What's the appeal in naming your girl a boy's name?

Merry - posted on 07/15/2010 ( 53 moms have responded )

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Hi all, so I have recently been hearing so many girls being named boys names! I find this really weird and I dont understand why a parent would want to name their daughter a boys name. So I am asking everyones opinion on why this is becoming popular. Did you name your daughter a boys name? If so why? I can only imagine it is some sort of felame equality thing, like to have her seen as less feminine, and therefore more strong?? I dont know thats my only real theory. Personally I wouldnt name my children anything that could be a bi-gender name. I love the name Jordan but as it is pretty split boy/ girl I wouldnt ever name a child Jordan. I know there are many girl names that are forms of boys names and I dont see a problem with that as long as it is pronounced and spelled different enough from the boys version.

Like Stephanie and Steven/

or Mikayla and Michael. But I wouldnt go with Frederica or Paula or Alexandra. just too close for my comfort.

So my main question is

why are so many parents naming their girls with boys names?

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Joanna - posted on 07/15/2010

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Generally people name their children names they like. It's that simple. There's no need for theories. If someone likes a name and thinks it's cute for their child, regardless of the name's usual gender, why can't they use it?

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[deleted account]

Ohh, and about male names for females, my little niece Verka Kolishnikov, in NYC for the 9/11 ceremonies over the weekend, gave birth SUNDAY night just before midnight, to twin daughters, who she named Verla and Viera.. BOTH male names in her native Ukrainian... Her older sister Yullia K was the woman who gave us the FIRST TWO males born into our family in 63 years, back in APRIL, So April' name kinda made me think of those two.. Yullias' BOYS are named Misha and Mikhail, she was expecting GIRLS of course,, Misha is more commonly a female name in Russian...and she and her man had picked our Michaela as the OTHER female name, chose Mikhail after this April Fools day present gave them BOY twins instead.. ;-)

[deleted account]

@April,, no not so much as you might think, no more so than ANY other identicals, and these two are SO identical the mum wanted to put tatts on their little tushies as infants even,, but their dad said no, ODD that the FATHER could tell themm apart when even the mother could not!. Besides we call them "Odds and ends",, like ( Auds) and the other part... as with HannaAnna and AnnaHanna, they always BOTH come running when either name is called regardless.. MelaniKay Kane who wrote that post about Audrey and Aubrey is my little sister number 4 of 7 of us, I am oldest, then CandiLynne, SandiJayne, MelaniKay, RandiAnne, BrandiJeane, and TandiAnne. The FATHER of Audrey and Aubrey, has 19 daughters with that wife.. She gave him 5 sets of twins, ( 3 which are identicals) and 3 sets of triplets. Twin are extremely prevalent in our family tree. MOST of the twins in our families have nearly identical names, or at least RHYMING ones...

April - posted on 09/12/2011

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I'm sad for the identical twins named Aubrey and Audrey! They must get mixed up a lot!

Sherri - posted on 09/12/2011

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@Tara although some people do . I find most people just find names they like, they don't have to speak to them or have any meaning at all (Heck I have zero clue what my kids names mean or even the origin of them.) We just like them. Usually people here use middle names for meaning or family names.

MelaniKay - posted on 09/12/2011

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@tara,, ummm, sorry but the way you spell them the names in Russian and Ukraine ARE used as feminine. Also Andriya ( i have one in my family!),, also the MALE form is more properly Valeriy, the feminine Valeriya Male names tend to end in EY rather than IY,, or in simple E,, not E umlaut...as in Andre, or Andrey, not Andrei... I find MANY french names work directly here in Russia, but NOT the reverse..my husbands daughters with his second wife are Aubrey and Audrey,,identical twins, and in Ukraine where they were born, their names are quite common, and feminine... in FRANCE, they are presumed MALE,, It is really VERY difficult to nOT select a BOY name for a female, when using Russian, there are so very FEW distinct Russian names for girls. and creative spelling is ALSO quite hard in the Cyrillic alphabet.. our family in one branch alone has 37 variants of Natasha/Natalya/Nataliya etc..41 if you include those who simply use Tasha or Taliya/Talya with the tendency to LARGEISH Russian farm families, naming is tedious at very best!

