Romper

13 Traditional Girl Names That Work Just As Well For Boys

Thanks to Target removing gender-based signs from its toy aisles, a big conversation has started about gender stereotypes, especially the ones we implement on our children. Someone hears that you’re having a boy, and you’re immediately gifted with football patterned-pajamas, blue rompers, and mobiles that reek of testosterone. But wasn’t that long ago that little boys wore lacy dresses and pink was a color for both sexes, and traditional girl names worked well for boys.

If you’re pregnant with a little boy, it can seem even harder to break the stereotypes. No one argues much about a little girl in overalls, but a little boy in an antique gown could cause a stir. For some parents, choosing girl names that work for boys is their first battle against the gender stereotypes. If you’re in love with a traditional girl name, why should you have to save it for a potential future daughter? Johnny Cash’s classic, “A Boy Named Sue” might make you nervous, but if you and your partner are both on board, let no one put your name choice asunder. With these 13 traditional baby girl names, you’re sure to find one that will work well for your baby boy, too.

1. Ashley

Now considered a traditional girl name (seriously, how many Ashleys do you know?), the name Ashley was originally a boy’s name and means “dweller near the ash tree forest.” It can also be shortened to Ash for a sweet, boyish nickname.

2. Leigh

Another nature-inspired moniker, Leigh means “dweller by the wood or clearing.” It can be spelled a variety of ways, but sounds darling and happy no matter the letters.

3. Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird’s famed author, Harper Lee, put this name on the map and many celebrities have used it as a traditional girl’s name. But don’t let that deter you from using it for your little boy. As an old surname, it literally meant someone who plays the harp, so enjoy the musical connotation and the playful vibe.

4. Morgan

Despite Morgan Freeman and his famous voice, this name has become a traditional girl handle. Originally a Welsh name, Morgan means “lives by the sea” and is the perfect way to instill some adventure in your baby dude.

5. Bailey

A sweet name used mostly for girls, Bailey actually means “law enforcer.” Want your little guy to follow the rules and keep others in line? Give him this fun moniker. (And obviously dress him like a policeman every Halloween.)

6. Payton

Spelled differently than the Broncos’ quarterback, Payton with an ‘a’ is considered a girly name, but means “fighting man’s estate.” Consider it a great choice for both sexes.

7. Astrid

Traditionally a royal Scandinavian name, Astrid sounds beautiful and noble. It would work well for your little prince and is a unique choice.

8. Lark

With the popular phrase “happy as a lark”, you can’t go wrong with this choice. Named for an English bird, this cheery name sounds romantic and handsome.

9. Georgia

You don’t have to be from the South to appreciate Georgia as a moniker. Although it’s considered a female variation of George, it’s association with the state, named for King George II, makes it a regal choice for a boy.

10. Brooklyn

Another location-turned-name favorite, Brooklyn is considered a feminine name for its compound of two girly names, Brook and Lyn. But thanks to the Beckhams’ using it for their son in 1999, you don’t have to save an ode to your favorite New York City borough for a daughter.

11. Frances

Considered a feminine update to the name Francis, both spellings mean “a Frenchman” and are classic choices. It’s jaunty and sweet, and a great name to follow your son as he grows into a man.

12. Aubrey

During the middle ages, Aubrey, meaning “elf ruler”, was a popular choice for boys, but quickly became a girl favorite in the last century. Bring it back for your tiny elf ruler, especially if you’re a fantasy lover.

13. Sage

Meaning wise, Sage was once a popular name for both sexes, but has quickly become a more traditional girl name. Sharing a name with an herb makes it perfect if you’re looking for a nature-inspired title for your little guy.

Images: Courtesy of Pavel P./Flickr; Giphy (13)