Boy or girl?



I ran some stats on my database and found the most gender ambiguous name was Casey- almost half are boys and half are girls as you can see from the above graph. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a gender ambiguous name. I have met a couple of male Kellys in my life but I’m sure everyone assumes I’m a girl when they see my name. I once read in Time magazine that Taylor Swift’s parents named her Taylor because that way her gender would not be immediately known, like if someone received her resume, and assumptions and biases could not be made (of course, with social media, if your name is at least somewhat unique, you’ll be found).  In 1989, the year Taylor was born, there were 4800 males named Taylor and 4000 females, so it was pretty even back then. Since then girls have taken over the name- in 2013, it was 4000 females and 800 males.

Here’s a few other gender ambiguous names and which gender wins the count:

Taylor– In 2013, 4000 females to 800 males

Jordan/Jordyn/Jordin/etc– In 2013, there were 7700 boys to 4100 girls

Peyton/Payton– Boys were in the lead until 1992, but now girls lead 7100 to 2300.

Riley/Rylie/Ryleigh/Rylee/Reilly– Boys led until 1998. Now girls lead at 10,000 to 3000.

Hayden– this was almost always given to boys until the mid 2000s thanks to actress Hayden Panettiere (I’m assuming). Boys still have the lead, though- in 2013 it was 2900 boys to 1600 girls.

Morgan/Morghan/Morgen– Boys had the lead until 1980. Girls currently lead 3100 to 367.

Carrie/Cary/Kerry/Keri/etc- Females have almost always won this name, but thought I’d check the stats thanks to actor Cary Grant, baseball player Kerry Wood, and a guy at my high school named Cary. It helps that the spellings of Cary and Carey (and to a lesser extent, Kerry) are almost always assigned to boys and Carrie, Kerri, Kari, etc, are given to girls. In the early to mid 1950s, it was very even-about 50% boys versus girls (the boys barely won in a few of those years). By the mid 1970s, however, more than 90% of these babies were female. It picked back up slightly and since 1995, there has been an average of a 1:4 male to female ratio of Carrie/Cary’s. Notice how Carrie for girls started plummeting soon after the 1976 movie Carrie!


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3 thoughts on “Boy or girl?

  1. It would be interesting to see the correlation between famous people and the popularity of baby names. Such as does that rise of baby names correlate to the popularity of actors and actresses of the same name? You mention Hayden Panettiere, but do people really name this children after famous people?


  2. I’ve found that characters are much more influential than celebrities’ names. But people def name their kid after actors, athletes and other celebs or their kids (like Nicole Richie’s daughter Harlow). I could def do a post on this. A good example is the explosion of popularity for Bentley, thanks to Maci in Teen Mom. Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, and Ashton Kutcher are three celebrities that come to mind. And if you meet a girl named Mackenzie born in the 70s, her parents must have watched One Day at a Time with Mackenzie Phillips. And there are TONS of little girls named Khloe running around right now! Not Kim[berly], though. Too unoriginal, I guess.


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