178 Gender Neutral Names and Their Meanings - Baby Chick

178 Gender Neutral Names and Their Meanings

Baby NamesUpdated January 24, 2023

by Jessica Tzikas

Additional contribution by Stefanie Miller

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Picking the name of your baby isn’t an easy task. It’s a decision that has lifelong consequences! Looking to name trends is an excellent way for many moms and dads to get inspired and find the right name for their babies. Lately, the biggest trend has been giving little girls traditionally male names. Thanks to celebrities like Blake Lively, who has a historically male name, naming her daughter James, or Haylie Duff, whose two-year-old has the sweet name Ryan. The trend has gotten so strong that parents have looked at things the opposite way, giving their sons names that may traditionally sway toward females.

Why Choose a Unisex Name?

There are obvious reasons why you might choose a gender-neutral name. Some parents like to keep the gender a surprise until birth, and a unisex name allows them to have a few options before their new family member’s arrival. Or maybe you want a hip, modern, or more mainstream name.

Of course, you might also choose a unisex name because you have decided to raise your child as “genderless” or “non-binary” until they are old enough to know who they are. Many transgender or non-binary couples choose this route to give their child the freedom to figure out their identity.

Gender-Neutral Names for Your Baby

FOR GIRLS:

Atlas

When it comes to girl names, Atlas should be topping the charts. The meaning behind it is “carrying the weight of the earth on his shoulders,” and I think as moms, we know they MUST be talking about a woman! There is no doubt your girl will be tough and resilient with a name like this!

August

August recently gained traction as a baby name when Mandy Moore gave this name to her newborn son in early 2021. The name August comes from a Latin background meaning “magnificent.” That doesn’t sound very gender-neutral to us! Showing off your little lady’s magnificent side will be easy with this cute gender-neutral name.

Blake

I knew a female Blake in elementary school and thought the name was so unique for a girl. But once Blake Lively entered the scene, it seemed less so. The name Blake has been used so often for girls that it has almost taken on an utterly female tone. Blake is an English name meaning pale, which is adorable for your sweet little newborn.

Dawson

Calling all 90’s Mommas! Think about how different our favorite teen sitcom would have been if our main character, Dawson, was a girl. This name is dreamy and fun. Stemming from the classic name David, Dawson means “loved.” Who knows? Maybe your girl will have a love for water (and filmmaking) too!

Dylan

Dylan has been a strong name for boys since 1960, thanks to Bob Dylan. But as celebrities like Robin Wright, Sean Penn, and Alyssa Milano chose the name for their little girls, others have caught on. Dylan means “sea,” which is lovely no matter the gender.

Elliot

Elliot began as a last name, so its entrance into first-name land has always been marked as gender-neutral. It comes from the Hebrew name Elijah and formally means “Lord is my God.” The best part about the name, though? It has so many adorable nicknames for boys and nicknames for girls.

Ezra

Derived from Hebrew and meaning “helper,” Ezra is a sweet and unexpected name for a girl! For a nickname, you could play off of the classic name Izzy and shorten this gender-neutral name to Ezzy, giving it a feminine flair. It could also be cute to swap out the Z for an S, creating Esra, making this a similar name to Isla!

Gray/Grey

This shortened surname, originally Grayson, doesn’t have a clear meaning – aside from the obvious color description. It’s gained popularity recently, probably thanks to a particular book-turned-movie phenomenon. It’s such an edgy and cool name for your girl.

James

James first came from the more traditional name Jacob, gaining popularity after kings began ruling with the name James. It is still pretty far down on the list for 2019, but it has increased by a whopping 681 since 2017, so it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing a lot of girls named James in your child’s future classes.

Jonah

I think this could arguably be a more feminine name in the first place. Jonah is of Hebrew roots and means “dove.” When I hear Dove (another fabulous girl name choice!) I think of a soft and feminine animal, making Jonah an excellent girl name option! Plus, what little girl wouldn’t want the nickname JoJo!? I’ll get her oversized bows ready!

Killian

One more point for our warrior women! Killian is a traditional Irish name and is another name on the warrior list, specifically standing for “little fiery warrior.” Killian is a good choice for a brave girl.