Amanda - posted on 09/12/2011

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We called our daughter Ashleigh, because we liked the name. I know it can be used for both but I have always considered it to be a girls name

Tara - posted on 09/12/2011

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I think people choose names that speak to them and have meaning for them.
I thought about the meaning of the name, how the names would sound together, etc.

My daughter's names are Alexandra Hilary Solskjaer Hibbert and Mattea Rhianne Law Hibbert.

I wanted strong names for them - Alexandra means "man's defender" and Mattea means "gift from God".

Alexandra, Frederica, Paula, Georgia - all are the feminine versions of a male name but they are definitely girl names - I think it's more the ones where the root name is male that can cause confusion, but really, I think what you call your children is a personal choice.

If I had any names in the family that I had wanted carried on that happened to be "boy" names, I wouldn't have hesitated to use them - maybe not as a first name, but as a middle name for sure.

It also depends on what country you're from, what the root origins of the name are, etc. For example Andrya and Valerii may sound like female names but they are male names in Russia. Courtney is a popular female name in the US/Canada, but it is predominantly a male name in French.

I just chalk it up to different backgrounds for different people. Different names/spellings in different languages :)

MelaniKay - posted on 09/11/2011

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Yes, I agree, kaylyn, Kayelynne, even Caitlyn, i have seen many varriants, ALL female. and i think VERy feminine names for a girlchild... One of my cousins is named Caitlyn, her twin is named Katrina, both tend to get called KATE for short in English though, which CAN be awkward ..:-( I think a nice alternative to Katrina would have been Calista, same root meaning, in a different language ;-)

Merry - posted on 09/11/2011

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Yeah Rene is French guy name, not my style but.
Logan is coming p on the girls side but I honestly think it's all boy!
Kaylyn? That's so girly! Never seen that for boys....

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011

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I wouldn't consider calling my girl Logan or boy Rene either but I think Rene is more a french man name not so much Australian or the USA or UK.

Sherri - posted on 09/11/2011

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@Michelle I have never heard Kaylyn used for a boy it is 100% girl here.



Riley is also predominately feminine here and Ryan is strictly male.



@Emma really I am surprised because I would never consider them the opposite sexes.

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011

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LOL. My kids are Logan (boy) and Renae (girl). I've heard of Logan for a girl and Rene for a boy.

Merry - posted on 09/11/2011

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No worries! I really am not fond of Riley as a girls name, i always considered using my maiden name as a sons name but now it's so feminine here I wouldn't want to! I'm not offended :) i agree with you!

[deleted account]

my comment about Riley a sa girls name was NOT meant to be insulting, I am sorry if it came across that way, as i said, my English will fail me at many times when i get hurried..;-)I just had never before heard Riley used as anything other than a male name, and in a family of 5 males to 397 females it sort of stands out.. ;-) All said with a big smile..

[deleted account]

YES, my husband was married to my younger sister,before me. It is how i met him. They had to divorce due to issues in the US Military, since they both were in the same command structure, thus either ONE or the other had to EXIT the USAF, or they had to divorce. They chose the latter, and remain CLOSE friends to this day. So i married him. I was all the luckier for this turn of events. My sister STILL lives on the same farm we all share here in the Ukraine, she has children with him living here also. . As do i. It may seem odd to you, but my sisters and i were raised in a MORMAN community in the USA , we do not have a lot of concerns that i married her man AFTER she divorced him. I love her children with him, as much as i love my own. She and i, we act almost as "co-wives", there is no anger or dislike between he and she. In fact, if he wished it, i would be perfectly PROUD to have him give my sister more children... I KNOW he loves his children. ALL of them. I could care less about if he spends time with her, or any other woman in our huge family, he always comes back to me.. and to our children. In ll reality, on this enormous farm there are also ALL my other sisters, 9 of them. And their families. Also Kane Kousins ;-) and aunts. and my mother in law is actually HIS mother in law by his SECOND marriage, a Ukrainian woman who died in 2003 in their war. ( I am his 7th wife!). our family is VERY "extended" his family with his previous wives, many of THEIR inlaws an half sisters.. He takes good care of us all, and we share the raising of our children. he has NEVER been married to more than one at a time, and was 100% devoted to the "wife of the day" as we like to joke, HE, a combat officer has lost 5 wives to war, one to a military mandated divorce, and now he has ME.. i should be jealous of his past? I adore his family, and am just glad i was allowed to join in!

