Another name to the girls?

My DIL posted a cute picture of her dog Percy today.  Her sister, who should have known better, commented on how adorable "she" is, and my DIL reminded her sister that Percy is male.  Sister responded that she keeps forgetting that Percy is a male name.  Someone else pointed to Percy Jackson, saying he personally was under the impression that Percy is a male name.  My DIL then related an anecdote.  She and Percy had encountered a little kindergartner who declared that Percy is a girl name and tried to convince my DIL that Percy is a girl dog.  (A quick look would have demonstrated otherwise, but kindergartners are probably not too well-versed in anatomy as of yet.)  Given the number of girls running around with traditionally male names these days, the little kindergartner can likely be forgiven for thinking everything is a girl name.

Replies

1
April 5, 2014 10:13 PM

That strikes me as strange, given that as most kindergartners these days are familiar with Percy the train (one of Thomas's buddies). Teens will know of Percy Jackson, and adults should know of Shelley. Well, I suppose that last one is a stretch. My first association is with Percy Walker, but I recognize that most people will never have heard of him.

2
April 5, 2014 10:27 PM

I never heard of Percy the Train (have heard of Thomas), but I sure know Percy Walker, taught some of his novels from time to time.  Maybe this little kindergartner thought Percy was a girl train?

3
By mk
April 6, 2014 12:34 AM

Or because it rhymes with the female name, Mercy? Or has the 'ee' sound of Katie, Lucy, etc? Or she may very well have a friend named/nicknamed Percy. I would not have recognized the name Percy as a kid.

4
April 6, 2014 4:06 PM

Percy is the little green fellow (I'm talking about the train, hee hee).

5
By EVie
April 6, 2014 12:30 AM

A lot of people should also be familiar with Percy Weasley from the Harry Potter books—I guess twenties through early thirties are the core demographic, but I'm sure current kids and teens are still reading them. Percy was a fairly prominent side character through all seven books. 

I can see Percy perhaps as a nickname for Persephone.

6
April 6, 2014 12:48 AM

In the recent continuation of Upstairs Downstairs (not the original series), there is a character called Lady Persephone who is nicknamed Percy.

7
April 16, 2014 5:13 PM

Could happen. Elliot seems to be suffering from this. I've noticed a number of internet posters saying they thought it was a girls name. Because of Ellie, or because of Scrubs. Ugh.

8
April 16, 2014 6:26 PM

I confess to thinking Percy would be cute on a girl (but a little too cute for me to bestow). But, it does seem that many "boy" names are jumping to unisex faster than you can say "Jonathan is only for a boy". ;)

9
May 12, 2014 2:58 PM

Interesting! This is what I find in the 2013 data: 

Males:
61 Percy
60 Perseus
8 Percival

_____

Females:
167 Persephone
14 Persephonie
12 Persephanie
5 Persephony

12 Persais
6 Persayus 

10
September 23, 2014 1:39 PM

And the boys' names turned girls' names never really come back again, once they're well enough established as girls names. Beverly, Shirley and Kelly, for example.

I named my eldest a name that I had never thought of as a girls' name, but it seems to be making the jump.