Mason

It is important to talk to girls about getting into trade work, so why not start at birth? Giving your little girl the name Mason, meaning “one who works with stone,” will show her that she is strong and capable. Plus, Mae is always an adorable nickname!

Maxwell

Often shortened to Max, Maxwell has recently become a strong contender for girls. Meaning “great” can be interchanged easily between the two genders. If you love the name but aren’t sold on it completely, it can also be a great middle name!

Noah

This biblical name has consistently topped the charts for boys, but its sweet and cozy demeanor is the perfect fit for your little angel. Noah means “rest and comfort,” which sets a lovely tone for you and your newborn girl to enjoy time together. She will always find comfort in you… and you will hopefully find some rest!

Reed

The name Reed is becoming a staple in the classroom lately, as it’s grown in popularity. Reed is one of the last-name-turned-first-name phenomena that stuck. This is an easy name to incorporate into your family, as it is an excellent match for almost any other pick! It holds strong beside boy names and can stand out amongst other girls.

River

From rushing to calm, a river is constantly changing, much like our little ones! Though its meaning is not too clever (it literally means a river), the feelings it brings are perfect for your daughter. It’s a poetic and beautiful name, making it feminine by nature. You’re bound to get compliments and questions when you give your girl this gender-neutral name!

Ryan

Ryan means “descendent of the king” or “little king,” making this name classically male. But it’s 2021, and who says girls can’t be kings? Others seem to agree as the name has grown in popularity for girls (up 76 spots on the popularity list!). For boys, however, the name has declined in popularity since 2017.

Ryder

One of my favorite names, Ryder, swings between girl and boy easily. My oldest is named Ryder, which gained even more traction when Paw Patrol hit the airwaves. It is now on the rise for girls, thanks to Cheyenne Floyd’s daughter from Teen Mom. Ryder comes from the English word for “mounted warrior.” Like Wyatt (see below), we know boys aren’t the only soldiers we’re raising!

Sonny

This one is a true gender bender! Although it sounds like the sun in the sky, Sonny is a nickname for “son.” It is a nickname for a baby boy in a family, so what better swap to make than use it for your baby girl! I love how it is strong but still cute to say. It hit peak popularity for boys in the 70s due to half of the musical duo Sonny and Cher, but it has come back into play recently, with over 100 girls grabbing this name in 2015. “Come on, Sonny, let’s go, girl!”

Tate

Short and sweet, this name reminds me of sunshine. That may have something to do with the fact that it means “cheerful.” Tate is like the modern approach to Kate, making a small switch to add some funk to the classic name. Tate started hitting the girl charts in 2015, with just over 30 girls being given this name.

Wyatt

The perfect name for your little warrior. Wyatt, of English origin, means just that! It sits around number 60 for popularity for boys in the United States, but I think it’s a perfect name for a girl. Snuggle up with your little miss while you listen to “Lullaby for Wyatt” and rock your little warrior to sleep!

FOR BOYS:

Addison

Addison is an absolute when it comes to gender-neutral names. This name didn’t hit the girl name charts until the early ’90s when it became a popular feminine tag out of nowhere. But Addison means “son of Adam.” If anyone were to question your choice to name your son with what they assume is a girl’s name, all you need to do is translate it for them! Dads who are named Adam – your son’s future name awaits!

Ainsley

Names ending in –ley have been known to lean towards females, but lately, this has taken a turn. Take Ainsley, for example. Meaning “my meadow,” this Scottish name has risen in the ranks by 1,914 for boys!

Angel

Wow, a truly gorgeous title for your little angel. In both Latin and Greek, it means “messenger of God,” which is pretty self-explanatory. Angel’s most interesting gender-related fact is that it’s widely used for girls in English-speaking areas and generally used for males in Spanish-speaking regions.

Aubrey

It’s kind of funny that this comes off as a girl’s name because, historically, Aubrey was for males. It has a male meaning since Aubrey translates to “king of the elves.” But in the early 2000s, it topped the female charts. You are guaranteed cool points if you name your son Aubrey because it’s the given name of popular music artist Drake!

Avery

A strong leader awaits in your son if you choose this gender-neutral name. Avery, known as the “ruler of the forest people” or “protector of the innocent,” has reversed from girl to boy in popularity over the years. It currently sits higher on the girl list, but maybe we can change that!

