What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?

I've been thinking a lot about this because the name I was to have if I had been a boy was Grayson, which has skyrocketed in the last 20 years. The story goes that my eldest sister had a Cabbage Patch Kid (this was in '85) with this name and suggested it to my parents who subsequently fell in love with it. It also didn't help that I was very misleading in ultrasounds and everyone was in for a big surprise when I was born. My sister was quoted as saying that she already had a sister and that they needed to take me back and trade me for the brother she was promised. She was 3 1/2, and never did get that brother.

Meanwhile, her name would've been Nathaniel and my other sister would have been Jarrod.

Any other stories about what you would been named?


By hyz
June 12, 2012 3:53 PM

I'll have to ask my parents if they had a name for me if I had been a boy.  I do know, though, that my mom was certain that the doctors must be wrong and that she was having twins, because she felt her belly was so huge.  If I had been twins, she said she wanted to name me (us) Lydia and Lydell.  I'm very glad I wasn't a twin.

June 12, 2012 3:55 PM

This is a really fun topic and there was actually a blog post about it a while back. (Wow, I can't believe that it was almost four years ago!) Since there are many new people around who didn't take part in the older conversation, it will definitely be fun to see the new answers! (And quite honestly, to be reminded of the old ones :D)

I don't have a story, only the fact that I would have been named Kevin. (I don't knowthe middle. I should ask...) Then my younger sister would have been named Kevin (although I'm surprised because my mom is not the sort to want both kids with the same initial). Then, after my parents had only had girls, my mom suggested the name to her brother, so my only male cousin (on that side)'s middle name is Kevin. I can definitely see that name having worked for me, assuming that my male personality was similiar to my female one. I associate it with The Wonder Years, so it's a warm, fuzzy, sweet name to me.

My husband, Brian John, would have been Stephanie Lorraine (Lorraine is his mom's name). That cracks me up every time I think about it.


By hyz
June 12, 2012 5:24 PM

Karyn, too funny!  I remembered that discussion, but I also can't believe how long ago it was!  And it reminded me--if I was a boy, my mom wanted to call me Sheldon.  Not sure if my dad would've gone with that, though--I hope not!

June 12, 2012 3:58 PM

I honestly couldn't say. My parents said that they only had good boy names when I and my brother were born, and only good girl names when my sister was born. I'm personally named after both my parents, so I could make some guesses, but it's hard to say.

By EVie
June 12, 2012 4:48 PM

My mother swears up and down that she knew by her mother's intuition that I was a girl, and never even entertained the possibility that I was a boy (they didn't find out before birth). But at some point I found an old yellow scrap of paper with names doodled on it—mine, a few girl alternatives (one of which later went to my cousin), and David and Anthony for boys (both of which I think were the names of friends my mom had as a kid, at least one of whom died young). I can see myself as a David (maybe just because there are so many among my peers), not so much as an Anthony.

June 12, 2012 7:50 PM

Gosh, was that blog post really 4 years ago?? I remember it like it was the other day.

My mum swears she 'knew' I was a girl and my brother was a boy, even though they had no ultrasounds with either of us. So, I believe there were no alternate names picked out for the other gender. My sister though, she had no idea with, so I think she was going to be Sean if she was a boy. I remember my mum telling me that when I was younger (and obsessed with names) but she denied it when I asked her about it a couple of years ago.  

I just realised that I won't have a cool story for my daughter about what her boy name might have been as we never discussed boy  names as we were fairly sure she was a girl.  

November 17, 2012 6:16 AM

When I was pregnant in 1985-YEP, I am THAT old!! , I also KNEW my baby would be a girl. This is at a time when they only let you have an ultrasound if there where complications in your pregnancy. I had my daughters name picked out from day one. Natalie Nicole. Her room was done in lavendar and pink, I only bought girl clothing. I NEVER even thought about deciding on a boys name, just in case. There was NO WAY I was having a boy. Luckily, God complied..

The only problem is, my name is Nicolette, so ppl frequently call her my name, or me her name. But, it's ok, both names are beautiful, and WERE unique for the time.

