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Discussion: Traditional Boy's Names Used for Girls


Forum: Baby Names

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  #1  
August 17th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Howdy!

This is something that honestly bugged me while we were pregnant with my son and trying to decide on a name for him. I was simply amazed how many traditional boy's names have been "stolen" for use by girls. And once a name gets "stolen" for use by girls, it hardly ever comes back into fashion for use by boys. Case in point: Ashley. Ashley was a *very* traditional boy's name. Remember the dashing Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind? There is no way that anyone today would consider Ashley anything but a girl's name now. I grew up in glass with boys named Aubrey, Taylor, and Kendall. If you met a baby with those names now, almost invariably the child will be a girl whose parents will say they wanted a "unique" name.

I am simply amazed at the number of girls running around today with names like Ryan, Shawn, and Hunter. These are boy names, but their parents will try to say that the names are "unisex". No, they are boy names that the parents have *chosen* to use for girls. Names like Lee, Chris, and Pat are unisex. Remember the old song "A Boy Named Sue"? Just because his daddy named the boy Sue didn't make the name unisex----it was a girl name used for a boy.

Why does this bug me? Because I wanted a name that sounded "boy" for my *boy*. I honestly didn't want him to grow up with people seeing his name on a list and having to ask "is that a boy or a girl?" Why do parents of girls who give them traditional boy names WANT to do this? Don't they think it will be annoying for little Ryan to go through her *ENTIRE* life at every introduction surprising people that she's female?

Another thing that bugs me is people using names that not only are traditional boy names for girls, but using names who's very MEANING says it is a boy name. Case in point: MacKenzie. It literally means "son of Kenneth". WHY would anyone want to name their DAUGHTER "son of Kenneth"? That's just silly.

There are tens of thousands of beautiful, interesting, unique, special, names for girls out there. Why do some parents of girls ingore those and look to the "boy" names? Why dilute the pool of "boy" names?

People wonder why names like William, Jacob, Jason, and Nathan are so common among boys year in, year out. I think it's because "boy" names stolen over and over for use by girls, but the top 20 boy names are so classically "boy" that they haven't been stolen. Yet.

Thoughts?

~~Amanda
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  #2  
August 17th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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LOL I just want to say that you are a BRAVE woman first of all, and you are probobly going to get attacked for what you just said so put your gloves up girl!
OK, PC disclaimer-This is not directed towards anyone here, this is just my personal opinion:
For the record, I agree. It drives me crazy. It seems like just when I START to get used to a boys name being taken over by the girls, a new one comes along. As much as I dislike names like Taylor and Kendall and Cameron being used on girls, I have begun to accept them as unisex now. But then a whole new trend starts! Now I'm seeing Dylan, Evan, Ryan, and James/Jameson used a lot and it drives me crazy! Especially because James is one of my favorite boys names and I would LOVE to use it for a FN or MN for a future son, but I'm afraid by the time I have a son, people will be saying "oh I only like that on a GIRL" It's strange, I mean if someone came on here saying they wanted to name their son Emma everyone would hate it! Shoot, people say names like Gabriel and Julian which are tradition BOYS names, are too feminine. But Dylan is fine for a sweet little girl? There are just soooo many interesting and beautiful and UNIQUE girls names, I just don't understand why people think that in order to be different they have to use a boys name on a girl. Thats not unique EVERYONE is doing that these days! I know I can't help what other people name their kids and its none of my beeswax but it would be nice if there were some names that were left over for the blue team, KWIM?
ETA-That being said I love alot of boy nicknames on girls. I like Dani, Joey, Charlie (for Danielle, Josephine, and Charlotte) and I'm planing on giving the nickname Mattie to my daugher (Mattea)
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  #3  
August 17th, 2006, 09:08 AM
.Becky.'s Avatar Super Mommy
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Hmm.. I wasn't going to reply to this, but what the heck.
My little sisters (twins) are named Robbie and Bobbie. I LOVE THEIR NAMES! They are named after their father b/c they we're going to have any more children. His name was Robert and naturally called Bob. We are thankful that my mom caved and let him name them that because two years later he died of a massive heart attack at the age of 36!
Now.. as far as Kendall goes.. you have almost inspired me to go ahead and name my daughter this! I love the name for both a boy and a girl.
I named my son Aidan 2 yrs ago and have noticed on this very site that someone just named their daughter Ayden. WHATEVER! I could care less. My son is OBVIOUSLY a boy so I have no problem with it.

I say more power to the parents! What ever they want to name their children is THEIR choice and it doesn't matter who get offended by it!

