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Baby names

Unisex Name for girls

115 replies

MmeSimone · 30/09/2023 04:20

We're looking for a name for a baby girl and I like names that are unisex or can be shortened to a unisex name. I would like for them to be able to sign an email with no one knowing their gender. I do like classic names but not too pretentious or rare.

There are two catches. One is, we live in Germany and I would like to have a baby name that can be pronounced in German and in English.

Secondly, I don't like it when nicknames are the given name. E.g. I wouldn't ever christen my child Lilibet because it's a nickname for Elizabeth, so she should be christened Elizabeth, and then can be called Lilibet anyway.

We have thought of

  • Charlotte (Charlie) (a bit pretentious but front runner)
  • Alexis (Sasha) (exists in close family ATM though)
  • Robin (a bit modern)
  • Jamie (I really like this name but it does not really work in German)
  • Samantha (Sam) (reminds me of SATC)
  • Josephine (Joe) (super old fashioned)
  • Jacqueline (Jack) (a relative we dislike has this name)


Any other ideas?
OP posts:
kenadams86 · 05/10/2023 20:26

I know it's been mentioned but I came here to suggest Rowan.


I also quite like

Perry
Harper
Ellis

KirstenBlest · 05/10/2023 20:26

@CowboyJoanna , and if parents wanted to call their son Amelia, that could be a boy's name. There are boys called Noa.

TedWilson · 05/10/2023 20:30

Jodie

Robyn

Lee

CurlewKate · 06/10/2023 05:29

@CowboyJoanna "Rachel is a unisex name on its own even if its more popular for girls (one of my DS's best friends is a boy called Rachel),"

That's interesting. What country do you live in?

crumblingschools · 06/10/2023 06:10

Rachel means ewe, so not sure it is a unisex name.

mathanxiety · 06/10/2023 06:37

No way is Rachel a unisex name.

PipersDream · 06/10/2023 06:38

Does nobody read Malory Towers anymore?
Wilhelmina - Bill!

Of the names on your list... I thought Joe was the boys' contraction and Jo was the girls'. Similarly, I've personally only ever seen Robyn for a girl and Robin for a boy.

Andrea can be either depending on the language. Claude too I think. And Jean.

I think I'd tend towards something which is obviously a girl's name that can be shortened to a unisex rather then a unisex name if that makes sense. Are you bound by name laws in Germany? Some countries don't allow a unisex first name unless giving a clearly defined middle name.

Martha could go to Marty
All the Georgina/Georgiana-s I went to school with were known as George.
Nicola-s were either Nicky or Nic/k
Edwina -Ted (to her family) and Ned to the rest of us
Caroline - Cal
Francesca - Frankie
Laurie (I can't remember if she was a Lauren or a Laurel. Maybe she was just a Laurie!)
Juliet - Jules
Nathalie - Nat
Philippa - Pip
Catherine or variant , can't remember, but she was always Kit (or Kitty)

Then there were some who were known by their initials. J-J or J which to me is a boy's name, no idea why. Or not even names. Penelope was Pen and Felicity was always Fish.

And of course, Darrell!

muddyford · 06/10/2023 06:42

My friend's mother is Robin and she's 91. That modern!

I think you are overthinking her future emailing. Just pick a name you like but is easy to pronounce in both languages.

CoffeeBean5 · 06/10/2023 06:55

I'd say most of those nicknames aren't unisex. They are boy names. There is a trend at the moment where baby girls are given boy names. The only truly unisex names there are Jamie and Robyn (girl version of Robin).

You also don't know whether your dd will like a nickname. She might like her feminine full name or choose a different nickname to what you want eg Lottie instead of Charlie. Just choose a name you like instead of thinking about how to get people to think your dd is a boy.

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 16:30

CurlewKate · 06/10/2023 05:29

@CowboyJoanna "Rachel is a unisex name on its own even if its more popular for girls (one of my DS's best friends is a boy called Rachel),"

That's interesting. What country do you live in?

