Geezer Names for Girls

See the results of this poll: What do you REALLY think of traditional men’s names (like Stanley) for girls?

Respondents: 40 (This poll is closed)

  • I think it sounds terrible and would never do that to my daughter.: 22 (55%)
  • I could see a few possibilities working.: 13 (33%)
  • It’s fine for others, but not for me.: 5 (13%)
  • I think that it’s totally on point and really hip.: 0 (0%)

I can think of a few examples that transition kind of easily - like [name]Sydney[/name] is a great example. Not sure when it came into vogue (or was ever really too popular), but at some point, it seemed cute on a girl even when it was an old man kind of name, and now unusable on a boy, [name]Sid[/name] the [name]Science[/name] Kid, notwithstanding. That’s a weird show.

[name]Bailey[/name] is another one I’d bring up - although most consider this name a boy’s name that the girls “stole,” it was pre-emptively stolen. It was out of use for boys for a long time and emerged on the girls side in the 1983, not on the boys’ side until 1992, and has in the current era, been a lot more popular on a girl than a boy by hundreds of rank points. I think we are in a time where a lot of names ending with -ley like [name]Stanley[/name], like [name]Bailey[/name], and like [name]Ashley[/name] and [name]Shirley[/name] before them start to slide over to the girls side.

I really think it is subjective, but a lot of trends (or name talk here) point to the feminized form of a male geezer name instead, names like [name]Bernadette[/name], [name]Henrietta[/name], [name]Harriet[/name], maybe even for some, [name]Geraldine[/name], [name]Ernestine[/name], [name]Edwina[/name]. [name]Georgia[/name] and [name]Georgina[/name], as well as [name]Josephine[/name] ([name]Joseph[/name] is not a geezer name so much, but [name]Josephine[/name] kind of is antiquated revival), and [name]Philippa[/name] are some of the more accessible names we are considering. [name]Haven[/name]'t heard anything about [name]Clementine[/name] in a while, but [name]Clem[/name] kind of associates with men of a certain oldness, as well as [name]Sally[/name]/[name]Sal[/name], and other masculine nicknames from feminine names like [name]Frankie[/name] for [name]Francesca[/name] or [name]Charlie[/name] for [name]Charlotte[/name].

I think for the “cutting edge,” they might take a name that really just sounds appropriate for a girl (to them), or different, out of vogue altogether, and they probably won’t get too much approval from the forum posters. They know they are being outrageous, so if that’s what they want to do, I don’t think names like [name]Harold[/name] or [name]Floyd[/name] will become that popular for a girl just because someone thinks it’s neat to name their daughter that.

I really dislike boys names on girls. I especially hate how girls are taking over [name]Finley[/name]/[name]Finn[/name]!

[name]Karen[/name] - I still think that [name]Sidney[/name] (with that spelling) is usable for a boy.

I’m not really sure. I think [name]Stanley[/name] is pretty handsome for a boy, some of these “geezer” names are also kind of funky. I’m not a big fan of a lot of names people seem to be plucking from that category for boys (or girls) like [name]Oscar[/name] or [name]Jasper[/name], but probably am theoretically more inclined toward a [name]Harold[/name] or ? [name]Stanley[/name], I guess we’ll say. Edited to clarify: for a boy.

I’m not sure where [name]Sidney[/name] falls on this spectrum. I don’t know that it’s been too used for girls that it’s definitely outrageous for a boy again, but something about it just doesn’t seem appealing for a boy, if that makes sense. It’s just too geezer and not in the cool jazzy way. Maybe because I can’t really see the appeal of [name]Oscar[/name] on a kid, I’m way off. It seems similar to other names more like a [name]Morton[/name] or a [name]Dudley[/name] that people are going to pass on for a boy, but I still think [name]Sydney[/name] is cute on a girl for some reason - not in the way that I think it’s only a girls name, but I get a totally different imagery if I imagine a girl - if that makes sense.

ETA: As opposed to the [name]Harold[/name] and [name]Stanley[/name] examples, I would use [name]Sydney[/name] on a girl instead, but if I was going to do that, I would probably go with [name]Cynthia[/name] instead (even though I’ve been advised it’s too soon).

