What's in a name?

This Chart Shows The Moment When Popular Baby Names Shifted Genders

Lynn was mostly a boy’s name until 1941.

Legs, toes, feet and heels of newborn twins. Wrapped in a blue knitted blanket.  Knitted hearts of b...

A lot of thought goes into the name a parent gives their baby. With endless options to choose from, some parents aren’t afraid to go against the grain or, in this case, think beyond the gender binary. A new chart shows the moment when popular baby names swapped predominant gender, and it’s a fascinating look.

Reddit user u/socjones posted a really cool baby name chart in the popular Reddit channel DataIsBeautiful — a place to share “visualizations that effectively convey information.” In the post, socjones said they noticed a bunch of recent posts about baby name trends and wanted “to get in on the action.”

socjones dug into data from the Social Security Administration, which tracks baby name trends, to look specifically at how gendered names have been used over the years. Using ggplot2, an open-source data visualization tool, socjones created a chart that looks at how baby names in the U.S. have switched predominant gender since 1920.

“Annotated years show the first and last crossover years, along with the direction of the crossover,” socjones explains. “For example, if an annotation is red, it indicates the year that the name switched to be predominantly female.”

There were some really interesting takeaways from the data:

  • Most of the names socjones pulled show historical boy names changing to girl names, including Charlie, Dana, Kelly, Leslie, Lynn, Riley, and Taylor.
  • Only Angel and Casey were typical girl names that switched to being more typical boy names.
  • Taylor switched from predominantly boys to girls in 1989, which is hilarious for Swifties.
  • The most recent switch happened in 2015 when Charlie moved from predominately a boy's name to a girl's name.
  • Jackie, Jamie, and Charlie currently have an almost 50/50 split between boys and girls.

The main takeaway from this chart — other than it’s a really cool visual — is that there are no “boy” names or “girl” names — there are just names that go well with your last name and names that make you smile. So, relax and enjoy the fluidity of a name.