Bailey

Like Ainsley, the –ley in Bailey meant it was for girls. But growing 425 spots since 2017 has proven that this trend is changing. Meaning “able,” Bailey is an adorable name for a baby and a strong, proud name once he grows into a man.

Blair

There is almost no argument in the United States that Blair sits much higher on the female name list. But, elsewhere, it still reigns predominately male. This Scottish name means “dweller on the plain,” giving it a natural feel! Blair is a trendy boy’s name in the UK, but maybe we can spark its male popularity in the U.S. again.

Cassidy

Cassidy is a cool kid name, no matter which gender it’s assigned to. It just IS. Cassidy means “curly-headed,” so if you are anticipating a little one with coiled hair, this may be the perfect gender-neutral name for you to use! Cass is an undeniably awesome nickname, and your little one is sure to rock it.

Dana

This name has been flip-flopping between gender charts for ages! Dana started as a predominately male moniker from the Hebrew sector, meaning “judge.” Your little one may have an affinity for fairness – so a gender-neutral name is a must!

Leslie

Despite its floral implication, Leslie is a strong and masculine name! Leslie means “garden” or “garden of hollies” in its Gaelic roots, and despite that feminine connotation, the name was mostly given to men. The iconic entertainer Bob Hope has the given name Leslie. Even though we tend to think of it as a girl’s name, Leslie is an excellent choice if you want a classic name for your new little boy!

Jody

Originating as an old Hebrew name, Jody has bounced between the genders over the years. Currently, it stands more favored for girls, but it hit a peak of popularity for boys in the 1960s and 70s, but it hasn’t hit the top charts for girls since the 90s. It is a religious name meaning “praised” and stands the test of time as an excellent name for your son!

Journey

What a name for your best adventure yet: a son! Journey is a bohemian style and very trendy name that is super popular for girls right now. We all know this trend comes from the music group by the same name, but it was originally a Latin name. Journey has never hit the top 1000 list for boys, so you’re guaranteed it’s a unique choice!

Kelsey

Since 1989, Kelsey is still a strong contender for a modern male name despite not hitting the top list for boys! It’s a victorious name, meaning “from the fierce islands,” and has Gaelic roots. It’s a retro choice – first used heavily in the 1970s – but a beautiful choice for a baby boy.

Mackenzie

Mackenzie began as a popular last name for the Scottish, rising to popularity due to its meaning “child of the wise leader” or “born in fire.” The name has always been used for both boys and girls, although lately, it has taken a more female tone. Sitting at #684 in 2018, it’s been rising steadily for boys for years!

Morgan

If you hear this name on a whim, most think it belongs to a girl. But Morgan has topped the male and female charts for over 100 years! It is Welsh and translates to someone who travels the sea, so it fits well for a little explorer. Morgan was one of the top girls’ names in 1997, but I think it deserves a spot back on the boys’ list!

Oakley

The ultimate cool boy name! “Sturdy,” “strong,” and “from where the oak trees grow” is the meaning behind this adventurist name. Since 2013, Oakley has been assigned to girls more rapidly than boys, but 2023 is a great time for that to change!

Presley

I’m all shook up! Of course, we can’t help but think of the iconic male musician Elvis Presley, but this name has recently been more popular amongst females. It hit the top of the girls’ charts in 2015, 112 years after it hit the top charts for boys! If you’re looking for a 100+-year-old name for your little boy, go for Presley!

Reese

Actress Reese Witherspoon put this name on the map—for the girls. But the name Reese is traditionally male in origin, coming from the Welsh and meaning “ardor.”

Sage

For girls, Sage refers to the spice or can mean “prophet,” but for boys, the name takes on a completely different meaning, “wise.” This is reason enough to choose the name for your little boy!

Skylar

Skylar is a Dutch name that means “scholar,” so it makes sense that it would work well for both genders. A modern take includes Skylar as an inspired name for space, a popular trend with parents-to-be. Plus, how adorable is Sky for a nickname?

Winter

The literal meaning is obvious, “born in the winter months,” but the beautiful nature is hidden. I like to picture a pretty snowfall outside, snuggled up with a new baby boy cozy inside. The cold outside signifies the strength and hard exterior, but the warmth of the fire inside brings out the feminine aspects. Winter is a wonderful choice for your little bundle of boy joy!

