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BS: Man's name or woman's name?

SharonA 10 Jan 03 - 01:46 PM
Schantieman 10 Jan 03 - 01:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 03 - 01:51 PM
*daylia* 10 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM
Schantieman 10 Jan 03 - 01:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 03 - 01:59 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jan 03 - 02:07 PM
SharonA 10 Jan 03 - 02:13 PM
allanwill 10 Jan 03 - 02:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 03 - 02:15 PM
gnomad 10 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM
winterchild 10 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM
treewind 10 Jan 03 - 02:40 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Q 10 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM
Amos 10 Jan 03 - 03:06 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 03:42 PM
sian, west wales 10 Jan 03 - 03:46 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 03 - 03:50 PM
Giac 10 Jan 03 - 03:54 PM
C-flat 10 Jan 03 - 03:54 PM
Sorcha 10 Jan 03 - 03:58 PM
MMario 10 Jan 03 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 10 Jan 03 - 04:31 PM
Sonnet 10 Jan 03 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,herc 10 Jan 03 - 04:54 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Jan 03 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,wdyat24 10 Jan 03 - 07:45 PM
Cluin 10 Jan 03 - 07:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 03 - 07:55 PM
greg stephens 10 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 03 - 08:14 PM
vindelis 10 Jan 03 - 08:22 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 10 Jan 03 - 09:23 PM
Sorcha 10 Jan 03 - 09:44 PM
Little Robyn 10 Jan 03 - 09:50 PM
katlaughing 10 Jan 03 - 11:35 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 03 - 12:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 03 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,cookieless Genie 11 Jan 03 - 12:56 AM
GUEST 11 Jan 03 - 01:03 AM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Jan 03 - 06:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 07:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 07:29 AM
allanwill 11 Jan 03 - 08:32 AM
Genie 11 Jan 03 - 09:56 AM
Schantieman 11 Jan 03 - 10:17 AM
GUEST 11 Jan 03 - 10:20 AM
Mooh 11 Jan 03 - 10:57 AM
Peg 11 Jan 03 - 11:21 AM
Genie 11 Jan 03 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Robinson Stanley 11 Jan 03 - 12:26 PM
Sorcha 11 Jan 03 - 12:40 PM
katlaughing 11 Jan 03 - 12:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 01:22 PM
Amos 11 Jan 03 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Q 11 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 02:04 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 03 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Q 11 Jan 03 - 03:08 PM
Mooh 11 Jan 03 - 03:43 PM
katlaughing 11 Jan 03 - 06:58 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM
GUEST 11 Jan 03 - 07:51 PM
Hrothgar 11 Jan 03 - 09:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Jan 03 - 09:19 PM
Cluin 11 Jan 03 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Calico 12 Jan 03 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,Calico 12 Jan 03 - 03:25 AM
Gurney 12 Jan 03 - 04:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 03 - 06:42 AM
brid widder 12 Jan 03 - 12:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 03 - 12:25 PM
weepiper 12 Jan 03 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Q 12 Jan 03 - 03:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 03 - 03:48 PM
Bob Bolton 12 Jan 03 - 07:51 PM
JennieG 12 Jan 03 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Q 12 Jan 03 - 08:19 PM
katlaughing 12 Jan 03 - 10:10 PM
Cluin 12 Jan 03 - 11:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Jan 03 - 11:37 PM
Gervase 13 Jan 03 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,Sally 13 Jan 03 - 03:42 AM
HuwG 13 Jan 03 - 08:51 AM
HuwG 13 Jan 03 - 09:22 AM
JennyO 13 Jan 03 - 12:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM
JennieG 14 Jan 03 - 04:52 AM
Bullfrog Jones 14 Jan 03 - 04:59 AM
Schantieman 14 Jan 03 - 05:01 AM
brid widder 14 Jan 03 - 05:44 AM
Declan 14 Jan 03 - 07:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jan 03 - 07:44 AM
Dave Bryant 14 Jan 03 - 07:55 AM
GUEST 14 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM
rock chick 14 Jan 03 - 06:35 PM
gnu 15 Jan 03 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Bellowbelle 15 Jan 03 - 07:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jan 03 - 08:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jan 03 - 10:11 AM
SharonA 15 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM
C-flat 15 Jan 03 - 01:59 PM
rock chick 15 Jan 03 - 03:53 PM
JudeL 15 Jan 03 - 04:10 PM
Abby Sale 15 Jan 03 - 05:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jan 03 - 05:44 PM
Genie 15 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM
gnu 16 Jan 03 - 07:33 AM
Abby Sale 16 Jan 03 - 09:09 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 16 Jan 03 - 10:18 AM
GUEST 16 Jan 03 - 10:33 AM
Genie 16 Jan 03 - 03:29 PM
gnu 17 Jan 03 - 03:59 PM
TheBigPinkLad 17 Jan 03 - 04:23 PM
katlaughing 17 Jan 03 - 05:23 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 03:14 PM
Bernard 22 Apr 03 - 03:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 03 - 04:24 PM
Ebbie 22 Apr 03 - 05:44 PM
Helen 22 Apr 03 - 07:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Apr 03 - 08:18 PM
Helen 22 Apr 03 - 09:29 PM
delphinium 23 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 03 - 10:25 AM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Apr 03 - 12:18 PM
mack/misophist 23 Apr 03 - 05:01 PM
Ebbie 23 Apr 03 - 09:12 PM
Helen 24 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Croí 24 Apr 03 - 02:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 03 - 03:13 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 03 - 04:28 PM
Beardy 24 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM
The O'Meara 24 Apr 03 - 05:50 PM
The O'Meara 24 Apr 03 - 05:52 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 03 - 07:16 PM
Helen 24 Apr 03 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,The O'Meara 25 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM
GUEST 19 May 05 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 19 May 05 - 11:42 AM
wysiwyg 19 May 05 - 12:02 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 19 May 05 - 12:29 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 19 May 05 - 12:35 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 May 05 - 12:39 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 May 05 - 12:59 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 May 05 - 01:38 PM
PoppaGator 19 May 05 - 02:21 PM
John MacKenzie 19 May 05 - 03:00 PM
GUEST 19 May 05 - 05:32 PM
SharonA 19 May 05 - 07:32 PM
Ebbie 19 May 05 - 10:09 PM
dianavan 19 May 05 - 11:43 PM
RobbieWilson 20 May 05 - 06:41 AM
John MacKenzie 20 May 05 - 07:17 AM
robomatic 20 May 05 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Sandra 20 May 05 - 01:08 PM
Sandra in Sydney 21 May 05 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Mr Red (no prizes for guessing there) 21 May 05 - 05:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 05 - 01:07 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Oct 09 - 02:10 PM

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Subject: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:46 PM

This morning, I received a business email from the UK from someone with the first name of Shelagh. I didn't want to sound so familiar as to reply with the opening "Dear Shelagh" but I didn't know whether to type "Dear Mr...." or "Dear Ms...."

I ended up using the person's first name and surname (reluctantly) in my reply. He/she sent back another email that opened with "Dear Sharon" and was signed "Best regards, Shelagh", so at least we're on a first-name basis now and the pressure's off! :^)   But I'm still not brave enough to ask him/her if he/she is a he or a she...

Can anyone tell me whether Shelagh is a man's name or a woman's name?    A couple of folks over at the Annexe think it's a woman's name and should be pronounced like the name "Sheila" (or perhaps like "SHAY - lah") but does anyone know for sure?

