Unisex Baby Names

10 baby names that don't adhere to gender norms


 

Like baby rooms, baby names can be anything you want them to be. A baby's future doesn't need to be determined by their gender, so if you'd like your baby to make their own choices about who they are and which gender they feel comfortable with, you may want to stick to names that can work for either a boy or girl.

Here are some of our favourites so far -- and feel free to add yours in the comment section below.

1. Jaden 
Fans of pop culture (and the Smith family), you are likely already aware of the splash Jaden Smith is currently making on social media, making this name one of the most talked-about in recent weeks. As for its meaning, "Jaden" is a form of "Jade," which translates into "precious stone." (And for the record, "Jade" is a pretty great name, too.)

2. Aubrey
Not to base this list entirely on pop culture, but there are two reasons why Aubrey makes a great unisex name: 1) Aubrey Plaza, who plays April on Parks and Recreation, and 2) Aubrey Graham, who plays Drake in real life. As for what the name means: "Fair Ruler of the Little People." So expect your baby to grow up a great leader.

3. Francis/Frances
But on the flip side, you could take a biblical name and apply it to a boy or girl since it suits each perfectly. Originally the name of Saint Francis of Assisi (in the 13th century), it's since been shortened to "Frank" for guys, or written as "Frances" for girls -- though with today's million spellings, either spelling can apply to either sex.

4. Jamie
While Jamie was once only the short form of "James" (which has become more and more popular as a girl's name), it was also adopted for names like Jaimie-Lee (or Jamie-Lee or Jamilee) in the '80s and '90s (at least according to my friends with those names). However, it's always been passable for boys or girls, and is another example of older names coming back. Just avoid spelling it "Jaymie" if you want to keep it classic.

5. Dana
If you're not willing to name your boy after SNL alum Dana Carvey, then what is even the point. But if the funnyman isn't proof that "Dana" works well as a boy's name, Dana from Step By Step is obviously more than enough of a reason to embrace that name for a girl. However, more seriously, the name was originally used as a surname before becoming popular by author Richard Dana in the 1800s. Since, its popularity has fallen since the 1950s -- but that's arguably more of a reason to bring it back.

6. Alex
Some names stick around for a reason, and "Alex" is a prime example of a name that adapts to suit generations. Alexander for a boy, Alexandra or Alexa for a girl: the name can act as a gender-free nickname if you want to go to the traditional baby name route, or you can commit to "Alex" straight up for a modern take on a old favourite.

7. Cameron
A tradtionally Scottish name (when used for a boy), it was also adapted from its surname origins as centuries progressed. But we already know how well it works with either gender: Cameron Diaz is one example, while Wiz Khalifa's real name is actually Cameron Thomaz. (And Wiz Khalifa rules -- as we all know.)

8. Parker
Still traditionally pegged as a boy's name on some baby sites, it's become increasingly recognized as a girl's as the '90s and 2000s progressed. According to The Baby Name Wizard, it originates from "a surname which arose as an occupational name for one who worked in a park." So the proof is there: the name's really for anyone.

9. Sam
Anyone who lived through the '90s will attest to this: anybody named "Sam" (particularly Gaby Hoffmann's character in Now and Then) was cooler than everybody. As we know, "Sam" is a short form of "Samantha" which is the female form of "Samuel" -- which means "God" in Hebrew. Like with "Alex," you can use it as a nickname -- or you can name your child "Sam" and let them choose how to use it.

10. Rowan
Believe it or not, "Rowan" actually means "little red-headed one," so if you have a baby with red hair, it looks like you've got yourself a name. However, throughout history it's never really been categorized as one gender-specific name or another -- so you can take a page from the book of Rowan Atkinson, or borrow from Brooke Shields, who named her daughter Rowan ten years ago.

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