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Unisex Names for Boys & Girls

Stuck Thinking of Gender Neutral or Unisex Baby Names?

Picking out baby names can be both exciting and daunting. Choosing the moniker that will be with your child for their entire life is a big deal.

That’s why many parents-to-be spend hours deciding what name they wish to give their future son or daughter. Ultimately, it’s your opinion that matters and whatever you choose, you will not regret it if you’ve done your research and picked something that is meaningful to you and your partner.

Many couples are fond of gender neutral names, which carry neither male nor female connotation. Some of the classic gender neutral names for both boys and girls are Alex, Sam and Taylor.

Some unisex names are short for longer, gender specific full names (e.g. Alexander/Alexandra/Alexandria, Samuel/Samantha), while others stand alone as full names, like Taylor. Spelling can also send the name toward connoting one gender or another (e.g. Aaron versus Erin or Kelly versus Kelli).

If you’re considering or set on picking a unisex baby name, but haven’t found the right one you’ve come to the right place to find your gender neutral baby names inspiration. You may feel limited in your options as gender neutral names are not as common as non-gender neutral ones.

However, in recent years, unisex baby names have become much more popular and people are more open to traditionally gender-specific names moving into the realm of unisex names.

Picking a unisex name is easier with an open mind as to what defines a gender neutral moniker. As culture evolves, the line between names that were once reserved for boys or girls separately are being blurred, with traditionally gender specific names becoming more fluid.

If you’ve looked at lists of unisex baby names and just aren’t finding one that speaks to you, you make consider taking inspiration from celebrity baby names like Apple or Saint, which have never or very rarely been used, giving them a clean slate of gender neutrality. Create your own name by picking something meaningful to you and your partner and let your parenting and child’s personality define their name for them.

Unisex Names are Becoming More Popular

Gender neutral baby names are growing in popularity for many reasons that we’ll explore in the next section. Unisex name inspiration is coming more and more from surnames and word/noun names that do not carry as much gender association as well as the traditional lot of unisex names that have been used for decades.

Why Choose a Unisex Name for Your Baby

It sounds good

The reason most parents go with a unisex name is simple—they like it. It’s the same reason they pick gender specific names. The meaning, how it sounds and how it looks written out are all reasons to choose any baby name.

Parents may love a name so much that the gender connotation isn’t reason enough to go with something else even if it’s traditionally been tied to one gender or another.

You like the nickname it comes with

Many parents are choosing unisex names for the nicknames that come along with them. For example, naming a baby girl Everett in order to call her Evyy or Evie. Parents fond of the name Sam may pick the more gender specific full names Samuel or Samantha.

You don’t know the sex of your baby

Finding out your baby’s sex before birth makes it easy to come up with gender specific names, but what if you want to wait until they arrive to find out? Many parents who wait to find out the sex of their baby pick out one or a list of baby boy names and one or a list of baby girls names, but some parents choose to pick one name that will suit either.

For parents waiting to find out the gender of their baby at birth, you may also consider a foundational name that pivots easily between genders (e.g. Oliver/Olivia; Alexander/Alexandra).

You want to reserve assignment of gender identity

Gender identity is a hot topic with lots of strong point of view surrounding it as some believe the black and white line between boy and girl are much blurrier than we’ve traditionally treated it. Some parents are choosing unisex names as a way to promote gender discovery and fluidity and avoid imposing societal gender confines on their children.

To fight sexism

It is more common for parents to pursue a unisex name for girls than boys. That’s because one reason parents choose to give a girl an androgynous name is to combat sexism.

Both unconscious bias and implicit sexism give girls a disadvantage in multiple facets of life. Giving a female a gender neutral name can combat some of this phenomenon (e.g. an HR manager being unable to detect gender while reviewing a resume).

There is evidence to suggest that even in face to face situations (where gender is clear) women with more masculine names are treated differently.

Think Carefully About Initials and Middle Names

Middle names and initials are important considerations when picking a baby name. Initial names are generally unisex. Parents who do not fall in love with a gender neutral name may decide to pick gender specific first and/or middle names and create an initial name from a combo of either with their surname.

If you are picking a unisex name to keep your child’s gender identity open, you should consider the same for middle names.

