Callen

I‘ve liked the name Callen for a boy for quite awhile, but some people think it is better as a girl’s name. According to the SSA, it is much more popular for boys than girls, but my Facebook search for Callens came back 50/50. So that leads me to believe it USED to be more popular for girls than it is now? What do you think when you first hear it? 

Replies

2
By EVie
March 25, 2018 11:52 AM

Callen has never been in the top 1000 for girls. It's been in the top 1000 for boys since 2010 (debuting at 695), peaked in 2014 at 501, and in 2016 (most recent data year -- stay tuned for release of 2017 stats in May) was at 535. 

Looking at the data for names that didn't make the top 1000 list, here are the absolute numbers for Callens:

  • Girls: 
  • 2016: 15 
  • 2015: 15
  • 2014: 18
  • 2013: 12
  • 2012: 12
  • 2011: 13
  • 2010: 14
  • 2009: 11
  • 2008: 9
  • 2007: 11
  • 2006: 6
  • 2005: 10
  • 2004: 10
  • 2003: 8
  • 2002: 8
  • 2001: 10
  • 2000: 15
  • 1999: 9
  • 1998: 10
  • 1997: 9

 

  • Boys: 
  • 2016: 543
  • 2015: 553
  • 2014: 557
  • 2013: 428
  • 2012: 451
  • 2011: 420
  • 2010: 334
  • 2009: 96
  • 2008: 74
  • 2007: 77
  • 2006: 49
  • 2005: 51
  • 2004: 37
  • 2003: 43
  • 2002: 36
  • 2001: 31
  • 2000: 27
  • 1999: 28
  • 1998: 39
  • 1997: 27

I could keep going back, but I suspect it's more of the same. There are a handful of girl Callens every year, but at least since 2010, the number of boy Callens absolutely dwarfs them. I'm not going to copy it out, but you find a similar pattern for Callan, though Callan appears to be moderately more popular for girls (numbers currently in the 30s, not teens) and moderately less popular for boys (though still in the top 1000). Callyn only appears on the list for girls, though still in very small numbers (the SSA doesn't report names with fewer than 5 births for privacy reasons). Then there's the similar Callum, which is similar to Callen in stats for boys but doesn't chart at all for girls. 

Here is the link for the in-depth SSA data, if you want to explore further: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/background.html You can also look at the data for your specific state if you think you might be in a girl-Callen pocket. 

On the whole, I think the "some people" who prefer it as a girl's name are in the distinct minority, and you're very safe considering it as a boy's name. Don't look to Facebook for reliable data; there could be all sorts of confounding reasons why girl Callens are over-represented there. 

4
March 25, 2018 1:44 PM

I've never heard of female Callens and would be very surprised to meet one. My 4-year-old neighbor is named Callen and another acquaintance has a Callan (both boys).

5
March 25, 2018 2:14 PM

I have a (male) colleague whose first initial and last name are C. Allen, so I tend to see it as "Allen with a C" and thus solidly masculine, even without the usage statistics.

6
March 25, 2018 7:31 PM

I have only ever thought of Callen as masculine.

To be honest, what comes to mind when I hear the name is the character from NCIS Los Angeles who is always refered to as Callen (it is his last name, but if you are unfamiliar with the story, he pretty much has to be called by his last name since he does not know his first name- only his first initial, for several seasons). 

Its not a bad association- as the main protagonist, he stops criminals and saves people (often with shooting and explosions, but thats what makes it exciting). But yes, very masculine. 

7
March 25, 2018 8:46 PM

Boy.

FB can provide some interesting name data, but it's not what I would consider a reliable source.  Not everyone uses their actual names on FB.  Callen is also a surname, and I know of a few people who use an inverted version of their name on FB (think surname first + nickname or surname first + middle).

The Social Security baby name site shows Callen didn't chart until 2010 (I believe this is consistent with the NCIS character) and has only ever charted for boys.  Doesn't mean there couldn't be a handful of girl Callens out there,  but not enough to make it anywhere close to a unisex name.

 

8
March 25, 2018 9:18 PM

I honestly think it good be either...

It reminds me of Cally, Calla, Karen but also Allen, Calvin, Collin