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Almost gender neutral names for siblings?

(30 Posts)
SallyStarbuck Fri 23-Jan-15 10:23:28

DD1 is called the classic English 'A' name (four syllables), but is almost always known as the common shortening, which is one of those names which is used for boys and girls.

We are expecting DD2 and the name we like most at the moment is Joanna. However I know we'd end up saying Jo most of the time.

Is it going to look a bit silly, or try hard, if both names are gender neutral - I mean, if you said "my kids are called XXXX and XX" you wouldn't know whether you meant two girls, two boys, a boy or a girl?

I'm worried as well because DD1 dresses a little bit like a tomboy - well, no dresses or skirts, very little pink or pastel etc - so DD2 will end up in the same clothes for the first few years. I can't help think that the name plus a lack of pink might make it look like we're desperately trying to make some sort of point blush

Yes or no?

loislines Fri 23-Jan-15 10:37:43

I think you're over thinking it. DD2 might only want to wear pink dresses! And I don't think it matters if people think they're boys when you introduce them, it will become obvious. Nice for them both to have a more feminine name they can use if it suits them or the more neutral nickname.

myotherusernameisbetter Fri 23-Jan-15 10:39:12

I can definitely see where you are coming from but is it that you are feeling like because you do want a boy and hence why you noticed?

DD2 might be the opposite to DD1 and i'm guessing that it wasa few years before DD1 expressed an intereste in what she wanted to wear and therefore there must be a reasonable gap so will you really be nading down clothes?

Presumably given your comments, you initially bought more girly clothes and therefore DD2 will (if you do pass them on) be dressed more girly initially too? Or is it that you prefer less frilly clothes anyway (not necessarily indicating a craving for a boy grin just simply personal preference)?

I can't say I would let it bother me, your daughter may prefer to use Joanna anyway despite you shortening it yourself.

Or you could go for something similar where the shortened version is not quite so neutral? e.g Josephine (Josie) or Alannah? I know the latter is based on boys name but I've never heard it shortened to Alan! smile

myotherusernameisbetter Fri 23-Jan-15 10:40:25

should add, yes, I realise that Josephine is also based on a boys name but I've never heard it shortened to Joseph either smile

SallyStarbuck Fri 23-Jan-15 10:53:38

Just prefer less frilly clothes - nothing sinister there at all! Prefer DD t-shirts and sweaters and leggings rather than dresses. Or at least while I still exercise some control over what she wears grin

The one thing that got me thinking about it was a convo with another mum recently where we realised that pretty much all the toddler girls we know, especially in our town, both have very feminine names as they are the popular ones at the moment (Sophie, Amelia, Florence etc) and are dressed in quite a feminine way, lots of pastels and dresses. I can see just looking around nursery that DD stands out a tiny bit in terms of her clothes and her hair (as in, we aren't letting it grow very long at the moment). Which lead to clearly overthinking the names, but it might look a bit too much to other people that we're Trying Very Hard to push a sort of tomboy thing.

Well aware that it doesn't matter at all! Just... wondering.

Josephine is pretty but wouldn't work at all with our surname. I don't mind Alannah but there's an old joke relating to DH which means all his friends and family would find that name hilarious!

Bowlersarm Fri 23-Jan-15 10:56:26

Yes from me.

If you are worried about it though is Anna an option to shorten Joanna to?

SallyStarbuck Fri 23-Jan-15 11:02:18

That's nearly my name, bowlers, unfortunately grin

Thanks though - I did wonder if anyone's gut feeling would be "try hard"

Bowlersarm Fri 23-Jan-15 11:07:04

My only worry if you are worried - confusedgrin - is that as Joseph is so popular currently and over the past few years there are a ton of teenage boy, little boy and baby boy Joe's around so it may be an assumption that your Jo is a boy. If you are sensitive to it before she's even born it may become quite a big thing for you.

myotherusernameisbetter Fri 23-Jan-15 11:11:26

I think that choosing to dress your child in comfortable colourful clothes without hair grown down to her bottom is not a crime smile i guess you could start calling her XXXXa instead of xxxx if you were that bothered.

You could still use Josie as shaort for Joanna if you want to - there is no law that dictates the nicknames you give your child either.

