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Boy Names for Girls

Boy Names for Girls

Some of the coolest baby girl names are not girls' names at all but boys' names -- many of which have officially become unisex names. We're seeing more and more formerly 100% boy names being used for girls, from nicknames like Sam and Charlie (now 50-50 by gender!), to occupational or surnames such as Sawyer or McKinley to formerly masculine names such as Quincy and Jude that have become truly unisex.

Celebrity parents Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds broke the gender barrier in a new way when they named their daughter James. Many parents followed suit, sometimes using James as a middle name.

The trendy Arlo is one recently boy name that's moving to the girls' side. Australian actress Asher Keddie is proof that Asher might be a good alternative to the dated Ashley. Ezra and Noah are Biblical names that are increasingly being used for girls as well as boys. And in Israel, Daniel is a Top 100 name...for girls.

While using male names for baby girls is a practice that's increasing, it's not brand new. Timothy, Michael, and Christopher are boy names that have occasionally been used for girls for decades.

Some people think it's wrong to use boy names for girls unless the practice also works in the opposite direction. While statistics show that more parents are giving their sons unisex names, we are not seeing boys given decidedly feminine names in the same way that baby girls are being given formerly masculine names.

In case anyone thinks this is just another wacky name theory, statistics bear out that girls are being given all the names on this list in significant numbers. There were more than 50 baby girls in the US last year named Max and Maxwell, for instance, as well as Maverick, Landon, Chase, Auden, and Atlas.

Here, some boy names that can work for girls.

  1. DanielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my judge"
    • Description:

      Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning "judge," and ’el, "God." The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament describes the Jewish prophet’s life of captivity in Babylon and visions of the last days of Earth. Dan and Danny are common short forms of Daniel.
  2. CodyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "helpful, pillow"
    • Description:

      In the early 1990s, Cody was in the Top 25 most popular boys' names in the USA; but it has been in decline since then. It retains a greater degree of popularity in the UK, however. Cody might be short for Dakota but despite its nickname feeling, it's a name of its own.
  3. BlakeHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "fair-haired, dark"
    • Description:

      The unisex Blake, which indeed has two conflicting meanings, has a briskly efficient image when used for a girl.
  4. CollinsHeart
    • Origin:

      Surname derived from Nicholas or Colin
    • Description:

      Collins is a surname name that has made the girls' Top 1000 thanks to its use for the daughter of the real-life Blind Side heroine. This derivation of the Greek Nicholas—which means "people of victory"—or the Irish and Scottish Colin—which may itself be a Nicholas derivation or an Anglicization of the word for pup—has a stylish feel made more so by that final s.
  5. JamesHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James for a girl? Believe it or not, this is one of the boy names for girls" gaining a lot of attention these days, since Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds shocked the world by choosing it for their eldest daughter in 2014 (after his late father).
  6. KaiHeart
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "sea"
    • Description:

      This appealing multi-cultural name, pronounced KYE, is beginning to be used for girls as well as boys. Among its many derivations and meanings: "sea" in Hawaiian, "forgiveness" in Japanese, "willow tree" in Navajo, "food" in Maori, and "earth" in Scandinavian. For girls, it debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2010.
  7. EzraHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Ezra, the Biblical name that has recently risen into the boys' Top 100, makes it onto the girls' side with more than 200 baby girls given the name in the US in 2015. That puts Ezra in line to move into the girls' Top 1000. While traditionally male, Ezra's vowel ending may make it feel more girl-ready to parents than some other traditional biblical names. We like the name but its centuries-old male identity make it forever a boys' name to us.
  8. SawyerHeart
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "woodcutter"
    • Description:

      Sawyer is one of the top unisex names, used for their daughters by such parents as Sara Gilbert, co-host of The Talk and former actress on Roseanne, currently on The Conners. Sawyer is is one of those newly-stylish occupational names that can work for either gender. If you want something with less brawn and more brains than Sawyer, try Sayer.
  9. SpencerHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "keeper of provisions"
    • Description:

      Yes, Spencer makes a plausible and powerful female choice these days, though still thought of as primarily for boys. Kelsey Grammer used it for his daughter in the 1980's. Spencer made its first appearance on the girls' Top 1000 in 2017.
  10. AugustHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "majestic, venerable"
    • Description:

      Though associated traditionally (and fashionably) with boys, it has been used occasionally for girls as well – by Garth Brooks, Nicolas Cage, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example. But August is used significantly more often for girls these days than traditional feminine variations Augusta and Augustina, and makes for a fresh twist on traditional month names like April and May, as well as an updated spin on season name Autumn.
  11. EllisHeart
    • Origin:

      English surname derived from Elijah or Elias or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "benevolent"
    • Description:

      Ellis, a surname used sparingly as a first in the Wallace/Morris period, sounds new now for girls, as a gender-neutral alternative to Ella or Alice. It debuted in the US Top 1000 for girls in 2015.-- Ellis has always been in the Top 1000 for boys -- and seems to be headed straight up. One of the most popular gender-neutral names, currently there are two baby boys named Ellis for every girl.
  12. JudeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Judith or variation of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude may be a rising boys' name, thanks to Jude Law, but it's also a new way to spin Judy or Judith as well as a name that's long been used quietly for girls as well as boys. Alexis Stewart, daughter of Martha, named her daughter Jude and Jessica Lange plays Sister Jude on American Horror Story.
  13. NoahHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "motion"
    • Description:

      Okay, this is going to be confusing...
  14. HarleyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the long field"
    • Description:

      Once a macho biker name, Harley is now showing its softer side. In the UK, Harley is predominantly masculine, but it's currently more popular for girls than boys in the US.
  15. ElliotHeart
    • Origin:

      Anglicization of Elijah or Elias
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah is God"
    • Description:

      Elliot is another traditional boy name used for girls", a trend led by political commentator George Stephanopoulos and his actress wife Ali Wentworth.
  16. ArloHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, English
    • Meaning:

      "between two hills"
    • Description:

      Arlo, an unexpectedly popular name for boys these days, is also finding new life as a girls' name. The first name Arlo may be rooted in the surname Arlow or the place name Aherlow, meaning "between two highlands". As a surname, it also has roots in a place name meaning "rocky hill".
  17. AtlasHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of the heavens"
    • Description:

      While Atlas is a decidedly male god and this name is in the US Top 300 for boys, it is used for an increasingly significant number of baby girls in the US. And undeniably, it's a name that imparts strength to any child.
  18. LoganHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish surname
    • Meaning:

      "little hollow"
    • Description:

      Logan, with its appealing Scottish burr, is a very hot boys' name—it's in the national Top 10 and heading for Number 1 in some states—and can also make a rich and resonant choice for a girl. Jason and Jordan Mewes have a daughter named Logan Lee.
  19. RyanHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little king"
    • Description:

      This ultrapopular boys' name is rapidly becoming a hot name for girls; admired for its buoyant Irish spirit.
  20. MaxHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      If Sam can make it as a girl's name, why not Max? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's eldest daughter Maxima goes by Max, but you could also use it as a short form for Maxine, Maximilienne or even Margaux.