10 Feminisations We’re Not Using (Much)

Bill's New Frock front cover, from egmont.co.uk

Some people don’t like the idea of feminised names at all, but the simple fact is that with Oliver and female form Olivia occupying the top spots for either gender, lots of people do and lots of people are using them. That said, there are still plenty of other popular male names with female forms, but the female forms are nowhere near as popular as their male counterpart. Why so? Admittedly, some seem a bit too much clunky, but there are some with potential. So, here’s my list of 10 names which could work:

1. Adamina

Male equivalent Adam is at #39, whilst Adamina does not rank (although Adama does rank at #3156). That certainly does surprise me, given that Adamina can give the nickname Addie, which many parents are striving for these days. If you don’t like Adelaide (#910), Ada (#499), Adriana (#567), Adele (#683) or Addison (#601), then Adamina is one to consider.

2. Alfreda

The male version of this name is Alfred, but it’s his short form Alfie which has taken the popularity charts by storm – ranking at #4 in England&Wales in 2010, all this whilst Alfreda does not rank at all. That said, Freda and Frieda both rank at #2392.

3. Benjamine

Benjamine is very much the French feminine form of Benjamin, a name which ranked at #22 in 2010, whereas Benjamine did not rank at all – and isn’t much in the way of popular back in her home country of France.

4. Frederica

Frederick is at #95, whilst Frederica is is the first name on this list to boast a ranking at #3156. We’ve previously mention Frederica in one of our sibset posts, talking about the children of comedian Harry Hill.

5. Henrietta/Henriette

Henrietta is one of the highest ranking names on our list at #730, but she’s still nowehere when compared to her male equivalents of Harry (#3) and Henry (#34), and indeed sister Harriet (#86). Variant Henriette ranks much lower down at #5707 (which was the lowest possible ranking a name could get in 2010, aside from being unranked).

6. Jacobine

Jacob was #1 in the States in 2010, whilst he was just outside the Top 10 at #12 here in England&Wales. However, Jacobine did not rank at all, nor did Jacoba.

7. Jamesina

Brother of Jacob is James, who ranks just that little bit higher at #10, whilst, like Jacobine, Jamesina does not rank. However, plenty of parents are happily using Jamie for both genders: #49 for lads, #634 for lasses.

8. Owena

The Welsh Owen is at #59, whilst Owena do not rank – but plenty of similar sounding names do rank, such as Lowenna (#1389), Rowena (#2392) and Elowen (#5707).

9. Roberta

It was recently reported that Robbie Williams is considering the name Roberta for his unborn baby girl, and I’m surprised to see the name rank as high as it does, at #1653, compared with Robert’s ranking of #90.

10. Thomasina

The name Thomas is at #6, whilst Thomasina is at a lowly ranking of #4688. Famed food writer Nigella Lawson has sisters named Horatia and Thomasina, and sticking with the cooking theme, a lady by the name of ThomasinaTommi‘ Miers won Masterchef in 2005.

Categories: Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “10 Feminisations We’re Not Using (Much)

  1. Frederica and Henrietta have been favourites of mine for quite sometime. I also really like Roberta, especially with the nickname Robbie.


  2. Elea

    Oh I love Thomasina — particularly with its petform Tamsin. I also like Hetty with Henriette.


  3. JM

    I also wish I heard more Americans use Davina.

    Alfreda reminds of the book “The Shooting Party” and the dear duck who was named Elfrida Beetle. Violet’s nanny made Violet change the duck’s name from Alfreda Beetle to Elfrida Beetle since the revised spelling was a better shortening of the duck’s biographic information–“Elle freed a beetle.”


  4. I sort of like Frederica but only the idea of Frederica. I love it for someone else’s baby.

    Thomasina is the same idea – I love the idea of it, but not sure if I could use it on my flesh and blood.

    Jamesina always seemed too contrived for me.

    I will say I have never heard of Benjamine, but I sort of like it. If Josephine can take off, maybe Benjamine can too. But Josephine has the cute nickname Josie and that “f” sound in it, like Sophia and Seraphina.

    The closest equivalent Benjamine, has to Josie is Benji, which reminds me of the movie about a dog – not an association most parents want for their daughters. Jamie might work, but is rather dated.

    Owena is lovely. But some parents are going straight to Owen for their daughters.


  5. My favourites are Henrietta and Jamesina. Henrietta feels adequate as a name for a 19th century lady but also for a baby in our times . There are so many possible nicknames like Etta and Henrie.


  6. Pingback: Sunday Summary: Easter Edition | Appellation Mountain

  7. Charlotte

    I love the name Albertine… Bertie is a cute nickname too.


  8. My nana is Jamesie


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