We are not playing by the rules anymore, right? When it comes to baby names, you ultimately get to decide the right one that will work best for your family and especially your newborn. This means borrowing a family name that “sounds masculine” or just going for a traditionally “male name” instead of one that is currently popular for baby girls. We have a secret to tell you, you will not regret it.
Think of star Blake Lively who pulls off the name Blake stunningly. We have a feeling more children will be doing the same in coming years as new parents are turning to more and more unconventional choices. In this time of post-modern baby naming, parents are questioning the nature of baby names and the role they play in our society, and even how a name can determine how society treats us. This is not new, but the fashionable gender-neutral baby names that have come from it are. Here are 25 “boy names” that we believe would be even better for baby girls!
Very much a historically boys’ name in Italy, Luca is starting to be seen as a unisex possibility here. Jennie Garth used it for her girl. Also spelled Lucca like the Italian city, it can also be considered one of the place names along with Venezia, Roma, and Milana that make great Italian baby names for your daughter. Luca means “from Lucania.”
The most enduringly iconic hero of Irish myth was Finn McCool, whose name is one of the chilliest ever. When used for a female protagonist of How to Make an American Quilt, it established its potential to work well for a girl. Finn has Irish origins and means “fair.”
The unisex baby name Blake, which indeed has two conflicting meanings (“fair” and “dark-headed”), has a briskly dynamic image when used for a girl. Thirty years ago, no one would have predicted that Blake would take off as it has. It’s now in the top 500 most popular baby names for girls! Blake enjoys English origins which help bring this appellation stately charm.
Arlo, a surprisingly popular choice for boys these days, is also finding new use as a girls’ name. The first name Arlo may be rooted in the surname Arlow or the place name Aherlow, meaning “between two highlands.” Leighton Meester and Adam Brody chose Arlo for one of their daughters.
Ryan might mean “little king,” but it’s clearly fit for a queen! Ryan has Irish origins and flare and we love it for both genders. Today, Ryan is a top 500 choice for baby girls as well. We are so pleased so many parents are attracted to this winning name.
Orion recently climbed into the US top 500 for the first time for little boys. We think its similarity in sound to Ryan could make it a candidate to be used as a unisex baby name. Orion enjoys Greek origins as a mythological hunter who was turned into a constellation that still bears the name. This rising star will get even better when girls are using it as well.
Hunter gained momentum in the 1990s, when it was particularly in vogue for baby. However, it seems to be experiencing a surge for females today! It was one of the fastest-rising names of 2013, jumping 266 spots back into the top 1000. Hunter is an English occupational name that means exactly what you think it does.
Nico was chosen by Thandie Newton for her daughter. We love it for girls and it has a history as a nickname for Nicola. Either way, it is a shortened form of Nicholas, a Greek name, meaning “people of victory.” Nico has emerged as a popular name for boys, rising to the top 500 in recent years. We expect the name catching on for girls to soon follow.
Tate is a Norse name that means “cheerful.” Even though it may sound blunt at first, consider that Kate is one of the most beloved names for girls around the world. Tate feels a touch stronger and will definitely help bring some freshness to classrooms and playgrounds. Tate is a top 1000 baby name for boys today, but the possibility of it for girls is only now beginning to happen.
This ancient Greek male name, a favorite in Britain, also enjoys an herbal quality that might explain its increasing use for girls. While as a name Basil rhymes with dazzle, the herb has a long A, making the pronunciation BAY-zel. Our advice is to pronounce this name however you want, but our preference is bah-zil.
Israel joins a class of traditionally “male baby names” that celebrity parents have adopted for their daughters. Singer Andy Grammer named daughter Israel “Izzy” Blue in 2020. Israel has Hebrew origins, of course, and means “one who struggles with God.”
“But it has the word ‘son’ in it!” you say. Yes, the English name Jameson does mean “James’ son” but we think it is the perfect form of James for little girls. Jameson sounds lyrical and much better than the cutesy Jamie. Chynna Phillips and Billy Baldwin chose the name for their daughter. We feel that it sounds so substantial!
