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Blue to Pink: 15 Baby Names That Went From All Boy to All Girl

Having lived with the name Aela for 35 years, I’ve been asked it all. What kind of name is that? Where did that name come from? Is that Gaelic? Is that a family name? I’m sorry, what did you say? Leila? Kayla? Ava? 

The origins of my name really aren’t that interesting. My mother the once-hippie that she was will tell you she made it up. Two years after I was born, it appeared in a book, spelled differently but pronounced the same way: Ayla. I have never met another Aela, and any Ayla I’ve met has been significantly younger than me. I’ve learned to answer to anything that sounds remotely like my name. Aylea. Ale-ya. Ella. Ava. Eye-la. Ay-lee-la. Leila. And since my name doesn’t have its own meaning attached to it, I have to resort to feeling connected to the meaning of Ayla (oak tree).

While my name’s roots aren’t deep, its pronunciation often befuddled, and its meaning nonexistent, one thing has always been certain: Aela is a girl’s name, through and through.

But is any name really all boy or all girl? I had always mostly thought so, with the obvious exceptions like Jessie and Alex. Jason is clearly a boy name. Claire is certainly a girl name.

And then I came across an article on one of my often-read baby name blogs, Nameberry, that made me question it all. Ashley was once a boy’s name?! Solely a boy’s name? And Cassidy, too? And Kim?

Mind blown. 

Nameberry’s article lists a ton of totally female names that were once 100% boy names. Here are the 15 that most caught my eye, though I must say: They are all pretty surprising. I intentionally paired these names with pictures of adorable baby boys just to show how crazy they seem as boy names!

What do you think? Could any of these names be used today on a boy?

  • Male to Female 1 of 16
    Boy to Girl Baby Names

    Click through to see my picks from Nameberry's list of girl names that were once only boy names!

  • Addison 2 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    In 1880, this name was used 100% for boys. By 2012, it was 98% female. 

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Lindsay 3 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    This name was also 100% male in 1880. In 2012, Lindsay became 100% female.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Whitney 4 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    In 1884, Whitney was 100% male. As of 2012, the name is 99% female. 

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Beverly 5 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    This name went from 100% male in 1880 to 100% female in 2012. 

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Ashley 6 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    In 1880, this name was 100% male. By 2012, it was 100% female. 

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Kelsey 7 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    In 1891, this name was 100% male. And a few boys are still named this today. In 2012, Kelsey was 98% female.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Lauren 8 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    All boy in 1884. All girl by 2012.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Meredith 9 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    This name was used only for boys in 1883, but became totally female by 2012.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Darcy 10 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    100% male in 1915, Darcy is now 94% female. 

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Hilary 11 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    This now-totally 100% female name was 100% male back in 1882.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Sandy 12 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    In the 1950s, Sandy was a gender-neutral name at a ratio of 50/50 for boys and girls. But before that, it was 100% male in 1880, and in 2012, the name was 91% female.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Michele 13 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    Surprisingly, Michele was only 86% female in 2012, meaning that 14% of the babies with this name were boys. In 1905, the name was 100% male.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Quinn 14 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    The switch from all-boy to mostly girl (86% in 2012) happened quick. Nameberry believes the Glee character is responsible for accelerating the change.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Emery 15 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    Emery's change to mostly female was recent. Since 1996, when the name was 50/50, it's become more common for girls and hit 80% female in 2012. It was 100% male in 1880.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

  • Leigh 16 of 16
    Blue to Pink Baby Names

    100% male in 1882, Leigh is now 86% female since 2012.

    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

Check out Nameberry’s full list of boy to girl names HERE!

 

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