It is rare for a gender-neutral name to remain equally balanced between girls and boys. Unisex names typically are given more to one gender than the other and this can dramatically change over time, sometimes in a matter of a few, short years. Celebrities have a massive impact on gender-neutral names. Think of folks like Reese Witherspoon or Sutton Foster who are to blame for names flipping sides and becoming more popular for baby girls when they previously were primarily given to boys.
Other factors include appellations that are fashionable and sway gender-neutral names as parents seek alternatives. For instance, the impressively popular baby names Emily, Emma, and Ava caused parents to go with Emery and Avery for their daughters. The baby name experts at Nameberry crunched the data to discover which gender-neutral names have gone from boys to girls through the years and at which point it occurred. If you would like to know the baby names that have gone from boys to girls, this is the most comprehensive look into the nature of unisex names in the US.
These Gender-Neutral Names Now Go to Far More Girls Than Boys
Addison, Alexis, Allison, and Arden
- Addison: 98% female today. More female since 1996.
- Alexis: 60% female today. More female since 1942 (however, it’s trending more unisex again).
- Allison: 99.8% female today. More female since 1942.
- Arden: 59% female today. More female since 1989.
Ashley, Aubrey, Avery, and Bailey
- Ashley: 98% female today. More female since 1965.
- Aubrey: 96% female today. More female since 1974.
- Avery: 79% female today. More female since 2018.
- Bailey: 94% female today. More female since 1980.
Beverly, Billie, Blair, and Blakely
- Beverly: 100% female today. More female since 1898.
- Billie: 98% female today. More female since 1890.
- Blair: 95% female today. More female science 1981.
- Blakely: 99% female today. More female since 1991.
Briar, Brook, Campbell, and Cassidy
- Briar: 62% female today. More female since 2015.
- Brook: 68% female today. More female since 1972.
- Campbell: 51% female today. More female since 2002.
- Cassidy: 94% female today. More female since 1972.
Charley, Charleston, Dana, and Darcy
- Charley: 85% female today. More female since 1987. (The Charlie spelling has only been more female since 2016, and is now 53% female, Namberry notes.)
- Charleston: 56% female today. More female since 2015.
- Dana: 91% female today. More female since 1956.
- Darcy: 93% female today. More female since 1941.
Davy, Delaney, Diamond, and Eden
- Davy: 59% female today. More female since 2021.
- Delaney: 99% female today. More female since 1981.
- Diamond: 78% female today. More female since 1976.
- Eden: 80% female today. More female since 1946.
Emerson, Emery, Finley, and Hadley
- Emerson: 59% female today. More female since 2003.
- Emery: 90% female today. More female since 1998.
- Finley: 52% female today. More female since 2004.
- Hadley: 99% female today. More female since 1969.
Harley, Harlow, Harper, and Haven
- Harley: 81% female today. More female since 1994.
- Harlow: 94% female today. More female since 2002 (Thanks, Nicole Ritchie, who chose the name for her daughter in 2008).
- Harper: 98% female today. More female every year since 1991.
- Haven: 89% female today. More female since 1980.
Hilary, Jupiter, Kelley, and Kelsey
- Hilary: 100% female today. More female since 1944.
- Jupiter: 63% female today. More female since 2015.
- Kelley: 51% female today. More female since 1954.
- Kelsey: 98% female today More female since 1972.
Kendall, Kennedy, Kenzie, and Kim
- Kendall: 85% female today. More female since 1993.
- Kennedy: 97% female today. More female since 1993.
- Kenzie: 99% female today. More female since 1970.
- Kim: 83% female today. More female since 1955.
Kinley, Lauren, Leigh, and Leighton
- Kinley: 99% female today. More female since 1979.
- Lauren: 99% female today. More female since 1945.
- Leigh: 100% female today. More female since 1947.
- Leighton: 75% female today. More female since 2008.
Lennon, Lesley, Lindsay, and London
- Lennon: 76% female today. More female since 2015.
- Lesley: 100% female today. More female since 1941.
- Lindsay: 100% female today. More female since 1966.
- London: 87% female today. More female since 1990.
Lynn, Madison, Marley, and Mckenzie
- Lynn: 75% female today. More female since 1942.
