Author Topic: Gender-unclear names?  (Read 4851 times)

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Nemesis

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2013, 06:47:59 PM »
I know you can't ask for a gender, but can you ask for a preferred title? I feel like most forms I fill out have a spot to indicate your preference (Miss, Ms, Mrs, Mr, Dr).

This is good. Very good.

Alternatively, could you check their LinkedIn or google their name and affliation? I did that with a colleague whose name was Lyndsay. Turned out to be a "he".

sammycat

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2013, 06:55:40 PM »
Just curious, when you talk about Erin and Aaron being the male and female versions of the name, are you pronouncing them the same?  Because I pronounce them differently.  Similar, but clearly different.

yeah I was wondering why these two names were being lumped together. They are pronounced differently! Erin has an "err" sound, like as in "to err is human..." or error. Aaron has an "aar" sound like "baron" or aerospace.

BTW add me into the group that has never heard of "Erin" being a male name, (or anything other then Irish).

Add me to the group too! Maybe Erin as a male name is regional because I've never come across a male one, and it would never occur to me in a million years to assume (A) that an Erin a was a male, and (B) that Aaron/Erin are in any way interchangeable (for wont of a better word).

Awestruck Shmuck

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2013, 07:25:16 PM »
As CluelessBride says, a salutation option is often included on forms - I use the following on our forms:
Mr/Mrs/Ms/Dr/Rev (circle/highlight/delete where appropriate)

That can at least cut down on confusion!

CluelessBride

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2013, 08:34:08 PM »
Just curious, when you talk about Erin and Aaron being the male and female versions of the name, are you pronouncing them the same?  Because I pronounce them differently.  Similar, but clearly different.

yeah I was wondering why these two names were being lumped together. They are pronounced differently! Erin has an "err" sound, like as in "to err is human..." or error. Aaron has an "aar" sound like "baron" or aerospace.

BTW add me into the group that has never heard of "Erin" being a male name, (or anything other then Irish).

Add me to the group too! Maybe Erin as a male name is regional because I've never come across a male one, and it would never occur to me in a million years to assume (A) that an Erin a was a male, and (B) that Aaron/Erin are in any way interchangeable (for wont of a better word).
Off topic:  I was curious so I did some digging on the name Erin.

It looks like (in the US) Erin's popularity as male name was greatest in the 1970s.
http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#prefix=erin&ms=true&sw=m&exact=true

Interestingly, the name Aaron also shot up in popularity around then.
http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager#prefix=aaron&ms=true&sw=m&exact=false

NOTE: The scales on those are not even close to the same

Unfortunately, it is uncommon enough as a male name that it doesn't show up on the name mapper and global popularity lists, although one commenter indicated that Erin for boys was more common in the UK. Incidentally, for females, Erin is most popular in Scotland (#9), Northern Ireland(#13), Wales (#15), England (#27), and Ireland (#35) in that order. Within the US, it is currently most popular in Mississippi at #97, but there seems to be quite a lot of regional variation historically with it being more popular in the North/Northeast in the late 70s/early 80s.

http://www.babynamewizard.com/baby-name/girl/erin
http://www.babynamewizard.com/name-mapper

Bramble

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2013, 09:07:14 PM »
Can you use "he/she" in your writing?  Basically just don't pick and use both?

Just curious, when you talk about Erin and Aaron being the male and female versions of the name, are you pronouncing them the same?  Because I pronounce them differently.  Similar, but clearly different.

yeah I was wondering why these two names were being lumped together. They are pronounced differently! Erin has an "err" sound, like as in "to err is human..." or error. Aaron has an "aar" sound like "baron" or aerospace.

BTW add me into the group that has never heard of "Erin" being a male name, (or anything other then Irish).

Like Mary, marry, and merry it all depends on the accent as to whether Erin and Aaron sound alike.  Quick internet research suggests that they pronounced similarly in most of the US, except for the Northeast.  But also being someone's name, all that really matters is how the person who has the name pronounces it.   For me, Erin and Aaron both rhyme with baron.  (And my cousin Erin certainly pronounces her name that way.)

They are however not just the male and female versions of the same name.  From http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2008/02/say-it-again.html

“Erin” (Irish Gaelic for “peace”) is a poetic name for Ireland; it’s been used for both boys and girls. “Aaron” is another Biblical name; the most famous “Aaron” (from the Hebrew for “enlightened”) was a Jewish patriarch, the elder brother of Moses.

Catananche

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2013, 08:43:40 AM »
I had a lightbulb moment: in Dutch Erin and Aaron sound very different. Erin = Er-in and Aaron = Ah-ar-on (three syllables).

