Sunday, November 05, 2006

Trans-Gendered Names

Long before girls began to acquire trendy, unisex names like McKenna, Morgan, Payton, and Taylor -- an improvement on Brandi, Brittany, and Tiffany -- they had already claimed ownership of many formerly masculine names; for example:

  • (George) Beverly (Shea), composer and singer of religious songs, long associated with Billy Graham
  • (Arthur) Evelyn (St. John Waugh), English writer
  • Merle ("Punk" O'Rourke), my father's uncle by marriage, and an outstanding semi-pro pitcher
  • Shirley (Povich) American sports writer and father of Maury
  • Vivian (Cook), an English linguist (who has more to say, here, about "Vivian")
To read more about unisex names, start with this article at Wikipedia. See also this list of popular baby names.