- Madison: 99% female today. More female since 1985 (Shoutout to Daryl Hannah‘s mermaid character in Splash that changed the game for this name).
- Marley: 88% female today. More female since 1962.
- Mckenzie: 99% female today. More female since 1976.
Mckinley, Meredith, Merritt, and Michele
- Mckinley: 90% female today. More female since 1998.
- Meredith: 100% female today. More female since 1921.
- Merritt: 61% female today. More female since 2014.
- Michele: 73% female today. More female since 1931.
Monroe, Morgan, Oakley, and Paris
- Monroe: 76% female today. More female since 2009.
- Morgan: 76% female today. More female since 1980 (but, the tides are shifting for this name)
- Oakley: 66% female today. More female since 2016.
- Paris: 92% female today. More female since 1983.
Payton, Presley, Quinn, and Reagan
- Payton: 88% female today. More female since 1992 (the same is true for the Peyton spelling).
- Presley: 93% female today. More female since 1990.
- Quinn: 81% female today. More female since 2010.
- Reagan: 93% female today. More female since 1973 (yep, The Exorcist helped propel this gender-neutral name in the female direction).
Reese, Remi, Riley, and Robin
- Reese: 84% female today. More female since 2003 (the Witherspoon impact).
- Remi: 86% female today. More female since 1990.
- Riley: 78% female today. More female since 2003.
- Robin: 53% female today. More female since 1940.
Sandy, Shannon, and Shelby
- Sandy: 89% female today. More female since 1937.
- Shannon: 65% female today. More female since 1937, but trending back towards gender-neutral.
- Shelby: 94% female today More female since 1936.
Shelly, Sklar, and Sol
- Shelly: 100% female today. More female since 1937.
- Skylar: 96% female today. More female since 1994.
- Sol: 63% female today. More female since 1995.
Stacy, Stevie, and Sutton
- Stacy: 92% female today. More female since 1952.
- Stevie: 98% female today. More female since 1983.
- Sutton: 70% female today. More female since 2012.
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Sydney, Taylor, and Whitney
- Sydney: 97% female today. More female since 1940.
- Taylor: 78% female today. More female since 1990.
- Whitney: 92% female today. More female since 1962.
Did any of these gender-neutral baby names surprise you? We hope you found this list to be informative and useful for understanding the names that are trending for girls that once belonged in the boy category. If you would like to learn even more about unisex baby names, keep reading. We’ve got 35 of them that are on the rise today.
Discover Rare Gender-Neutral Names Worth Considering Below:
Cypress is an underutilized gender-neutral name that celebrates nature. Cypress trees symbolize strength, hope, and immortality. That makes this name feel even more appropriate. You will not find this name on any popularity charts but we hope to see that change in the coming years. It could be the next Willow.
Honor was once a popular virtue name used by the Pilgrims. While it might not have stuck around like Constance, Grace, or Faith, Honor is coming back today. The Pilgrims gave this name to their baby girls but today, the name is given more often to boys than girls. A nice little flip for our modern world. Honor is such an admirable quality which makes it one of the most attractive and positive rare gender-neutral names.
Would you believe us if we told you that Jupiter is given to more baby girls than baby boys today? Of all the babies named Jupiter in recent years, 64% were girls. This is curious due to the mythological history of the name which belonged to the supreme deity and “father of the gods.” We believe we have Ed Sheeran and Ashley Tisdal to thank for this as they both chose the name for their daughters born in 2022 and 2021. We love this name for any baby, however, and we’re quite fond of the nickname Jupe.
Although this may sound like a virtue name like Honor, Merritt actually originated as an English surname that means “boundary gate.” We love that solid double-T ending that rivals the likes of other surname-names like Wyatt or Beckett. Actor Merritt Weaver is the most high-profile person with the name today and we hope that her popularity helps shine a light on this excellent unisex option.
Yael was once only used as a name for girls thanks to its mention in the Bible. But, it’s technically one of the Hebrew gender-neutral names. It underwent this transformation in the 1990s and it’s now a popular choice for any baby, especially in Israel. If you’re unfamiliar with this appellation, it is said with two syllables and is formally spelled Ya’el to reflect that. This treasure of a name means “to ascend.”
