Why you should consider gender-neutral names for your little one

Genevieve Mellberg
Genevieve Mellberg
Vee is a former American college student working in Australia this summer. Though they don’t have any kids of their own, they’ve enjoyed teaching at preschools and kids’ dance schools these past few years. You can usually find them making music, painting, or hanging around any nearby animals.
Created on Oct 30, 2023 · 4 mins read

We can’t lie – gendered names can be really cute. You may have even had one picked out since you were a kid and can’t imagine anything else. Still, we’d like you to consider the alternative: gender neutral names.

There’s no denying that naming your child takes away a certain amount of autonomy, but not much can be done about that. After all, we can’t call our kids “Baby 1” and “Baby 2” until they can choose for themselves! That would just be silly. However, gender neutral names are the perfect middle ground.

Gender neutral names have a LOT of upsides. First of all, they’re crazy cute. For proof, we’ve included our favourite 25 common and 25 unique gender-neutral names down below so you can decide for yourself. There’s just as many options as there are for gendered names, you just have to get a bit more creative or look at the right list.

Besides the cuteness factor, there are many other upsides. For example, your kid will be more resistant to the gender bias than kids with gendered names are. For example, job interviewers will not be able to tell your child’s gender just based on their name, which can be a ginormous advantage if the interviewer has subconscious (or conscious) gender biases. Many kids have to deal with bias even before they meet someone, and gender neutral names will help minimise that as much as possible.

The biggest and most obvious benefit: if your kid’s gender identity happens to be different from their gender assigned at birth – which is becoming more and more likely each year – having a non-gendered name will make their life (and yours) much easier. Being trans, genderqueer, or non-binary is already extremely stressful in today’s society, and changing one’s name can be a long, hard process which makes transitioning even more difficult. It can be costly, both financially and emotionally. If a person is having difficulty remembering your kid’s new name, it’ll put strain on their relationship. It can also be a lot of money to change one’s birth certificate, ID, passport, insurance, etc. Altogether, it adds up to around $800-$1100 depending on where you’re from.

Not only will it make their life easier, but it’ll help you out too. Relearning names can be particularly difficult for parents as you have to undo a lifetime of calling your kid by the name you gave them at birth. If there are frequent mess-ups, it can hurt your relationship with your child, which we know is the last thing you’d ever want. With gender-neutral names, it’s much less likely you’ll have to deal with that issue.

Even after this, we still understand if you’re attached to gendered names. There are some adorable ones out there! However, you could at least consider some names that have gender-neutral or opposite gender nicknames associated with it. For example, Alexander is a boy’s name, but your kid could use Alex, Lexi, Allie, or Andi if they don’t end up identifying as a man later in life. This gives them more autonomy over their identity, which every child deserves. For more examples, below we’ve made a list of 10 boy names and 10 girl names that have at least 3 possible gender neutral or opposite gender nicknames.

10 boy names with gender neutral or feminine nicknames

  • Daniel: Dani, Danny, Dee, Ella, Elle
  • Christopher: Chris, Kris, Christy, Kit, Kitty, Sophie
  • Alexander: Alex, Lexi, Allie, Lex, Xandi, Andi
  • Michael: Mickey, Mick, Em, Emmy
  • Oliver: Olli, Olive, Liv, Vivi
  • Beckett: Beck, Becky, Bex, Ettie, Etta
  • Angelo: Angel, Ellie, Angie, Annie
  • Julian: Julie, Jules, Lia, Anna, Jewel, Julia
  • Francis: Fran, Frannie, Cici, Annie
  • Robert: Bobbie, Berta, Bertie, Robin

10 girl names with gender neutral or masculine nicknames

  • Charlotte: Charlie, Char, Harlo, Otto
  • Olivia: Ollie, Olive, Vee
  • Theodosia: Theo, Teo, Teddy
  • Lorelai: Rory, Lory, Lore
  • Samantha: Sam, Sammy, Manny
  • Nicole: Nick, Cole, Nicky
  • Willow: Bill, Billie, Will, Willy
  • Leonora: Lee, Leo, Elle, Lenny
  • Josephine: Jo, Jojo, Joseph, Joey
  • Alessandra: Alex, Ali, Sander, Andre

25 common gender neutral names

  1. Noah
  2. Tristan
  3. Finley
  4. Dylan
  5. Harlow
  6. Quinn
  7. Emerson
  8. Carson
  9. Kennedy
  10. Sasha
  11. Elliot
  12. Caelan
  13. Blake
  14. Scout
  15. Angel
  16. Cameron
  17. Jordan
  18. Logan
  19. Avery
  20. Riley
  21. Parker
  22. Tatum
  23. Skyler
  24. Chandler
  25. Hayden

25 unique gender neutral names

  1. August
  2. Oakley
  3. Wren
  4. Sailor
  5. Robin
  6. Olive
  7. Monroe
  8. Shiloh
  9. Amari
  10. Rowan
  11. Eden
  12. Campbell
  13. Salem
  14. Dakota
  15. Aspen
  16. Blue
  17. Marin
  18. Indigo
  19. Everest
  20. Arden
  21. River
  22. Phoenix
  23. Lennon
  24. Winslow
  25. Sterling

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