Merry - posted on 09/11/2011

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5,506 girls born in 2010 in USA were names Riley.
And many more were names other spelling vairants like Rylee, Rylie, Rhylee, etc. My maiden name was Reilly

[deleted account]

RILEY is a GIRLS NAME??? where did you see that? My great-grandfathers name was William RILEY Rickman. after HIS father Riley W ( watson of all things) Rickman. The Rickman itself being an AMERICAN bastardization of the original RUSSIAN Richanov.. * triple great grandmum was born in Russia, emmigrated to the USA with her parents at age 4 * AS i said before ANY name can be ANY gender you wish it.. The beauty of ALL languages and societies, FREEDOM of CHOICE when you give life...and then name it...

[deleted account]

trippe dup yelling at them,, my Aunt, named her twins" Hanna Anna " and " anna hanna", that way she was ALWAYS correct, wheteher she yells Hanna OR Anna first, she ALWAYS has the RIGHT one. Anyhow Identical, as they are, they usually are BOTH doing something to get yelled at * big smile *

[deleted account]

For Jodi, I don't think the "y" in Ryan seems effiminate,, i have a niece named Rianna, the version of FEMALE Ryan we use in the Ukraine.. I think many have said it, as you did, all is good, choose a name YOU LIKE,, and be proud of your child, they will be so as they grow, just as my husband is, HE HATES ANY ATTEMPT to alter his "Robin" into Robbie or bobby etc.. call him Robin, or don't bother!.. he even has a daughter with my younger sister named Robyn Alanna, FEMALE of his full given name Robin Alan. BOTH father and daughter are quite proud of their name ( or names???)

[deleted account]

I am sure you are aware MANY names are considered "Unisex" or whatever it is in proper English. ( I was BORN in the USA, however have lived with my Russian family for over 25 years now, so often my English fails me, as it has now!)...So determining what is " a boys name" and ONLY a boys name is not always simple. My family often refers to online naming guides to review names before final selection. After all, my husband was named ROBIN, as his parents were EXPECTING a GIRL as their second child.. in the early 50's determining the sex of a child before birth was , i guess, still quite inacurate.. ALSO our family has ancestry in French, German, Italian, Japanese, as well as 'traditional" Slavic countries such a Russia, Romaina, Bulgaria, Belarus, Albania, even Poland. Some names are considered FEMALE in one dialect, yet more often MALE in another... What i have found? WHO REALLY CARES, the CHILD will make the name his or her own. Not that we have this problem, 397 family members, sisters and aunts etc, ONLY 5 MALE children in 69 years.. so for US ANY name IS a female name ;-)

Cheryl - posted on 07/18/2010

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When I finally got pregnant w/ my 1st child, we decided that no matter what sex it was, we would name the baby after a friend of ours that had brain cancer. The sex would decide the middle name. So, our oldest child/daughter is named Gabriel Fox.
Pronounced just like the archangel Gabriel. Most people want to call her "Gabrielle" (I think that it's impossible for our hispanic friends to call her Gabriel...lol). She will be 15 in September & she absolutely loves her name. She has never met another female Gabriel nor has she met anyone else with the middle name "Fox", so it's the ultimate of unique names, which I guess at her age is important. :)
We allowed her to have input on our 2nd child's name. She chose the nickname Alex since we didn't know the sex. It was agreed that we would name the baby Alexander for a boy & Alexandria for a girl. Our 2nd child is named Alexander Raven.
My husband took the reigns when it was time to name our 3rd & final child. Unlike my 2 previous pregnancies, he chose to wait until we found out the sex to name the baby. Our 3rd baby is Lillian Roan, but she's better known as Bear. (I had to call her something before she had a name.)
As far as the male/female name thing, my family has a long history of ignoring the "sex" of a name. My great-grandmother was Thomas Henrietta, they called her Tommy for short. I had a great-uncle named Adrian. I have an aunt Robin, a cousin Melana Jae (female), a cousin Bailey Jon (female), a nephew Baily Lane, a niece Corey Jane, another niece Alexandra (called Little Alex to avoid confusion w/ my son), my mom's name is Terryl & a cousin of my dad's is also named Terryl (male). I'm doing research into my family's history & there are many many many more examples, but you see my point.
The only thing my family really thought was odd was our choice of middle names, & really, that only lasted until our first was born & everyone got used to it. When I got pregnant w/ #2, I had everyone calling me & suggesting names. But I always made sure that their first & middle names would roll off the tongue. I never want to get tripped up when I'm trying to yell at them. :)

