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Where Have All the Boys' Names Gone?

Q: Where are all the boy's names? Now that unisex/male names are becoming a trend for baby girls, it's hard to find a masculine name for boys! And even though girls can be Ryan and Brett and Cameron, boys can't be Ashley - they'd be laughed at. Any advice? -MasculineNameSearchingMom

There's no doubt about it: if naming is a turf war, the boys are losing. Old favorites like Ashley and Leslie are long gone, Avery and Bailey are teetering, and even the biblical classic Micah shows signs of androgyny.

It would be nice to think that boys and girls could play nicely and share their names, but historically it seldom happens. At a certain girl-baby saturation point, names "switch sides" and become unavailable for use as boy's names. So it's natural for parents of boys to feel leery when parents of girls start to eye a treasured favorite.

Until recently, it was easy to identify names at risk of switching. All of the names I just mentioned end in an -ee or -a sound, which fit traditional feminine patterns. But today, the notion of feminine style is bursting wide open. Names like Elliott, Rowan and Campbell are are being given to girls, and a "-son" name (Addison, Emerson) is increasingly likely to mean "-daughter."

Are there fashionable boys' names with girl-proof machismo? Perphaps cowboy names like Wyatt and Cooper, drenched in dust, leather and gunpowder? I wouldn't count on it. The very things that appeal to mothers of boys about these names could also appeal to mothers of girls. Sonically, Wyatt falls somewhere between Maya and Scarlett, and seems no more a stretch for being pressed into use for girls than Elliott was.

If avoiding androgyny is your #1 goal, you might have to sacrifice the "fashionable" part. The most surefire masculine names are the stodgy classics. In all my name travels, I've yet to meet a little girl named Frank, George or Edward. Barring that, you can just dive in and hope that the naming future will turn out to be different from the past. With parents of boys and girls alike flocking to the same contemporary name sounds, names like Jordan and Skyler are starting to find a stable niche as two-sex favorites. We might just learn to share after all.

Comments

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April 20, 2010 8:09 AM
By Meg (not verified)

I hate to break it to the author, but Frank(ie) is a very classic nick name for a little girl... or perhaps just if you grow up in a very Catholic area...

April 20, 2010 8:37 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

I think that you should go ahead and use the names you like in spite of them being used on girls! I'm a guy named Kelly who suffered no ill effects from having a unisex name (and I support those who want to help keep the threatened boy's names on the boy's side by using them for their sons). I think that the Name Lady is right in that parents are starting to not be so shy about androgyny in boy's names (but still more worried than with girls). Quite frankly I think you'd get more grief over the use of a gender-neutral for your son than he would, and many of the bad comments will probably be from people of you're parents' generation rather than your own. In other words, unisex names for boys is gaining acceptance among the younger generations. (If you're interested you can read a post at my blog about this at this link: http://millennialkelly.blogspot.com/2009/07/generations-and-attitude-towards-unisex.html.)

April 20, 2010 8:47 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

In the "Quite Frankly" sentence, it should be "gender-neutral name"; I left out a word there.

April 20, 2010 8:53 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

Another error: "you're" should be "your" in that same sentence. Sorry for so many mistakes (when I have the option of editing I'm a frequent user of that).

April 20, 2010 9:04 AM
By Kelly (not verified)

Sorry for four posts in a row, but the only thing I disagree with the Name Lady about is I think the word "unavailable" is too strong. I think that "lost" names like Kelly, Robin, and Shannon are redeemable if parents would be willing to re-consider them, and likewise those who like today's favorites like Riley and Rowan should not shy away just because they also know girls with the name. (I do agree that names like Ashley and Madison may be tougher to reclaim since they were so popular for girls at their peak and were never even moderately popular for boys.) Someone famous who is bucking the old belief about unisex names for boys is Holly Marie Combs, who has sons named Finley, Riley, and Kelley.

April 20, 2010 11:48 AM
By Sebastiane (not verified)

It seems that surname names are the ones that tend to revert to female names. Quite frankly, I don't see anything remotely feminine in names like Taylor, Jordan or Madison.

I guess my advice would be is stay away from surname names or names that have no basis in history as actual given names.

