Feminine Names Right for Boys

You know the names – the names that have been used on girls for the past couple of decades, but are now ripe for boys. Some of these originated as boys' names and shifted over to the girl side in the '70s and '80s. Now the boys are taking them back, and they look gorgeous on them!
  1. Allison
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Alice or English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Allen"
    • Description:

      This shows up on the Social Security data for boys, but these days is mostly female: 2700 baby girls were named Allison last year versus six baby boys.
  2. Alva
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "his highness"
    • Description:

      Edison's middle name is a fabulous option for parents looking for something with history and a soft sound. This could be the name you're looking for if you like Tesla's scientific pedigree but think that it has become too corporate with the advent of Elon Musk's company.
  3. Ariel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "lion of God"
    • Description:

      Despite its distinguished pedigree and popularity in Israel, Disney's Little Mermaid cartoonized Ariel in the US, at least in some people's minds. But it was used for a male character in Shakespeare's The Tempest centuries ago.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Audrey
    • Bailey
      • Origin:

        English occupational name
      • Meaning:

        "law enforcer, bailiff"
      • Description:

        Extremely amiable, open-sounding surname that's gradually being taken over by the girls.
    • Blair
      • Origin:

        Scottish
      • Meaning:

        "dweller on the plain"
      • Description:

        One of the first generation of cool surname names, now largely used for girls in the US, but still popular for boys in its native Scotland. A prominent association for Brits is former prime minister Tony Blair, who was leader at the time of the Iraq War.
    • Brook
      • Origin:

        English nature name
      • Meaning:

        "small stream"
      • Description:

        Now that the popularity of Brooke is waning, and surname style variant Brooks is on the rise, Brook seems live a newly fresh nature-inspired option.
    • Bryn
      • Origin:

        Welsh
      • Meaning:

        "hill"
      • Description:

        The simple and attractive Bryn is well used for boys in Wales, and does have a history as a male name in the US, although both Bryn and Brynn are currently far more popular for girls.
    • Beverley
      • Blanche
        • Calypso
          • Origin:

            Greek
          • Meaning:

            "she who hides"
          • Description:

            Rhythmic route to the nickname Cal. This musical moniker is another great example of a traditionally feminine name that could easily go masculine.
        • Carey
          • Origin:

            Irish
          • Meaning:

            "dark, black"
          • Description:

            Carey is a surname name that works equally well on babies of all genders - Jazz great Carey Bell and motorcross champion Carey Hart are just two examples of how handsome this name can be for a boy.
        • Carmen
          • Origin:

            Spanish variation of Carmel; from Latin Carmen meaning song.
          • Description:

            While the variation Carmine is more familiar for boys, Carmen has also been used as a masculine name; consider the very macho Carmen Basilio — the American boxer famous for defeating the great Sugar Ray Robinson — or composer Carmen Dragon.
        • Cary
          • Origin:

            Latin
          • Meaning:

            "pleasant stream"
          • Description:

            Cary Grant's debonair image has stood the test of time - he is still rated as one of the most handsome and admired men in Hollywood. There are not many other names that can combine good-looks, wit and such decency all in two little syllables.
        • Casey
          • Origin:

            Irish
          • Meaning:

            "brave in battle"
          • Description:

            Casey is a name with a big wide grin, Irish, friendly, and open, and associated with several American folk heroes--Casey Jones, the engine driver of the Cannonball Express who gave his life to save his passengers, and the legendary Casey at the Bat.
        • Cassidy
          • Origin:

            Irish
          • Meaning:

            "curly-headed"
          • Description:

            A lean and lanky Irish cowboy name with great nickname potential to boot (Cass or Sid are both options). This is one of the great under-rated American names!
        • Chelsea
          • Origin:

            London and New York neighborhood name
          • Description:

            Chelsea for a boy? Yes--and we've got two maleberry Chelseas to prove it (one of whom even wrote a blog for us about his experience)! Boy Chelseas would more likely be named for the British football team than the old Joni Mitchell song sung by Judy Collins.