Masculinize the name with an "a"

Many masculine names are made feminine by adding the "a" sound to the name.  Usually this changes the pronunciation (Michael/Michaela). 

I have two challenges:

(1) Are there any name pairs that go the other way?

(2) Can you think of any pairs (m/f or f/m) where the pronunciation doesn't change (f/f example would be Suzanne/Susannah)?

I'll throw this open to adding the "a" sound anywhere in the name.

To start:
(1 and 2) Lynn/Allen

(2) Raphael/Raphaella

I have another name pair that I thought of, but I'm curious to see if someone else gets it.


By EVie
November 18, 2014 5:26 PM

Fun fact: Lynn is already a masculine name. It comes from a surname and wasn't used for girls until the 20th century. And Lynn and Allen aren't actually related names.

You're not actually going to find a lot of names where adding an a somewhere masculinizes a feminine name. You're not really going to find many masculinized versions of feminine names at all, because of the way the world has historically privileged masculinity. There are names that exist as masculine/feminine pairs because they come from gendered languages that have masculine and feminine versions of every adjective, and that's just a common pattern (e.g. Julius/Julia in Latin), and you have names that existed first as masculine and later were feminized (Robert/Roberta). The only counter-example I can think of is Maria--because the Virgin Mary was so revered in Catholicism, sometimes Mario was considered a feminization of Maria and given in honor of her. But that's actually not the case, etymologically speaking--Mario comes from Marius, which existed as a name independent of Mary/Maria. And in Catholic countries, you often see Maria or Marie given to boys as a second name as-is, without masculization (e.g. Pierre-Marie, Giuseppe Maria).

There are some languages in which an -a ending can be masculine (Luca, Andrea, Nicola in Italian, Bela in Hungarian), but I can't think of an example where *adding* the a makes the name masculine.

For names that don't change pronunciation:


Cecil/Cecily (not an -a ending, but similar effect)

Nicholas/Nicola (again, not exactly what you're looking for--drops the final s instead of adding an a)





November 23, 2014 1:57 AM

Also Alexander/Alexandra

June 23, 2016 7:21 PM

Ellie to Elijah or Elia


India to Indiana