Why the daring girls names and ultra-safe boys?

As I’ve been perusing the name boards I’ve noticed a trend, both for kids people already have and with names they like: many of you choose daring, bold names for girls (like [name]Isla[/name] [name]Genevieve[/name] or [name]Cassia[/name] [name]Emerald[/name]) and ultra safe names for boys (like [name]William[/name] [name]John[/name] or [name]Jack[/name] [name]Alexander[/name]). I was just wondering if that was an intentional choice and what your reasons for that choice were. As a lover of unique and daring names, I kind of feel like those boys are getting cheated, since you’re bold with their sisters’ names.

I, personally, don’t plan to be so safe with my boy choice. In fact, I don’t think I have any “safe” names on my list! But, I think it’s because a boy has to maintain a kind of manly image or he’ll be teased in school. That’s why no one will use a nname like [name]Ashley[/name] or [name]Lesley[/name] anymore. They don’t want to threaten that kid’s image right off the bat. Girls are more flexible. They can be girly or [name]Tom[/name] boyish. So, those are my opinions on the matter.

for me I like all types of names. I have a top 100 for each gender that is full of ‘safe’ names, ‘unqiue’ names and totally off the wall names. When it comes to actually choosing names for my children I choose something I know I’m not going to get tired of saying over and over and a name that has special meaning.
for me when it come to girl names there are a lot of unique names that I find pleasing in sound, which is harder for boy names with me. The sounds I like in boy names come form more traditional names.

I think it’s partly because of the men in our lives. I think boys are more likely to be teased for their name than girls are and men are more sensitive to that, so they block more daring names.
Also, boys are more likely to be named after family members than girls are, which leads to more classic names.

But mostly, like it or not, men have less freedom in a lot of areas than women do. Women have a host of more clothing choices. A million more “socially acceptable” hairstyle choices. [name]Freedom[/name] to adorn themselves with a never ending array of jewelry, nail polish, hair dye, makeup, piercings, etc. Women are also more free to choose alternative lifestyles without being ostracized or put down for lack of “success” (this may be up for debate, but I think it’s true in a lot of ways).
Think of a person with dyed red hair, 3 piercings in each ear, wearing a necklace, 4 rings, and 3 bracelets, with their hair braided and wearing boots, a studded belt, and a long coat. [name]Imagine[/name] that person as a female and you can see her working in any office in [name]America[/name]. [name]Imagine[/name] that person as a man, and they seem much more “on the fringes”.
It is simply less socially acceptable for men to be other than normal/regular/classic/traditional/etc, and names reflect that.

A name is a form of adornment. I know that for people like my parents, naming a child something like [name]Drake[/name] or [name]Orion[/name] or [name]Rufus[/name] is like getting a face tattoo or walking around with a blue mohawk. They would say that it limits your options and makes people judge you before they know you. Maybe they’re right.

Similar names for girls, I believe, are seen as a form of adornment. The beauty comes before the practicality. It’s judged based on whether it reflects well on the person rather than how it might reflect on their success in life.

The top girls names change more frequently through the years than the boys names. Parents tend to be more conservative when naming sons or name them after older male relatives with more common traditional names. This trend is slowly changing.

This is true for me definately.

I only have girls, but I tend to be conservative with both.

Yes, I totally agree with this.

Also I think there are simply a larger number of boys names that sound “safe” than there are for girls. Take Bible name, for example. While there are thousands of names in the Bible, there are only a couple dozen that sound “safe” for girls. The number of safe-sounding boys names, on the other hand, is extensive. My boys have non-top 100 Bible names, but their names are still more familiar sounding than my girls’ non-top 100 Bible names.

Its a physcological fact that boys with ‘weirder’ or ‘less common’ names are more likely to develop mental problems. Girls however do not have this problem.
I dunno if this is true or not, but i guess its possible because boys can be a lot more sensitive than girls
I’d still like to make some risks with boys names though.

Yes, that is interesting. For most of history, the majority of people who were well known were men. Whether it’s Biblical history, [name]Roman[/name] history, or European history–men are on every page, whereas women only show up occasionally. [name]Hero[/name]'s names become familiar, familiarity leads to approval and use, continual use leads to traditions.
The road to familiar names for women has been a very different one–aside from [name]Mary[/name] and [name]Elizabeth[/name] :slight_smile:

I think boys names will get to the same point as girls are now eventually, it’ll just take longer, and who knows where girls names will be by that point. The availability of name popularity lists have had a huge influence on name choices in the last decade–the boys will catch up. It’s just be baby steps of [name]David[/name] to [name]Davis[/name] to [name]Darius[/name] to who knows–Darjeeling?, rather than the jump from [name]Jane[/name] to [name]Juniper[/name] that the girls have made.