June 12, 2012 8:58 PM

I have no idea what my 'boy' name would have been, but I do know the other names my parents considered for me were Myra and Myrna (oy, vey!).  I do remember the name discussions for my younger sister Suzanne, but again I am not aware of any boy names.  I do know that the other name they considered for her was Bonnie Cheryl.  Since I was named for my grandfather who died when I was in utero, I am sure my parents would have used some version of his name Meyer Wolf for a son.  Personally I think Wolf is uber cool!  I can say that my son Edward Raymond would have been Eleanor Tuckwood if he had been a girl.  Eleanor was my deceased mother's middle name and Tuckwood was my then living MIL's maiden name.  Her given name was Dorothy which I would have used had she been deceased, but not of course while she lived.

June 12, 2012 10:15 PM

My mother was certain she was having a boy. The story goes that she secretly wanted a girl and convinced herself she was pregnant with a boy so she wouldn't be disappointed. In the birthing room, after hours of labor (natural), I was born. My mom, a little worse for the wear, saw the umbilical cord between my legs and declared "my son, David Harrison!". The doctor told her that I was a healthy baby girl, and she refused to believe him until they cleaned me up and gave me to her (back then, apparently, they washed off the goo before handing the baby over). Lo and behold, she got the daughter she secretly longed for, so David Harrison was never used.

June 13, 2012 1:34 AM

I don't have any actual other-gender names, but it's somewhat amusing anyway (to me, at least).

The story goes that my father was hoping for a boy. Ultrasounds weren't a normal part of things yet, so they had no idea there were two of us until my mother had been in labor for about a day already, and they decided to do an x-ray to figure out what the holdup was. By this time, Dad had gone home to get some sleep. They called him and told him the news, and there were several minutes of silence. We all say he must've fainted.

So anyway, eventually we were born (they pulled my sister out with forceps), and my parents found out that they needed to name two girls instead of the one hoped-for boy. My name was easy: my mother loves her name, which was also her mother's name, and both of her grandmothers had a related name. Mom left my sister's name up to Dad, and he chose his sister-in-law, my mother's little sister (who is our favorite aunt, so that part worked out well). His two sisters were apparently mildly offended that he didn't choose a name from *their* side, but Dad hated names with lots of nicknames (like his mother's name Elizabeth), and his sisters have unpronouncable-by-Americans names (Gyöngyvér and Csilla), which he was also morally opposed to. (He changed his name from Csaba to Joseph Csaba when he became a citizen, because he said he was missing job offers when employers couldn't pronounce any part of his name.)

Thirty-eight years later, my husband and I were struggling to shorten the boy's list to something less than 20 names, and I finally thought to ask my parents: what would that one hoped-for boy have been named?

Neither of them could remember. Not even a vague recollection, asked first separately, then together.

June 13, 2012 2:07 AM

I would have been Scott Milton (after grandfathers). My brother would have been Stacia Janae. I have no idea what my sister would have been. I'll have to ask my mom. I should check with my MIL about DH and his sister...

My son would have been Katheryn Elise, and my daughter would have been William Patrick. 

June 15, 2012 9:00 PM

Wow, Katheryn Elise is remarkably close to my name, Karyn Elisa. I also know an Alyssa Karin (ə-LISS-ə) and and Elyssa Karen (eh-LEES-ə). I guess there's something about that name combo that works.

June 16, 2012 10:31 AM

Too funny! And we ended up with Ev@ngeline K@thryn for our DD. :-)

June 23, 2012 1:37 PM

Ok--so my sister would have been Spencer Dorwin or Sean/Shawn Michael. They were still deliberating when she was born.


July 25, 2012 9:56 PM

So my DH is actually J@mes Her$chel after both his grandfathers, but if he had been a girl, he would have been either Elizabeth Anne or Mary Catherine (they were still debating--none are family names within 2 generations). His little sister ended up Eliz@beth Ann3, but if she had been a boy, she would have been J0hn Willi@m.

Interestingly, it came out in the conversation that my MIL didn't want to name DH after both grandfathers as there was a J@mes who "was really mean" to her when she was growing up, but FIL insisted on it. I wonder if that colored their relationship some (they've had a very strained relationship his whole life).

