Do you think some word/virtue names are stereotyped by gender?

[name]Hi[/name]. I did a post asking for opinions on Remedy as a name, and whether people thought it was better as a boy name or a girl name. While I was thinking about it, something struck me about the way certain word names are assigned a gender. I will just quote a post I made in that particular thread below.

[i]Still can’t decide if it suits a boy or a girl. I adore word names and I know they usually go to the girls, but that seems unfair to both genders. (Ranting in three… two… one) Take [name]Honour[/name]/[name]Honor[/name] for example. Its sound and meaning would make it suitable for either gender… or so I’d have thought. But it’s only used on girls. [name]IMO[/name], that’s kind of like saying that honour is something only girls should bother with. [name]Don[/name]'t even get me started on [name]Virtue[/name], [name]Love[/name] and [name]Modesty[/name].

Another thing that annoys me is that many of the word names for boys are macho stuff like [name]Danger[/name] and [name]Breaker[/name]. Ignoring the fact it’s kind of weird that you would want your son to be dangerous and break stuff, that’s like saying only boys have to be all aggressive and alpha male. Where as the girls are called [name]Grace[/name], [name]Faith[/name], [name]Hope[/name], [name]Charity[/name]… lol. [name]Just[/name] plain weird.

I guess what I’m saying is, Remedy (for either gender) feels like a pretty healthy option compared to all that. Still too scared to use it, though.[/i]

I wasn’t certain that berries would be interested in topics like this, but there is another thread floating around about whether a child should take their father’s surname, their mothers or have it hyphenated and I saw some pretty strong opinions. I myself think there are some virtue names like [name]Patience[/name], [name]Virtue[/name], [name]Joy[/name], Deliverance, [name]Trinity[/name], [name]Love[/name], [name]Hope[/name], etc that would be OK on boys if they weren’t used for girls so much. On a birth announcement I spotted a boy with the middle name [name]Love[/name], and I think if it weren’t used so much for girls it would work. The same applies to some boy virtue names, though there aren’t many. I think [name]Reason[/name] and Valour/[name]Valor[/name] would be acceptable on a girl.

I just think it’s intriguing that [name]Serenity[/name], [name]Grace[/name], [name]Fidelity[/name] etc. is more likely to be a girl whereas [name]Valiant[/name], [name]Fortitude[/name], [name]Bravery[/name], [name]Power[/name] etc. is more likely to be a boy.

So, whatever you think, I’d be really interested to hear. Thanks. :slight_smile:

This is an interesting question to me, and also why place names, and words, are also associated so strongly to one gender or the other.

There doesn’t seem to be as much choice in virtue names for boys - [name]Ernest[/name] is the one that really comes to mind for me. But aside from convention making them girl’s names, [name]Honor[/name] and [name]Hope[/name] as two examples always struck me as quite usable on boys if they had not been used so widely for girls.

Interesting topic…most virtue names ([name]Patience[/name], [name]Temperance[/name], [name]Felicity[/name]) feel very stodgy to me…or like they’re tempting fate ([name]Chastity[/name], [name]Charisma[/name]) or future irony like a woman in prison named [name]Justice[/name].

Very few feel really at home on a boy- [name]Earnest[/name] & [name]Frank[/name]…are we counting [name]Christian[/name]? [name]Royal[/name], [name]Loyal[/name], [name]Lucky[/name], [name]Merritt[/name]? I think [name]Hunter[/name], Shooter, [name]Rebel[/name], ect are probably more popular than any of those.

I guess names like this show even more than others what a parent hopes for their child.

LOL. I love word names but [name]Chastity[/name] is just asking to be made fun of.

[name]Sincere[/name] is in the US top 1000 for boys. So there is hope beyond [name]Hunter[/name] and Shooter/[name]Gunner[/name]. (What if Shooter/[name]Gunner[/name] is a terrible shot?)

I feel that a lot of word names signify what the namer values - I’m not old enough to be a parent at all but [name]Mercy[/name] and [name]Liberty[/name] are on my list. I’m considering [name]Mercer[/name] (possible nn [name]Mercy[/name]) and [name]Free[/name]/[name]Freedom[/name] for a boy.

Obviously a lot of names the Puritans used are just strange these days. [name]Obedience[/name] is beyond stodgy, and [name]Silence[/name] is odd too. [name]Prudence[/name] is cute but could be stodgy. I was looking at old records of areas where they used to use these and there was a lady called Submit. [name]How[/name] is naming your kid Submit in any way going to help them? :confused: [name]Even[/name] back then, I bet Submit was more verb than virtue.