I’ve definitely noticed it too, even within my own family. My name is in the top 1000, and my sister’s was in maybe the top 200 the year she was born, while my brothers’ names are both from the top 50.

I think it’s also partially because a lot of the more out-there boys’ names are pigeonholed as either feminine ([name]Winter[/name]/[name]Harper[/name]/[name]River[/name]/[name]Asa[/name]) or overly pretentious ([name]Archibald[/name]/[name]Ulysses[/name]/[name]Maverick[/name]/[name]Orlando[/name].) I also think there are just fewer recognizable names for boys, especially now that unisex/surname names are being increasingly used on girls.

My boys’ names tend to be much more “daring” than my girls…but I also have a much easier time with my boys’ list, which is apparently unusual, so I’m a Nameberry outlier in all sorts of ways!

I think the unisex and boys names for girls thing has a lot to do with it. More people are comfortable with–or even attracted to–unisex names for girls than they are for boys. When names like [name]Taylor[/name] and [name]Dakota[/name] first hit the scene a couple of decades ago, they were all-boy territory…but when a few parents decided to give those names to their girls, they started to rapidly lose popularity for boys.

Most folks want distinctly masculine names for their boys. I realize it makes me old fashioned, but that’s part of why I get really annoyed when people give their daughters boys names. There are a gazillion ways to be original in the girls name department without absconding with the few unusual and attention grabbing boys names we have left.

I personally wouldn’t call any of our choices “daring”. I mean, [name]Bronwen[/name] is probably the most unusual in the bunch but [name]Linus[/name] is also one we never hear just on a different level than his sisters as far as people knowing it. I do know lots of families where this holds true however 20 years from now I am not sure a “daring” boys name will cause as much pause as it did 20 years ago.

This. My boys’ list is much quirkier and considerably more extensive than my girls’ list. I have the worst time with girls’ names.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “daring” is. For some folks, daring is picking something that isn’t in the top 20 or so names. For others, the only truly “daring” names are either (a) completely made up or (b) virtually guaranteed to get their child picked on. There is a big difference between daring and idiotic. I think you’ve stayed on the right side of it. :wink:

I don’t understand this fear of giving boys uncommon names. Because he’ll get picked on? Thinking back to grade school, the boys who were teased were named [name]James[/name] and [name]Steven[/name]; [name]Angel[/name], Corinthian, and [name]Courtney[/name] were not. So giving your son a “safe” name is no guarantee.

And if his name is mistaken for a girls’, that would be the end of the world because…? I still don’t know but apparently someone mistaking your daughter for a man is a good thing.

Exactly this. Incredibly well said!! Especially the first part. No way my husband would let me pick something too out there; “he’ll get picked on” is always his argument. This is true of both men who were boys who got picked on and men who were boys who did the picking on – I know both, and they all are scared their sons will be picked on and the name is their first (and in some opinions, the only) control they have over that. We also are very traditional and our son is named after previous generations of our family, and so will other sons. I would like to tie our (future) daughters’ names into family too, but that feels like the only place I have to use my favorite beautiful names (though mine are considerably less daring that most here on NB).

Also this:

Drives me crazy. It would be one thing if people named their daughter [name]James[/name] and their son [name]Elizabeth[/name] because it would equal the playing field. But for all their talk of how much they would be fine with their son having a less masculine name, they just don’t.

It goes back to the whole tradition that men have to preserve their masculinity, yet women are more versatile in what direction their persona can take. It’s a sad double standard, but I don’t let it deter me in the least. If anything, I’ve noticed my taste in boy’s names tends to be more elaborate than girls. (i.e. [name]Darius[/name], [name]Isidoro[/name], and [name]Orion[/name] versus [name]Sonya[/name], [name]Maria[/name], and [name]Rosa[/name])

I’ve discovered that I’m more the opposite. Well none of my names are truly out there by boys are more daring than my girls. [name]Remus[/name], [name]Briar[/name], [name]Casper[/name], Kendrew, and [name]Edric[/name] are some my all time favourite names as well as [name]William[/name] and [name]James[/name]. There are very few girls name I actually love and they all qualify as ‘safe’ [name]Lydia[/name], [name]Jane[/name], [name]Gwendolen[/name] and [name]Anna[/name].