Androgynous names

Saturday Night Live used to have a regular skit involving a character called Androgynous Pat. Pat’s hapless subordinate was constantly trying to figure out whether Pat was male or female, without success. I thought it would be fun to see which names are still androgynous and which new names that weren’t before are now. I compared census baby names data from 1947 and 2016. To be androgynous for my purposes the ratio between the sexes could not exceed 5 to 1. Here are top 30 names from each period ordered by the total number of babies with that name that year.

1947	     2016
Willie	     Avery
Lynn	     Riley
Leslie	     Parker
Lee	     Sawyer
Jackie	     Peyton
Marion	     Quinn
Johnnie	     Blake
Pat	     Hayden
Jessie	     Alexis
Jan	     Rowan
Billie	     Charlie
Dana	     Emerson
Robin	     Finley
Chris	     River
Gale	     Ariel
Frankie      Elliot
Tommie	     Eden
Guadalupe    Elliott
Kerry	     Dakota
Carroll	     Reese
Kim	     Remington
Laverne	     Amari
Mickey	     Phoenix
Sammie	     Harley
Gerry	     Rylan
Merle	     Dallas
Rene	     Skyler
Shelby	     Sage
Lupe	     Ellis
Lauren	     Rory

Most of these were not very balanced in the ratio of male to female. Among the top 30 of 1947, the most balanced were Leslie (almost exactly 1-to-1), Jessie, Jackie and Frankie. In 2016 it was Charlie, Justice (just missed the top 30 at #31), River and Skyler.

Very few of the 1947 top 30 were still androgynous in 2016. The only ones to make the list at all (not necessarily in the top 30) for 2016 were¬† Jackie, Marion, Jessie, and Kerry. That doesn’t mean babies in 2016 were no longer being named with those names, only that the ratio had become greater than 5-to-1. Conversely, the only two names in the top 30 androgynous names of 2016 that made the 1947 list at all were Eden and Rory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.