Author Topic: Gender-unclear names?  (Read 5112 times)

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Elfmama

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2013, 12:22:14 AM »
Quote
If you can't work out a way to just get the information you need automatically, I'd just shoot off a quick email to the client. "Thanks for sending along the information on Alex Smith. Can you tell me if it is Mr. or Ms. Smith, so that I can start processing the file? Thanks!"

I like this. I think that people who have gender-unclear names are probably not that unused to having the question asked.
You'd think that, wouldn't you?  We had a long discussion about that on an SCA list just before a person named Dana joined.  Our conclusion had been that it was better to ask rather than possibly insult a person by referring to him/her by the wrong pronoun.  Accordingly when I welcomed this person, I asked "Is that Lord Dana or Lady Dana?"  He got very insulted that I couldn't tell by the quality of his conversation that he was male! 
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MariaE

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2013, 01:54:50 AM »
He got very insulted that I couldn't tell by the quality of his conversation that he was male!

 ::) ::) ::)

I haven't seen this mentioned before, but what got me really confused when in NZ were the number of names that were one gender in one country and another in another country.

In Denmark you'd never meet a female Jan, and I've only encountered a female Kim within the last 10 years. Both are decidedly male here... Yet not so much in English speaking countries, where I'm pretty sure it's the exact opposite.
 
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Margo

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2013, 03:30:07 AM »
I'm in the UK, and yes for Jan. I've only ever come across it as a female name. It's often short for Janet / Janice.
Kim can be male or female,
Although in my experience it's become more common as a female name, most of the male Kims I can think of are older . (maybe Kim Philby caused it to fall out of favour?)

One which caught me out was Jamie, which is definitely male, here (short for / variation of James). I was  dry confused when I first came upon it as a girls name, in an American novel.

sammycat

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2013, 04:17:18 AM »
Jamie seems to be 50/50 male/female here (Australia).

I've come across both male and females named Alex (usually short for Alexander or Alexandra), only girls named Alexis, and have only heard of (Russian) boys named Alexi.

Growing up in New Zealand, Kerry was definitely a girls only name, but when I hopped across the ditch to Australia it seemed to be more dominant amongst males, particularly those born pre-1950ish, including my own cousin..

I've only ever come across female Jans'. I only know girls named Kim (sometimes short for Kimberley), although I have seen it as a male name in some older men on TV.

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.
.

Yes, to me Erin and Aaron are two completely different names/pronunciations.


« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 05:30:20 AM by sammycat »

MariaE

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2013, 05:15:53 AM »
Neither Jan nor Kim are short for anything when used as male names in Denmark - they're just "as is".
 
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Margo

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2013, 06:16:41 AM »
Yes - I had assumed that Jan was probably one of those names which was (or started as ) a variant of John. I think Kim is an 'as is' name in the UK when it is a male name, and **usually** short for Kimberly as a female one, although it wound not particularly surprise me to see it used as a stand alone for either gender.

I would assume that Kerry was female.

I remember a few years ago one of the Judges in our local court sending a plaintive letter round to local lawyers asking them to specific the gender of children's names when sending in a divorce petition. You see, on the paper work we had to complete at the time (it has changed, since) it just gave the names and dates of birth of any children of the family, but in the paperwork which the court has to send out at the next stage of the process, they had to specify the gender of the children, and the Judges were finding that they couldn't always tell, from the name, which gender a child was.

(I have recently come across a female Tyler, for instance)

We have to be quite careful to check whether the common short form of a name is the child's actual name, or whether they are really called the 'full' name but known by the shortened version, too

sammycat

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2013, 06:27:13 AM »
(I have recently come across a female Tyler, for instance)

My son once had 3 children named Tyler in his class - 2 boys and a girl. First time I'd come across it as a girl's name.

TootsNYC

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2013, 03:19:07 PM »
Where I work, we actually aren't able to ask for their gender. It's a federally protected status for the sake of my work.



I think I'll go back to the emails and start reviewing where I could use the s/he or him/her. I had honestly got so caught up in trying to avoid pronouns I had forgotten that it was an option.

Especially in your situation, I would absolutely use s/he and him/her.

martin8

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Re: Gender-unclear names?
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2013, 11:43:20 AM »
Nikita is another example. It's a male name in Russia and eastern Europe (e.g. Nikita Khrushchev), but female elsewhere.