April 20, 2010 12:00 PM
By Beth (not verified)

The other day I met a little girl Peyton at the playground. I told my husband and he joked that "Muscles McTesticle" would be the next trendy girl name. So cute and tomboyish, right? :)

April 20, 2010 12:02 PM
By Kate (not verified)

I agree- Frances is quite popular in Catholic neighborhoods, especially Irish-Catholic. Those I've seen little girls named Frances go by Frankie and Sissy much more than Fran. The boys named Francis also tend to go by Frankie more often than Frank. Or maybe that is just when they are young?

April 20, 2010 12:11 PM
By Alison (not verified)

I wonder how many parents actually consider the ill-effects of gender-crossing names on their children in leu of appearing cool and cutting edge.

1. I know a girl named Cameron who hates her name because she often receives mail addressed to her as Mr.

2. I also wonder how many wedding guests thought the groom was gay when the wedding announcement said he was marrying a woman named Austin.

3. I also know a Linn who hates his name. He feels he was cursed.

I wouldn't be surprised if there an endless stream of examples such as these. But who am I to say, my name is Alison.

April 20, 2010 12:12 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

George Eliot is a very famous female author. She wrote Silas Marner during the Victorian era. and I've heard of plenty of girls named Frankie. I like to stick to Italian or Spanish names like Diego and Giovanni for boys names. While a girl could be Gia, I think Giovanni is quite manly and can't see how it could be mistaken. My oldest son's name is Diego Danger. I think that's pretty masculine.

April 20, 2010 12:13 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

With all the glorious girls' names out there, I do wish the boys' names would be left alone for the boys! As the mom to 3 boys, very soon to be 4, its hard enough coming up with decent names without our somewhat limited (more so than girls) list! I have friends with daughters named Ryan & Riley. We shied away from Elliott with DS3 b/c of it's trending towards girls. I think its easier for girls to carry off a gender neutral / boy-ish name than for boys in this day and age.

April 20, 2010 12:24 PM
By Angel H (not verified)

From WIkipedia:
"Mary Anne (Mary Ann, Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era....

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works were taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names, but Eliot wanted to ensure that she was not seen as merely a writer of romances."

"George" was used BECAUSE it was masculine. Saying George Eliot was a woman does nothing to prove the author wrong that George is simple male.

April 20, 2010 12:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a little girl named Cooper, actually. :) I think stick to your guns if it's not an outrageously popular name or obviously "turned." Some people wondered if my son Harper was a girl when he was baby they hadn't met, but nobody considers it girlie when they meet him. When my youngest boy, Beckett, was born somebody said they had been considering his name for a girl. But again, it hasn't been a problem. I don't try to dress my kids in particularly "boyish" clothes, but nobody mistakes them for girls. (Not that I would really care at this age. It's their job to play and be kids, not reinforce gender stereotypes!)

April 20, 2010 12:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

As a point of clarification George Eliot was a pen name for Mary Anne Evans because women authors were not being published at the time.

April 20, 2010 12:28 PM
By Kira (not verified)

"Muscles McTesticle" - that is great.

Maybe it's because I am 40, or maybe it's because I have three sons, but I too detest the masculine naming of girls. I fail to see the point. There are so many beautiful girls' names ... Why name a baby girl Tipton or Emerson? It's not even aesthetically pleasing. Maybe if I understood the point, it wouldn't bother me so much. Are the thinkers behind this trend, aiming for gender equality? Are there any thinkers behind this trend, or are people just mindlessly following because others are doing it?

April 20, 2010 12:35 PM
By Caitlyn (not verified)

Anon 12:12 - George Eliot was a pen name, adopted by Mary Anne Evans so she would be taken seriously as an author. I'm not sure that counts.

April 20, 2010 12:41 PM
By zoerhenne (not verified)

Tough subject and questions. I think there are boy's names that sound okay on girls and girl's names that sound NOT okay on boys but I don't have any explanation for my feelings. So I think the bottom line is-everyone is entitled to name their kids what they would like because everyone should respect others differences. However, there are certain names Adolph and Pilot Inspektor being some of them that people should stay away from.

April 20, 2010 12:43 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My maiden name was Bailey. I named my first daughter - Bailey (she has her father's last name). We gave her her grandmother's name, Jovanna, for her middle name. She is 24 years old. My second daughter was named Taylor Bryn and is 18 years old. Pretty names for pretty girls. Names evolve, use it if you like it - don't if you don't.

