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Did I Give My Son A Girl's Name?

Our five-year-old-son is named Azure. It means blue in French and Azurite is the name of a mineral with several shades of blue in it. Have never met or seen the name used on anybody other than my son...however, on baby-naming sites, it's listed as a girl's name. Why? Blue is usually associated with boys not girls. It sounds like a boy to me.

- Mom of Boy Blue

Turning a word into a name is a daring act. You're striking out into uncharted territory, beyond the old-fashioned confines of tradition. That's what you wanted, right? For your son to blaze a new trail with his name, free of all preconceptions?

Not quite, it seems. You still wanted everyone to see his name and assume he's a boy.

You give up that pre-tested certainty when you leave the beaten path. Names like Jack and Tom and Matt earned their all-boy sound the hard way, through years of steady use. To get guaranteed manliness with a word name, you have to go ultra macho: Hawk, Ranger, Blade. Even so, a new name can turn on a dime. Dakota sounded like a rugged cowboy -- until actress Dakota Fanning came along.

It can work the other way, too. Ashton was following Ashley's girlish path until Ashton Kutcher pulled it over to the boys' side. Then again, you see names that mean "son of," like Madison and Emerson, becoming hits for girls. It's unpredictable, and it can take years for a name to settle into one column or the other.

In the case of Azure, the silky-smoothness of the name has tilted it to the girls' side. At least four out of every five new Azures born is a girl. The good news, though, is that there are precious few of them. Most people truly have no preconceptions of the name. For that matter, most people don't even know it means blue!

So don't worry how Azure is listed. You accomplished your main goal with a name that is poetic and memorable, and will set your son apart.

Comments

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September 17, 2009 6:54 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Also, Azure sounds like Asher, which is definitely a boy's name (Hebrew).

October 2, 2009 1:01 PM
By 5 Star Weddings (not verified)

I think it's a lovely boys name

October 4, 2009 11:00 AM
By Edeyn (not verified)

And really, just because it means blue doesn't make it for boys. In fact, it used to be be pink-for-boys and blue-for-girls. Pink being a warm, rugged, decisive, masculine color and blue being a cool, calm, permissive, feminine color. This reversed itself less than 70 years ago, in the 1940s.

October 25, 2009 1:51 PM
By Anonymouse (not verified)

Color names are girls names. I can't think of a single color name that is male and can think of many, many color names that are female.

December 10, 2009 5:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Gray.

January 26, 2011 4:15 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Slate
Red
Rufus (red)
Rowan (red)
Roy (red)
There are heaps too that designate fair hair....

May 17, 2011 6:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Greene
Sage (green)
Sandy
Sorrel
Bowie (yellow)
Boyd (yellow)
Red
Rory (red)
Jasper (red)
Carmin (red)
Harkin (red)
Clancy (red)
Roux (red)
Reed (red)
Rogan (red)
Ross (red)
Russell (red)
Rusty
Blue
Indigo (blue)
Nila (blue)
Bruno (brown)
Ash
Colby (black)
Jett (black)
Preto (black)
Kerwin (black)
Adrian (black)
Cerin (black)
Nero (black)
Daegan (black)
Emery (black)
Finian (white)
Alban (white)
Weiss (white)
Grey
Lloyd (gray)
Sterling
Steel
Stone
Brick
Tanner
Bayard
Colorado

February 21, 2012 7:40 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a boy named Indigo. I think that worked really well. Azure is also Spanish for blue, not just French, as far as I know.

July 3, 2012 11:59 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The soft Frenchy zh sound sounds feminine to Americans.

July 3, 2012 12:14 PM
By Julie (not verified)

To me, Azure is male. I had Azura on my list for a girl at one time...

July 3, 2012 3:21 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My first thought was "sounds like demure" which is characteristically associated with women.

July 3, 2012 3:49 PM
By Fun Mom (not verified)

Who in the world doesn't know that Azure means blue?

Anyway, don't worry about the boy/girl thing too much. I gave my son a different Az name, and nearly every doctor I've gone to assumes I'm talking about my daughter over the phone. (The only one that didn't make that mistake was a place where the nurse had a son with the same name.)

I just sign and move on.

July 3, 2012 6:36 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think the "short flat A" like the A in cat has tones of girl while the "long A" like the A in say could lean boy. So do you pronounce this name A(like in cat)-zhure or do you say more of an A (like in say)? There of course are many exceptions to this rule such as Asher (b) and Aileen(g) but I'm thinking there are more that hold the rule like Ashley (g) and Adrian (b).

July 3, 2012 7:38 PM
By Sally Odgers (not verified)

I think I would have assumed "girl" but am not surprised to get "boy". I like it.

July 3, 2012 9:06 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Truthfully, I don't think I would've associated it with any gender, as I've never heard of it before.

There are a lot lot lot of names on baby name sites. Those names may either be listed as for boys or girls, but I think the fact is that most of the names on name sites are so rare enough that most people haven't heard them before (and therefore wouldn't know to associate them with a particular gender). I wouldn't stress about it too much if I were you.

July 4, 2012 1:03 AM
By Faye (not verified)

I think it's perfectly genderless, though I agree with the Name Lady that you shouldn't really care - you gave your son an unusual name on purpose and MOST names have flipflopped. That said, I'm also not a fan of gender stereotyping such as blue for boys, pink for girls, so. There you have it.

If you're bothered by the idea of something being even androgynous, not definitively male, don't go for this name. If that doesn't bother you, you've found a lovely, unique name for your "little boy blue" ;D

July 4, 2012 1:13 AM
By Faye (not verified)

(As a side note, I would say that ANY word name is pretty androgynous. Even the ultra macho ones like 'Blade' or 'Hawk' could be easily used for a girl.

After all, just using celebs - musicians Gerard and Lindsey Way named their daughter 'Bandit', and conversely there are plenty of softer sounding word names that have been used for boys - Sylvester Stallone's son Sage, Forest Whitaker's son Ocean.

Words are good or weird names, depending on your perspective, but they don't really have genders - at least not in English!)

July 31, 2012 6:57 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like it but in French to make things feminine you add an -e to the end.

November 10, 2014 11:44 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The only Azure I've known was a friend's little girl, but I think it's truly beautiful on either gender.

November 10, 2014 2:23 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree that I've heard it more for girls, but it could go either. What bothers me is to think what we are teaching our sons if a "girl's" anything would be the worst thing in the world. Raising our sons to be strong, confident individuals who also respect girls will make names matter less.

November 12, 2014 3:28 PM
By Keliana (not verified)

Azure is fine for a boy, I like it alot. Doesn't sound girly at all. If you had used Azura then yeah I would say its girl but not this is cute. I would have no regrets.

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