Outsiders V: Modern Sounds- Unisex Names & Surnames
We’ve been through parts one, two, three and four, and now it’s time to visit two of the hottest trends in the United States: traditionally masculine-sounding or unisex names for girls and surnames for boys.
There may not be two trends more en vogue. For girls, Taylor and Riley both rank within the Top #40. Mason and Jackson both chart in the Top #25.
There are plenty of other highly-popular examples where those came from. Luckily, parents looking for hidden treasures can find many lesser-used name choices that follow similar themes. Here’s one:
That of course, is Blair Waldorf from “Gossip Girl” and the first of these Outsiders’ picks.
Here are some strong/unisex sounding girls’ names, and boys’ names of the surname variety:
Blair (222 born in 2010)- Blair is a name that’s fashionable on girls, but has the strong ‘r’ ending seen in boys’ names like Connor and Arthur. It has actually been much more common as a boys’ name in American history. That makes it right on the current trend: a name with a feminine feel but a traditionally masculine past.
Bronwyn (62 born in 2010)- There is no more popular kind of boys’ name than those ending in ‘n.’ Unisex name Bronwyn is sweet on a little girl, and would be a solid pick to parents drawn to this vibe.
Jori (25 born in 2010)- A hip diminutive of Marjorie, Jori has a snappy, boyish vibe and is used on both genders. The name Jorie is also in limited use, 21 babies with that name were born in the USA in 2010.
October (62 born in 2010)- Month names like January, April, and August are all in use, so why not October? The most unconventional of my girls’ picks, it has warm, autumnal sounds and round vowels that appeal to modern parents. It also packs the cute, unisex nickname Tobi.
Greer (52 born in 2010)- Here’s a unique name that drew attention after Brooke Shields named her daughter Grier in 2006. While Greer is the more popular spelling, there were 21 babies named Grier born in 2010. Shields’ older daughter, Rowan is another unisex name parents might be drawn to, it ranks #327 on the current girls’ chart.
Truman (193 in 2010)- A president, author and the title character in “The Truman Show,” this is a strong and dignified surname. It serves as great pick for parents drawn to ‘n’ endings and the handsome ‘oo’ sound found in names like Luke and Julian.
Thatcher (161 born in 2010)- An underused boys’ name with a similar vibe to Sawyer, this would be a solid pick for a parent looking for a strapping but refined name with a mischievous streak.
Foster (124 born in 2010)- A dashing surname with a similar vibe to Thatcher and Sawyer, Foster has numerous meanings including officer in charge of a forest or shearer.
Gannon (124 born in 2010)- An Irish surname with a Zelda connection, Gannon could be a solid pick for game-enthusiast parents looking for a sharp ‘n’ ending name.
Jenner (32 born in 2010)- Even though his dad was an Olympian, it’s the younger Jenner who catapulted this name into recent public consciousness via Reality Show fame. It’s got hip sounds, and the vibe of Jagger, a name I picked to rise.
For boys, Jennings (27 born in 2010) offers a surname with a sophisticated flair and Thayer (18 born in 2010) is a hugely underused ‘r’ ending surname.
For girls, there may not be a clearer blend of masculine flair and feminine sounds than the combination of “Ace” and “Lynn.” Spellings on this one vary: the most popular is Aislynn (97 born in 2010), but Aislinn, Aisyln and Aislin are not far behind.