What are some other names you've heard or read that have made you wonder if they're men's names or women's names?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:49 PM

Woman.

We've got a Shelagh in our club (so to speak). Pronounced Sheila.

Enjoy.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:51 PM

It's just another spelling for Sheila, and pronounced the same way.

It can get confusing wth Irish names - my son's called Ciaran, and he's had people thinking that's a girl's name. And men called Enda have it happen all the time.

One thing is that women keep on taking over men's names - Evelyn, Carol, Robin, Joyce, Shirley... Doesn't seem to happen the other way round.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: *daylia*
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM

I worked for a woman named "Shelagh" one summer. It was pronounced "Sheila", and I vaguely remember being told it was an old Gaelic spelling of the name. Pardon me if I'm wrong ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM

Definately female. I've always heard the playwright Shelagh Delaney pronounced as "Shay-lah" though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:57 PM

Hilary


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:59 PM

GUEST


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM

McGrath


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:01 PM

Don't know if Chris, Sam, Jo etc count...


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:07 PM

When that happens to me, I always use Dear Title, like if someone who is the Akond of Swat writes I reply Dear Akond, and that gets around it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: SharonA
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:13 PM

Mrrzy: But what kond of swat? :^)

Thanks, all, for the clarification on Shelagh. Keep those other names coming!

Speaking of male names "taken over" by women, how about Beverly and Leslie?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: allanwill
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:14 PM

We've got about 9 million "sheilas" in Oz.

Allan


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:15 PM

We had this thread Dear Sir or Madam about the problem of how to write to officials when you don't know their name or their sex.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: gnomad
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM

I knew an elderly man called Allison, he told me that was the tradtional name for the eldest son in his family over numerous generaions.

Sam seems to be moving over to the distaff side, but other than my old friend I cannot think of any coming the other way, no boy called Sue just yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: winterchild
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:31 PM

My mother thought it would be original to give her daughter a boy's name. I was one of the first female Tracys. I never minded - turned out to be a tomboy anyway - but I keep getting _highly_ inappropriate spam for _Mr_ Tracy soandso!

;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:40 PM

Allison is spelt differently from Alison - is that a consistent way to distinguish the sexes?

Likewise Leslie(m) and Lesley (f) but I'm not sure that's reliable either.

Peta and Peter, Frances and Francis...

Anahata
(male but you couldn't possbily tell from the name, and Osho was completely indiscriminate about gender when giving his people names)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:41 PM

Jody


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:45 PM

Moon Unit


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM

I weasel, by addressing the sender as Dear Leslie (Jones or whatever).
I have made mistakes several times in posts here, getting the sex wrong. Leslie is one that occurs often and percentages of males and females are high. I think male because of a childhood friend with that name.
On names like Shirley, I go with the percentages. Here (US and Canada) there are hundreds of female Shirleys to every male, so I go with Ms. If the addressee happens to be male, he will be used to the mistake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM

Dylan


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:06 PM

Flaming Eejit...Space Cadet...Airhead....Dumdum....Entity ... Sentient Spot ... Neurological Byproduct ... Shit-for-Brains... Gaseous One... Meatball... "Correspondent" ... "Unknown Variable"
... you got LOTS of options!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:42 PM

Actually, I believe "Sile" is the most common Gaelic spelling of the name we in the US know most commonly as "Sheila". "Shelagh" is one of those versions of a Gaelic name that has anglicised the spelling, like Enya/Aine or Eavan/Aoibheann.

Connie is another name used in Ireland for males that is essentially a female name the other side of the pond.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:46 PM

I've never heard of Dylan as a girl's name .. !

Seems people think Sian is a male moniker.   (Sion is.)

Lyn gives some grief. Lindsay. And wasn't 'mother Walton' a Michael?

And, in North Wales, Eirian tends to be a girl's name and in the South (or at least in the West) it's a guy's.

sian (f.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:50 PM

Sian, I think Dylan as a girl's name is a US thing. I have a friend who named one of her daughter's Keaton, another Hayden. She says she didn't want them to have female sounding names. It didn't make sense to me either. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Giac
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:54 PM

Ethel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: C-flat
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:54 PM

I've come across my first name - Merrick- as both male and female.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:58 PM

I know women named Robin and Michael. Also, a Billie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: MMario
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:00 PM

I have a (female) cousin named 'Stephen'


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:31 PM

I once worked in an area with a large Sikh population. Sikh forenames are not gender specific. If you don't get the middle name you are stuck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sonnet
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:46 PM

Jay can be either female or male. Jay's the name I chose for myself, rather than my given name, Janet, which I loathe with a passion!

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,herc
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:54 PM

I know a transexual who goes by "Karel." I thought that was well done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:56 PM

"Dear Sir or Madam, as the case may be:"........


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,wdyat24
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 07:45 PM

Aunt Peter would have been enthralled with this thread.

wdyat24


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 07:53 PM

What about Sean Young (of Bladerunner fame)? Last time I saw her on anything though, she was sporting a healthy batch of underarm hair that sure put mine to shame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 07:55 PM

Enya is surely Eithna, and wasn't she a different goddess from Áine?

At one time anyway it was quite frequent for boys to have Mary as a second name in some Catholic countries - plenty of Jean-Marie's in France for example; and in Ireland one of the poets shot after the Easter Rising in 1916 was Joseph Mary Plunkett.

Tracy a boys name? That must be American. This side it's always a girl's name, a version of Teresa, though people don't normally think of it that way.

Abbreviations always tend to be unisex. Bill, Pat, Sam etc. - that's because the names behind them come in gender pairs, and shortening them takes away the distinctive ending.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:06 PM

DL Menard's first name is Doris


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:14 PM

I suppose there's no reason why geographical names such as Chelsea and Brooklyn shouldn't be given to boys. But somehow they never seem to be. Maybe Shankill?

There's a mystery to all this. Harry Enfield's Slobs got it about right when discussing anmes for their baby:

Waynetta: What about a middle name?
Wayne: 'ow about "Ashtray"?
Waynetta: ASHTRAY'S A BOY'S NAME!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: vindelis
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 08:22 PM

how about Poirl - pronounced Pworel. It belonged to my boyfriend's great-grandfather; and his before that. I've never heard of it before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 09:23 PM

A neighbor-lady when I was young was named Leon, and I've yet to meet another female with that name.

Speaking of Ashtray being a boy's name.... My wife tells the story of friends of hers who had a baby in the 70's. They wanted to let the child choose his own name when he got old enough, but the hospital required that a name be on the birth certificate before they would release the baby to go home. The father gave the kid the name "Oil Can Son of Dan" to appease the authorities. Later, when the kid was old enough, he did choose his own name and it was legally changed.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sorcha
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 09:44 PM

Lots of this is too funny, but it is still common for Hispanics to name boys Maria. As in Jesus Maria........but I can't see an Anglo boy being named Mary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 09:50 PM

Here in New Zealand (and in Oz too, I think) Robyn with a 'y' is a girls name but Robin with an 'i' is for boys. And there are lots of us too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 11:35 PM

Connie is also a nickname for Conrad among French descended people, as in my late father-in-law who was French-Canadian.

Our Mudcat Aine pronounces hers awn-ya, whereas Enya is pronounced as written, from what I've heard. Two different names as far as I've heard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:23 AM

So in addition to your great knowledge of the American Indian, now you are going to pontificate on Gaelic for us katlaughing?