One of the new crop of gender-neutral names that’s heating up today, Arrow sounds sharp and feels like it’s moving in the right direction. Word-names are often polarizing but we feel this one really works thanks to its similarity to other hit names today like Arlo, Harlow, or even Willow. There have been a few hundred babies given this name in recent years and it’s an even split between baby boys and girls.
Larkin is one of the most remarkable gender-neutral names because of its history. Once a medieval nickname for Laurence, Larkin is considered by most today to be an Irish appellation that means “fierce.” In fact, it was once a popular name for boys in the US from the 1880s to the 1900s. Further, this name has a bird-like connotation thanks to the Lark element. There’s just a lot going for this name and we hope it continues to rise for all babies today.
As a rule of thumb, surnames tend to make excellent gender-neutral names. Ridley is no exception. This English surname means “cleared wood.” Ridley Scott helped new parents see this surname as a given name possibility, especially for baby boys. But, we think Ridley fits in with other names with a similar ending like Hadley, Harley, Ashley, and Ripley.
Aris is derived from the name Arista and shared the same root as the word aristocrat. Thus, it’s also considered a short form of the name Aristotle. Aris comes from Ancient Greece but it somehow sounds more contemporary than it does old. The name means “harvest.” It’s yet to trend in the US but it’s a top-1000 name for boys in England today. We love this name for any baby.
Wynn (also spelled Wyn) is a Welsh name that was originally given to boys. Today, it’s one of the most popular gender-neutral Welsh names around the world. It has a triumphant sound and a tremendous meaning in “fair and blessed.” If you have Welsh heritage or just like the ring this name has to it, give it a spin.
Azari is one of the gender-neutral names that’s truly on the rise today and is likely to rank in the top 1000 most popular names for girls in the US in the coming years. Currently, the name is given to far more girls than boys but that should not deter you. Azari is a short form of the Hebrew name Azariah (a name belonging to a male character or two in the bible). It checks off a lot of boxes of what new parents are looking for in a baby name today. It’s unisex, has three syllables, and contains a Z. That’s a triple threat!
Rumi is one of the most beloved Japanese gender-neutral names. It can mean “beauty” and/or “flow” and/or “lapis lazuli.” Lapis lazuli is a deep-blue metamorphic rock that’s been prized since antiquity for its color. While Rumi has received attention in the contemporary US as the name of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s young daughter, it’s most famously the name of a (male) 13th-century Muslim mystic and poet.
Ramsey is also spelled Ramsay and both variations are considered gender-neutral names. It had a moment of popularity for boys in the 1980s and early 1990s but has since been evenly split between baby boys and girls. It’s another English surname-turned-given-name. It means “lowlands.”
Brighton names a holiday spot in the south of England and means “bright town.” A cheery unisex name, it was used for his daughter by Jon Favreau but was a boy’s name on the TV show The Nanny. The name is really heating up today and we expect it to be widespread over the next decade as more and more parents will inevitably be looking for rare gender-neutral names.
Nikita is one of the Russian gender-neutral names that parents have begun to turn to today. It’s an extremely old name that comes from the Greek name Niketas or Aniketos. The appellation means “unconquered” or “victorious.” We are not sure what the current Russian invasion of Ukraine will do for this name’s chances. It could be doomed now after picking up so much steam in the US in recent years.
A surname belonging to novelist Jane who gave the world Emma and Pride and Prejudice. It’s a decidedly English surname but it comes from the Latin name Augustus or August, meaning “magnificent.” Austen was really moving in the right direction for boys until the early 2000s when its popularity slowed. Now, there’s a more even split making this one of the most accessible and attractive gender-neutral names on the list.
One of the gender-neutral, biblical place names on the rise today Nazareth could be the new Jericho or Galilee. Nazareth is an important place in the New Testament as the hometown of Jesus. It’s really on the rise and is equally split among baby girls and boys today. You get the enviable nickname Naz with this one and we don’t think you can beat that.
Cove is one of the rare gender-neutral names that was on the rise pre-pandemic but stalled a bit in 2020 before picking up once more in 2021. It is a celebratory nature name that gives title to a “small bay.” The name is almost equally split between boys and girls with it currently trending ever-so-slightly for girls.
