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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:
MrsTerryPratchett · 06/10/2023 21:04

I would like to add that I would like a unisex name and I would like to choose my child's name so I'm not sure why you feel like this opinion is worth giving on this page. Please refrain from further commenting if you don't have any suggestions.

Blimey! OK then.

IMO which you don't want but I don't care, there are vanishingly few actual unisex names even fewer English one. Most are repurposed boys names. Names tend from male to female and almost never the other way around because 'boy' is a promotion and 'girl' is a demotion.

I think (like PP) it's sexist. But if you want to avoid 'girl' things because YUK girls, right? You can.

Longdarkcloud · 06/10/2023 21:36

Paris ( not after the capital but classical.)
Ellis
Bennett. (V old English and truly unisex)
Francis. The feminine form is usually spelt Frances but originally it was spelt ‘is’ for both
Im not sure whether these are suitable for German speakers.
My favourite is Alexis but I’d use Alexi or Alexy as the nn.
Good luck.

sandalsinthebin · 06/10/2023 21:36

"It's not pronounced Shorn"

Well that would depend on one's accent (Northern, Southern, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, all would be slightly different). I could also have written Shawn. Was merely trying to distinguish it from possible alternative pronunciations "See-Ann", "Sharn", etc. Maybe I should have written "as in Sean Penn".

Locallady2 · 07/10/2023 00:10

I like all the names on your list but I would never get sasha from alexis, and think people in the UK would be confused by that.
Jamie sounds very American as a girl name to me.

I would choose Andrea nn Andy - reminds me of the devil wears prada film.

islamann · 07/10/2023 08:34

@KirstenBlest how do you pronounce Sean? It's my DH's name and he pronounces it Shorn.

Scottyme · 07/10/2023 08:55

@islamann don't ask @KirstenBlest how else to pronounce names. She is allegedly the only person on here who can pronounce any names, especially Welsh ones she dismisses things like dialects, oh and how most people pronounce names...just ask her how to pronounce Rhys. Sean has always been and will always be pronounced shorn.

HeyYouWithTheSadFace · 07/10/2023 19:19

I have a daughter called Brodie. We are in Scotland and I know both boys and girls with this name. Admittedly, there are more boys than girls, but I like that it's pretty unisex.

FirstLaburnum · 08/10/2023 12:17

@CurlewKate his name isn't Jesse, it is Jess.

MmeSimone · 11/10/2023 08:20

MrsTerryPratchett · 06/10/2023 21:04

I would like to add that I would like a unisex name and I would like to choose my child's name so I'm not sure why you feel like this opinion is worth giving on this page. Please refrain from further commenting if you don't have any suggestions.

Blimey! OK then.

IMO which you don't want but I don't care, there are vanishingly few actual unisex names even fewer English one. Most are repurposed boys names. Names tend from male to female and almost never the other way around because 'boy' is a promotion and 'girl' is a demotion.

I think (like PP) it's sexist. But if you want to avoid 'girl' things because YUK girls, right? You can.

Jesus, WTF. I asked for name suggestions not your moral judgement of whatever you think are my motivations. If your only joy in life is trying to make people feel bad about themselves on Mumsnet then I would suggest you get yourself a better hobby and get a grip on life.

OP posts:
MmeSimone · 11/10/2023 08:25

Spyral · 06/10/2023 20:10

Theodora -> Ted

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

Edited

My dog is called Ted 😃.

I think Edwina is not an option and so are many names unfortunately on here as they either do not exist in German or nobody has used them for the past 100 years. But it's great inspiration, thanks for all the suggestions.

OP posts:
CurlewKate · 11/10/2023 08:55

@MmeSimone I think it's important to thing about why you do things. If you can come up with an alternative explanation for why "unisex names" are always boy's names given to girls and NEVER girl's names given to boys other than sexism then I'd love to hear it. Otherwise I'll continue to believe it's a version of "Yuck, girl cooties."

MmeSimone · 11/10/2023 09:00

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 10:01

@Scottyme , Shaun and Shorn only sound the same in parts of the UK (and the world) that don't have a rhotic accents. Given that Seán is an Irish name, I don't think that it Shorn is a true representation of the sound, which is probably why the anglicised spellings are Shaun or Shawn.
The only female Sean I can think of is Sean Young and I can remember someone sitting near me at the cinema commenting 'Why has she got a man's name?'

looking4pup · 11/10/2023 10:29

Basically you wanted a boy?

I can't understand why you would purposely want to confuse people.

You seem to want to shock people when they realise your dd is female.

FatCatatPaddingtonStation · 11/10/2023 10:36

I know a few women called Sasha.

Belinda nn Bill/y

Cass can be short for Cassandra or Caspian so is unisex.