God, you are so bloody ignorant.

They aren't two different names. The differences in pronounciation are regional. The "Enya" spelling is a phonetic one, and it isn't one used in Ireland--my guess is, it was a marketing decision, so English speakers would be better able to pronounce the name.

Aine is the most common Gaelic spelling. Gaelic spellings can also vary, as it wasn't until very recently that the spelling was standardized, and even still, often the older spellings are used by many native speakers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:39 AM

I'm not defending this last post of yours, Guest! Civility never is wasted, if you have a choice between that and being rude. Settle down.

Woody Allen named his youngest daughter "Dylan." I haven't heard it as a girl's name often, but before that I hadn't heard of it at all. I named my son Dylan almost 11 years ago, not realizing that American popular television had made the name a household word (Beverly Hills 90210). I chose the name because my son was born with premature lungs and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I was torn between a couple of names, but decided to tip my hat to Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Quietly Into That Goodnight." (Rage, rage against the dying of the light.) My son survived, and is named Dylan. He's a normal healthy 10-year-old, so the name seems to have been a good choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,cookieless Genie
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:56 AM

sian, there is a current sitcom in the US that features a female lead character named "Dylan"  (or "Dillon" -- I haven't seen it spelled).

Another relatively common man's name (nickname) in the UK that is almost exclusively female in the US is "Laurie," (although in Louisa May Alcott's time,  I guess, it wasn't all that unusual a nickname for "Laurence" in the US).

Funny thing:  I heard young folks on a talk show not long ago referring to "Ashley" as an exclusively female (or at least decidedly feminine sounding) name, apparently unaware that that was the given name of the object of Scarlett O'Hara's longing in "Gone With The Wind"  (played, interestingly enough, given this thread, by Leslie Howard).

McGrath, the male receptionist at a convalescent home in Seattle is named "Brooklyn."

I usually think of "Gene" as a man's name, short for "Eugene," but then there was the Hollywood actress "Gene Tierney" in the '40s and '50s.

And what about "Sidney" or "Sydney?"  Tom Sawyer's cousin(?) was a boy named "Sid(ney" and there have been many well known male Sidneys (Poitier, Greenstreet, Vicious, etc.), but is "Sydney" usually used for females?

"Jordan" is a pretty popular boy's name in the US these days, but there is a woman, about 90 years old,  in one of the nursing homes where I play music, whose given name is "Jordan," too.

Kat, we had a famous male "Connie" here in the US a while back: Connie Mack (Cornelius MacGillicuddy, IIRC).

And Robyn, I know a lot of females named "Robin," too.  (My brothers, FWIW, are Robin and Terry [NOT "Terrence"], and both have gotten volumes of junk mail or even business mail addressed to them as "Miss."

Other cross-gender names, historically, at least:  Hilary (or Hillary) and Carol (Carroll) [which is, I think, a variant on "Karl," "Charles," "Carlos," "Caryl," etc.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:03 AM

Lilias is another.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:55 AM

The Irish-Australian singer-songwriter Enda Kenny, had his CDs displayed in the HMV shop under a neat label saying Edna Kenny!

I have 2 male friends named Kerry (both born 1950s) - the second sends me e-mails from his work address, with a signature of (Mr) Kerry surname, whatever section, Dept of ....

I did have a male collague named Jade several years ago (born late 70's or early 80's years old)

I also know a woman named Peta who was in a meeting which also included a man named Peter. When the Chair asked Peta to speak, Peter took the floor, to great laughter from those who saw where she was looking. Peter joined in & we all had a good laugh.

At work when I receive calls from anyone named Chris, Lee/Leigh, Robin/Robyn, etc I always tick the appropriate title, the same as I do when I receive calls from people with first names from cultures that I don't recognise. This helps my colleagues when returning the call.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:18 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:29 AM

Sydney, as in Sydney Carter, is never a woman's name over here that I've neard. Mind you, no name is safe from being appropriated.

I imagine in Canada there must be a lot of confusion about people called Jean. I remember a friends of mind enthsuiing about this booke they had found by this great woman called Jean Vanier. I had to tactfully get aross the message that whiole totally agreeing about Jean Vanier being great as a writer and in other ways, he's a man.

It seems pretty clear that Áine and Enya are two different names.

Áine - (AN-yuh or AW-ne) from Old Irish aine "brilliance, wit, splendor, glory"; "joy", "brightness", "fasting", "praise", or "radiance". In legend, Aine was the daughter of Fer I (Man of the Yew) and the traditional name of the queen of fairies of south Munster, an important and varied role in Celtic mythology; was believed to dwell at the place now called Knockany (Cnoc Aine, "Aine's Hill"). Also used as an Irish form of Aina, Anne.

Eithne - (AY-he-ne or ETH-nuh) "kernel or seed."

And Enya is a version of Eithne.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: allanwill
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 08:32 AM

So shove that up your left nostril, GUEST.

Allan


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Genie
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 09:56 AM

McGrath, in the US, I've never known a woman named "Sidney" but I've known of several named "Sydney."

sandra, I also have known male and females named "Kerry" and "Jade." (The boy Jade I knew was born about 1975, IIRC.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Schantieman
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:17 AM

Marion

(can't imagine why he changed it to John Wayne!)

Stephen (male)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:20 AM

McGrath is wrong. In the Donegal dialect, where Enya hails from, the pronounciation of the name Aine is N-ya. In the Connemara dialect, the pronouncication of the name is Awn-ya.

But go ahead and take McGrath & katlaughing's word for it folks, just so you can feel vindicated about the nasty anon guest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:57 AM

Alison, Shannon, Kelly, Robin (my brother's name), Michael (my name, definitely male, but isn't there an actress...?), Jean, Billy-Jo, Joe, Georgie, and on and on...

Some of the current trend towards seemingly contrived names has hit the schoolyards with a force...children finding new and imaginative ways of making fun of others by twisting their names, and I wonder if parents think of such things when they name their children. I didn't.

Mooh (pronounced Mike).


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Peg
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 11:21 AM

Androgynous-sounding names are all the rage in the US now...as well as first names that sound like surnames (Jordan, Tyler, Macy, Haley, Madison, Shane and names like that are popular for girls (Morgan seems to be making a comeback, too), Cooper and Tyler are both popular for boys). Nice to get away from so many Brittanys (and of course Britneys) and Ashleys (thoguh they are beautiful names but spoiled by being so common now, like Heather and Courtney). Irish-sounding names with Americanized spellings seem to be popular too, like Catelyn.

I had an aunt and uncle who named their son Dylan (which I assumed was "Dillon" after Sheriff Matt Dillon until they told me differently) way back in the 1970s; I think that was the first wave; I have met a few young men in their early 30s with this name...

on a related topic, I am not sure what is being implied by Cluin about Sean Young's underarm hair, but she is a very beautiful woman and PLENTY of women in Europe shave their legs and not their underarms and no one implies they are unfeminine. I myself do not shave under my arms (haven't for some time) and I would defy anyone to tell me I am not as feminine as they come. Does this mean men who dye their hair or use hair-styling products are complete sissies? Sheesh. The American attitude about this stuff is dumb.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Genie
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:23 PM

"Claude" is another of those names that's used for both sexes (especially among the French).