I'm presuming that your daughter has a short bob or gamin crop rather than a crew cut and a spiderman top on (though, again, if she was into spiderman or whatever, it doesn't matter) so I am sure that she still looks like a girl anyway. I had a son with a particulary sweet face and blond curls and a boys anme and clothes - he still got referred to a girl - you can't win really. Go with the name you love. Some people will read into anything what they want to read into it. Let them, if they are talking about you then they are leaving someone else alone..... grin

anothergenericname Fri 23-Jan-15 11:12:52

JoJo is a great shortening for Joanna, it's not horribly girl, but you're unlikely to find a boy called that!

SavoyCabbage Fri 23-Jan-15 11:16:26

I've a friend with two dds with gender numeral names. The oldest is the same as yours I think and people say to her 'did you want boys?' and things along those lines.

RueDeWakening Fri 23-Jan-15 11:17:03

My sister is Joanne, and was known as Jojo until she was about 3, on account of being pretty much bald grin

Would that work? and yes you're overthinking it a tad

Lazymummy2014 Fri 23-Jan-15 11:23:16

They might like the gender neutral names when they get older. There's a bit of a tradition in my family - my mum is Chris(tine), my aunt is Jack (Jacqueline) and I'm Alix! It's a random little connection that I've always liked. I completely ruined it by naming my dd Rose however!

SallyStarbuck Fri 23-Jan-15 11:28:44

Lazy, I sometimes wish I had been able to spell DD's name that way! I think I prefer it.

If you can't overthink names on the MN Baby Name board, where can you overthink names grin

Savoy, that was what I was wondering about. It wouldn't bother me so much, but I was musing whether it would ever bother the DDs when they are older. Though both could use the longer version of the name whenever they want.

squoosh Fri 23-Jan-15 12:55:35

I wouldn't think it was 'try hard' I'd just assume it was your naming style. I'd find it more noteworthy if you had one daughter with a tomboyish name like Sam(antha) and another with an uber frilly name like Arabella.

Lazymummy2014 Fri 23-Jan-15 13:05:12

I really didn't like it as a little kid - mostly because I could never find any personalised kiddie tat with my name on! But grew to love that it was different. I think it's officially a nn / shortening of Alexandra, so you could always adopt it for your dd!

GotToBeInItToWinIt Fri 23-Jan-15 13:11:19

I don't think I would think it was 'try hard'. It wouldn't really occur to me. So many girls names shorten to a 'boys name'.

theRotcod Fri 23-Jan-15 13:16:24

It wouldn't even cross my mind that you were trying too hard. If you're really worried, just introduce your dd's by their full names, and let people shorten or not shorten them, as they please. I doubt it will occur to any of them that both shortened versions are gender neutral.

My dd has a very feminine name but I dress her 'like a boy' (by this I mean, not head to toe in pink frills). I think people are more likely to pick up on the clothes than the names. They'll get over it though!

YAsoNBU Fri 23-Jan-15 13:22:28

I wouldn't let it bother you, you never know what random things people will comment on - all of which are their problem.

Joanie is a nice shortening of Joanna.

CrispyFern Fri 23-Jan-15 13:40:05

I think they're fine together!

Zsazsabinks Fri 23-Jan-15 13:44:30

My eldest runs about in a spiderman t-shirt and tutu all the time! She picked it herself. :D

I wouldn't worry, pick a name that you love.

SallyStarbuck Fri 23-Jan-15 14:12:04

True, people will comment on anything and everything!

Glad the reaction is what I hoped for grin

And YAsoNBU, Joanie is a gorgeous nickname, thank you!

BoxofSnails Fri 23-Jan-15 14:59:38

I think they are gorgeous names with the best of both worlds - feminine and practical.

ChickenMe Fri 23-Jan-15 16:32:45

I wouldn't notice. Joanna is nice, Jo/Jojo is a friendly nickname. All around winner I think.

WhatAHooHa Fri 23-Jan-15 16:39:14

We've got 4 with gender-neutral shortened names, which they are always called by, and no one's ever mentioned/noticed it as being odd! They are just each their own people, though I do find myself giving the full name when they are babies, otherwise people have no chance of knowing whether its a boy baby or a girl baby!

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