But what about less-obvious masculine choices for girls? Charlotte, Brianna, and Gabriella are part of this group. In fact, let's look at the some of the masc-turned-fem names in the top 250:
While some of their origins are unclear, what is clear about these names is that there's an easily found masculine equivalent. Many names just add an "a", "anna" or "ella" to the end to emphasize the chosen gender. So then, what really makes a name "feminine"? Is it ending on an "ah" sound? Is it embellishing an established name in unexpected ways?
You may be wondering, "Emily, why does this matter?"
There are plenty of reasons to use feminizations: naming a child after a beloved male friend or relative, honoring a hero or ancestor, or heck, even just liking and wanting to use a particular name. But there are also plenty of reasons NOT to use a feminization.
Today, there are thousands of unique names in common use for girls. Never before have parents been able to pick just about any name/noun/adjective/verb they like and write it on a birth certificate. Simultaneously, women currently have the most power they've ever had in society - assuming, of course, that the current administration doesn't set us back 50 years.
With so much freedom, why not go outside the box? Make up a name for your daughter that has significance for you. Name your daughter the girliest thing you can think of. We should be celebrating femininity for its own merits, not as dressed-up masculinity. The prevalence of masculine names for women is a direct result of misogyny in our society - engage with that dilemma, and figure out where you stand. When you read articles, search databases, and study names, look at their origins. What meanings come with the name, whether direct or indirect? What does a name make you think of, how does it make you feel?
If you love Georgia, pick Georgia. But if you also love Abigail, and wouldn't give it to your son, ask yourself - why not?
Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.