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Robinson Stanley
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:26 PM

What about Americans who seem to like Surnames as first names and Christian names as Surnames. ha! Ha!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:40 PM

Spaw's maw in law is Clarence. And I knew a woman named Chauncey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 12:46 PM

Michael Learned is the actress who was the mom on the Waltons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:22 PM

The strange thing about names is that you can get different names that sound the same and even look the same, but they've got there by different ways.

So you can get someone called Anne, and it's an anglicisation of Áine, and another person called Anne, as an anglicisation of the name that's descended from the biblical one, Hannah or Anna or whatever - which Áine has nothing to do with in its roots or its meaning.

Am I unjust in feeling that it is in a way bad manners to give a male name to a female baby? I mean one where it hasn't already become customary to use it in that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:42 PM

This oriful nasty Nameless One has personal baggage leaking out her/his earholes, doesn't it?

There are better ways to remedy that than flogging your hurt superiority from a hideyhole, mate.

You could find out who you really are, and that would make things easier for you.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM

Not necessarily.

I'm reminded of the fella who threw up everything and went off to find himself. A couple of year later he comes back looking more miserable than ever. When asked he said that, when at least he found himself, he didn't like him at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:56 PM

Reminds me of the country song, "A Boy Named Sue."


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 02:04 PM

Of course if you spell it Sioux noone would think of it as a girlie name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 02:11 PM

I'm not exactly losing sleep over people being offended by my remarks to McGrath and katlaughing.

This is a public forum. If people insist upon publicly claiming to have authoritative knowledge on subjects they obviously know little about, then they've no one but themselves to blame when they are caught out making fools of themselves.

Sure, I could have been more polite about it, but McGrath and katlaughing have a long history of being pretty nasty to anon guests. Anon guests they disagree with/dislike often triggers their worst passive aggressive tendencies (the preferred mode of interaction of many here in Mudcat), until finally their anger grows to the point where they just can't control their behavior towards the anon guest anymore. So they start making indirect snide, cutting, critical remarks about anon guest, claiming they aren't communicating directly with them, or give "warnings" to others having a conversation with an anon guest, to try and get others to cooperate with their vendetta game.

Which then leads McGrath and katlaughing to do stupid things like they have here, which is to try and show up/put down the anon guest they love to hate. When it doesn't work, and it is them who ends up with egg on their faces, that inevitably makes a few Mudcatters feel terribly uneasy and embarrassed for them. So then Mudcatters like Amos come rushing in to play the knight in shining amour, defending the Mudcat realm from those who do not share the love for it they do, and who would dare dishonor their friends. So they too decide to go after anon guest. Same old shit, as katlaughing loves to proclaim.

Yawn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM

Then there's Orna, which is yet another completely different name. "Dark haired" (And nothing to do with Oonagh either.)

This started me thinking about the names we give animals. If you hear someone calling their dog "Rover" wouldn't you tend to assume that it was a male? And wouldn't you probably be right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 03:08 PM

Some jackel has showed up- (sorry, jackels, you are pretty smart. Saw on TV how jackel-dog crosses are being trained to sniff out drugs in Moscow).
McGrath, I remember Oonagh O'Neill, a daughter of that little man with the bowler and cane. Is it a "cross-dressing" name as well?
The author, Ayn Rand- is this a variant of Aine? Always pronounced ain as in ain't here. Not that it matters, most names like that get mispronounced (Sean = Seen, etc.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 03:43 PM

kat...Kat to the rescue again! I think you're right, simply because of all the limited TV I've watched, I do remember watching the Waltons when I was younger, and maybe that's where I've seen Michael Learned's name. My wife and kids watch the Waltons still I think, though it could be Little House On The Prairie for all I know. Anyway, over the years I've heard people mess up Michael as Mitchell, Michelle, Meekle (or something), without any kind of crosscultural or other excuse.

Thanks, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:58 PM

Yer welcome, Mooh!:-) You got me to thinking, though, so I checked. It was the Waltons. I seem to recall she got her name because her dad wanted a boy, bygawd. In that instance it seems selfish of the parent to so name a child, imo.

ttfn,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM

If you happen to have a copy of the Clannad album, "Fuaim", and you check the credits, you'll see the name Eithne Ní Bhraonáin who played keyboards and contributed vocals. She joined the group that already had her older sister Máire and brothers Pól and Ciarán in it for that album and is pictured on the front cover group portait.

This was Enya, before she went solo and adopted the "new" name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:51 PM

Thats right. Eithne and Aine are the same name, pronounced the same way, but spelled differently, as I also explained above. Enya is a merely her handler's attempts to anglicize the spelling to make it appear to English speakers in such a way as they might have a stab at actually pronouncing it correctly. This matters a great deal for things like air play on radio. You don't want pronounciation of the name to be an impediment to the music getting played, and to create name recognition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 09:02 PM

I work with a lady named Sioux.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 09:19 PM

A woman in an organization I work with at the university is named "Dean," but I don't know if she uses the male name pronunciation or stretches it out as "De-an."

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 09:20 PM

My niece is named Cheyenne.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Calico
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:23 AM

I personally have known three different women named "Michael."

And there was a female figure skater named "Lawrence," who was part of the US skating team that was killed in that plane crash (in 1971?).


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Calico
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:25 AM

Actually, I think the skater's name was "Laurence." It was pronounced the French way, and I think she may have been of French-Canadian background, though she skated for the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Gurney
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 04:55 AM

Names like Shannon or Sioux must surely be gender unspecific (is that a word?) as the population there must be of both sexes, barring the odd hairdresser. Chris(topher)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 06:42 AM

Names are rather like songs. You get a whole family of songs made up of variants, which can be very different, but where the ancestry can ve traced back to an earlier form - and then you'll get a song where there's been soem koind of convergence, so it's hard to say which family a song comes from.

With names of course you are dealing maybe with one or two syllables, and inevitablybnthe same combinations of syllables will crop up in different places and times, and sometimes they'll be used for men and sometimes for women.

And people can get quite passionate and indignant about that kind of thing, as if there was a list of names created as Platonic Forms before the world was made, and any messing about the blurred the edges was a kind of blasphemny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: brid widder
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:11 PM

I think you're right that Rover would be a male dog... and why does no-one call a cat Rover... or Fido.... cats rove don't they?... and in my experience Tiddles would be very appropriate for most dogs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:25 PM

We had a cat called Strider. Male.

But normally we have given our cats human names of the appropriate Gender. (Well, Strider was a human name too for that matter.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: weepiper
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:47 PM

My real name (Holly) used to be exclusively male but is now exclusively female (like me!).

When I was at university in the Celtic Department there was a girl from Connemara named Eithne and she pronounced it 'eth-ne'. So there GUEST who thinks it's always pronounced the same as Aine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:43 PM

Looks like some people think there ought to be a law on names and their use.
A friend from Holland told me that when he was born, names by law had to be biblical. He doubts that this still holds- all sorts of names show up now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:48 PM

There are some names which amount to child cruelty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 07:51 PM

G'day Q,

All sorts of traditions and prejudices can be applied to names when the law controls them. Down in South Australia there is a lovely instrument maker (concertinas, violins, hardengfels, &c)/silversmith named Pierre Hooft, of Dutch ancestry. His father should have been registered as Pieter ... but he was born while his father was working in Flanders ... and the clerk in the registry was French-speaking - and wrote the name down as Pierre!

Now Pierre is also called that, because, the eldest son takes the father's name ... even when it has been mucked up by a xenophobic Froggie bureaucrat!