[deleted account]

Oh boy...the gender-beding name is a tough one for me too! I'm a teacher, and when I look at my preliminary rosters of 140+ kids, it does not list a gender. I am usually quite surprised and still cannot grasp the fact that some parents are setting up their children with the unique, trendy, alternately spelled, or gender-bending names that may lead to bulling & teasing. JMO though. I stuck with a traditional name for my son and could care less if he is 1 of a dozen "Matthew"'s in his class. We liked the name, and there will never be a question about what gender he is and how it is spelled.

[deleted account]

More than anything, why do you care so much?
I think it's more detrimemental to the child when a parent makes up a name and/or gives it some crazy unconventional spelling that the child will have to be spelling out for the rest of his or her life.
For the record, I have sons named Alec (liked "Alex" but thought it a little boring) and gave him his father's middle name, Robert, and Anderson (again, liked "Andy" but did not like Andrew) and gave him a family middle name of Charles.
If you don't like boyish names for girls, don't give one to your girl. I happen to like them. I don't like girly-girl names.

Michelle - posted on 07/17/2010

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My daughters name is predominantly a boys name but for me the reasoning was really simple I went through the baby name book and picked out all the names I liked that none of my students had as I own and dance studio. I did not want anyone saying oh you named her after me. So my daughter ended up with Kaylyn Alexandra both names are pretty and sound nice together

Lyndsay - posted on 07/17/2010

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For the most part, I agree with you. I've worked in a classroom before as an educational assistant, and I've seen the looks on the teachers faces when they call out a boy's name and a little girl puts up her hand. It's like, "Oh... okay then.." I'm sure the kids are too small to pick up on this, but I kind of feel bad for them.

On the other hand, I've always liked Ryan as a girl's name. I think the Y is rather effeminate.

Jodi - posted on 07/17/2010

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Well, just for the record, my niece's name is Jordyn......so if you like the name, I don't see the big deal.

And my daughter is Taylah, the female form of Taylor. In fact, it is more common for girls now than boys!!

I don't see the big deal. Choose a name you like and that yiou think your child can live with for the rest of his/her life :)

Kellie - posted on 07/17/2010

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I think that the answer to your question is really very simple. Many people will choose to try and justify why the called their child this or that. but really it comes down to for me anyway choosing a name that I like. My daughter is called Billie because I like the name and my other daughter is called Lulu because I like the name. Their middle names have more meaning. Both are named after our Nanas. Billie middle name is Joy after my husbands Nana and Lulu's middle name is Peggy after my Nana. Its all quite simple really and Children grow into their names - Its all good!

Amanda - posted on 07/16/2010

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i was planning on naming my first child Jordyn kay if it was a girl, but it turned out to be a boy and he was named Leo william. now i am pregnant with twin girls and i am re-using the name Jordyn Kay and also using Jaedyn Diana for the other twins name. i didnt even think about them being unisex names because it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks, its your child so you choose the name. thats the joy of being a parent. i dont see why people can think its so wrong, why do you have the choice of dissing other parents because of what they want to name their own kids. it doesn't effect your life, so why does it matter?

Toya - posted on 07/16/2010

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I used to ask myself that question and the one thing I discovered is that people look for something unique..it's like certain cultures give their children names that they know will be hard for everyone else to pronounce and spell..But this is YOUR kid, your special unique child and I honestly don't think when people are naming their children they say, "hey I have a girl, let's give her a boys name". Your child is unique therefore you pic a unique name.

Shellee - posted on 07/16/2010

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My daughters name is Khristian which is a boys name. I named her after a boy that my mom babysat that had become part of our family. I was having a hard time coming up with a name and decided to name her after someone and thought of him right away. I never thought it was strange or anything and she has people telling her all the time what a beautiful name she has. :)
Shellee

User - posted on 07/16/2010

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I named my daughter Charley, because she is named after my father, who means a lot to me. His name is Charles and they call him Charlie. My daughter has a family name my father's first name and my husband's deceased mother's name LaRue, so she has a very special name.