April 20, 2010 12:52 PM
By hyz (not verified)

I had to chime in to say that I love Beth's husband's "Muscles McTesticle" comment, too. Classic.

April 20, 2010 1:05 PM
By Paula (not verified)

A relative of mine has four grandchildren: Dylan, Riley, Harlie, and Reagan.

Anybody want to guess these childrens' genders?

For clarification, their first and middle name combinations are:
Dylan Elizabeth
Riley Anne
Harlie Jean
Reagan Elizabeth

Yes, they are all GIRLS!!!! Their grandmother commented once that she has four granddaughters who have boys' names, but not really. Riley and Reagan (sisters, in this case) are VERY unisex. Dylan is far more popular for boys than for girls, but I do know of at least one other female named Dylan. Harlie is also unisex, but I think the "ie" on the end makes it seem a bit more feminine.

MasculineNameSearchingMom, I think your best bet is to go with some of the Biblical names (regardless of your religious beliefs), since, with the exception of the aforementioned Micah, most of those stay gender-specific! Whoever heard of a female Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, John, James, Matthew, Thaddeus, Luke, Joseph, Benjamin, Elijah, Eli, Mark, Timothy, Stephen/Steven, Noah, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Bartholomew, Nathaniel, David, Thomas, Simon, Seth, etc.! By contrast, you don't normally hear of males named Rebecca/Rebekah, Rachel/Rachael, Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary, Dinah, Eve, Lois, Eunice, Magdalene, Abigail, Joanna/Joann/Joanne/Joan, Leah, Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Anna, Phebe/Phoebe, Lydia, Martha, Miriam, Naomi, Priscilla, Druscilla, Tabitha, Susannah, and the like!

I know of several females named Frankie, and at least one has Frankie on her birth certificate - it's not short for Frances or Francesca. Her name, first and middle combination, is Frankie Lynn.

I have two female relatives with the middle name of Austin, so that's more common as a female name than you'd think.

And, Alison, my middle name is Alison, spelled the "one-L way" like yours!

April 20, 2010 1:09 PM
By Pamela (not verified)

Personal opinion, and a strong one: I think parents who give little girls son names appear ignorant, foolish, uneducated and enslaved by trends. The fact that Madison, which clearly derives from "Son of Matthew", and McKenzie meaning "Son of Kenzie" are two of the most popular girl names in the US, makes us all look dopey. One of the baby name books even claims that Madison is a "feminine form of Matthew". I guess some people think it's more important to go along with the crowd than it is to publish a truthful resource.

I met a boy named Madison recently, about 10 or 12 years old, and made a big fuss about how nice it was to finally meet a BOY with that obviously BOY name. Turns out he had even more right to the name, since his dad is a Matthew. I told him I thought it was silly that so many people would be fool enough to think a name ending in -son was a girl name. Next time he stands up for himself against the teasing he has to endure, lets hope some kid doesn't hit him with THAT stupid fashionably-correct baby name book.

April 20, 2010 1:11 PM
By Camilla (not verified)

Definitely avoid surnames-as-first-names if you want to avoid anything that could become unisex. This is the primary pile they're being taken from.

Americans should take a lesson from the French, where men and women actually share a lot of names successfully. Why can't we do that? I personally prefer names with a clear gender indication myself, but for those who like unisex names, I wish they could truly be unisex rather than becoming unusable for names. What's with our weird masculinity complex?

April 20, 2010 1:12 PM
By Kelly (not verified)

Paula: Don't be so sure; I have heard of girls named Elijah and Ezra. At this point I think there are no completely "safe" names and you should just use whatever you like even if it's also being used for girls.

April 20, 2010 1:12 PM
By Camilla (not verified)

That should say "rather than becoming unusable for girls".

April 20, 2010 1:15 PM
By Elisabeth@YCCII (not verified)

I'll take a crack at making a list for Masculine Name Searching Mom. Some classics as NameLady noted, plus some uber manly pics:

Arthur
Benjamin
David
Duncan
Frederick
Gordon
Magnus
Oliver
Rex
Theodore
Victor
Walter
William

I do know a little girl whose given name is George, after George Sand (another pen name).