MaybeSeren · 11/10/2023 11:10

In defence of the OP (I know you don't need it OP, but just adding my view), ambiguity of gender/sex DOES assist women in relation to written communications. An email of legal advice written by a lawyer named John is going to be viewed as more authoritative, by many readers, than if they received the same email/advice from a lawyer named Johanna.

This is not a good thing, obviously, but it is genuinely a thing. The conscious or unconscious sexism / bias in the reader means that a woman will often get a better response if the recipient of her email thinks she's a man.

Of course, this does not apply to all readers or all situations. And where it does apply, the better thing would clearly be to fix the innate sexism, so that it is no longer an issue.

But the OP can't fix all that for her daughter. So if she wants to give her daughter the option to send an email without making it clear that she's female, then that doesn't necessarily mean she isn't a feminist. And it doesn't necessarily mean she wishes she had a son. She might just be hoping to give her daughter an option to avoid some conscious or unconscious bias from sexist idiots.

(This issue has also arisen where women have been required to add pronouns to their signature block when they would otherwise just use their first initial and last name.)

MmeSimone · 11/10/2023 11:11

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MmeSimone · 11/10/2023 11:19

MaybeSeren · 11/10/2023 11:10

In defence of the OP (I know you don't need it OP, but just adding my view), ambiguity of gender/sex DOES assist women in relation to written communications. An email of legal advice written by a lawyer named John is going to be viewed as more authoritative, by many readers, than if they received the same email/advice from a lawyer named Johanna.

This is not a good thing, obviously, but it is genuinely a thing. The conscious or unconscious sexism / bias in the reader means that a woman will often get a better response if the recipient of her email thinks she's a man.

Of course, this does not apply to all readers or all situations. And where it does apply, the better thing would clearly be to fix the innate sexism, so that it is no longer an issue.

But the OP can't fix all that for her daughter. So if she wants to give her daughter the option to send an email without making it clear that she's female, then that doesn't necessarily mean she isn't a feminist. And it doesn't necessarily mean she wishes she had a son. She might just be hoping to give her daughter an option to avoid some conscious or unconscious bias from sexist idiots.

(This issue has also arisen where women have been required to add pronouns to their signature block when they would otherwise just use their first initial and last name.)

Thank you! All this (in addition to other things) and I have read the studies and could cite them here but I am getting really really angry at having to explain myself for literally just asking if people have ideas for names, especially when the level of discussion accuses me of "yuck cootie". I should have known better than to post on Mumsnet 😉

OP posts:
KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 11:51

@MaybeSeren , but it goes against you in the end. If someone is sexist, they will feel wrong-footed to find out that the Steve, Peter or George are really Stephanie, Peta or Georgina.

CurlewKate · 11/10/2023 11:52

@MmeSimone @If you really want to know, I consider gender partly a social construct and don't think any names should be gendered. Unfortunately most of them are."

So why do you de-gender boys names to give girls and not girls names to give boys
And it's entertaining that think names should not be gendered, but are still happy to use gendered slurs! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 11:56

Now please do us all a favour and eff off this thread so you can w off to bothering some other unassuming mum to be who is innocently looking for name suggestions according to her preference without being bothered by judgemental SAHM Karens.
Shock

MaybeSeren · 11/10/2023 12:19

KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 11:51

@MaybeSeren , but it goes against you in the end. If someone is sexist, they will feel wrong-footed to find out that the Steve, Peter or George are really Stephanie, Peta or Georgina.

Perhaps. But it going against you earlier isn't likely to be better. The risk of someone being biased early (and eg not wanting to deal with you) is arguably much greater than the potential risk of them being wrongfooted later. At least in that case there is still the opportunity to get your foot in the door and (ideally) disprove some assumptions.

It's easy to trump up an excuse to ignore advice from someone at the outset if you want to. Eg 'not sure it's thorough' 'how about we get a 2nd opinion', etc.

But it looks much worse if someone says to their boss 'yeah I agreed with this advice before but now I've discovered it was written by a woman so I think we should ignore it'.

KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 12:23

@MaybeSeren , I've turned up for an interview and they expected a man. Complete waste of my time. Turned up for a flat-share, same thing.

MaybeSeren · 11/10/2023 12:33

That's disappointing to hear @KirstenBlest Perhaps I have a naive level of optimism.

Obviously the better thing would be to fix the sexism that underlies all these situations. That seems to be the perennial challenge for the world doesn't it.

KirstenBlest · 11/10/2023 13:12

Sexism, ageism and racism exist, whether we like it or not.
As does name bias.

Karen for example suggests a woman, probably white, in her 50s, and some use it as an insult.

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