One of the truly evenly split gender-neutral names, Montana is of Spanish origin and indeed means “mountainous.” The name was a trendy pick in the 1990s and early 2000s before it fell off the charts for both boys and girls. We’re expecting it to swing back up and join the other popular names any year now. You cannot deny this name’s rugged charms.
Ever is an English word name that’s full of possibility. It has ties to male names in Scandinavia that mean “wild as a boar” and in Hebrew, meaning “beyond.” It’s one of the newer gender-neutral names that is really surprising baby name-watchers as parents are using it more than ever for all of their babies. It also has celebrity cred after Alanis Morissette and Souleye named their son Ever Imre and Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson chose it for their daughter.
Marlo is one of the gender-neutral names that is wrapped in mystery. Most believe it’s a modern invention but there is evidence that it has been used as a nickname or diminutive form of Margaret, meaning “drop in the sea,” “bitter,” and “pearl.” The character Marlo Stanfield is a (male) character in the HBO drama The Wire. Marlo Thomas is a famous American (female) actor that has brought light to this name as well. Let the mystery be!
Halen is a name of English and Scandinavian origins that is sure to inspire a baby to be a well-rooted champion. In Old English, this name translates to “hero.” But, others argue that it’s actually an English habitational name that means “hay land.” Further, in Old Norse, the name means “hall.” Either way you split it, this name works because it is similar to Hale, Haley, Galen, and others.
Lou is one of the perfectly vintage gender-neutral names that is poised to make a comeback. This adorable name is a short form of Louis or Louise and is of German and French origin. The name means “renowned warrior.” The name fell out of fashion for all babies by the 1970s but we think it’s time for a big comeback. While Lou’s favorability in the US has wained it has really exploded in continental Europe, especially for girls.
An absolutely gorgeous Arabic, unisex name, Iman means “faith.” The name is wildly popular across the Middle East, of course, but it has also been a hit in England as well. It’s a complete mystery to us as to why the name has never taken of in the US as it is truly so romantic in sound and contains such a positive meaning. You know what to do, new parents!
Early pagans and Christians treated the Linden as a holy tree. It was thought to aid healing and often planted near churches. The Linden is the mythological symbol of truth, peace, and justice. Linden was mildly popular in the early 1940s in the US for boys but has yet to return to favor. Of all the gender-neutral names on this list, we feel that Linden has the perfect balance as a celebratory nature name that sounds grounded and established.
We at Mamas Uncut have been beating the Jules drum for years now. In France and Europe more broadly, Jules is one of the most popular names for baby boys. That was the case here in the US too until the middle of the last century when it tanked. Jules is one of the very best gender-neutral names that is rooted in Latin, a form of Julius, meaning “youthful.” We’d really love to hear more of this name stateside and we expect to!
Lake works as one of the gender-neutral names thanks to its likeness to Blake which has undergone a shift and now goes to more girls than boys. Lake is a lovely nature name that evokes images of cool water tucked inside the mountains. Lake has yet to land in the US top 1000 most popular baby names but expect that to change. Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady chose it as a middle name for their daughter, Vivian. If history is any indication, normal folks tend to do as celebrities do.
Kirby was on the US top 1000 most popular baby names for boys list for decades before being joined as a popular choice for girls in the 1970s and 80s. It’s one of the gender-neutral names that has fallen out of fashion today but we still find it cute and energetic. Kirby comes from Norse and English origins and means “church settlement.”
Hollis is a name of English origin that originated as a surname. As with many other surnames, it has always been considered among other gender-neutral names in its class. Hollis is a habitational name that means “from the Holly trees.” The name is considered a vintage pick today as it has been off the popularity charts since the 1970s. That means there are plenty of grandparents out there with this name today. What’s old is new!
Amen is one of the gender-neutral names that incorporate faith like Blessing, Nazareth, and virtue names. Amen is considered a variant of the Hebrew name Amon, meaning “wealthy protector.” For the faithful, the name is also a form of agreement that typically follows prayer and means “so be it” or “it is so” or “it is true.” It is on the rise today and would make a distinct choice.
