Baby Names

Baby Names That Work For Boys And Girls – 3 Important Tips

Thanks to millennials, it's trendy!

Originally Published: 
A girl standing outside, with sunglasses on her forehead.
Ladda Hortavorn / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

You never know what your kid is going to turn out to be, besides a human being. Hopefully. It would be weird if they weren’t. And if you’re planning on being one of those “You can be anything you want to be” parents, you can start right away by giving your kid a universal, gender-defying name.

Of late, reports from the baby-naming press indicate that our “post-gender” society is going bananas for names that fluidly cross from boy to girl. There is a surge of girls receiving what were once typically boys’ names — the Haydens and Charlies of the world — and boys receiving what were once typical girls’ names — hello there, Tatum and Harper. Speaking of which, why not throw Channing and Lee in there too?

flickr / TheeErin

The anti-gender naming explosion was called the biggest baby-naming trend of 2016 by the handle-jockeys over at Said trendy-trend has been solidly placed on the trendsetting shoulders of Millennial trendersons who are so cool with everything they just don’t give a crap about gender, or anything that isn’t a Pokémon really.

Interested in going nom-de-post-gender? The always helpful New York Times has some dang good tips. Here are the three best:

Look Beyond People

You know what generally aren’t assigned gender? Places and things. So,city and country names, or even inanimate objects, can totally work. Maybe that’s why Arrow has increased in popularity over 107 percent according to Social Security application data from 2014 and 2015. Bowen, however, sadly remains an un-strung hero with only 570 getting that name in 2015. Shoot.

fatherly / Michael and Franzie Nelson

Your Parents Just Might Not Understand

While there were some periods of gender-neutral naming in the past (thanks, hippies!), even the Sunshines of yore might have a tough time wrapping their heads around a boy named Indigo. But here’s the thing: It’s not their kid! And really, all you have to do is remind them that the Summer Of Love is what got us to this place in history anyway. Thanks, Grandpa Sunshine!

Take a Cue From Other Cultures

You know who were on-trend way before us (as per yooj)? The Spanish. They’ve long been proponents of using honor-names when naming babies. These are predominantly second first names (second names?) that do not need to match a child’s gender, thus the many Jose Maria’s in the world. You can easily do this. And it makes so much sense, particularly if you’re honoring someone you love, like Spanish rally-cross legend Carlos Sainz. Welcome to the world little Arrow Carlos! Drive fast!

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