Oh and until a month ago we were going to name our baby Danika just so we could call her Dani! LOVE THE NAME!
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  #4  
August 17th, 2006, 09:30 AM
ro8821's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Here is the way I see it.. People name their babies so off the wall names nowadays. I don't understand it either.. but thats their choose.
personlity.. IF my child wasn't a boy, I was going to name her Devin.. No questions asked.. I also like the names: Ryan, Charlie, Cameron for a Girl..
I like the name Dallas for a boy, but then I relized that it seems like its a girl name now.. I have only seen Dallas on boys.. but from what I hear its a Girl name??? Like your Ashley.. I dont' understand..
I know its hard for girls growing up with boys names.. but I think its easier on a girl than it is a boy.. What if you named your son.. Jennifer or something.. Give it 10 years.. before you know.. Boys will have that name. But the kid also gets picked on, I'm sure for having a "tradional" Girl Name.
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  #5  
August 17th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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IMO , Names are names . Names can become Unisex if they are common for a certain gender .

I understand what you are saying .. but really , a name is a name . It can be used for either gender . There is no Law against it .
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  #6  
August 17th, 2006, 09:38 AM
::er!ca::'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think that everyone has their own naming style, preference, likes, dislikes, etc... to each their own. Name your child what you like, everyone else name their child what they like, and I'll name my child what I like! To a lot of people, the meaning of a name means nothing to them, they don't really care. I for one, am like that. I don't care what the name means, I care more about how the name sounds. But everyone is different. Times change, names change, gender association with names change, I think its totally normal. I think too many people are worried about their child getting made fun of in school because certain parents think "oh thats a boy name on a girl" or "oh thats a girl name on a boy" but really, it will all be normal by the time these children are school age. I have tons of friends, with tons of different names... I do not recall any of them being made fun of about their name! Children make fun of children for tons of other reasons. I work a lot with children, in small and in large groups, for many different purposes. I see children getting bullied, made fun of, etc all of the time... I don't think any of them have ever been because of their name or initials. Anyhow-- I'm sorry if this drives you crazy! I agree with you on a couple of the names you have listed, but definitely not all of them. To each their own, and I'm not really worried about what other parents are doing as far as naming their child. There are far too many other issues in this world to be concerned about.
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  #7  
August 17th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I personally have to agree with Amanda.
Although I think a lot of boys names sound cute on a little girl, and even the ones that don't at first tend to grow on me once I get to know the little girl, I still don't like the trend of givng boys names to girls. But, I support every parents choice to name their kid whatever they want, I just personally don't like it. I do feel for the parents of the boys whose names are being feminized. I chose names for my boys (Jack and Gus) that sounde very male to me, with that very thing in mind - but who knows, by the time they are in their teens maybe someone will think Gussie is a cute girls name, lol. We do have Jackie's after all. Bottom line is what most of the other mothers have said, there is no law (in our part of the world) dictating our naming practices, so while certain trends may make us feel peevish, it's just too bad.
That said, I would rather give my little girl a boys name that is an actual name than some of the thing names and whacked out spelling altered or "created" names that are out there!
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  #8  
August 17th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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I am actually one of those moms ... my baby girl has the name Charlee Elizabeth. I am sure a lot of people think that is strange and probably dislike it, but we did not do it to upset anyone. It actually has a lot of family meaning behind it. Daddy's name is Charles, as well as Great-Grandpa's (who passed away several years ago. The "lee" comes from another Great-grandpa, who also passed away, and also comes from Grandma's middle name. So although it is a boy's name, there is no other name I would have picked for my baby girl. I think it is a beautiful name and am not trying to make it a "girl's" name, to me its just a name that has a special meaning to our family.
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  #9  
August 17th, 2006, 01:00 PM
mamaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Uh, whatever.

I'm not sure that every girl-named-boy moniker was selected with the deliberate intent of "diluting" the boys pool of names.
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  #10  
August 17th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I see both sides of this. There are some names (like Aidan, Dylan, Kyle, James or Jameson) that scream boy to me where some others I would actually see on both. 2 of my nieces are Jordyn & Camryn. I didn't exactly love the names when my sister told me but within a few weeks I definitely see the girls fitting their names; Jordie & Cammie work perfectly. Most of the names mentioned I see as more feminine, or at least not masculine enough for a grown man. I personally can't see MacKenzie, Kendall, Taylor or Aubrey on a grown man, but that's just my perspective.

Maybe if you start to hear them enough on girls you gradually make the association like with Ashley, I would find that very odd on a boy today. Not that it wasn't a fine boy name but it has obviously become more used as a feminine name. Many boy's names are consistently used generation after generation too, you see plenty of Jack, Harry, Charles, Johnathon, Christopher etc. It's recent that you see more "trendy" (I prefer new, I dislike the word trendy) names for boys like Jaiden, Aiden and such.