Also in Dutch: when you are unsure what you need to use you start your letter with Dear Sir,Madam (Geachte heer, mevrouw) or L.S. (Lectori Salutem).

jaxsue

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2013, 11:44:14 AM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

dawnfire

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2013, 07:18:41 PM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

My second son is an Alexander too and is known as Alex. In our case it is a family name.  he has a cousin Alexandra and maybe another cousin Alexander (we don't keep in much contact with that part of the family).

jaxsue

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2013, 12:30:25 PM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

My second son is an Alexander too and is known as Alex. In our case it is a family name.  he has a cousin Alexandra and maybe another cousin Alexander (we don't keep in much contact with that part of the family).

I named my Alex after Family Ties Alex. Shallow of me, eh?  :) I love the name Alexander. It sounds so distinguished.

Margo

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2013, 12:37:46 PM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

Interesting. I would think of Alex as unisex but  more likely to be male (and Alix as female) but would also think of Alexi  / Alexei / Alexis as male. I've come across  Alexis as a female name once or twice but  don't think I've ever met a female Alexi.

jaxsue

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2013, 05:44:09 PM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

Interesting. I would think of Alex as unisex but  more likely to be male (and Alix as female) but would also think of Alexi  / Alexei / Alexis as male. I've come across  Alexis as a female name once or twice but  don't think I've ever met a female Alexi.

I find names/origins of names fascinating.  :)

katycoo

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2013, 08:36:23 PM »
Can you use "he/she" in your writing?  Basically just don't pick and use both?

Just curious, when you talk about Erin and Aaron being the male and female versions of the name, are you pronouncing them the same?  Because I pronounce them differently.  Similar, but clearly different.

yeah I was wondering why these two names were being lumped together. They are pronounced differently! Erin has an "err" sound, like as in "to err is human..." or error. Aaron has an "aar" sound like "baron" or aerospace.

BTW add me into the group that has never heard of "Erin" being a male name, (or anything other then Irish).

hahaha with an Australian accent Baron and aerospace are different sounds and err is not the same sound in Erin.

Erin is more like Eh-rin (or aerospace) and Aaron is a short A like in 'cat'  A-ron.

katycoo

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 08:38:45 PM »
I named DS #2 Alexander. It was shortened to "Alex," of course. If I'd known then what I know now (that a lot of girls would have the name) I'd have chosen a different name. To me, Alex sounds masculine; Alexi, Alexis, etc., sound feminine.
(I wanted to name him Kyle, but then-DH didn't like it).  :-\

Interesting. I would think of Alex as unisex but  more likely to be male (and Alix as female) but would also think of Alexi  / Alexei / Alexis as male. I've come across  Alexis as a female name once or twice but  don't think I've ever met a female Alexi.

My middle name is Alexandra.  I've never met a male Alexis.  I've never heard of Alexi as a name at all.

AnnaJ

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2013, 10:36:45 PM »
Can you use "he/she" in your writing?  Basically just don't pick and use both?

Just curious, when you talk about Erin and Aaron being the male and female versions of the name, are you pronouncing them the same?  Because I pronounce them differently.  Similar, but clearly different.

yeah I was wondering why these two names were being lumped together. They are pronounced differently! Erin has an "err" sound, like as in "to err is human..." or error. Aaron has an "aar" sound like "baron" or aerospace.

BTW add me into the group that has never heard of "Erin" being a male name, (or anything other then Irish).

Like Mary, marry, and merry it all depends on the accent as to whether Erin and Aaron sound alike.  Quick internet research suggests that they pronounced similarly in most of the US, except for the Northeast.  But also being someone's name, all that really matters is how the person who has the name pronounces it.   For me, Erin and Aaron both rhyme with baron.  (And my cousin Erin certainly pronounces her name that way.)

They are however not just the male and female versions of the same name.  From http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2008/02/say-it-again.html

Agreed - to me Erin and Aaron are pronounced virtually the same - western U.S.

Lynda_34

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2013, 12:01:18 AM »
My ex husband is a twin.  His brother is Alexander.  He is Walter.  They weren't expected as twins so neither was given a middle name.  They were each named after a grandfather.  (1949, didn't know they were twins until delivery.)
My former brother in law had a daughter named Alexis and a son named Alexander.

When our daughter was born her father wanted to tell everyone that she was Waltetta.  I went along with this because he and I thought it was funny.  Our daughter's name is Tara, four years later our son was named Stefan Walter. I like the first name and he had his father's name also.

I do find it interesting how we try to give our child our imprint and acknowledge heritage in naming them. Yeet hope they can still maintain their own uniqueness at the same time.