April 20, 2010 1:15 PM
By Elisabeth@YCCII (not verified)

I'll take a crack at making a list for Masculine Name Searching Mom. Some classics as NameLady noted, plus some uber manly pics:

Arthur
Benjamin
David
Duncan
Frederick
Gordon
Magnus
Oliver
Rex
Theodore
Victor
Walter
William

I do know a little girl whose given name is George, after George Sand (another pen name).

April 20, 2010 1:29 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

George Eliot's real name was Mary Ann Evan. She used a masculine pen name to hide the fact that she was a female.

April 20, 2010 1:30 PM
By Victoria (not verified)

I actually work with a Georgina who goes by George - presumably because we work in quite a male-dominated sector and it's a way of blending in with the boys. I also know two male Ashleys but no females, though I agree that it sounds like more of a female than male name.

With Leslie, that's the masculine form of the name - Lesley should be used as the feminine to distinguish between the two. In my opinion when a standard like this exists, anyone calling their daughter Leslie is doing them a disservice. But then I'm the old fashioned sort who thinks that you should be able to tell a person's gender from their name.

April 20, 2010 1:34 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a female Wyatt!

April 20, 2010 1:38 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have always loved boys names for girls ever since I read the original Nancy Drew books. One of Nancy's best friends was George short for Georgia. I went to school with a Charlei and a Frankie (short for Franchesca) all names someone would consider very masculine.

April 20, 2010 2:26 PM
By Christiana (not verified)

Name Lady mentioned "Frank" not Frankie and I can feminize a ton of boys names if you turn them to nicknames (Georgie, Teddy, etc. if you want to look at that show Sisters from the early 90's)

I actually think there are a handful of names that are truly androgynous that don't make me think of one gender or the other until I've met the person. Taylor is one that comes to mind.

I wanted to use Cameron for a daughter, but my BFF used it for her son first, so I decided it was a bad idea, not because I felt it wasn't just as good as a girls' name, but because I thought my BFF would be a bit upset about it.

April 20, 2010 2:44 PM
By Deirdre (not verified)

To Pamela: 1st of all, names change. I know that you know this, but it is simply a fact. Names go in and out of style. 40 years ago, Mary was a very popular girls name, while now it is dwindling in popularity as parents become more creative. I don't think there is anything wrong with "Madison" as a girls name. I do, however, have to say that if you need to give a kid evidence for why he shouldn't be made fun of because of his name, then maybe, (just maybe) he shouldn't be named that. Madison has become a girls name. I do not think that it points to cultural ignorance or anything of the sort. I understand what you are saying as far as "Son of Matthew," but the name simply is not used for boys anymore (accept for the case of the little boy who has to defend his name to his friends).

To Victoria: The same goes for Leslie. I have never once in my life heard of a man named Leslie. And I have only ever heard of girls named Leslie (spelled "Leslie"). I think this is perfect example of a name that is crossing over the gender line and has become feminine. It is, however, not a very common name altogether. For most names you can tell by the name, what the sex of the person is. Riley, for example, is becoming increasingly feminine, and although there are still men named Riley, I would wager that this number will decrease rapidly.

And finally, to MasculineName SearchingMom, there are plenty of names that I can't see crossing gender lines any time soon. Girls have yet to be named Michael or Peter. Apparently there are girls named George, which, honestly, seems a little weird to me. You can go with relatives names also. That's always a classic thing to do, and will show respect for the person you name the child after. There's still plenty of boys names out there. And don't worry, the name doesn't define the child.

April 20, 2010 2:48 PM
By Ashley (not verified)

I think people should just start naming their boys these supposedly "girly" names if they like them. Who cares? I have thought about baby names a lot even though I have no children, my boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years and we both at one time liked the name Ashley for a boy... and it's my first name! We just don't care for "Jack" type of names... I will most likely name a son Julian, however popular or effeminate it is because I love it and that's all that should matter.

April 20, 2010 2:54 PM
By Ashley (not verified)

I went to school with a boy named Madison, granted I'm only 23. I also had a male teacher with the first name Lynn. Cameron still seems masculine to me - there's a rapper who was pretty big in the 90s with that name... can't get more masculine than hip-hop, lol!

