Did I Give My Son A Girl's Name?

Filed under: Baby Names

Our five-year-old-son is named Azure. It means blue in French and Azurite is the name of a mineral with several shades of blue in it. Have never met or seen the name used on anybody other than my son...however, on baby-naming sites, it's listed as a girl's name. Why? Blue is usually associated with boys not girls. It sounds like a boy to me.

- Mom of Boy Blue

Turning a word into a name is a daring act. You're striking out into uncharted territory, beyond the old-fashioned confines of tradition. That's what you wanted, right? For your son to blaze a new trail with his name, free of all preconceptions? Not quite, it seems. You still wanted everyone to see his name and assume he's a boy.

You give up that pre-tested certainty when you leave the beaten path. Names like Jack and Tom and Matt earned their all-boy sound the hard way, through years of steady use. To get guaranteed manliness with a name, you have to go ultra macho: Hawk, Ranger, Blade. Even so, a new name can turn on a dime. Dakota sounded like a rugged cowboy -- until actress Dakota Fanning came along.

It can work the other way, too. Ashton was following Ashley's girlish path until Ashton Kutcher pulled it over to the boys' side. Then again, you see names that mean "son of," like Madison and Emerson, becoming hits for girls. It's unpredictable, and it can take years for a name to settle into one column or the other.

In the case of Azure, the silky-smoothness of the name has tilted it to the girls' side. At least four out of every five new Azures born is a girl. The good news, though, is that there are precious few of them. Most people truly have no preconceptions of the name. For that matter, most people don't even know it means blue!

So don't worry how Azure is listed. You accomplished your main goal with a name that is poetic and memorable, and will set your son apart.

Have you dealt with an androgynous name? Share your experiences! And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.