Names That Used to Be Boys’ Names and Are Now Mostly Used for Girls

Over time, the gender association of some names has flipped. Names like Leslie and Courtney, for example, used to be used overwhelmingly for boys.

Now, however, we’re passed a tipping point and hearing those names for a male is more and more rare. Interestingly, it’s quite common for boys names to swing into popularity on the pink side of the spectrum, but rare the other way around.

This is likely linked toward the tendency of parents to more commonly give unisex or masculine leaning names to girls, rather than the other way around. Here are some of the most drastic switches from male to female:

Addison
100% boys name in 1880, 98% girls name in 2012
Jumped to 55% girls name in 1996.

Alexis
100% boys name in 1882, 77% girls name in 2012
In 1942, Alexis jumped to 69% girls name from 42%.

Ashley
100% boys name in 1880, 100% girls name in 2012
Tipped in 1965 to become 64% girls name.

Bailey
100% boys name in 1880, 97% girls name in 2012
Its rise began in 1980 when it was 64% girls name.

Blair
100% boys name in 1881, 83% girls name in 2012
Swapped places in 1981 at 57% girls name.

Emery
100% boys name in 1880, 80% girls name in 2012
Emery was 50/50 in 1996.

Hilary
100% boys name in 1882, 100% girls name in 2012
In 1944, Hilary tipped over the gender line toward the girls’ side permanently.

Kelsey
100% boys name in 1891, 98% girls name in 2012
Kelsey’s gender skew shifted throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but in the early 70s it tipped to the girls’ side where it sits today.

Kim
100% boys name in 1912, 91% girls name in 2012
Kim was used for both boys and girls until the mid-50s then it moved to the girls name side.

Lauren
100% boys name in 1884, 100% girls name in 2012
In 1945 it tipped to the girls’ side inspired by the uber feminine Lauren Bacall.

Lesley
100% boys name in 1882, 100% girls name in 2012.
Shifted in 1941 when it hit 54%. Oddly, the Leslie spelling was less often a boys name in 1880 and is less often a girls name now after it crossed to the girls’ side in 1946.

Lindsay
100% boys name in 1880, 100% girls name in 2012
It began skirting the gender neutrality line in the late 1940s and crossed over permanently to the girls name side in 1966. The Lindsey spelling tipped in 1969.

Madison
100% boys name in 1880, 100% girls name in 2012
A name used almost always for boys until 1986 when the movie Splash skyrocketed it to a girls name majority.

Meredith
100% boys name in 1883, 100% girls name in 2012
The earliest Merediths were boys, but the name grew for girls from 1910 on and tipped the gender line permanently in 1921.

Michele
100% boys name in 1905, 86% girls name in 2012
Michele’s early use as a boys name can be attributed to race. It tipped to mostly a girls name in 1931 in America.

Morgan
100% boys name in 1880, 89% girls name in 2012,
With the rise of actress Morgan Fairchild, Morgan crossed the line in 1980 to 60% girls name.

Payton
100% boys name in 1880, 83% girls name in 2012
In 1992, Payton and Peyton both became used less often for boys than girls. Currently, Payton is 83% girls name and Peyton is 68% girls name.

Sandy
100% boys name in 1880, 91% girls name in 2012
Sandy was 50/50 in 1935.

Shannon
100% boys name in 1881, 78% girls name in 2012
In 1929, Shannon crossed the 50% line and within the next ten years became a majority girls’ name.

Shelby
100% boys name in 1880, 100% girls name in 2012
In 1936, Shelby tipped the line from a majority boys name to an 88% girls name.

Shelly
100% boys name in 1882, 100% girls name in 2012
In 1937 Shelly crossed over the line to become 51% girls name.

Stacy
100% boys name in 1880, 91% girls name in 2012
Stacey moved over the gender line in 1952.

Sydney
100% boys name in 1880, 98% girls name in 2012
Sydney began to be used more and more for girls in the 1930s and moved passed the tipping point permanently in the early 1940s.

Whitney
100% boys name in 1884, 99% girls name in 2012
Whitney tipped in 1962, when it went from 41% to 72% girls name.

