Boy-girl names; Girl-boy names.

I need a feminine boy name, or, rather, a now-girl’s name that was used for boys way back when.

The problem is, names that are girl names now weren’t girl names then. So I’m trying to find something really fluffy and feminine. Maybe something that is totally and completely feminine.

He’s a cowboy living in the [name]Texas[/name]/Mexico territory in the mid-1840’s or so. He’s a renegade of sorts, and through the whole story he goes by the name of [name]Colton[/name]. [name]Colton[/name] Kolbe. He admits from the get-go that that’s not his real name, claiming that he likes anonymity, blah, blah, but in reality, he’s ashamed of his real name, which is really girly and feminine. In the very end he admits his name. So the humor and the drama really rests on a good name.

So I need your help! Here are some names I found that are both boy’s and girl’s names that would work:

[name]Valerie[/name] ??

What if I just gave him the name [name]Mary[/name]? Or [name]Nicole[/name]? Help!

Thanks everyone!


A few ideas … all of these were originally boys names. Good luck!


Well, [name]Marion[/name] was still in regular use for boys at this point, so [name]Mary[/name] could actually work; parents shooting for a cute diminutive and landing the wrong side of the gender divide?

This is a tough one, as the vast majority of contemporary ‘unisex’ names were male in this period and therefore not embarrassing. [name]Ashley[/name] and [name]Kelly[/name], for example, weren’t used for girls before the mid-20th century. You actually need a name that wouldn’t commonly have been given to boys, because that would rob it of its girliness. Maybe a family name that happens to sound like a girl’s name, such as [name]Abbey[/name], [name]Amey[/name] or [name]Jane[/name] (yes, according to Wikipedia, [name]Jane[/name] is a surname)… and actually, I like the idea of a cowboy named [name]Jane[/name] so much that I have no further suggestions to offer.

[name]Jane[/name] makes me think of [name]Jayne[/name] on Firefly. At first I was like, what? But then it just seemed to suit him.