Medic - posted on 07/15/2010

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I think some of it depends on where you are from in the world. My son is named Daemyan James and my daughter is Jacquelyn Salem but we call them Dae (day) and Jacq (jack) so people think they are eachother but it is not my fault that some people live in a very tiny box. I honestly didn't sit down and say "hmmm let me think of only boy names I like" I just listed a bunch of names when I found out we were expecting and they both have family middle names. I would much rather my kids have slightly different names because I have the worlds most common first and middle combination and I hated it in school so I just went by a unique nick name, I mean seriously Jennifer Marie....my parents had no creativity.

Jane - posted on 07/15/2010

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I think it's as simple as "it's trendy" to name girls with more masculine names or non-gender specific. Me? I went with Mary Kate and Michael Colin....but I had my reasons for those names...they weren't picked out of thin air either. I do think that some names are perfectly fine for both boys or girls and I think giving a girl a boys name is fine as well. The one thing I would never do is name a boy anything that appeared at all feminine. I grew up in a very Italian family and there are so many Francis's (shortened to Frank) that they all wound up with nicknames (Brother, Junior, Lefty, to name a few) because there were so frickin' many of them.

Nikki - posted on 07/15/2010

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i hate the way people name their kids when the kid constantly has to go thru life justifying people on how they say their name. i had a friend in school whose name was reyna. pronounced ray-na. so many teachers got it wrong so often. she was constantly correcting them. i hated that for her. a kid should go thru school knowing that someone can pronounce their name. not having to correct every single person all the time. and thats what happens whenever you use bi-gender names. people look at the names on their school rosters and think of i have this many girls and this many boys. but then it comes to be that many kids are not boys, just have boy names. completely unfair to the child i think. i named my daughter lainey. completely girly. and not one person i have encountered has mispronounced it.

Sherri - posted on 07/15/2010

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You want to talk about a name I have to constantly spell Sherri. There are so many ways to spell it nobody ever gets it right. Cheri, Sherry, Sheri, Sherree, Cherie, Sharee, Sheri, Sherri, Shari it is insane and my last name 99% of the time need to spell that too. So annoying.

Merry - posted on 07/15/2010

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Yes Phyllis, I am not one of the jayden lovers either. There is a million ways to spell it both male and female. It is so popular so I know most must like it but I'm not one of them! I love unique names but nothing that you have to specify pronunciation or spelling.

[deleted account]

Have no clue. Take the name Jaiden.....first off I hate that name. Second off it was like the big name with alot of people I know that have both boys and girls. Something that really gets me is the stupidity of parents that name their kids some weird name that does not roll off the tongue and fit with the last name. But hey that is just my humble opinion/

Merry - posted on 07/15/2010

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I know a girl named Eden and it sounded like a version of that. Sorry! I do now see it is like Aiden but I read it like a den. I have had my favorite names bashed by others but I understand that it doesn't matter what it ohers say as long as I love the name! Lol like I love the name Leonidas but no one agrees with me, no matter. We all have to follow our hearts with the names we choose and hope our kids like them :)

Tiffany - posted on 07/15/2010

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Aden Lee is a boys name. Its the same as Aiden, just spelled diff. and I honestly have never heard of a girl being named Aiden (Aden) Im not offended but I dont see how you didnt know that Aiden is a boys name. But whatever. Like I said, Im not offended but you better be careful about whos names you pick out to question or even comment on because some moms will get highly offended;. I just think its crazy that you didnt know thats a boys name..

S - posted on 07/15/2010

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Hmm. Well I don't really see why names have to be labelled as being a "boy" name or a "girl" name. My daughter's name is Kennedy. I chose the name simply because it's beautiful. Her name resembles her father's and it's not something that will hurt her later on in life by being overly unique or ethnic.

Merry - posted on 07/15/2010

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Very interesting ladies! It is always changing, and I'm sure there will be a new trend coming along eventually. I'm not saying it's wrong to name bi-gender names, just that it doesn't make sence to me. I think everyone has the right to name their kids what they want! I wanted my first son to be named Judah but my husband said no. So I'm totally supportive of any name you all love, but I still find it odd with the masculine girls names. Like the name Aden lee I'm still not sure if that was a boy or girl..... :/. But I think aubree is very heavily a girls name now. I do think colby is a boys name too!