April 20, 2010 2:54 PM
By Kelly (not verified)

Deirdre: Riley is actually holding onto its usage on boys despite becoming more popular on girls. The exact rank has fluctuated over the past several years or so, but it continues to average just below #100 on the boy's list. This is an example that I use to show how today's parents are less uptight (but still too much in my opinion) about androgyny on boys than a generation ago.

April 20, 2010 2:56 PM
By Mom (not verified)

My husband and I thought alot about names before naming our children. We wanted names that sounded good together, were unique or not overused and looked good in print(full name or initials). We chose family names for middle names.

We have; Lane, Benjamin and Toby

Daughter,Lane
Son,Benjamin
Son,Toby

We really liked the name Lane for a girl. It is unique, I thought.I have since heard of 2 other girls named Lane.

We thought Benjamin was an old enough name not used much...wrong. Our Ben was one of three all through school.

We also thought Toby was unused as a name. There was one other Toby 2 years behind our son, and one 3 years ahead. He also had a teacher in Jr. High, whose wife was named Tobi.

It seems to me that you have to go with names that you like and feel good
about. One day your son/daughter will come to you and say,"I really like my name,Thanks"

April 20, 2010 3:55 PM
By Nicholas Hentschel (not verified)

If anyone thinks that names like "Ryan" or Brett" are somehow "girly," then they're too insecure and homophobic to function. I'd ignore them.
And yes, a boy *can* be named Ashley: anybody see "Gone With the Wind"?

April 20, 2010 4:13 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know plenty of little girls called George (most are named Georgia, like on Dead Like Me, but they're called George), I know 2 named Cooper, and I have a girl cousin named Kendal.

Personally, I like Alexander. There are plenty of biblical names: Abraham, Moses, Peter (Pete), Isaac, Joel, Daniel, Mordecai, etc. There're Felix, Johan, Chaim, Remington, Dexter, Rhody, Pascal, Pasqual. There are Arabic names like Muhammed and Zaki. Hispanic names like Mario, Juan. Dutch names like Johan, Teunis, Nikolaas.

I guess I just don't see the shortage of boys names. I mean, I agree that a lot more girls are being named boy names now than before, but there are still tons of masculine boys names. I just wish this trend had been going on when I was born, so I wouldn't have had to change my name later on. I kept getting threatened with court by the government for not signing up for the "selective" service.

April 20, 2010 4:20 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Deirdre: On the contrary, I am named Michael, and I'm a girl. I was in school with 2 other girls named Michal and Mikal, all said like Michael. They were both in the year behind me. When we were in math, there were 3 boys also named Michael, and that was a pain in the butt.

Michal was David's wife in 2 Samuel. He "won" her after killing Goliath. She was Saul's daughter. Plenty of little Jewish girls have this name. It's not as common as Sarah or Rachel or whatever, but it does still happen. One synagogue I went to had 5 little girls named Michal, and it was not large by any stretch of the imagination.

April 20, 2010 4:43 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I personally know women in their mid-20s named Eli (given name Eliza) and Evan (given name Evangeline). There's also a female federal judge named Frank:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_M._Hull

April 20, 2010 4:44 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a girl named Atticus. Atticus, for goodness sake! As much as I like it for a boy, it is just wrong on a girl...

April 20, 2010 4:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I just don't understand why people still believe that spelling a name differently is a legitimate way to distinguish between masculine and feminine names that are pronounced exactly the same way. If you yell it on the playground, nobody hears Leslie with an ie, or Lesley with an ey. It's the same name.

I agree with the poster who mentioned that the "-son" names are ignorant for girls, like Addison and Madison.

I think what annoys me most about the parents who give their daughters boy names is that they almost always think they're being clever and edgy. Not in the slightest!

April 20, 2010 5:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I just want to point out Noah Cyrus is a girl, and she is named after a woman in the bible, though that name was spelled Noa.

April 20, 2010 5:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I used a, somewhat uncommon, male family name that currently is being more used for girls than boys for my son. He is named after my grandfather, it is a wonderful name and I don't care at all if he shares it with girls. It is nice not to have to fit boys into rigid gender rules. I say name the the child what you like and if enough people do then the name can't be "stolen" by girls. It will just be a nice name.

