There’s a new baby name trend to watch out for and it’s certainly turning some heads! According to baby naming experts, Nameberry, gender-neutral names are on the rise for boys!
Gender-neutral names or unisex names have been popular for years and years, but parents tend to use these cute choices for their little girls. Traditionally masculine names such as Billie, Charlie, Frankie, Stevie and Jesse, for example, are rising up the charts for girls too. Even names like Lincoln, Logan and Wyatt, quite popular on the boy’s lists, are now being used for little girls.
But recently it’s not just our little girls rocking gender-neutral names. This new trend is hitting our next gen of adorable baby boys too. Nameberry ran the numbers and uncovered 42 adorable names that lean feminine but are on the rise for boys.
All of these names are traditionally feminine (given to 90% to 65% of girls) and are all increasing in popularity on the boys’ naming lists. Some rose by as much as 158%. Each name was given to at least 50 baby boys in 2022 and included a wide range of charming options including nature names and geographical names.
The rise of natural gender-neutral names for boys
Nameberry shared their list just after Chrissy Teigen and John Legend announced the arrival of their fourth baby – a son named Wren which is a type of bird and a big riser on nature baby name lists, traditionally for girls though.
“Wren is a unisex name — by our definition, one that is given to the minority sex at least 10% of the time — but was 88% feminine in 2022. This falls in line with the rising trend of using unisex names and gender-neutral names for baby boys,” Nameberry explains.
Other than Wren, here are the typically feminine names quickly rising for boys that also gain their inspiration from nature:
1. Aspen – Prepare to see a lot more Aspens in kindergarten in a few years’ time. Aspen is not only a cute gender-neutral option, but also plays homage to nature.
2. Oaklee and Oakley – This nature name has been crawling up the charts for a few years now but mostly for our girls. Perhaps Oaklee is the more masculine way to spell it? Oakley for girls, Oaklee for boys?
3. Sky – A lovely name for anyone, Sky used to be quite popular for girls, but it’s now also a trending choice for boys too.
4. Sunny – If someone asked me if Sunny sounds like a girl’s name or a boy’s name, I really wouldn’t know! What do you think?
Other nature-inspired gender-neutral names rising for boys include Rain and Indigo.
Another really interesting trend is traditionally female geographical names are now being used for boys. These include:
10 adorable fastest-rising gender-neutral names for our boys
1. Emery – The fastest feminine rising name for boys is Emery, according to Nameberry. It means “industrious” or “powerful” which is great for our strong little boys.
2. Noa – While Noah has always been traditionally masculine, Noa is considered the feminine equivalent. However, many parents are choosing the short option for their boys and ditching the h completely.
3. Sage – Very pretty and rising in popularity, Sage features on a number of our baby name lists, but usually it is reserved for girls. Not anymore!
4. Harlow – The name Harlow is elegant and sophisticated which is why it is so popular among girls. However, Harlow rose a whopping 93% on the boys’ list in 2022.
6. Kendall – Many think of Kendall Jenner when they hear this name but it would appear more and more parents like the name Kendall for their sons, not daughters.
7. Morgan – Morgan used to be popular back in the 80s and it’s set to make a comeback this year. It’s hard to tell whether it’s more masculine or feminine. When we asked 20 people what they thought, 10 said it was a boy’s name and 10 said a girl’s name.
8. Scout – The name Scout hails from To Kill a Mockingbird where the character is female but Scout is becoming just as popular for boys.
9. Ariel – This one surprised us – Ariel, which is the epitome of mermaid vibes, is now being used for boys. The name actually means “lion of God”.
10. Jovi – This happy-go-lucky name seems best suited for a little girl but rock and rollers may opt to name their little boys Jovi after Bon Jovi. The name actually derives from the Roman god, Jove.
The full list of gender-neutral names now being used for boys
Additional gender-neutral names we love
Finley – This is a really popular option in America for both genders, although it’s normally reserved for little boys here in Australia. According to Motherly, the name Finley is a 58-42 split in favour of girls’ names.
Mika – Mika is considered a girl’s name in many countries and a boy’s name in many other countries. In Australia, it can easily be either and we reckon it’s a cute option regardless. Other spellings include Micah or Mica.
Marlow – If you like literary names, Marlow is a winner – it’s the name of a famous writer from the olden days. But in modern times, it’s part classic, part bad-ass and super cute to boot. Variations include Marlo and Marlowe.
Lennon – Little Lennie is as hip as they come and definitely has that rock-n-roll cool. Other names that can be used for both genders and have roots in music include Jagger, Dylan and Presley.
Additional themed baby names
Head to our Baby Names section for more ‘themed’ name options including:
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