Most popular unisex names 2019

A

Aaron
Alternate spellings: Erin, Eryn, Aryn, Arin, Airin, Airen

Adrian
Alternate spellings: Adrienne, Adriane

Alan
Alternate spellings: Alynn, Allen

Alex
Short for: Alexa, Alexis, Alexandria, Alexander, Alejandro

Ali
Alternate spellings: Allie, Alli

Angel
Alternate spellings: Angell

Ashley
Alternate spellings: Ashleigh, Ashli, Ashlee, Ashly

B

Bentley
Alternate spellings: Bently, Bentleigh, Bentli, Bentlee

Berkeley
Alternate spellings: Berkleigh

Blaine
Alternate spellings: Blayne, Blain, Blane

Blair

Bryce
Alternate spellings: Brice

C

Casey
Alternate spellings: Cacey, Kacey, Kacy, Kaceem Kacie, Kasey

Camden
Alternate spellings: Camdyn, Camdin, Kamdyn, Kamdin

Cameron
Alternate spellings: Cameryn, Camerin, Camorin, Kameron, Kameryn, Kamerin, Kamorin

Campbell
Alternate spellings: Cambyl, Kampbell, Kambyl

Carey
Alternate spellings: Karey, Kerri, Keri

Carson
Alternate spellings: Carsyn, Carsin, Karson, Karsyn, Karsin

Channing

Christian
Alternate spellings: Kristian

Colby
Alternate spellings: Colbi, Kolby, Kolbi

Corey
Alternate spellings: Cory, Cori, Korey, Kory, Kori

D

Dakota

Dallas

Danny
Alternate spellings: Dani, Daney, Danie
Short for: Danielle, Daniel

Darren
Alternate spellings: Darryn

Devin
Alternate spellings: Devon, Devyn, Devan

Dorian
Alternate spellings: Dorien, Dorienne

E

Ellis

Evan
Alternate spellings: Evin, Evon, Evyn

F

Fallon
Alternate spellings: Phallon

Frankie
Alternate spellings: Franky, Franki

G

Gael
Alternate spellings: Gail, Gale

H

Harley
Alternate spellings: Harleigh

Hayden
Alternate spellings: Haydin, Haydyn, Heydin

Hunter

I

Imani

Isa

J

Jaden
Alternate spellings: Jadyn, Jadin

Jaime
Alternate spellings: Jamie, Jami, Jaymee

Jan

Jessie
Alternate spellings: Jessi, Jessy
Short for: Jessica

Jodi
Alternate spellings: Jody

Jordan
Alternate spellings: Jordyn, Jordin, Jorden

K

Kai
Alternate spellings: Ky

Kellan
Alternate spellings: Kellen

Kelly
Alternate spellings: Kelli, Kelley

L

Lacey
Alternate spellings: Laci, Lacy, Lacee

Lane

Lark

Lee
Alternate spellings: Leigh

Lesley
Alternate spellings: Lesleigh, Leslie

Lindsay
Alternate spellings: Lindsey

Logan

London

Loren
Alternate spellings: Lauren

M

Michah
Alternate spellings: Mika

Montana

Morgan

N

Nicky
Alternate spellings: Nikki, Niki, Nicki
Short for: Nicholas, Nicole

O

Oakley
Alternate spellings: Oakleigh, Oaklee

P

Parker

Payton
Alternate spellings: Peyton
Phoenix

Q

Quinn

R

Reagan
Alternate spellings: Regan, Reaghan

Reese

Riley
Alternate spellings: Rileigh

Robin
Alternate spellings: Robyn

Roro
Alternate spellings: Rori

Rowan

S

Sam
Short for: Samuel, Samantha

Sasha

Shane
Alternate spellings: Shaine, Shayne

Shannon

Shawn
Alternate spellings: Sean, Sian

Sheridan

Skylar

Sloan
Alternate spellings: Sloane

T

Taylor

Terry
Alternate spellings: Terri

Tristen
Alternate spellings: Tristyn

U

Uri

V

Val

W

Wesley
Alternate spellings: Wesleigh

Winter

X

Xan

Xen

Y

Yule

Yuri

Z

Zan

Ze