Q&A: Can you suggest any female baby names I can use for a boy?
I came up with a list of gorgeous girls' names, and just found out I am having a boy! All my naming progress came to a clunky thud (and naming our son Junior is out of the question!). What to do?!
Wait, don’t toss out that list! It contains valuable clues about your naming style and your heart’s desire. It’s true that parents tend to be much more traditional and conservative with boys’ names. For some parents, the more masculine the better. A girl named Summer or Olive or Daisy? No problem, but a son named Hyacinth or Blueberry is another matter entirely.
You can start by transforming and recycling the list you have—and turn that Chloe into Colby, or Daisy into a Duke. Eloise, a variation of Louise, can become Louis or Lou. Surnames and word names can give you gender-neutral alternatives, too.
It’s still considered more stylish and socially acceptable for girls to sport boys’ names than the other way around. Heidi Klum and Seal named their second daughter, Lou, and gave her the middle name of Sulala, joining scores of other fashionably trendy celebrity daughters including Carrie Fisher’s Billie, Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn’s Charlie, and Brendan Fehr’s James Olivia. By comparison, we can think of a few celebrity baby boys with frilly names, such as Mary Lynn Rajskub’s Valentine.
One trailblazing alternative that gets very little play? Giving your son a girl’s name. This path is not for the faint of heart. Ask any boy named Darcy what it was like in high school, and he’ll grimace ruefully. Screenwriter and novelist (Fame) Allison Burnett was named after his father, at a time Allison was waning in use for boys and becoming more popular for girls. His career got a boost from his feminine name, helping him garner work that would normally go to female writers.
It’s interesting to note that until 1963, Alison was considered a more feminine spelling than Allison. The following year, the double-L Allison got a big boost with the debut of Mia Farrow’s character, Allison MacKenzie, on the primetime soap, Peyton Place. (In the novel, the character was named after her father.) Today both Allison and Alison are at the height of their popularity for girls, ranking at #32 and #273 respectively, and trailed by Allyson, Allisson, Alyson, and Alisson.