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.
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?
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