Male or female — you name it

flickr ladyamada  yin yang

flickr ladyamada

Names can be confusing. Overall, the English language is full of quirks and unisex names are part of this system.  I don’t know how it works in other languages, but the same first name (maybe spelled differently) can apply to both males and females in our country.

 When I was growing up, the husband of the family next door was named Carroll. At the time, most of us had only heard of the female “ Carol” version of the name. Also, not too common are men named Gayle like the feminine name Gail.

Also, along my life’s path, I have known married couples both named Pat or Jerry (Jerri).  Other couple names that could be confusing are Jean and Gene and Billy and Billie.
I know a guy whose wife’s name is Mike, and my wife works with a female named Tim. I always have to stop and think when she says Tim said something to her at work.

 How many people named Shannon, Drew, Dana, Morgan, Bailey, Cameron, Jordan or Ashley have had to explain their name?

 This can also be a problem when you are to call or mail someone, and all you know is  his or her unisex first name.  

I am sure there are many more.  Right, Devin (my niece)?


10 responses to “Male or female — you name it

  1. My sister, Jo, married Pat.

  2. LOL. Some of my co-workers tease another co-worker. His name is Devon, but when they page him, they pronounce it Devonne!

  3. The double whammy!

  4. That had to be difficult growing up too.

  5. Woody Woodward

    I have always wondered how a mom and dad could name a child, “HARRY”! Or “CLAUD” or “DICK!”

  6. Our names in the e-mail system at work come up as Last,First. Yet somehow, I am often referred to as Ryan in replies, “Thanks, Ryan!” as if I’m the only person in the ENTIRE e-mail system that has my name listed as First,Last in the database.

    P.S. Hi Uncle Bob! :o)

  7. Good one Morgan.
    When I mentioned my niece Devin, also should have mentioned you. Sorry, I forgot I have two nieces with unisex names. Also, you win the award for having both a first and last name that can be first names.
    Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s nice to have family involved.
    Uncle Bob (or old Uncle Bob as Dante called me on the phone)

  8. Scott Holder

    I work with a guy mamed Tracy. There’s a famous country singer with that one too. How about Chris, Jan, Sandy, or Andy/Andie? Brett, my younger son’s name, is also the name of at least 2 actresses. Shaun, my other son, is also Sean(male) or Shawn(usually but not always female). Gee…1 of my daughters is named Ashley, the other Danielle(Danny/Dani). I never realized we did this to our kids.

  9. Thanks for sharing. It is amazing when you are aware of it, isn’t it?

  10. I never realized how much this occurs. I have male friends with the first names Dana and Tracey. I think people who don’t know people with typically male or female names are the one’s who find it most abnormal. At first I did but now when I come across guys with these names, it’s normal!