June 15, 2012 8:53 PM

I would have been Joshua (and another girl name they considered was Tiffany -- very different from any of the other names they ever considered), my brothers would each have been Molly (my sister came after them and was named Molly), and my three sisters would have been either Matthew or Michael (I don't think it was ever decided which one). My husband and I only had one girl name picked through each of our pregnancies (5 boys), and it remains our choice if we ever have a girl -- Susanna.

June 16, 2012 10:01 PM

I assume I would have been either Gregory or John -- I am the eldest child, and my brothers (twins) are two years younger, and one is named in honor of each grandfather.  Middle name, who knows.  Possibly I would've been something like "Gregory John". 

If my son had been a girl he would have been Margaret, with same middle name as he has (it's a family surname).  His sister is Margaret Emily (we call her Daisy, which I think I've mentioned before, so if you were going "wait what" that's what); "Emily" was our second-choice girl's name the first time around.  If Daisy'd been a boy she'd've been called either Nathaniel Stephen or Stephen Nathaniel.

I think because we limit ourselves to family names and don't find out the sex of the child beforehand, we don't tend to put a name on a child very heavily before birth -- some people find the "Margaret" thing almost like a re-use, I've found.

June 18, 2012 6:27 PM

I'd have been a Julian, which explains why my parents were so thrilled to find a variant form announced for my son's name! I have two younger brothers, neither of whom is a Julian. In the time between my birth and that of brother#1 my parents met a holy terror by that name and the bad association put them off it. They ended up using a truncation of it, though. Had he been a girl, he'd have been an Alice, which I have such a hard time seeing as a logical sister name to a Jennifer.

My youngest brother was known to be boy very early on but he was nearly a Joe or a Dorian, rather than a Jacob. He has regrets about it!

June 20, 2012 11:03 AM

I'm Sharnie, and  I would have been a Declan or a (and I shudder to think it) Shane. Declan is a pretty name though and I think among my sisters and I it's a race for a boy on that one. 

On a different note, if my mother had anything to do with my name I would have been a Taylor so thank gosh dad got in the way. 

June 20, 2012 1:51 PM

I'm just curious why Shane makes you shudder. Is it because you hate the name or because you can't imagine yourself as a Shane?

June 20, 2012 7:33 PM

My parents would have named me Samuel.  While it's growing in popularity now, I never liked it growing up.  I don't particularly care for my own either.

June 22, 2012 1:26 PM

I would have been  John Charles if I was a boy, which is what my little brother is named. He is named after my mom's oldest brother and my dad's only brother.

 My mom really wanted to name me Josephine, but my dad's mom is Spanish-speaking and hated the Spanish pronunciation "Ho-sa-fee-na." So I'm Angela (Ahn-hay-la in Spanish) which I like. My mom's mom, who was also not a native English speaker, always thought my name was Angelica like her favorite nun who had a radio or tv show, Sister Angelica.

 My middle name, Rhea is the same middle name as my older sister who died as an infant, which I always thought was special.

July 3, 2012 9:30 PM

My father insisted that he wasn't having a baby boy, because he already had one and didn't want any more! haha he refused to help my mother in picking out a boys name. I was named after my two grandmothers, Kathryn Ann, so it would have made sense if the boys name my mother picked was my grandfathers, Robert or Richard. Nope! I was going to be Stanislaus! I have no idea where that one came from, but it was all my mothers idea haha. They would have called me Stan. Thank god I was a girl!

August 1, 2012 11:57 AM

I would have been David Anthony.  I didn't know about the Anthony part until my kids asked grandma what my middle name would have been.  Anthony makes sense b/c my middle name is Antoinette after my grandmother Antoinette.  Since my brother's name was Daniel, I find David a bit close.

My husband would have been Lauren.

August 7, 2012 12:38 PM

My name is Emily, which was when I was born and currently is extremely popular. Despite this, I love my name and the sweet and friendly nicknames (think Em and Emmy) that come along with it. However, if I had been a boy, my name would have decidedly been Hunter. I'm pretty glad that I'm a girl, needless to say!

September 10, 2012 7:32 PM

i would have been Brian, if a boy. probably would have been Brian Charles. my brother Joel Patr1ck, would have been Johnna- ick! glad he was a boy.