I think it’s nothing new. “[name]Alfred[/name]” was on the Top 1000 for girls sometime in the 1880s. I once named a female character in a story “[name]William[/name]”. [name]Edward[/name] [name]Wong[/name] Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV is a female character from Cowboy Bebop (though she did name herself, lol). I think [name]Henry[/name] is a cute nn for [name]Henrietta[/name], even though [name]Henry[/name] is one of my top choices for a son. Honestly, if I had to choose between a downright manly name ([name]James[/name], say) or a more ambiguous one ([name]Bailey[/name]) for a daughter, I’d probably go for the former. They sound staunch and real, and not as frippy as some of the more popular names for ladies.

[name]Even[/name] still, I’d rather name a daughter [name]Matilda[/name] or [name]Rose[/name] than [name]Stanley[/name] or [name]Richard[/name].

This thread explains (probably the primary reason) why names like [name]Alfred[/name] have “ranked” in the top 1,000 for girls back then:

I am among the rare group of people ( at least to my understanding) on nameberry that really dislike unisex names, and especially dislike distinctively male names ([name]Stanley[/name], [name]James[/name], etc; ) on girls. But it goes both way, as i dislike distinctively girly names on boys as well. But i think a lot of name preferences depend on age and family. In your family if you have men named [name]Sidney[/name], its a male name but if you have an aunt [name]Sidney[/name], its a female name. I personally grew up with gender specific names, masculine boys name, frilly girly girl names. So anything diffrent to that, is weird to me.

I believe personally [name]Bailey[/name], is a female name, as is [name]Sidney[/name]. I never grew up with males with those names, so it sounds odd as they sound feminine to me, and always have. There are many names that just sound feminine or just sound masculine. I think i good example of this (for me) is [name]Sloan[/name]. I love [name]Sloan[/name] for a boy, a very handsome masculine name. However [name]Sloane[/name] makes me sad, it sounds like a boys name, a a rough boys name yet its used as a female name. So i have a hard time understanding these sort of name choices. Such as the [name]Eric[/name] [name]Dane[/name] [name]Rebecca[/name] Gayheart thread on the celebrity baby name topic. [name]Billie[/name], is a strictly masculine name, a form of [name]William[/name], so its weird.

So i personally dislike names that arnt gender specific, but i grew up in a very 1950’s like home, women have specific roles, men have specific roles. Men are named [name]Sloan[/name] and women are names [name]Bailey[/name]. But people who are raised differently see different names on different genders so what is “normal” is different to every person.

Ahh, thank you. :slight_smile:

Still, there are plenty of young ladies throughout history who were named directly after their fathers, with no one fussing over whether the name was “feminine” enough. (Most people I know like [name]William[/name] more than Willhemina, for perspective.) [name]Anne[/name] [name]Rice[/name] was born [name]Howard[/name] [name]Allen[/name] O’[name]Brien[/name], and while she goes by [name]Anne[/name] nowadays, the sentiment is there that you don’t have the be born a boy to be worthy of your old man’s name.

[name]Just[/name] playin’ devil’s advocate here, don’t shoot! :wink:

Also, and it could be because I grew up in a very liberal household (here in the South, lol), but names have rarely been “all-boy” or “too girly” to me. I mean, obviously I’ll have a picture in my mind when someone says [name]Claude[/name] or [name]Marie[/name], but in [name]France[/name] [name]Claude[/name] is a unisex name and [name]Marie[/name]'s been used for both sexes, as well. It’s just like when I hear “[name]Percy[/name]”: that name could belong to [name]Percy[/name], [name]Percival[/name], or [name]Persephone[/name] and the fact that I can’t guess what’s in someone’s underpants when I hear it doesn’t bother me. Same with [name]Sam[/name]/[name]Samuel[/name]/[name]Samantha[/name] and [name]Lee[/name]/[name]Leigh[/name].

I always considered male names on girl something of a Southern tradition. My husband’s aunt is named [name]Wayne[/name] and his grandmother is Lynois (pronounced [name]Linus[/name]).