Regards,

BobBolton


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: JennieG
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 08:11 PM

Movies made in the 30's seemed to use cross-gender names often...women were called "Sidonie" - probably posher than "Sydney" or "Sidney" but pronounced the same - men tended to be called "Kit". Now I don't know about you, girls, but when my knight on a white charger comes to carry me away from my humdrum life I don't want him to be called "Kit"! But I used to have an Aunt Kitty.
My mother's maiden name was Mavis Davis........
Cheers
JennieG who was named for a movie star (Jennifer) and my mother's cousin (Grace)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 08:19 PM

The Spanish usually have gender endings- Tomás, Tomasina, Juan, Juana, etc. We have some, like Frank and Frankie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 10:10 PM

There is also Riki/Rickie/Ricky


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Cluin
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:29 PM

"Rikki don't lose that number..."

Sure got sick of that one being sung to me all the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:37 PM

Intersting. Some of these names have such associations. I had a coworker whose wife's name was Myrna Loy Manning. She was named for her aunt, who had been named for the actress Myrna Loy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Gervase
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:25 AM

My former sister-in-law is a Sydney. My own name's caused enough confusion over the years - I've lost count of the letters I've had addressed to Ms/Mrs/Miss Gervase, and the telephone calls that ask: "Is she there?"
Spammers generally seem to get it right, though, judging by the number of offers to increase the size of my todger and to send me shedloads of cheap Viagra!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Sally
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:42 AM

I'm a boy my mom's name is John, my pa's name is Ethel - we're normal!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: HuwG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:51 AM

As this post to the Ten obscure facts about yourself thread shows, my parents are from widely differing parts of Britain, and when it came to naming their first-born (me) there was quite a tussle. My mother won, my dad chose my middle name of Lindsay as consolation prize; this was both his first name, and his father's first name before him, back to time immemorial.

Now any Scot will tell you, Lindsay is the family name of the Earls of Crawford (who apparently live in biscuit tins), and any Tynesider will know that it is not unusual as a first name for boys there.

Unfortunately, I found myself growing up in Yorkshire with both first and middle names that were unusable. I have yet to meet an English primary-school teacher who has heard of "Huw" as a first name, in spite of the fact that the BBC has many newsreaders and commentators of that name, while "Hugh" has almost faded from use entirely. And "Lindsay" was quite an exotic handle in a part of the world where "Albert", "Sam" and various Old-Testament first names are still in use. There were occasions when I might have preferred to have been called "Sue".

Rant over. My parents, incidentally, are quite dear people, still living harmoniously (in every sense of the word; they are both members of a large choir), and disappointed only in their wastrel and prodigal eldest son. Boo, hoo !


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: HuwG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 09:22 AM

Oops ! Try this blue clicky for the personal history, rather than the addenda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: JennyO
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:55 PM

"Ayn", as in Ayn Rand, is pronounced "Ine".

In my family, a frequently occurring name was "Meredith", and it was used for boys and girls alike. My cousin (a man) and my niece were both called Meredith.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM

Frankie? I'd assume that would be a man. Like Christie, or even Patsy if the surname was Irish.

Abbreviations tend to be unisex, especially when they are from the kind of names that have male and female versions, where the same abbreviation is normal for both - Patrick and Patricia become Pat, for example.

Kit is different, because as a man's name it's short for Christopher, and as a woman's it's from Katherine and so forth.

I see noone has come up with any names that started female and ended up more typically seen as male; and I haven't been able to think of any.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: JennieG
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 04:52 AM

Esme is another...it was used in 16th cent Scotland as a man's name but seems to have transmogrified (love that word!) into a woman's name. My mother had a friend called Esme.
Andre (m) / Andree (f)
Adrian (m) / Adrienne (f)
Vivian, Vyvyan (m) / Vivienne (f)
Wasn't Oscar Wilde's son called Vyvyan?
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 04:59 AM

Sian -- You beat me to Michael Learned, but I seem to recall that (on The Waltons at least) she was credited as Miss Michael Learned, presumably to point up the fact that she was a woman (which to this adolescent viewer was only too blindingly obvious!)

McGrath -- the most famous Brooklyn in Britain (the Beckham spawn) is a boy.

Gervase -- spammers don't necessarily get it right. Apart from the offers of viagra and penile enhancement I often receive advice on how to increase the size of my breasts -- and frankly, they don't need any outside help!

Remember the singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips? I was working Front Of House on one of his shows back in the '70's and a very grand but confused lady came in expecting to see the actress (and Mrs Richard Harris) Sian Phillips!

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Schantieman
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 05:01 AM

Most of those are French - they're rather more relaxed about sex - but strict about getting their genders right!

Then of course there's Wendy, invented by J M Barrie in Peter Pan (but not, so far as I know, used for boys - except on the Rugby field: "you great big Wendy!"

Jessie?

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: brid widder
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 05:44 AM

Paul Paula/Pauline... Gerald Geraldine...Robert Roberta... George Georgina... there are lots of those, where the ending changes the gender...

Kim in the Rudyard Kipling book was a boy... all the Kims I know are female. Rudyard... now there's an unusual name... he was named after Rudyard reservoir near Stoke on Trent... where his parents met... not unlike the Beckham babe being Brooklyn. Near Rudyard there's another reservoir called Tittisworth... if they'd done their courting there ....in the same area Stanley Reservoir gave Rudyard's cousin Stanley Baldwin his name.

Speaking of registrars making a cock up... I have a patient called Rosina, an elderly lady who should have been Rose Ena... I think the mistake is better... she doesn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Declan
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:36 AM

Eithne and Áine are different names.

It so happens that in Donegal pronounciation they sound similar because the Á souunds like EH in Donegal whereas in other rigions it has more like an AW sound and the th tends to be suppressed in Donegal as well.

An Eithne from Connemara is likely to pronounce her name as in ETHNIC whereas in Donegal it will sound more like the ENYA anglacisation, but it still doesn't mean it is the same name as Áine. The name Eithne or Ethna is generally used in both Irish and English, whereas in english Áine is generally translated to Ann(e).

I always thought Wendy was a form of Gwendoline, but I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:44 AM

"Wendy" is supposed to have been picked up by Barrie from a little girl who used it as her way of saying "friend". The more cynical among us may see that as a bit nauseating, but what the hell.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:55 AM

I'm surprised that Rock Chick hasn't posted on this thread - she's definitely female !


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 02:37 PM

Declan, I don't believe an ironclad case for Aine/Aithne and Eithne/Enya names being different names, can honestly be made. While there are some pronounciation variations by dialect (as I pointed out), the linguistic proof that these are, without question, two different names, isn't very strong.

I look to how the names are used today. As you pointed out, the Donegal pronounciation of the names is virtually identical. I have encountered some people in Donegal who believe they are, in fact, different names, and others who believe it is more likely they are the same names, which have grown different spellings (and hence, in some regions, different pronounciations) down through the centuries.

There is no end to the amount of misinformation out there on the "meaning" of a name. My understanding of this female name, is that all it's derivatives in Gaelic, are in fact derivatives of the extremely broad use of the name in Indo-European cultures, from Ireland to India. So perhaps we just need to agree to disagree.