Let’s dust off that disco ball and bring back the 70s-inspired name, Halston. The name is synonymous with the American fashion designer who was given it as a middle name. The name is of English origin and is seen more often as a surname than a given one. It means “hallowed stone.”
Laine is the kind of straightforward name that parents who don’t like fuss should be attracted to. You can spell it the more traditional way, Laine, or go with the streamlined Lane. Both come from the same root and mean the same thing “path.” In the US Lane, is the most popular spelling but Laine is on the rise.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the newly ubiquitous, Kai, Koi could be the ticket. It is a name from Japanese that means “carp.” The fish are especially popular in ornamental gardens in Japan, where they are a symbol of good fortune. In Buddhist culture, the koi is associated with courage. Koi feels fresh, playful, and contemporary and should be one of the gender-neutral names to make your shortlist if you’d like a nature-inspired appellation.
Sora is another one of the great Japanese gender-neutral names. It is used for all babies in Japan and has the lovely meaning: “sky.” Sora is completely accessible and works thanks to other names like Sara, Soma, and Koda. American parents are quickly taking notice of this name so get ahead of the trend before it’s not so unique anymore.
It’s no secret that we at Mamas Uncut love the name Kit. We recommend it all the time as it plays well with others and really sounds precious. it’s also perfectly situated as a gender-neutral name. It comes from English as a form of Katherine or Christopher, thus the name can mean “pure” or “bearer of Christ.” It was once a popular given name for boys but fell of the charts by the middle of the last century. Let’s bring this name back for all babies!
There you go! We hope you found these rare gender-neutral names attractive and unique. Searching for the right baby name for your child can be a challenge but it’s not impossible. Knowing that you want a gender-neutral name considerably helps narrow down the possibilities.
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 These Gender-Neutral Names Now Go to Far More Girls Than Boys
- 1.1 Addison, Alexis, Allison, and Arden
- 1.2 Ashley, Aubrey, Avery, and Bailey
- 1.3 Beverly, Billie, Blair, and Blakely
- 1.4 Briar, Brook, Campbell, and Cassidy
- 1.5 Charley, Charleston, Dana, and Darcy
- 1.6 Davy, Delaney, Diamond, and Eden
- 1.7 Emerson, Emery, Finley, and Hadley
- 1.8 Harley, Harlow, Harper, and Haven
- 1.9 Hilary, Jupiter, Kelley, and Kelsey
- 1.10 Kendall, Kennedy, Kenzie, and Kim
- 1.11 Kinley, Lauren, Leigh, and Leighton
- 1.12 Lennon, Lesley, Lindsay, and London
- 1.13 Lynn, Madison, Marley, and Mckenzie
- 1.14 Mckinley, Meredith, Merritt, and Michele
- 1.15 Monroe, Morgan, Oakley, and Paris
- 1.16 Payton, Presley, Quinn, and Reagan
- 1.17 Reese, Remi, Riley, and Robin
- 1.18 Sandy, Shannon, and Shelby
- 1.19 Shelly, Sklar, and Sol
- 1.20 Stacy, Stevie, and Sutton
- 1.21 Sydney, Taylor, and Whitney
- 2 Discover Rare Gender-Neutral Names Worth Considering Below:
- 2.1 Cypress
- 2.2 Honor
- 2.3 Jupiter
- 2.4 Merritt
- 2.5 Yael
- 2.6 Arrow
- 2.7 Larkin
- 2.8 Ridley
- 2.9 Aris
- 2.10 Wynn
- 2.11 Azari
- 2.12 Rumi
- 2.13 Ramsey
- 2.14 Brighton
- 2.15 Nikita
- 2.16 Austen
- 2.17 Nazareth
- 2.18 Cove
- 2.19 Montana
- 2.20 Ever
- 2.21 Marlo
- 2.22 Halen
- 2.23 Lou
- 2.24 Iman
- 2.25 Linden
- 2.26 Jules
- 2.27 Lake
- 2.28 Kirby
- 2.29 Hollis
- 2.30 Amen
- 2.31 Halston
- 2.32 Laine
- 2.33 Koi
- 2.34 Sora
- 2.35 Kit
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