names for both sexes

Alison   Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:36 pm GMT
Are 'Joe', 'Robin', 'Kimberly' all names for both men and women?
Mari   Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:21 pm GMT
I think that there are many names that can be used by both sexes. I have heard Robin and Joe used for both sexes however not so with Kimberly.
I used to be under the impression that a man could have a "woman's" name and a woman could have a "man's" name (which is true, it's not illegal) but I think the whole both-sex name deal really depends on how people consider it "embarrasing" or "wierd".
Joker   Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:01 pm GMT
Guest   Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:20 pm GMT
Mark and Bob is another one. My girlfriend is called Bob.
Tiffany   Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:56 pm GMT
Do not listen to Joker and Guest. They are trying to mislead you.

There are really two classes of unisex names, in my opinion:

The "new" fashionable names. Many used to be last names:

Traditonal unisex names:

It is only the group of traditional unisex names that are open to ridicule as they are seen as belonging more to one group (usually the female group). The new "fashionable" ones don't have such history.
Brennus   Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:15 pm GMT
Re: Are 'Joe', 'Robin', 'Kimberly' all names for both men and women?

Yes, all three names can be male or female. These kinds of names have been cynically called "unisex" names by some people even though I believe "unisex" originally applied to some types of fadish clothing that could be worn by both men an woman when the word first appeared in "Time" magazine in 1970. "Joe" is spelled 'Jo' however when used in female names. 'Kim' can sometimes be a nick name for Kimball rather than Kimberly just like 'Les' can sometimes be a nick name for Lester rather than Lesley / Leslie.

When names start getting in short supply it is almost inevitable that some male and female names will be the same or nearly the same. One of the most amusing new fangled names to me is the female name Briana or Brianna from the male name 'Brian'. 'Alice' related to the Germanic name Louis or Aloysius started out as a male name too meaning "All wise." I read recently that Margaret, Margurite or Margarita were originally the Ancient Greek male name 'Margaros' which means 'Pearl' - often the name of wrestlers. Later, towards the end of the Roman period, the name in a Latinized form 'Margarita' became an exclusively female name.

Please see also:
Baron van Heemstra   Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:00 am GMT
Unisex names are disgusting!
George   Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:15 am GMT
In the UK you might also come across men named Beverley or Carol.
Alison   Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:27 am GMT
Thanks all who gave us truthful answers, and thanks all who entertained us with disingenuous replies.
Alison   Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:44 am GMT
-their disingenuous replies.
Alison   Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:13 am GMT
Really? George, seriously?
Guest   Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:23 am GMT
Joe is the diminutive of Joseph; Jo is the diminutive of a variety of girls names such as Josephine, Joanne etc.

Robin is also specifically male. The female version is Robyn.
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:53 am GMT
The resident medical adviser (MALE) on the UK's GMTV early morning program is Dr Hilary Jones...a fit and handsome mega masculine guy who rus in he will in the upcoming London Marathon run nae doot...for the benefit of a medical charity, naturally.

Conversely, I know a very feminine lassie......also called Hilary, a dentists' receptionist.

Other unisex names (here in the UK anyway) which are reasonably common: Chris, which can lead to confusion until you meet them....of course, the usual reason is that Chris (m) and Chris (f) turn out to be Christopher and Christine (or Christina).

Then there is Terry...usually a shortened form for Terence (or Terrence) for blokes. For the girls, it can be Terry, or Teri, sometimes a shortened form for Teresa (or Theresa), so confusion and variabilities all round.

When I was at uni we discussed this topic once I remember (in a pub, where else...the usual students' social hangout spot in the UK!) as there was a girl called Georgie in our group (Georgina) who was local...from just outside Leeds, where we were at uni. She told us that at one time, in Yorkshire, the name Shirley was a male name, as well as a female one. To prove that, here is a link about a guy from Yorkshire who was given the name Shirley. He later became a wrestler by the professional name of Big Daddy, a huge butch giant of a bloke. What else would a guy called Shirley do ffs!
Damia i Ediburgh   Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:54 am GMT
rus = runs (of course)...having a wee bit of N trouble..I keep dropping them....ot ice.
George   Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:13 pm GMT
Allison said: <<Really? George, seriously?>>

Yes. From wikipedia:

"Some names that were once predominantly used as male given names are now primarily female given names, including Ashley, Beverly, Carol, Evelyn, Hillary, Jocelyn, Meredith, Nicole, Shirley, and Vivian."

Other traditionally unisex names: Alexis, Marion, Jackie, Val, Jamie, Morgan, Jan, Pat, Jerry, Robbie, Dale, Lee, Lynn, Courtney, Cameron, Whitney.