The UK ... like everyone else on Mumsnet surely? Hmm

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 16:33

Yeah I was quite shocked to hear "Rachel" was this boy's name but I've got to be honest, it does sound nice and it suits him very well. His parents call him Ray for short.

Now that I think of it, I'm more surprised it isn't more popular with boys. Daniel and Michael are very similar names, and Rachel sounds quite masculine to say too

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 16:34

Reminds me of "Ray Charles" too Smile

CurlewKate · 06/10/2023 16:39

There have been no boy Rachels since 1996.

ShoesoftheWorld · 06/10/2023 16:42

Whoever mentioned naming laws, yes, this needs to be considered. If you give a unisex first name you will need to give a middle name that clearly identifies the child's gender. (This certainly used to be the way it was - I remember a newspaper story where parents were initially denied permission to register their daughter as Marie Christin because both of those can be male names - not sure whether it's changed with the ability to legally identify as a third gender ('divers')). There's also the fact that 'registered with one name and called a shortening' doesn't really happen over here IME - only very informally among friends, but you can't expect your daughter to have Charlotte on her birth cert and her teachers/GP etc to call her Charlie -, ditto girls' names being shortened to boys' or unisex names. Charlotte pronounced the German way doesn't 'lead' to Charlie anyway, but to Lotte. A lot of your other names will cause problems too - Jacqueline is considered quite downmarket, and Jack would be pronounced 'Check' (one of my children went to school with one). I think Jamie is actually one of your more practicable suggestions, if you can overlook the 'Ch' sound it will invariably get at the beginning - most Germans won't associate it with a particular sex and not much can go wrong/vary in the rest of the pronunciation.

crumblingschools · 06/10/2023 16:43

@CowboyJoanna there is probably a reason his parents call him Ray.

There are quite a few posters on MN who live in other countries.

UsingChangeofName · 06/10/2023 16:44

It’s a forum

If you ask for input you’ll get it - some will be a direct answer to your question, and some won’t, some you’ll like and some you won’t.

That’s just how it works - if you don’t want opinions just use google

This.
If you ask on an massive internet forum, you will get a variety of opinions, and different people posting. You can't police who replies.

The point about Sasha not being a shortened form of Alexis is quite valid, even if you don't want to hear it.

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 16:45

CurlewKate · 06/10/2023 16:39

There have been no boy Rachels since 1996.

Obviously you're wrong because of DS's friend.

The friend in question was born in America though so maybe that explains it

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 16:48

crumblingschools · 06/10/2023 16:43

@CowboyJoanna there is probably a reason his parents call him Ray.

There are quite a few posters on MN who live in other countries.

Same reason Michaels become Mike, Matthews become Matt and Daniels become Dan I suppose

KirstenBlest · 06/10/2023 16:49

Alexander and Alexander were often shortened to Sandy, Xander, Sandra or Xandra, but none of those are natural diminutives of Alexis, but Lex or Lexi might be.

FirstLaburnum · 06/10/2023 16:59

We considered Olive mainly because we thought Ollie would be such a sweet nickname.

Also to pp implying unisex names only go one way - I have a male friend called Jess and it really suits him.

ShoesoftheWorld · 06/10/2023 19:01

Tbh (inspired by the poster above) Olivia might work - no pronunciation problems (German and English pronunciations pretty much as close to each other as it's possible to get), quite unusual here despite its popularity in the UK but very clearly 'a name' iyswim, and you could call her Olli if you wanted (although at school etc she would definitely be Olivia, see my post above).

CurlewKate · 06/10/2023 19:45

@FirstLaburnum
to pp implying unisex names only go one way - I have a male friend called Jess and it really suits him."
Jesse is and always has been a boy's name.

Spyral · 06/10/2023 20:10

Theodora -> Ted

Or Edwina even, I guess, not as nice though imo.

Keroppi · 06/10/2023 20:13

Billie

CowboyJoanna · 06/10/2023 20:59

Keroppi · 06/10/2023 20:13

Billie

I think the modern generation will immediately think of Billie Eilish with that one

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