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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    1

    Why do you think there are so few boys with feminine names?

    In the past decade, there's been a huge surge of girls with traditionally masculine names (think Avery and Taylor). In the past year or two, many parents have even started naming baby girls names like James and John, names with very long histories of being male. But I haven't noticed a similar trend in boys' names. Why is it that it's considered normal for a girl to be named Charlie, but not for a boy to be named Charlotte?

    Does anyone have a theory as to why masculine girls' names are so common while feminine boys' names are so rare?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,479
    A hypothesis of mine is that many boy to girl names are often surnames which have been born by many many women. So it doesn't sound strange to the ear to hear a girl named Taylor, whose mother was Lydia Taylor. (Not that that is the only reason). Or even to nickname a Jane Taylor and call her "Taylor". It was cool a long time ago in the mid-20th century to refer to peers by their last names. So that's another way it became normalized and started to "sound" correct.

    But names like Elizabeth and Charlotte have only ever been found on women, no matter what place it is in. Feminine names are never surnames. So the disconnect is a lot wider and it is a lot harder for people to bridge the gap from girls to boys. No man was ever named James Elizabeth, although plenty of girls were named Elizabeth Avery.

    This is just what I've come up with.

    thinking about

    Russell ✴︎ Kitt ✴︎ Lars ✴︎ Felix ✴︎ Roone ✴︎ Lyle ✴︎ Oscar
    Malcolm ✴︎ Frederick ✴︎ Alistair ✴︎ Luther ✴︎ Francis

    Winifred Lilac ✴︎ Esmé Victoria ✴︎ Fia Magdaline ✴︎ Susannah Opal




  3. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    1,048
    It's a form of sexism. Parents don't want to bestow their sons with feminine names that are deemed frilly, weak, or girly. On the other hand, parents want their girls to have what they deem strong, commanding, or masculine names for various reasons. I believe it is mostly subconscious.

    FWIW I love unisex names. You'll see some names repeat on either side of my signature.

    Rhoswen Lark
    Bryony Greer - Eira Nyx

    Ren Lennox - Dean Everest
    Lennox Grant - Merrick Bryn - Remy Davis





  4. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,613
    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy2112 View Post
    It's a form of sexism. Parents don't want to bestow their sons with feminine names that are deemed frilly, weak, or girly. On the other hand, parents want their girls to have what they deem strong, commanding, or masculine names for various reasons. I believe it is mostly subconscious.
    This. And, this has been debated so many times on this website...
    Lilacs and Lace: Tatiana Glory ~ Ivy Arabesque ~ Eriantha Joelle ~ Judith Cascadia ~ Augustina Luyu ~ Elyse Rafaela

    No Frills: Pippa Francine ~ Lois Angelica ~ Sonja Melody ~ Asha Raquel ~ Runa Soleil ~ Cynthia Foxglove ~ Jovienne Cyra

    Bright and Bold: Cedric Forrester ~ Darius Quill ~ Winston Matteo ~ Kenneth Limerick ~ Elio Augustus ~ Otto Phoebus

    Soulful: Lir Antonio ~ Solomon Ardel ~ Logan Emmanuel ~ Finnegan Marco ~ Cyrus Falcon ~ Ramiro Bard ~ Vero Samuel

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by roseofjune View Post
    A hypothesis of mine is that many boy to girl names are often surnames which have been born by many many women. So it doesn't sound strange to the ear to hear a girl named Taylor, whose mother was Lydia Taylor. (Not that that is the only reason). Or even to nickname a Jane Taylor and call her "Taylor". It was cool a long time ago in the mid-20th century to refer to peers by their last names. So that's another way it became normalized and started to "sound" correct.

    But names like Elizabeth and Charlotte have only ever been found on women, no matter what place it is in. Feminine names are never surnames. So the disconnect is a lot wider and it is a lot harder for people to bridge the gap from girls to boys. No man was ever named James Elizabeth, although plenty of girls were named Elizabeth Avery.

    This is just what I've come up with.
    This is certainly an interesting thought. I'd love to see any sources you have.

    I don't think it's necessarily correct though. While it's true a lot of traditionally masculine names can be last names too (Alexander, James, etc.), and patronymic surnames are common in a lot of cultures, there are quite a few traditionally feminine names that can double as surnames too. Lilly, Joy, Rose, etc. If what you're saying is true, then why aren't there any guys named James Rose that go by Rose?

    I'm more inclined to agree that it's a sexism issue, but like a PP said, this same question has been hashed on on this website a thousand times over. You can just search the forums and find threads on this topic all day long.
    Last edited by vestigesofsummer; December 12th, 2016 at 11:19 PM.
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