[name]Grace[/name] is obviously way, way too popular for girls but it could be short for [name]Grayson[/name]. And it does rhyme with the masculine [name]Jace[/name] and [name]Mace[/name]. I would put [name]Grace[/name]'s feminine usage down to tradition and stereotypes, but still.

This really is fascinating thread! I have a question, if the virtue in question was a name before it was considered a virtue (like with [name]Frank[/name]) then is it a virtue name? In the sense of are you naming your child after a virtue or is it simply a name that is also a virtue? Im not sure that makes any sense lol but Im curious as to what others think!

Here is a link I found to a blog about male virtue names http://xanthelinnea.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/virtue-names-the-boys/

I think it depends on whether you named your son [name]Frank[/name] specifically after the virtue. But these days if someone says, “Frankly…” I can tell they’re about to be brutally honest with me, which, while beneficial, isn’t a positive feeling at the time. Lol. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the link to the blog post; I’m glad that other people think [name]Honour[/name] would be cool for a boy as well. I like [name]Sage[/name] and [name]Noble[/name], too! [name]Maverick[/name] is NMS, though. I think its usage is more common for boys because of the sound, but I reckon the meaning has more to do with it than I really want to admit. :confused:

@amberdaydream as a Texan I assume [name]Maverick[/name] is relegated to the boys is because the definition of a maverick is an unbranded cattle that is free to run wild or has wondered from it’s mother or round up. [name]Samuel[/name] [name]Maverick[/name] is the namesake, he had a reputation of being what we would call a maverick today as an independent thinker, entrepreneur and leader.

Oh, I see. That actually makes me feel better about the name as a whole. If it’s a (independently thinking bonus!) namesake that is a surname, I’m actually going to repeat your question of whether it’s a virtue name still. :slight_smile: It’s more obscure than [name]Frank[/name]. [name]Maverick[/name] will probably not catch on in my country since the cows aren’t branded, they just have little tags on their ears. :slight_smile:

I guess it depends on what you consider a “virtue” name. “[name]Dash[/name]” or “[name]Danger[/name]” or “[name]Breaker[/name]” aren’t really virtues (no more than “[name]Destiny[/name]” or “[name]Heaven[/name]” - “girl names”)… they’re concepts/words. Same with occupation names… “[name]Hunter[/name]” isn’t a virtue in the classical sense. I think some pp’s have listed some (not so common but usable) virtue names for boys, it just seems right now (not Colonial [name]America[/name]), we favor virtue names on girls. I think research has shown that at least in this era (and perhaps historically too?), Americans specifically are more adventurous in naming girls than boys (just look at the spread of Top 25 names comparing girls and boys - we prefer “safer” names for boys), so I don’t know if it’s stereotyping so much as our willingness to “branch out” with girls and give them names that are uncommon for our day ([name]Temperance[/name], Prudance, [name]Charity[/name] etc). Now, [name]Faith[/name] and [name]Hope[/name] do seem to be pretty common for girls… but I wouldn’t say that when teaching the virtues or discussing them in everyday conversation that we see these to be feminine qualities… they just seem to be favored more for girl names. As a religious person who teaches the virtues, I’ve never considered faith or hope to specifically feminine virtues just because they are used as female names… if that makes sense… has never even crossed my mind when staring down a classroom of boys and girls. :slight_smile: So yeah, I see this issue as more of a comfort with naming styles than a deep-seated belief that virtues are feminine (with the exception, sadly, of chastity… boys definitely should be equally encouraged here as it seems like an age-old stereotype that “that’s the girls job” - blech! But again, in a religious setting, I’ve actually seen this taught equally to both genders).

Now, I do think some qualities… like bravery… are often highly prized in men, and some traditionally male names tend to gravitate towards meanings like “protector” or “brave.” That gets into a chicken and egg debate though… do we just stereotype genders or do boys/girls have some innate differences/preferences (or both)? That is a topic too big for this thread. :slight_smile:

Yes, but I think especially for middle names that any word name could go for either. Some work better on others, such as [name]Grace[/name] for a girl. I don’t think it would be bad on a boy though. Boys tend to get the more “brave” type virtues and girls the more softer “grace, faith” etc.