It’s thankfully much easier than it used to be to find gender neutral clothes and nursery decor beyond just standard yellow, and
gender reveal parties seem to be losing popularity (and not just because they’ve caused multiple fires). If you’re thinking of raising your child in a gender neutral environment, you may want to consider an androgynous baby name.
Even if you love the idea of pink or blue clothes or bows and baseball hats, an androgynous baby name can bring peace of mind if you’re not finding out your baby’s sex. If you love one of the names on this list, it will work regardless of whether you have a boy or a girl, and you’ll go into your birth knowing your prepared.
gender neutral names are a mix of common androgynous names you’ve heard before (like Alex and Cameron) as well as more unusual but interesting options, like Starling or Wynn. Celebrities are starting to go this route too: Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have a daughter named Sunday, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have a daughter named James, and Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy have a son named Bingham (Bing for short). Really, anything goes, (well maybe not Grimes and Elon Musk’s choice, X AE A-XII). Read on for some faves. 1 Finn
Finn is a super cute androgynous name for a boy or girl and it works into adulthood too. It means “fair” and it’s of old Norse origin. Some families opt for Finley instead, which is also gender neutral.
Hollis is a nice alternative to “Holly” which is generally used for girls. It’s unexpected but easy to spell and pronounce. It’s of Old English descent and it means “dweller by the holly trees.” Perfect for a winter babe, or a family of nature lovers.
Most people know both women and men who go by Morgan. The name is classic yet not super popular currently. It’s a Welsh name meaning “white sea” and it’s an especially fitting androgynous name for a water sign baby.
This name is more androgynous than the female ‘Ava’ and it works well for boys or girls. Plus, names that are palindromes are always cool. Asa means “healer” and it’s originally a Hebrew name.
5 Charlie skaman306/Moment/Getty Images
Typically short for Charlotte, Charlice, or Charles, Charlie can stand on its own as a very cute gender-neutral name. It means “free man” and it has German origins.
Elliott is an elegant name with a ton of nicknames like Elle or Ellie. Elliott is currently number 31 on Baby Names list of “
Most Popular Baby Names.” You could spell this as Eliot, too, which is reminiscent of author and poet (who inspired the broadway show, Cats!) T.S. Eliot. 7 Parker
Parker is sometimes thought of as a last name, but it makes a lovely androgynous name too. It means “park keeper” and it’s perfect for your little swing and slide-loving child.
This name always makes me think of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s a nice alternative to the more common Emma or Emily, and it’s less feminine as well, making it totally gender-neutral. The name has an on-the-nose Old English meaning of “Emery’s son,” but it’s completely suitable for a daughter. Emery is also a similar gender-neutral name.
Quinn is super popular right now and you probably know at least one baby boy or girl who has this name. Nonetheless, it’s a sweet and strong name of Irish descent and it means “leader” or “intelligent.”
If you’re looking for a more traditional or common name, Alex is a strong and short androgynous name. Typically short for either Alexander or Alexandra (though it can also be a nickname for Alexa or Alexis), this name, meaning “defending men” or “warrior,” is
of Greek origin. It can also be spelled Alix. 11 Atlas
I know two babies — one girl, one boy — with this cool and whimsical name. To me, it conjures up an adventurous child who will see the world. Atlas has roots in Greek mythology and it means “bearer of the heavens.”
12 Kai pixdeluxe/E+, Getty Images
I love how short and sweet the name Kai is. It’s of Hawaiian descent and it means “sea” which may make it especially fitting for your water sign (Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio) baby.
You may be most familiar with a wren as a small bird (and fittingly, that’s what this name of English origin means), but it also makes for a lovely name. If you’re unsure on the bird connotation, you could opt for the spelling of Ren, which is Japanese for water lily or lotus.
It seems like after Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara named their son River, after Phoenix’s late brother, this name exploded. Eva Chen (director of fashion partnerships at Instagram who herself is a great IG follow) just named her third child this name. It’s a calm name and I think Riv is very cute for short.
