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10 Gender-Neutral Baby Names

Photo by: iStock



One of the million things any parent-to-be has to grapple with is what to name the baby-to-be. Do you honor a relative-alive or dead-with naming your baby Bertha or Constantine? Do you go rogue and name your 100% Asian son Yuri or Nigel because you think it’s cute and people will think so too (or so you hope)? Do you leave it up to your spouse and hope for the best? Marcia Layton Turner, the New York-based author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide: 40,000 Baby Names notes that the current generation of parents-to-be seem “much more comfortable with a broader concept of gender, so it would make sense that they wouldn’t necessarily want to confine their children to a particular gender.” Well that and some of these names are just too cool to pass up.


1. Avery: Comes from English and means “counselor” and also “ruler of the elves.” Famous people named Avery include the late comedian Avery Schreiber and basketball player Avery Johnson as well as teenage YouTube star Avery Rose.


2. Blair: Comes from the Gaelic for “plain” and “dweller on the path.” Well-known actors with this name include Blair Underwood and Blair Brown.


3. Devon: Comes from the Irish and means “poet.” Think of skier Devon Kershaw and supermodel Devon Aoki.


4. Drew: Comes from the Greek for “courageous” and “manly one.” Football player Drew Brees and comedian/TV show host Drew Carey are some famous ones.


5. Flynn: Comes from the Irish and means “ruddy” and also “son of the red-haired man,” and includes basketball player Flynn Robinson.


6. Harper: Comes from Old Norse and means “whaler” and also “harp player.” David and Victoria Beckham’s daughter shares this name with singer Harper Simon, the son of Paul Simon.


7. Quinn: Comes from both Gaelic and Greek and means “wise,” “queen” and “fifth born.” Think of actress Quinn Cummings and guitarist Quinn Allman.


8. Rowan: Comes from the Old English and means “tree with red berries” and “of the tree.” Comedian Rowan Atkinson and soccer player Rowan Vine share this name.


9. Skye: Comes from the English for “sky” or “sheltering.” Michelin-star chef Skye Gyngell and singer Skye Townsend (the daughter of comedian/actor Robert Townsend) share this name.


10. Wyatt: Comes from the Old English and also French and means “little warrior” and “guide” Aston Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ daughter is named Wyatt. Wyatt Russell, the son of actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell is an actor in “The Walking Dead.”


Some other famous people with gender-neutral names include actress Drew Barrymore, actress Glenn Close and authors Harper Lee and Hunter S. Thompson; as well as actor Morgan Freeman and actress Morgan Fairchild. There’s a lot to think about when you’re choosing your baby’s name, so take your time with it. Don’t rush into a decision because of family or societal pressure; after all, your child has to live with that given name at least until he or she is 18!



Shelley Moench-Kelly is a New England-based writer and editor whose freelance clients include Google, L’Oreal Paris and TheWeek.com. You can follow her on Facebook

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