One recent baby names trend we can get behind is English occupational names being used for daughters. It’s happening now! Tanner, Mason, Chandler, and more are going to man a baby girl today. Tanner means “leather tanner” and that did not scare comedian Rob Schneider from using it for his girl, Tanner Elle Schneider. Tanner is a top 500 name for boys in the US and we can’t wait for it to arrive for girls as well!
Raleigh was last popular for baby boys in the 1960s before it fell from use. That may make it a prime candidate to get a little wild and use it for girls. Brooklyn, Austin, Bronx, and more now feel unisex. Why not Raleigh (it’s even got Leigh in it)? Raleigh is the name of a city in North Carolina and it’s a surname that means “meadow of deer.” How lovely is that?
Shay Mitchell made waves when she chose the name Atlas for her daughter. We love making waves, don’t you? Atlas was a Greek Titan who held the earth. His Greek name means “bearer of the heavens.” Atlas has emerged as a top 300 choice for boys. We would not be surprised if it showed up there for girls in the next couple of years.
Lane is easily a unisex name that has been criminally underused for girls throughout the years. Lane was the 258th most popular pick for boys but it did not even rank for girls. Of all the baby names on this list, Lane has to be one of the least offensive (for those who don’t like to make waves). Lane has English origins and means “a small path.”
Elisabeth Rohm named her daughter Easton August Anthony which goes to show you that gender 100% does not matter when it comes to a baby name. You can do it your way! Easton and other directional baby names are very hot for boys right now. Why not for girls? Easton has English origins and means “eastern town.” Easton is a top 100 name for boys and it’s still on the rise. Expect to be addressing lady Eastons very, very soon.
The Reid spelling is shockingly more popular than the more straightforward and easy Reed for both boys and girls, though boys outrank girls with this appellation by about 40 to 1. Reid sounds great on any baby! The name has Irish origins and means “red-haired.” Perfect for your baby girl with auburn locks.
The rather metal-sounding Axel has Scandinavian origins means “father of peace.” In France, you will find a female form of the name Axelle with emphasis on the “elle” bit. We are really found of the original, Axel, for daughters. Axel is in the top 100 for boys, why let them have all the fun?
Andy has long been used as a nickname for girls named Andrea and boys named Andrew. We think Andy actually fits more for a little girl. Andrew is a Greek name that means “strong.” Jack and Lisa Osbourne named their little girl Andy Rose Osbourne. Not bad, right?
Of all the baby names on this list, you might think Claude is the least appealing. Yes, we tend to think of Claude as a boy name and Claudia and Claudette as a female, but this ancient clan name is used in France for girls as well as boys. You know what that means! You could employ one of the chicest names ever by choosing it for your daughter. Claude was last popular for girls in 1897 in the US (it nearly reached the top 500 in 1880). This name with Latin origins means “enclosure.”
Landon sits just outside of the top 50 baby names for boys in the US now. It’s a mystery to us why more parents have not adopted it for their daughters. Of the many surname-names out there Landon feels more unisex than most. The name has English origins and means “long hill.”
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan named their daughter Maxima Chan and she goes by Max. If you would like to cut straight to the chase and have no time for Maxine or Maxima, Max is such a lovely name for girls and boys. You better believe this name means “greatest.” Max is a top 200 name for boys today, let’s make that true for girls as well.
Thankfully, parents have been getting some things right. Charlie is the rare example of a baby name that’s popularity is split evenly between boys and girls. Charlie was long used as a nickname for Charlotte so it’s only natural for parents to want the more casual-sounding appellation these days. Charlotte comes from Charles, which has French and German origins and means “free man.”
Auden has yet to hit the top 1000 list in the US but parents are taking note of this surname that works perfectly as a name for both boys and girls! Auden belonged to poet W.H. Auden, which might be perfect for parents who love poetry, art, and literature. This name is likely to blow up in the coming years so get ahead of the trend! Auden has English origins and means “old friend.” How special is that?
There you go! What did you think of these traditionally “boy baby names” that work incredibly well for girls? You might disagree, but we love the idea of not taking your baby’s gender too seriously and instead focusing on the perfect moniker that expresses your style and pride as a parent! We hope you feel inspired by this list and even saved a couple of the names for your consideration. Happy baby name hunting! And, congrats!
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Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
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