Celebrity Names Blog

Inspired by Beyonce? Here Are Five Kinds Of Creative, Androgynous Baby Names (Celebrity-Approved)

Inspired by Beyonce? Here Are Five Kinds Of Creative, Androgynous Baby Names (Celebrity-Approved)
R2D2/FameFlynet Pictures

Do you prefer androgynous/unisex/gender-neutral names? Tired of the usual choices like Taylor, Jamie, Riley, Morgan, or Blake?

Celebrities feel your pain. With the arrival of Beyonce and Jay-Z's bundle of joy, Blue Ivy Carter, on the mind, we dug up some of the best creatively ambiguous names celebrities have picked for their kids that you can use for inspiration.

Here are five types to consider:

1. The “I forgot you could use it like that!” name

Leni: Since what this world clearly needs is another reason to feel inferior to Heidi Klum and Seal, let’s not forget the cool, semi-androgynous names they gave their daughters. Leni might remind you of Lenny Kravitz, but in her case, it’s short for Helene, and pronounced like “Lainey.”

Lou:  It can sound masculine (Lou Reed, Lou Dobbs, etc.) but Leni’s little sister’s name can be short for Louise and Louisa, or used as part of Lou Anna or Mary Lou.

Darby: Patrick Dempsey’s son’s name has made two brief appearances on the list of Top 1000 names – in the ‘70s as a boy’s name, and again in the ‘90s as a girl’s.

2. Iconic Surnames

Harlow Madden and Monroe Cannon are girls (a la Jean and Marilyn); Gable Nealon and Presley Gerber are boys (like Clark and Elvis), so they might not sound androgynous…until you remember what happened with Reagan and Madison. A surname used as a surname doesn’t belong to either gender, so there are no rules when it’s used as a first name. Just ask Jeff Garcia, who has a daughter named Presley.

3. Place Names

A handful of celebrities looked beyond Dakota and Dallas, and came up with...

Egypt: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz famously picked this one for their son, to mixed reviews, but it also belongs to Egypt Bennett, daughter of Paris Bennett.

Charleston: Is Joey Lawrence's daughter's name too boyish-sounding for a girl?

Moroccan: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon used the adjective form when naming baby Monroe’s twin brother.

Honorable Mention – Brooklyn: The Beckhams get credit for blazing the trail, even if the name is no longer unusual nor unisex like it was in 1999.  Unfortunately for Brooklyn Beckham, his name is mostly considered a girls' name today.

4. Colors

Blue: This is having a serious moment -- It got the Beyonce stamp of approval, and Alicia Silverstone famously named her son Bear Blu. It’s interesting to see a new color thrown into the mix, especially a stereotypically “boy” color.

Indigo: Lou Diamond Phillips also went down the color route with Indigo. He happened to choose the name for a girl, but there’s no strong precedent for either gender.

5. Miscellaneous Nouns

The dictionary. Once primarily used for spelling and Scrabble, it’s now the ultimate gender-neutral baby name book.  Just pick a noun, like these celebrities:

Sparrow: A natural alternative to Robin? Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden picked this for their son, along with Midnight for his middle name.

Winter: Sparrow’s sister is the aformentioned Harlow Winter Kate. Autumn and Summer have been claimed for girls, but Winter is still up in the air, and sounds just as mysterious as Midnight.

October: Toby could be gender-neutral nickname for this unexpected month name that Dave Eggers picked for his daughter.

Denim: Need a third triplet name to go with Blue and Indigo? Take your inspiration from Toni Braxton's son. A bold choice.

Lyric: It doesn’t sound particularly masculine or feminine, but Jeremy London and Ashley Parker Angel both chose it for their sons. 

What are your favorite creative unisex baby names? Are any of them too unusual? Which celebrity babies did we miss?

-- K.L.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

January 9, 2012 8:45 AM
By Alyssa

My first thought (and probably yours too) at "Miscellaneous Nouns" was that scene in 30 Rock when Cerie wants to name her hypothetical baby either Sandstorm or Bookcase (but that's more of a girls name, don't you think?)

January 10, 2012 4:34 PM
By Stephanie (not Steffy) (not verified)

Sage has been a name that I love for boys, but I have met several girls named Sage, as well.

I think Magnus would work well as a gender neutral name as well- could nickname a girl Maggie and Magnus has a stong sound to it so it could work for a boy too.

January 21, 2012 4:41 PM
By AngelaAiea (not verified)

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale used place names for both of their sons: "Kingston" after Kingston, Jamaica, and "Zuma" after Zuma Beach in Malibu.

They also used a celebrity name. Zuma's middle name is "Nesta", which was also the middle name of Bob Marley (who was from Kingston, Jamaica...).

May 26, 2012 5:12 PM
By laurel (not verified)

I have a girl cousin named Saige

May 26, 2012 5:14 PM
By laurel (not verified)

I like Rylee for a little girl. Shay is another unisex name that I like.

May 27, 2012 9:43 PM
By Odell (not verified)

My daughter's name is Patience, In her kindergarten class was also Miracle and Mercy. The other day I met Charming and a weatherman named Wisdom. So virtues work!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.