My son is Ryan Matthew, if he'd have been a girl....she would have been Ryan Marie (we did consider changing spellings to Rian, or Ryann etc.) My ex husband lost a family member named Ryan, and it was important to honor him this way. I didn't exactly want to name my daughter Ryan, but we had no idea if we'd have more children and he was VERY adamant about this.

I see the problems that come from reading a name on a class list or resume and not really being clear about which sex the person may be but as someone mentioned most girls would be teased far less for having a name like Ryan or Emerson than a boy would for being name Lynn or Sue. I don't think parents are trying to steal all the good boy names. There could be a million reasons why a person chooses that. What if they're only having one child and want to honor the baby's father etc. so they opt to incorporate that somehow even if it's a girl? What if someone believes very firmly in not giving their daughter a "girly" name and opt for something more "strong" or unisex as they see it? What if they just plain love the sound of Dylan on their beautiful little girl? btw I hear this "son of" reference all the time. Naming traditions haven't been rooted in this for probably 100 years or more. It used to be an identifier just as Mason denotes "stoneworker" and Kyle comes from a surname meaning narrow, strait. People didn't have the same naming conventions then so they used things like son of, where you lived, or what your trade was. It hardly seems relevant anymore.

I'm very glad my Ryan was a boy, I do not like the idea of Ryan Marie now (not that I was ever loving it) This isn't directed to anyone in particular; just a general observation/opinion;

Honestly if these are the things that really cause you strife and worry with all else in the world, don't you think you're doing pretty well? I say smile politely when you see a Dylan,Ryan or MacKenzie with a pretty dress and curls.... chalk it up to "Each To Their Own"
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  #13  
August 18th, 2006, 06:04 AM
~*kath*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Why does this bug me? Because I wanted a name that sounded "boy" for my *boy*. I honestly didn't want him to grow up with people seeing his name on a list and having to ask "is that a boy or a girl?" Why do parents of girls who give them traditional boy names WANT to do this? Don't they think it will be annoying for little Ryan to go through her *ENTIRE* life at every introduction surprising people that she's female?[/b]
I feel the same,, I want my son to have an all boy name, not a unisex name but it seems like there are none that are safe anymore. Like the name Brody is an all boys name, even has the meaning "brother"... why name you girl this? A lot of people do though.

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haha I agree
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  #14  
August 18th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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I somewhat agree with you Amanda. I think it's weird that some boy names are used on girls, names like Jayden and Mackenzie I think are pretty unisex but names like James and Kyle I just cannot see on a girl and names like Ashley and Kendall I just cant see on a boy. Anyways tho, to each their own but I dont intend on choosing a girl name for my boy or vice versa.
ETA I plan on naming my first son (if I have one) Wesley and I notice it's becoming a girl's name as well, I will always think of it as a boy's name tho.
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  #15  
August 18th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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I wasn't sure I was going to agree with you at first but after reading your entire post I definitley see your point. I know if I ever have a son I don't want to give him a name that has also been used as a girls name. You are right that that pool of boys names seems to be getting smaller because it has been the trend in recent years to use boys names for girls. I'm not sure why this has caught on like it has.
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  #16  
August 18th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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I totally agree with Amanda. I have a son named Luke, stong BOY name(so far). If our next child is another boy we love Mason..... not so much anymore because alot of Mayson girls are popping up all over the place. I know people can name their child whatever they want but I wish they would stick with boy names for boys and girl names for girls.
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  #17  
August 18th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Wow, I did not realize using "boy" names for girls was such a big issue. We never thought of that when we decided on the name Charlee for our little girl. We just thought is was nice b/c it had family meaning and thought it was cute. We knew some people may not think its pretty for a girl, but never thought it would upset anyone. I still love her name and do not regret it at all.
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  #18  
August 18th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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I think Charlee is cute for your little girl! Personally I would have used Charlotte or Charlize and then had Charlee as a nickname. Not only because of the boy name thing, but also because I try to picture my childs name on an older person, in a serious profession, like a judge, or even president, lol. But that's just my opinion which matters none in regards to anybody else's kid
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  #19  
August 18th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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I think Charlee is cute for your little girl! Personally I would have used Charlotte or Charlize and then had Charlee as a nickname. Not only because of the boy name thing, but also because I try to picture my childs name on an older person, in a serious profession, like a judge, or even president, lol. But that's just my opinion which matters none in regards to anybody else's kid [/b]
Ditto!
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