Are Girls’ Names More Trendy?

While you may hear some of the same boys’ names on the playground now that you heard when you were a kid (hello, Michael and Ryan!), odds are you won’t find any girls sporting the names that were popular when you were a kid—for instance, I haven’t met a single young Jennifer, Lisa or Heather. And it turns out, girls’ names tend to fall out of favor much more quickly—according to findmypast.com, an online genealogy site, they turn over in popularity at least seven times more often than the boys’ names.

I don’t think it’s a matter of lack of creativity on the boys’ parents’ part. Here’s my theories on why this happens:

1. There are more options out there for girls. There seem to be far fewer names out there for boys—as I discovered when I was searching out names for my potential son. Especially if you take out all those -aden, -aiden and -ayden baby names (which I did).

2. The girls have taken over so many names. Some names that were once for boys only, like Casey, Riley, Dana and Kennedy, are becoming more associated with girls than boys—and that means that there may be even bigger limits to what’s available for boys.

3. I think girls’ parents feel more free to be creative with their baby’s names. I think parents worry more about giving boys a name that stands out (in case it could create problems with bullies on the playground), while girls are less likely to have issues with names that are unique.

4. You can’t discount the “junior” factor. While women may be less inclined to give their daughters the same names they have, there are always plenty of juniors (and beyonds) around—and that means that names get passed down through the generations.

What do you think? Have you found that there are fewer options for boys’ names than girls?

Photo: Family by Jacqui Martin / Shutterstock

Add a Comment
Back To In Name Only

Find a Baby Name

Browse by

or Enter a name

  1. by Dusko M

    On August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Hello from the other side of the Ocean :) Altough here in Montenegro (small Adriatic contry of some 650.000) we have a bit diferent ‘way’ of giving names (no ‘junior’ factor), I believe there is definitley fewer options for boys’ names.
    My wife and I, we had so much good ideas for girls’ names compared to boys’ and, oooo, we needed them so much. Now we have 3 boys and girl, and here are their names (it could be interesting for you to hear some Slavic boys’ names unusual even in Montenero, and we were trying so hard to be distinct in a way): Fedja, Relja, Srdan. And girl’s name is Itana.
    It would be it :)
    Best regards from the first (and only) parrenting portal in Montenegro – Roditelji.me

  2. by Meredith

    On August 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

    As a woman who is pregnant with her first child, who happens to be a boy, I find this interesting but not surprising. We had an easier time picking a boys name possibly because there are less ‘unusual’ options (we ended up with Grayson). Our last name is super common (Jones) so we didn’t want a super common first name. My husband’s name is David so he knows what it’s like having a super common name. My name was never common growing up, and it also happens to have been traditionally a boy’s name. It was near impossible for me to find anything that had my name on it in stores (cups, pens, etc.) But that made it all the more special when I did find it!

  3. by Leanne

    On August 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I, for one, certainly hope the trend of using boy’s names for girls falls by the wayside sooner rather than later. It was very difficult naming my 2 sons vs. my daughter because I absolutely didn’t want a “unisex” name. Do you realize how many names that eliminates? Apparently it didn’t matter because, as it turns out, no boy’s names are off limits when it comes to naming girls.

    It’s just getting ridiculous, to be honest.