We’re back, with the much-awaited answers to Friday’s fun little conundrum.
Truth be told, I was a little cheeky when it came to choosing the names to feature in the Friday conundrum, so for me it came as no surprise that the same names were consistently being wrongly identified as the other gender. However, now you shall know the truth.
The names which ranked higher for boys:
Ashley, #178 compared to #516 for girls
It’s understandable if you got this wrong, a recent Nameberry blog post did say:
at this point, do leave Ashley to the girls
Well, not us Brits, clearly. I don’t suppose anyone is watching the Euros? We have two Ashleys in our current England squad, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. The former was born in 1985, the year Ashley ranked at #2 in the States and in 1984 the name ranked at #49 for boys in England&Wales.
Brook, #1109 compared to #1389 for girls
This is despite the fact that Brooke ranks inside the Top 100, at #45, so this one was a surprise for me. But obviously, not for some of you since a couple of you called right on this one.
Harper, #897 compared to #930 for girls
This name was a case of testing to see whether you’ve all been listening, and clearly you haven’t since everyone got this wrong. This name is also the reason I carefully worded my definition of ‘most popular’ to highest ranking, because truth be told more baby girls were named Harper in 2010, but the name ranked higher for boys. Crafty wording on my behalf? Perhaps.
Laurie, #1109 compared to #1815 for girls
Spelled Lori, this name only ranks for girls (at #2392), but this spelling is more popular for boys. I do know lads named just Laurie, my age and indeed younger.
Mackenzie, #239 compared to #1332 for girls
The interesting thing to not here is that the name is climbing for boys, and falling for girls. The alternate spelling of McKenzie ranks even higher for boys at #153.
Morgan, #106 compared to #229 for girls
My goddaughter, whom we’ve previously mentioned, was going to be named Morgan should she have been a boy. I will hand it to anyone who thought this ranked higher for girls, Morgan ranked inside the Top 100 for girls back in the early noughties – peaking at #59 in 2000, however the male ranking still eclipsed the female one at #52 in 2000. Both have clearly dropped since then, but more so on the female popularity list.
Tristyn, #3332 compared to not ranking at all for girls
I wondered whether the spelling-with-a-y would trip some up, and it looks like it did. I know, this was another mean-spirited selection and perhaps you all would’ve opted for the blue side if it had been spelled Tristan.
What it does demonstrate is that -yn isn’t necessarily a feminine ending, and indeed in Wales many male names are spelled with a y, i.e. Gwyn is a male name, Gwen is a female name.
As it so happens, another variant Trystan only ranks for lads too, and the highest ranking version of the name is Tristan at #121. Possible Top 100 aspirations? With all the variants to consider, it’s very much a possibility.
The names which ranked higher for girls:
Beaux, #2843 compared to not ranking at all for boys
Clearly, if you have a working knowledge of French grammar, your inclination would be that this name ranked higher for boys, as beaux is the masculine plural form of beau, a French word meaning beautiful. This was a slightly mean pick on my behalf, especially as late last year there was a Brit celeb-baby boy born named Beaux.
Bobbi, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys
I wondered whether those whom know that Bobby ranks at #83 for the boys would be inclined to believe this ranks more highly for a boy, but that sadly isn’t the case. I do wonder, however, whether people were swayed by Ms. Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston, as I presume more know about her than the fact that Bobby is in the England&Wales Top 100.
London, #2392 compared to #2941 for boys
There have been two examples of celeb-babies of both genders being given the name London in recent times: in September 2011, Jay McGraw welcomed a son named London Phillip; at the end of May 2012 Brooke White welcomed daughter London Ray.
Lou, #4012 compared to not ranking at all for boys
Woo! How could I resist not including my name? This is in line with European trends for Lou as a female name.
Reese, #1180 compared to #1241 for boys
The names Rhys (#65) and Reece (#84) both rank not only higher for boys, but both are inside the Top 100. Then we have the Reese Witherspoon spelling which is slightly ahead for girls.
Skyler, #1731 compared to #2400 for boys
This is the flipside to the States, where Skyler ranks higher for boys at #287 compared to #456 for girls.
Storm, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys
No one got this right either, and I can see why, the name Storm could be seen as akin to the name Bear – which is seen almost exclusively as a boy name, amongst the emerging crop of boys names with an almost wild & rugged edge to them. But alas, this is not the case.
Hmmm, I guess my thinking was too American.
I’d be interested to see the overall numbers – I notice that after #1000, the US popularity charts switches from rankings to overall numbers.
By the bye – did you see that the UK now has its own Baby Name Voyager thingy? Sadly it only goes back to 1996 (!), but I will have a lot of fun playing on it, I’m sure.