A Baby Name Style Brought to Life: The Faces of Andro-Girly names
Check out this outstanding collection of "Andro-Girly" female names:
If you're not familiar with this name style, the recipe starts with a masculine/androgynous name, typically a surname. Baby namers then play with the spelling to produce something brightly girlish.
I first described the fast-rising style last fall. It's a highly regionalized name trend, one of several I identified for the new regional naming maps in the upcoming edition of The Baby Name Wizard. (Available May 7. Yay!) If you live in a state like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee or North Dakota, you might recognize red-hot names like Brynlee, Kynlee, Paityn, Brooklynn and Ryleigh from your state's top-100 names list. If you live in a state like Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California or Vermont, you might say, "Seriously??"
Which brings us to the name list above. In keeping with the regional trend, those names come to us straight from the rodeo. They're names of young cowgirls captured in photographer Ilona Szwarc's pictorial on girls in competitive rodeo, featured in last weekend's New York Times Magazine.
For those of who already know and love Andro-Girly names, the cowgirl pictorial should be an enjoyable celebration of the style and the bold girls it represents. But for those of you who can't fathom the appeal of names like Kynlee and Paityn, this could a rare opportunity.
I often say that a baby name choice represents parents' values, hopes and dreams. Well, here's a chance to walk in someone else's dreams.
Page through the photos of Kenli, Mayson, Chaley and friends. Or for a shorthand version, just click to photo #11 and contemplate six-year-old Konnar with her elaborately tooled saddle, classic ridgetop hat, and fair hair streaming over a western shirt festooned with bright flowers. You still may or may not like the Andro-Girly names, but I'll bet that now you get them.