Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Surnames for Girls

I admit, surname-names aren't usually my style. I can see the appeal, though--modern but not made up, has history, familiar to most people. In the past, surnames were often given as first or middle names to pass down a name that might otherwise be lost, or to pay tribute to the mother's side. Consequently, boys have been the main recipients of surnames as first names. So what are girls to do? Even if the surname in question has never caught on for boys, her parents will still likely get accused of using a boys' name (Reagan and Tatum come to mind).
So, here's a list of names that were originally surnames, but first caught on for feminine use in the U.S.; as well as a few surnames that are currently underused for either.
In many cases, the rise of these names can be directly attributed to a prominent female figure.

  • Adair (ah-DAYR)
  • Ansley (ANZ-lee)--variant is Ainsley
  • Arden (AHR-den)
  • Averill (AV-er-il)
  • Baxter (BAKS-ter) [technically, this has only ever gotten use as a male name, but since it's the extremely rare example of a feminine occupational name--"female baker"--I had to include it!]
  • Bellamy (BEL-ah-mee)
  • Blythe (BLITHE)
  • Cassidy (KAS-ih-dee)
  • Chanel (shan-EL)--Coco Chanel
  • Chantal (shahn-TAHL)
  • Charisse (shah-REES)--Cyd Charisse
  • Darcy (DAR-see) [masc. in Australia, however]
  • Delaney (deh-LAY-nee)
  • Ellery (EL-er-ee)
  • Fallon (FAL-lon)
  • Flannery (FLAN-er-ee)--Flannery O'Connor
  • Greer (GREER)--Greer Garson
  • Halle (HAL-lee, HAHL-leh)--Halle Berry
  • Harlow (HAR-loh)
  • Harper (HAR-per)--Harper Lee
  • Hayley (HAY-lee)--Hayley Mills
  • Joyce (JOYS)
  • Kimberly (KIM-ber-lee)
  • Laverne (lah-VERN)
  • Macy (MAY-see)
  • Mallory (MAL-oh-ree)
  • Marley (MAR-lee) [masculine in France, however]
  • Paige (PAYJ)
  • Piper (PYE-per)--"Piper Halliwell", Charmed
  • Presley (PREZ-lee)
  • Reagan (RAY-gan)
  • Romilly (ROH-mil-ee)
  • Scarlett (SKAR-let)--"Scarlett O'Hara", Gone With the Wind
  • Sheridan (SHEHR-ih-dan)
  • Sloane (SLOHN)
  • Tatum (TAY-tum)--Tatum O'Neal
  • Tiffany (TIF-an-ee)
  • Zola (ZOH-lah)

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