BTW, the online source for Gaelic names that I use (it is the best I've found, which actually isn't saying much, as most Gaelic name websites are crap) is this one:

http://www.behindthename.com/nmc/iri.html

It offers the following derivations:

EDNA (1)   f   Irish, Scottish
Pronounced: ED-na
Anglicized form of EITHNE

EITHNE   f   Irish, Scottish
Pronounced: EN-ya, EN-a
Means "kernel" in Gaelic.

ENA   f   Irish
Anglicized form of EITHNE

ENYA   f   Irish
Pronounced: EN-ya
Anglicized form of EITHNE

ETHNA   f   Irish
Anglicized form of EITHNE

ETHNE   f   Irish
Variant of EITHNE

ETNA   f   Irish
Anglicized form of EITHNE

ÁINE   f   Irish
Means "radiance" in Gaelic.

AITHNE   f   Irish
Variant of EITHNE


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: rock chick
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:35 PM

Could it have been me that sent you the business e-mail? Where are you based?

I quite often start of Dear .... and sign Best regards Shelagh, again depending on the contents of the e-mail.

You can always send me a personal message on this site to confirm whether it is me.

By the way it pronounced the same as Sheila and I'm of the female gender.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 07:12 AM

I am wondering about the use of "Gary" for females. I am told it is quite common in some parts. However, I know of only one female Gary (MacDonald) and of many males that go by Gary. I'm in southern New Brunswick, Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Bellowbelle
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 07:24 AM

I recall being a bit chagrinned to discover that my there was a guy (or two) named Wendy...my name (I'm female). Wendy, Wendell. So, I started using 'Ms' before my name, more often!

Online, there's been one or two instances where I've thought for days or weeks that I was 'talking' to either a man or a woman (judging by name) that turned out to be the other! So, I've just about mastered the art of 'non-genderized conversation' or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 08:43 AM

Perhaps it'd be a bit more of a challenge to find some name that has never been used for a woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 10:11 AM

In light of what brid widder wrote about "Kim", it's as well to point out that the Kim Howells who is drawing critical attention to himself as a minister involved with the PEL issue is in fact male.

(But if you are writing to him to object to his proposed restrictions on live musicians and singers in England and Wales you would best call him Dr Howells anyway, so it doesn't really matter too much.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: SharonA
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:47 PM

Rock chick:   Hmmm... wouldn't it be a small world indeed if my business correspondence last Friday really had been with you?!? I'll PM the particulars to you right away; please let me know if you are that particular Shelagh! :^)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: C-flat
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:59 PM

I wonder what Princess Michael of Kent would have to say on the matter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: rock chick
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 03:53 PM

Dave Bryant what are you saying !! I know i'm Female with a BIG F, can you say the same with a BIG M?

By the way it's wasn't me, same spelling wrong female.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: JudeL
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 04:10 PM

Huw, it may not have been a common name in tyneside but there were several Huw's in my class at school in south wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 05:33 PM

How about Abby?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 05:44 PM

Thanks to Abbie Hoffman I tend to think of it as male. Does spelling it different make a difference?

I suppose it depends whether you assume it's short for Abraham (one name I don't think has ever been given to a woman, though what do I know?) or Abigail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Genie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM

Gervase, I get those SPAM emails about enlarging my penis and keeping it up with Viagra, too -- and my name is Jeanene (a name I've never heard applied to a man)!

Other names I've known to be used for both sexes:
Brooke
Dion
Kim - not uncommon as an Asian male name
Corbett
Cecil
Taylor
Mercedes
Andrea (Usually, Spanish male names end in "o" or "os," and Italian ones in "o," but then there's Andrea Bocelli.)

I've seen both sexes names "Vivian" and "Adrian," (in addition to the variant spellings).


gnu, I've known both men and women named "Cary," as well as "Kerry."


McGrath, you males are so afraid of being called "sissy" or "feminine" that you tend to drop something like a hot potato once it gets known as a "girly" thing. I can't imagine many folks knowingly sticking their sons with historically female names like "Jane," "Linda," "Gloria," "Margaret," "Elizabeth," etc.

("Maria" as a middle name for Catholic boys is a special case, of course.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: gnu
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 07:33 AM

Genie... er, uh, thanks, I guess. How about "Gary" ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 09:09 AM

McGrath: Oddly, no, usually, since it's not English, it's a transliteration from Hebrew/Yiddish. Pronounciation does.

But usually Abby is the same as Abbie or Avi with a short a and derives from and is the diminutive of Aba.

Aby or Abie is usually a long a and derives from Abrabam (the root of which is Aba, anyway, you'll notice.)

Means "father." As a kid, my daughter got to call me by my first name, therefore. She also got to introduce me as "This is my aba, Aba." She thought that was very funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:18 AM

GUEST of 11 Jan 03 - 12:23 AM and passim is not only unnecessarily abusive, s/he (s/h/it?) is also wrong.

They are two different names. But the spelling Enya was indeed a marketing decision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 10:33 AM

Sure, wrong like saying Catherine and Kathleen are the same names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 03:29 PM

No, gnu, I don't specifically recall knowing a woman named "Gary," but I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: gnu
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 03:59 PM

So. I guess I can still hold my head up high, knowing that my name is truly manly. (It's a joke... get it ?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 04:23 PM

There was an English wrestler named Shirley Crabtree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Jan 03 - 05:23 PM

Huw Lindsay! Interesting how you got your name! My gran was a Crawford.

Another one I don't think I've seen mentioned is Ashley...that lovely male character in Gone With the Wind, but more commonly used as a girl's name. My male orchestra teacher's last name was also Ashley.:-)

And, this just in from the Vatican, for all of you who've been discussing the word "gender." According to Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, director of the Pontifical Council for the Family:

"Gender" no longer indicates a person's sex, "but in international debate is used to indicate radical ideological feminism," the cardinal said.

It seems the Vatican is writing a "glossary on sex terms."

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 03:14 PM

How about my name

Carroll ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 03:47 PM

My daughter is named Deborah - I don't think that's ever been used by a male. My son is Timothy - not used by females as far as I am aware. However, my grandson is Daniel, which becomes Danielle for a girl.

Sidonie is an alternative female spelling for Sydney, and maybe Cindy is a corruption? Haven't checked, only guessing!

I understood 'Kim' was short for 'Kimberley', and the spelling is the same for either sex.

My parents' names are Leslie (father) and Evelyn (mother)...

Johnny Cash... 'A Boy Named Sue'...!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 04:24 PM

Carroll is normally a man's name; Carol is normally a woman's name these days, but can be either.

Actually they have different origins - Carroll is an anglicised version of "Cerbhall", which in Irish means "Brave in battle"; Carol is a version of Charles, when it's a male name; but when it's a female name it probably is just a Christmassy sounding name from Christmas Carols. Though how and why it became a female name is a mystery. Except that pretty well any name that sounds pleasant is liable to be used as a woman's name sooner or later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 05:44 PM

"...defending the Mudcat realm from those who do not share the love for it they do," Never have understood hanging around a place I don't enjoy.

Frankie? McGrath, remember: Frankie and Johnny were lovers...? I remember being confused by that when I was a kid.

I named my rescued-at-the-Humane Society elderly dog 'Darby', mostly because he's on the elegant side and also I have never known anyone/anything named Darby except, of course, Darby and Joan. But a friend tells me she thinks of 'Darby' as being a female name, that she's known two of them, both girls. (??)

My name is Elva and people have told me they think of it as a male name. In my experience, the male name is usually spelled 'Alva', not that I've met all that many of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Helen
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:32 PM

Peg,

Morgan is historically a female name - i.e. Morgan le Fay, from the King Arthur stories. Later it was given a Frenchified/Gallicised spelling, Morgaine.