136 More Gender-Neutral Names You Might Like

Gender-neutral baby names are on the rise. Luckily, there are many to choose from! We initially listed 42 great options, and here are some more of our favorite unisex baby names. We’ve broken these into a few categories to help you choose from modern, unique, or cute. We also included other choices, so finding your baby’s perfect match should be a breeze.

50 Modern Gender-Neutral Names

These names are trendy and far from traditional. We are seeing many of them rise in popularity as gender-neutral names. Especially names like Carter or Flynn, which used to be seen more often as boys’ names. The same can be said about Kit and Madison. In recent years, they have become more common as girls’ names, and we are seeing Madison come back as a boy’s name. Kit’s rise in use for boys likely comes from Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington.

We expect to see a few of these names crack the top-100 list in the U.S. in 2023:

1. Adrian

2. Alex

3. Amari

4. Ari

5. Arlo

6. Ashton

7. Banks

8. Beau

9. Billie

10. Blue

11. Bowie

12. Brooklyn

13. Carson

14. Carter

15. Charlie

16. Colby

17. Drew

18. Easton

19. Emerson

20. Evelyn

21. Flynn

22. Harlow

23. Harper

24. Hayden

25. Henley

26. Hunter

27. Indigo

28. Jayden

29. Jordan

30. Kai

31. Kit

32. Logan

33. Lyric

34. Madison

35. Monroe

36. Noel

37. Ocean

38. Ollie

39. Parker

40. Peyton

41. Quinn

42. Rebel

43. Remi

44. Riley

45. Scout

46. Shawn

47. Sidney

48. Stevie

49. Taylor

50. Wylie

43 Unique Gender-Neutral Names

These baby names are far less common in general. However, they are still beautiful options for unisex names. Some of our absolute favorite options are Ainsley, Ezra, and Lachlan. We predict that you will begin to see some of these unique names more often in the coming years:

1. Adley

2. Aspen

3. Baylor

4. Bellamy

5. Briar

6. Campbell

7. Chandler

8. Corey

9. Dakota

10. Devon

11. Dorian

12. Ember

13. Emory

14. Evan

15. Fallon

16. Greer

17. Harley

18. Indie

19. Ira

20. Jagger

21. Jude

22. Kadence

23. Kingsley

24. Kris

25. Kyle

26. Lachlan

27. Lake

28. Lennox

29. Lindsey

30. Luca

31. Maddox

32. Mika

33. Onyx

34. Phoenix

35. Quinlan

36. Ridley

37. Rory

38. Rowan

39. Salem

40. Sawyer

41. Shiloh

42. Wren

43. Zen

17 Cute Unisex Names

Many of these names sound incredibly adorable, and others have sweet meanings, too. What’s better than a cute unisex name for your new baby? Brighton and Journey are some of the choices at the top of our list!

1. Amani

2. Andi/Andy

3. Brighton

4. Bryn

5. Cedar

6. Courtney

7. Cove

8. Finley

9. Frankie

10. Georgie

11. Honor

12. Jules

13. London

14. Marlow

15. Navy

16. Shelby

17. Whitney

26 More Options

Here are even more names that are perfect for any gender. They don’t fit the mold of any category, but we just had to include them. Some are more traditional and haven’t been popular in a while, but that only means it could be time to make a comeback. Great choices here are Cameron, Dylan, and Spencer.

1. Ashley

2. Blaise

3. Brady

4. Cameron

5. Carey

6. Casey

7. Darcy

8. Jackie

9. Jamie

10. Jesse

11. Keegan

12. Kelly

13. Kendall

14. Kennedy

15. Lee

16. McKinley

17. Rae

18. Reagan

19. Rene

20. Robin

21. Sasha

22. Shay

23. Spencer

24. Terry

25. Toni

26. Val

Naming your baby is such a big decision while you prepare for your baby. Names and their meanings are important! Hopefully, these 178 gender-neutral baby names give you a few more options when creating that name list.

Check out our other baby name lists if you are still on the baby name hunt. Try the rare boy namesrare girl names, flower names for girls, or powerful boy names for inspiration. Good luck picking out the right one for your baby-to-be!

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