Girl Names That Boys Should Take Back

  1. Addison
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Adam"
    • Description:

      Despite its origin as a patronymic meaning "son of Adam", Addison really caught on for baby girls in the US around the turn of the millennium, following in Madison's footsteps to peak at #11 in 2007 and again in 2010.
  2. Alexis
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defender"
    • Description:

      This name leapt into the female column via vixen Alexis Carrington on 'Dynasty" in the 1980s. It's more popular for girls, but it's still a widely used boys' names and is one of the most popular unisex names in the US today.
  3. Ashley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller near the ash tree meadow"
    • Description:

      It may have peaked at #1 for girls in 1991 and 1992 in the US, but Ashley actually has a long history as a male given name, as evidenced by the sensitive Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind. It's always been more popular for boys in England and Wales, where it currently ranks at #414.
  4. Aubrey
    • Origin:

      English from French
    • Meaning:

      "elf ruler"
    • Description:

      Once a popular choice in for boys in the Middle Ages and again during the 19th century, Aubrey has mostly been used for girls in the US since the 1970's. With its arty, surname-y, and sophisticated feel, however, it is rising up the UK charts for both boys and girls.
  5. Avery
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "ruler of the elves"
    • Description:

      Avery is a unisex name that is used four times as often today for girls as for boys. But while Avery's popularity is starting to soften for girls, it continues to get stronger for boys -- in keeping with our finding that gender neutral names are becoming more favored for boys than for girls.
  6. Beverly
    • Cameron
      • Origin:

        Scottish surname
      • Meaning:

        "crooked nose"
      • Description:

        With its friendly, sensitive, and approachable feel, Cameron is a 90’s favorite that remains popular today. It has a pleasing balance of soft and strong sounds, and holds unisex appeal, thanks to Cameron Diaz. Still, ten times more boys than girls are named Cameron in the US.
    • Courtney
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "courteous, from the court"
      • Description:

        This courtly old Southern name has several cool male bearers: NFL player Courtney Brown, British jazz musician Courtney Pine, and Barbados-born economist Courtney Blackman, to name but a few.
    • Darcy
      • Origin:

        English from French, d'Arcy
      • Meaning:

        " from Arcy"
      • Description:

        Though Darcy is the ultimate Jane Austen hero name, it is rarely used for boys today though it's on the upswing for girls. A shame as it's a handsome, roguish kind of appellation that combines elements of French flair, aristocratic savoir faire, and a soft Irish brogue. And in terms of image, it's one of the quintessential English names for boys.
    • Evelyn
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "desired; or water, island"
      • Description:

        Renowned English author Evelyn Waugh pronounced his name "EEV-lin" (fun fact: his first wife, also named Evelyn, was referred to as "She-velyn"). But "EV-uh-lin" also works, and is probably the most familiar pronunciation of the name today.
    • Hillary
      • Hailey
        • Jamie
          • Origin:

            Diminutive of James
          • Meaning:

            "supplanter"
          • Description:

            The cool form of James in the 1970s and '80s for both sexes. Still a more stylish short form than Jimmy, though many parents will want to call James by his entire, not-very-long name.
        • Jordan
          • Origin:

            English from Hebrew
          • Meaning:

            "flowing down"
          • Description:

            Jordan became one of the top unisex baby names in the heyday of basketball's Michael Jordan, and is still among the most popular unisex names starting with J. The name was originally given to those baptized in holy water brought back by Crusaders from the River Jordan, the only river in Palestine, and the one in which Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.
        • Joan
          • Jocelyn
            • Kelly
              • Origin:

                Irish
              • Meaning:

                "war"
              • Description:

                A predominantly male name in the US until the late 1950s, the name continued to rise for both sexes for both sexes for a further decade, before starting to decline for boys. Despite dropping out of the boys' Top 1000 in 2002, Kelly retains a rugged Irish charm.
            • Kelsey
              • Origin:

                English surname
              • Meaning:

                "Cenel's island"
              • Description:

                Kelsey (ex-Frasier) Grammer is a famous male bearer, although most modern Kelseys are female. It derives from several English place names, possibly meaning "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel "fierce".
            • Kendall
              • Origin:

                English
              • Meaning:

                "valley of the river Kent"
              • Description:

                While Kendall originally started as a boys’ name, and remained more or equally popular for boys until the early 1990s in the US, it now feels almost synonymous with Kendall Jenner, of Kardashian fame.
            • Kennedy
              • Origin:

                Irish
              • Meaning:

                "misshapen head"
              • Description:

                This attractive surname name still projects that Kennedy family charisma. While it didn't come into widespread use until long after the deaths of martyred heroes President John F. or Senator Robert Kennedy, Kennedy is now one of the most popular unisex names, particularly for girls. This is one name that manages to sound trendy and traditional at the same time.