My new kitten (female) is Morgan, because she is black and some people would consider both Morgan le Fay and black cats as evil, but I know better. (So there!    ;->   )

Hrothgar, there used to be a woman called Sioux who worked at Newcastle Regional Art Gallery (NSW, Oz) about 20 years ago.

I agree that mostly in Oz there are spelling differences for Robyn/Robin, Lesley/Leslie, etc. Sydney/Sidonie is fairly unusual as a woman's name in Oz - rather like calling her Washington or London or Cairo, because of the city Sydney, although Sidney or Sydney is common for older men, like my Uncle Sid.

I think that Cindy comes from another name, though, rather than Sydney - maybe Cynthia, Lucinda or even Cinderella?

The young woman who lives in the house behind ours called who two young daughters Page (or Paige?) & Flynn. The mother wants to fly aeroplanes, so Flynn is probably her way of tipping her hat to Flynn of the Inland, i.e. the creator of the Flying Doctor Service in Oz.


Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 08:18 PM

Morgan is the only example I've come across of what I speculated about earlier in the thread - a case where a name that had been historically female (same name as Morrigan, the war goddess) became predominently a male name.

Probably largely thanks to Henry Morgan, the pirate - and of course it was a surname in his case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Helen
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 09:29 PM

McGrath,

You've reminded me of some female surnames: Brewster, Webster, & Baxter (bakster) i.e. , brew-sister, web (or weave) sister and bake-sister, compared with Brewer, Webber or Weaver, and Baker. The female version of Spinner is not usually used as a surname but formerly as a descriptive but now as a more derogatory word, i.e. spinster. So, if a child was known more as the child of the weaver or brewer or baker, who happened to be a female, when the allocation of surnames occurred then the female word was used rather than the male.

Interesting, huh?

What about the surname "Jane"? There is an Oz tyre company called Bob Jane T-Marts. I look at that surname and wonder where it comes from. Was it also from a female name or does it have a different origin?

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: delphinium
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM

A few weeks ago I was asked to meet "Annabelle" in the reception area - turned out to be a young man, who said "just call me Annie." His name was really Anibel or Ani, a name that is apparently not uncommon for Cuban males.

Also, here are 2 more examples of females using nicknames usually associated with males: the Canadian author and journalist Stevie Cameron is a woman - I wonder if this is short for Stephanie. And I know a Jeff, originally a Jennifer.

Helen, that IS interesting about the "sister" surnames, never heard that before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 10:25 AM

Also gamester, huckster and punster - but I gather lobster probably has separate origin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 12:18 PM

"Dear Sir or Madam, as the case may be:"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 05:01 PM

Re 'Jane':

And don't forget 'Jane's Ships of the World', it's been around a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 09:12 PM

We have a 'Jane' family locally. And a local woman activist is named 'Sioux' Plummer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Helen
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 12:19 AM

And teamster and gangster. It's possible that teamster is a slurred together version of team-master - just my thought, I haven't researched that.

It'd be funny if these tough gangsters who wouldn't want to be seen dead with a feminine sounding name, have been known as "gang-sisters" all this time. (Poetic justice, in the humour department, in my opinion, especially relating to the woman-denigrating gangsta-rappers. Just pause here a moment while I ROTFLMAO!)

There are other names ending with "ster" but they don't necessarily come from the word "sister", e.g. Worcester, McAllister. So "cester" is an anglicised version of the Latin for "castle" (I think, from memory), and I don't know the etymology of McAllister.

Helen


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Subject: Helen - going back to '97
From: GUEST,Croí
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 02:57 PM

hi Helen
don't know you from Adam but a friend that I dance with is getting married this June and I was telling her about 'Tabhair Dom do Lámh' for a song and I found a music file and sent it and then went on a search for the lyrics.
came, by way of the convoluted path of web-magic, to your post in '97 !! and I HAD to write because of the first line, there was confusion about the 'strum* the love'....

what it actually is, is the Gaelic form of the title.
from my hearing it at home, it was always
'Give me your hand, 'gus tabhair dom do lámh'

"'gus" being an abbreviation of "agus" - Irish for "and"
"tabhair" - pronounced 'tour' - Irish for "give"
"dom" - pronounced 'dumb' - Irish for "to me"
"do" - 'duh' - Irish for "your"
"lámh" - 'law-iv' - Irish for ..... you guessed it ! ... "hand"

I think this is why you got that 's tru m' 'gus tour dumb' and 'the love' is really 'duh law-iv'

Not sure if you could care less at this point but you know, you never can tell what little thing might always be niggling away at the old brain cells and I thought - just on the offchance - I'd write and put you out of your misery !!

When I get time, I'd like to check back here - seems an interesting
spot !!

anyway, all the best !
go gentle
Croí


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 03:13 PM

And think of those tough Australian blokes drinking Fosters...


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for that info, Helen, really interesting!

Ebbie, there was Darby O'Gill, who was male, from Darby O'Gill and the Little People .


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Beardy
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 05:22 PM

It's not uncommon to use place names as first names...so Beckham's 'Brooklyn' is not a new idea... however it is still true that some places give their name to boys Clyde, Stanley, Sydney... and some to girls...Beverley, Chelsea, Jordan. Paris is now normally a girls name although it started out as the name of a Greek prince warrior...strange.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: The O'Meara
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 05:50 PM

As a kid, I figured Joyce KIlmer, the poet who wrote "Trees" was a girl. When I was in Vietnam, for Christmas my mother sent me a hard-bound book called "101 Famous Poems" with pictures of the poets. I checked to see if Joyce was a looker. "She" was a guy in a WW1 uniform. The caption read "Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, 69th New York, (Irish) killed in action near Ourcy, 1918."
You just can't tell by the name.

Knew a couple in Casper, WY, who were both named Rene. She was Rene', he was Renee. ( Went by his middle name, though.)

Just to settle it once and for all, Enya, Eithne, Aine and Anne are all derived from the ancient Celtic name "Frederick," pronounced "Shay-mus."

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: The O'Meara
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 05:52 PM

BTW, Me darlin' mother was named Marvel. (Really.)

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:16 PM

Were you and your sibs her "Marvellettes?" Sorry, I had to ask!**bg**


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Helen
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 09:10 PM

Thanks for the info, Croí, on 'Tabhair Dom do Lámh'. I'll have to come clean and tell you that it is most likely that I simply found the lyrics on the Internet somewhere, rather than writing them in myself. I will find the thread you are referring to and copy your comments into that, if that is okay, because the others who have read that thread would also want to read your comments.

The Mudcat community is well worth another visit or six, because the folks here are very friendly and helpful, so we look forward to seeing you here again.

McGrath,

Thanks for that image! All those yobbos drinking Fosters and acting macho and tough!

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,The O'Meara
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM

Kat: No, but my sibling n' cousin group occasionally called her "Captain." Her mother didn't care for nicknames, so she named her only son Glen, figuring there's no nickname for it. For about 80 years now, he's been known as "Uncle Bud."
    I mention that because of Glenn Close.

O'Meara


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:35 AM

Is " Leslie" a woman or man's name?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:42 AM

it can be either


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 May 05 - 12:02 PM

Leslie is often male and Lesley is often female, but in practice it varies as much as Marion/Marian.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 May 05 - 12:29 PM

I would say it depends on the nature of the business letter. Should it require a very formal approach and you are unsure of the prefix the person prefers, the following is usually acceptable.

