
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