Another bird inspired name, Starling has a boho feel to it. Plus is there a cooler nickname than Star?
Alder is a beautiful name of English origin meaning “old” and it’s also a type of tree in the Birch family. This name is ideal if you want something nature-inspired that’s not always immediately thought of as something botanical.
Frankie is a cheerful and fun name that’s often short for Franklin, Frances or Francis. It has a wonderful meaning of either “free” or “truthful.” Plus it makes me think of the delightful show,
Grace & Frankie. 18 Jules
The name Jules has a melodic and strong quality to it. It may be a nickname for Julie or Julian, but it also stands on its own. It means “youthful” and is of French origin.
I personally love one syllable names and Wynn is no exception. It’s of Welsh origin and it means “blessed.” This name is easy to spell and pronounce but it’s not super popular (at least not yet).
I once knew a girl named Andie and I thought she was the coolest. Short for Andrea or Andrew, this androgynous name has a cuteness to it that transitions well from childhood to adulthood. The name means “manly” (but then again so does Andrea) and it’s of Italian origin.
21 Bellamy Carlos G. Lopez/Moment, Getty Images
I know several little kids name Bellamy, and the name is cute and rolls right off the tongue. It’s a French name meaning “good friend” (aw) and this one has endless nicknames including Bell, Bella, or Amy.
It’s funny to me that Bill would seem like an odd name for a girl, but add two letters to the end and it becomes the most darling name (and of course it’s reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Billie Eilish). Just as Billy is a diminutive form of William, Billie comes from Wilhelmina.
Cameron or Cam is a gender neutral name that’s been around for a long time. It’s a Scottish name meaning “crooked nose” and sometimes this one is spelled with an A instead of an O at the end. I think of Cameron Diaz every time I hear this name.
Because of Tom Sawyer, this name makes me think of an adventurous and daring child. It’s an English name meaning “woodcutter.”
25 Lincoln Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have a daughter named Lincoln and I’ve always thought it was the cutest name. Aside from its presidential connotations, the name means “town by the pool” which sounds ideal. Bell and Shepard’s other daughter’s name, Delta, also has a water meaning (and is androgynous). 26 Noah
Noah is currently the
second most popular name for boys, according to data from the Social Security Administration (though I personally don’t know any babies with the name Noah). It’s a very cute name for either sex, and it means “rest, repose” in Hebrew. One of Miley Cyrus’ sisters is named Noah. 27 Everett
Everett is often thought of as a last name, but it’s a cute, preppy-sounding first name as well. Totally gender neutral, it’s a German name meaning “brave boar.” Evie or Rett are cute nicknames for this one.
I know both grown men and women named Ari and weirdly I never associated them with having the same name. The name has origins in both Hebrew and Scandinavian language meaning, “lion, eagle” and it can sometimes be a short version of Ariel.
name has cottagecore vibes, and it’s totally fitting for either or a boy or a girl. It means “thorny patch” and it has a botanical quality to it that’s a bit less sweet than Rose or other nature-inspired names. 30 Carson
Of Old-English and Scottish origins, the meaning of Carson is “son of the marsh-dwellers,” but that doesn’t mean it’s not an equally adorable name for a boy or girl.
Short and sweet, this name is perfectly androgynous (though for girls it’s sometimes spelled Leigh). It’s an English name meaning “pasture” or “meadow” and it conjures up a bucolic country scene.
You may think of Max or Maxwell as a primarily male name, but the shorter version is super cute for a girl too (Jessica Simpson has a daughter named Maxwell Drew). The strong yet short name means “great stream” and is of Scottish origin.
Maybe you want to pick a name but don’t know if you’re having a boy or girl, or may you just like the quiet strength of androgynous names. You can’t go wrong with the gender neutral names on this list.
This article was originally published on
July 4, 2021