Dear Shelagh


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 May 05 - 12:35 PM

sorry my post was abbreviated... Dear Shelagh (last name), and from the sound of your letter Dear Shelagh would suffice because they addressed you personally and gave best their regards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 May 05 - 12:39 PM

McGrath of Harlow said (inter alia):

I imagine in Canada there must be a lot of confusion about people called Jean.


Some acquaintances of mine, from here in Indiana, were living in Quebec some years ago, and had a girl baby there. They filled in whatever official form it was with the given name "Jean". "No," said the authorities, "you can't name a girl that. That's a male name!" They were forced to spell it Jeanne.

On another subject, we have my father-in-law, born maybe 1880, whose name was Courtney Oronto Moore. These days one runs into a lot of female Courtneys. Probably not many Orontos, though, of either sex.

And one more (which I've related in other threads, but it's too good not to repeat):

At the beginning of my 9th grade year, which I guess would have been 1943, there was a new girl in school, who showed up, having gone to school elsewhere previously. I say "showed up" because I don't think any formal paperwork transfer had previously come for her.

So the teacher passed around a sign-in sheet among the class, with the instructions to "Put down your complete, formal name. No 'for-shorts', no nicknames."

I don't remember what her last name was, but say it was Schwartz. So she put down "Jack Schwartz". The teacher admonished her: "No, put down your REAL name! No nicknames!" The girl told her, "That's my name, Jack!" The teacher wouldn't believe her, and Jack wouldn't budge. So she was sent to the principal's office, who would surely get to the bottom of it.

The same scene ensued in the principal's office, with insistence on the "real" name and her obdurate answer of "Jack". "All right, young lady, you go home and bring your mother or father in, and we'll get the real name from them!"

Both the mother and father came in and assured the principal that my classmate's name was indeed Jack--not Jac, not Jackie, not Jacquelyn, but J-A-C-K, Jack!

Frankly, I don't envy the young lady.

I wonder whatever happened to Jack.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 May 05 - 12:59 PM

And McGrath of Harlow, in another post, said:

Perhaps it'd be a bit more of a challenge to find some name that has never been used for a woman.

Algernon?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 May 05 - 01:38 PM

Helen said:

You've reminded me of some female surnames: Brewster, Webster, & Baxter (bakster) i.e. , brew-sister, web (or weave) sister and bake-sister, compared with Brewer, Webber or Weaver, and Baker.


Helen, you posted that in 2003. Are you still around?

I never heard that. Can you give some sort of documentation or authentication for that -ster equals -sister bit?

My favorite etymological sourcebook, under teamster, brewster, and several others, merely refers to "a -ster variant of" whatever the verb form is. One exception that might go along with your statement above, and that's "seamstress". Under "sew", going through "Old English seam has derivative seamestre, whence Middle English seamster, whence English seamstress, var. sempstress; seamestre and seamster are feminine; -ess has been added to render the sex unmistakable."

That's the only place I find that kind of connection of a -ster form to feminine, and no direct reference to "sister".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 May 05 - 02:21 PM

I haven't read the entire thread, just some of the first and last posts, so pardon me if I'm repeating anything...

A couple of thoughts:

The woman's name "Jeanne" is pronounced in the French manner here in Louisiana ~ "Zhaahn" is a phonetic approximation ~ but in the rest of the US, it is almost always read as though pronounced "Jean"/"Gene."

I once had a female coworker named Trevor. This name is uncommon enough herebaouts that some folks would be introduced and not react at all, but most of us who had any familarily at all with the name Trevor usually recognized it as a man's name and thus reacted with some kind of "double-take.".

McGrath listed a number of "men's names taken over by women" including Evelyn, Shirly, Beverly, and others. I would observe that, in the US, all of these names are almost exclusively used for females, and people tend to ridicule the very idea of these names being used for (British) males.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 May 05 - 03:00 PM

Glenn Close----- Man, woman, or address?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 05 - 05:32 PM

I once worked in an office where we had a male customer with the middle name of Mary. There was a big red message across the file "This is NOT a mistake".


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: SharonA
Date: 19 May 05 - 07:32 PM

So, this thread lives again! Seems I neglected to mention, back in 2003, that my mother's name was Marion and that she and my father named my brother Leigh... which may not sound so strange to our UK 'Catters but is quite unusual here in the US.

As for the original issue of the business-email greeting, at the time I had thought it too "chummy" -- too informal-sounding -- to address the unknown party by her first name only, at least in my first email to her. Not knowing whether to say "Dear Mr. Lastname" or "Dear Ms. Lastname", I used the person's full name even though it sounded overly rigid to do so. These days the rules about formality in business-email greetings seem to have relaxed somewhat... perhaps for the very reasons we've seen illustrated in this thread: that what may be assumed to be a male's or a female's name in one country may not be so in another country (or even within the same country!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 May 05 - 10:09 PM

Just in case Giok is serious (there aren't many 'Closes' in US geography) Glenn Close is a very good American actress.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: dianavan
Date: 19 May 05 - 11:43 PM

This is Canada and Michel and Michelle are common names. My brother, however, was always put into girls P.E. classes because his name was Jan. He didn't mind though. He always showed up for the first day of class and caused a minor riot. He always made the best of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 20 May 05 - 06:41 AM

I used to work in an office in London with a man called Barnett Barnett and in the same office at the same time was Andy Beverley Barnett.

As for my own name; the only version I have heard being used for a woman is Robin/ Robyn. Rab, Rob, Rabbie, Robbie and Robert all seem to be exclusively male.

My brothers name is Duncan and I am not aware of a variant of that for women


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 20 May 05 - 07:17 AM

Donuts?


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: robomatic
Date: 20 May 05 - 07:36 AM

I read somewhere of a "Positive Wasserman Jones". One explanation was that a malicious med student convinced the poor mother that it was the name of a great physician, more recently I ran into this:

""When the girl was born, her mother got a look at her own hospital chart and thought that was what she was supposed to name the baby," he said. "So the poor girl was stuck with the name. The other kids called her Pozzie."

That shows positive thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 20 May 05 - 01:08 PM

Just some people I have known

Male named Kermit - called Kim

Female named Stephanie - called Steve (of course)

Male named Sanford - called Sandy

Male named Demetrius - called Meech


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 May 05 - 04:15 AM

Last week I was browsing in a bookshop & saw a section for Women Writers.

One book was by Gay Taliese (or however it's spelled).

I couldn't find a section for Men Writers, so left the book where I found it.

I wonder why they didn't have a section for Men Writers.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: GUEST,Mr Red (no prizes for guessing there)
Date: 21 May 05 - 05:14 AM

Mr Red's alter ego often gets this gender confusion (no comments please) , and rarely takes offence but it sorts-out those that do not know him, and are just trying it on.

(you would have to click http://cresby.com for explanation - or maybe not if you are observant)


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 05 - 01:07 PM

I believe that "Bloke" is quite a common first name in South Africa. I imagine that is one which probabaly won't be appropriated by women.


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Subject: RE: BS: Man's name or woman's name?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 02:10 PM

Funny that no-one has mentioned the case of the distinguished novelist Evelyn Waugh. His first wife was also called Evelyn. They were known to their circle as He-Evelyn & She-Evelyn.


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