And as for Riley, as it is a surname originally it is based as a male name. It's my maiden name and I only know boys named Riley. Edit: I remember a girl named Riley in that olden twin movie! Lol just remembered that.

Sherri - posted on 07/15/2010

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Amy any Reece I know has been a girl, I never would have thought of it for a boy.

I know more Rylee's as girls not boys.

My nieces are Addison and Jaidyn both unisex names as well. Just the trend right now. It will change just as everything else does.

My son is Colby and now I am hearing it a lot as a girls name but only thought of it as a boy's before. I guess every name can now be unisex.

I went to school w/a few Paula's and they have always been girls.

Tiffany - posted on 07/15/2010

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I was going to name my daughter Rylan Nicole, but then i had never heard of ANYONE being named that and when i heard it i automatically thought GIRL NAME. But then I found out my hubbys cousin had just had a baby boy and named him Rylan. So I changed her name to Baylee Nicole. Ive heard of boys being named Bailey, but to me it has always sounded like a girls name. Also, Lee is a family name in my family, my 2 year olds name is Aden Lee, then there is Baylee and Nicole is my middle name, then when we decide to have baby number 3 if its a girl her name will be Cinslee (pronounced Kinslee not Sinslee) so that we will have the Lee along with A,B,C haha. But like the other person said, im from the south so the names are lots of times familys names, my cousins name is Anna Lee, Another cousin first name is Lee, Uncle LeeRoy, My gpa is Lee and my brother is Joshua Lee. So idk why the names are such a big deal, If i have a boy I wanted to name him Courtany and call him Court but my hubby said no. :-( but oh well. A name is a name. So i dont see why it matters. My friends named their baby Nautica Payton Chloe Cooley Neely. haha. another one of their kids is Zoe Navaeh Jaden Houston Neely, then Evie Idell Thompson, And Olivia Grace Neely. Olivias is the only common name there haha. But it just goes to show names are just names.

[deleted account]

Many names which we now associate as male or female began as a name for the opposite sex so this is by no means a new phenomonon (sp?).

I think that some names are great used in a unisex way (obviously - my name is Toni or if I was a male I would be Tony). Reece is a unisex name Amy not a male name, I think that it depends where you are from as to what you perceive as being male/ female names for example I perceive Dylan as being a male name from Wales and Peyton to be a girls name BUT this is because I have only known them in these forms. Many people know Tony as a male name, I often get told my name is a blokes namebecause they do not realise it is a unisex name as they have never met a woman with the name Toni.

BTW I love my name EVEN with people questioning my sex (my MIL/ FIL actually thought my hubby was gay when he said he was dating Toni lol).

Iridescent - posted on 07/15/2010

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Nobody knows how many children they can have, and if they have a name they like, they will generally find a way to use it. In our extended family, one girl is named Reese - they know quite well it's a boy's name, and gave her that name anyway as they adopted her when they couldn't have children, and the "father's name" for her mother couldn't be passed on, as all the males with it passed away too young. So to allow the name to live on one more generation, they gave the name to their girl. Fully acceptable and actually rather common.

This isn't a new trend by any means. The only Paula's I know are elderly! I also know a Donita. There are many female names with a male base, but if you want to really think about it, the word female itself has male as the base of the word. Our entire language is based on masculine base, and it's a male dominated society. This is a trend that has been happening for literally thousands of years. Good luck changing it with your post.

[deleted account]

i guess sometimes it's just bucking he trend! all the sams, alex and chris I knew growing up were girls. we just liked shortening their names. the full name was still girly. I would definitely have no problem doing that.

Emilie - posted on 07/15/2010

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My sons name is Dylan Riley, I have heard of girls being named Dylan and Riley and alot of people tell me that my son has a girls middle name, but I don't think it sounds 1 bit girly. I would never name my daughter something that sounded masculine and I would never name my son anything that sounded too feminine. My daughters name is Sara Elizabeth and I think that it sounds very girly an that is the way I like it.

Dominique - posted on 07/15/2010

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My daugthers name is Aubree which is a boys name. But in all reality its way to pretty to be a boys name i think. I don't quite understand in my own opinion I would never name my daughter like Ryan or Alex or something like that to boyish, but I would choose like Angel or Dakota because they can go either way.

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