April 20, 2010 7:19 PM
By Diana (not verified)

When I hear the name Addison, I always think first of my 40ish completely bald (male) neighbor who heads a rock band, so it is always a little jarring when I hear a little girl called it. So much depends on your age and experiences for connotations with names. Leslie (or -ey) always conjures Lesley Howard, portraying Ashley Wilkes in "Gone with the Wind" -- a double blast of masculine names gone gender-neutral.

April 20, 2010 7:22 PM
By MotherOf2 (not verified)

Boy oh boy! What a mess this is! Names... This is one of the biggest decisions in your childs life, right after deciding to bear and birth the child. You are bringing a human being into life, not a baby, not a child, but a human. This human has to wear this name for all of their days. Unless, of course, they change their name down the track.
Name meanings are very very important, also why you chose the name is important. What do you say to a child who asks, "Why did you choose "----" for my name?"
Someone commented that the name doesn't matter! Are you mad? A child will live all his/her days carrying a name that you chose for them. Of course it's important!
Traditional masculine names for boys are fine. If you want to give your daughter a masculine name, go for it! Just make sure you bring her right, or she could consume the masculinity of the name.
Feminine names for boys just doesn't work, men often go through stages in their life where they fear of becoming feminine. As a fact when boys are fairly young they fear that they may even turn into a girl! {http://www.amazon.com/Its-Baby-Boy-Wonders-Pregnancy/dp/0470243384/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271809045&sr=1-1} I highly recommend this book to anyone who is planning on/has a baby boy.
Lastly, do not be afraid to search international names. In such a muliticultural world, it is more than ok to give your child an exotic name. I mean, with all the 'made up' names around with extra letters, anagrams and pronounciations, why should a 'real name' in another country be so taboo? Our daughter shares a hyphened Japanese and English name, while our son has an traditional Italian name. When you open those doors and search beyond the typical naming book, you are sure to find something not only masculine, but unique and fitting for your child. And please, check the name meaning and make sure that you are happy with the blessing you are bestowing on your little man.
x

April 20, 2010 7:25 PM
By Ken barr (not verified)

For those who don't believe that Ashley can be used for a boy, I must point out that a rather well known footballer in England is named Ashley Cole.

April 20, 2010 9:11 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Parents should not shy away from "feminine" names for boys if they like the names. Why do you think it is that it's considered okay to give a girl a boyish name but the reverse is not true? If you name your daughter Elliot and sign her up for Little League it's cute, but if you name your son Ashley and sign him up for ballet, everyone will get mad at you on his behalf. It's because society values males over females, so when a girl is a tomboy at least she's aspiring to something "better." If you like a name for your son that's thought of as too "feminine" don't let that stop you... every kid gets teased when they're little, and it might be a good thing to show your son that you value girls as much as you value boys (by not assuming that having a more feminine name will hurt him).

April 20, 2010 10:26 PM
By Alison (not verified)

I think it's sad that so many here in defense of gender-crossing names say, "Do what you like." That's so selfish.
Parents should take the time and ask themselves, "Is this name I am choosing for my child which he will carry for the rest of his life in his best interest and serve him well?" (feel free to substitute she for he) Sadly, I think many who choose a name for the sake of being different or trendy choose so at the detriment of their child.

I chose Roland and Conrad for our two boys. They are clearly masculine, easy to spell and pronounce, and not overly-common or juvenile. I have yet to meet another child by their names. They like their names very much as do others. Their names have never confused anyone. I am confident their names will serve them well for their whole lifetime.

It is true though, the pool of good boys names is shrinking. Parents have to dig deeper for good boys names today. If parents want to use a masculine name for a girl why can't they just use it for a middle name instead? It's a shame to ruin a good boys name.

April 20, 2010 10:26 PM
By Peace (not verified)

Actually, those of you who think people are ignorant for using -son names for girls are the ignorant ones. There has been a long-standing tradition for naming the first-born daughter after the mother's maiden name. That's why masculine names like Madison and Addison became girls' names.

And if you are going off of a name's meaning, does that mean that you must also be exactly what your name means? The name Ashley, for instance, means "From The Ash Tree Field." Does that mean you *must* be from the ash tree field? No, it does not, whether we use the name for a boy or a girl.

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