September 11, 2012 8:12 PM

My Name is Te$sa and if I had been a boy I would have been Caleb, which I find not too appealing myself (the 'lub') and am happy to have ended up with my name :)

My older sister @my would have been Matthew after my Uncle, and my older brother M!cah would have been Rebecca. My younger sister Ann@mar!a would possibly have been Grant, though I am convinced that my parents couldn't decide on a name they liked until after she was born ;)

October 6, 2012 11:12 PM

I'm a Lauren and would have been an Evan Robert (mn after my father) or Evan Fischer (grandmother's maiden name). I think they also considered Ethan and Anthony and possibly Christopher. I think Lauren was the only realistic girl's option. My mother loved Natalie but my father knew a horrible Natalie and the other names my mother liked (Meredith and Elizabeth) sounded like lisps with our -th last name. My mother used to have the baby name book with all the alternatives written down and certain names starred but she lent it to a cousin who then lost it. Huge devastation for little NE me: I loved that book! 

My younger sisters had no specific alternative names--my parents found out early on they were girls--but my mother later said that she would have named any boy Luke. When I was younger I felt like we were missing a fourth sibling, who should have been Luke or Lydia, but my mom denies ever mentioning Lydia and insists that if she had to name a fourth girl she would have choosen "something really simple like Anna."

My partner Sean was very nearly a Keir or a Karl (yes, after Marx). Not sure about girl names. We sometimes make reservations or introduce ourselves to strangers we'll never meet again as Keir and Natalie His Mother's Maiden Name. They're our parallel universe selves and quite fun to be for a night--until I slip up and call him Sean. 

December 6, 2012 11:06 PM

Fun thread on a fun site!

I would have been James Russell, after my father and his father, and been called J.R.  That would have been just awful during the "Dallas" heyday! 

December 7, 2012 9:27 AM

I am Alyss@ Marie (with Marie being i the family for a LONG time). If I'd have been a boy, my name would have been Keith Richard (my dad's middle name). My parents thought it was cool and similar to the Rolling Stones musician. I think I would have been ok with it! My name is becoming quite popular, but I still like it, even if it might seem "dated" years from now, according to some.

My brothers, Grant and Clark, would have been Kelly or Stacy, respectively. I think those would have been more dated than Alyss@. They are the neatest boys names, in my opinion though!

December 8, 2012 1:13 AM

I find it amusing that both Kelly and Stacy are originally (or also) boy's names...

December 10, 2012 2:18 PM

Ha! I hadn't thought of that! They are also VERY 1980's to me.

December 23, 2012 3:31 AM

I'll never know, because I am adopted. What I do know is that my biological mother chose Nicole and my adopted mother choose to add Marie becoming Nicole-Marie. My adoptive mother also added the middle name Anne after her middle name and my adopted grandmothers middle name.

January 1, 2013 7:17 PM

I do remember this blog post (4 years ago-no way!) and the fun we had with it then. I don't however remember what my parents were thinking of for me if I was a boy. Laura's following post though, was "What would you choose for yourself if you were switching genders" or something along those lines. I would definitely say I would be a Gregory but I don't really have a good reason. It would fit popularity/date wise I think.

June 19, 2013 3:50 PM

My parents weren't very creative. I am a girl named Toni. If I'd been a boy, I would have been Tony. My IL's have told me that if my husband (Jason) had been a girl, he would have been Tanya.

July 2, 2013 4:27 PM

If I'd been a boy, I would have been Patrick Shawn. Patrick was actually the surname of my mom's dentist (yes, she liked him THAT much) and Shawn was a name that she and my dad just liked and thought sounded good with Patrick. They planned on using Rick as a nickname. 

The HILARIOUS thing about that is that I'd decided (when I was like 13) that my oldest boy would be named Shawn Patrick - yep, just reversed the name I would have been named. Instead, I met my husband, whose name is SEAN PATRICK. Talk about a coincidence. 

July 10, 2013 6:53 PM

I, currently named Kristin Nykol, would have been a very handsom Huntley Robert(named for my maternal grandfathers)

June 29, 2015 9:24 PM

Well, I asked Mom, and she said my name would have been Michelle if I'd been a girl.

June 29, 2015 11:47 PM

I take issue with saying "opposite gender" but I'm dfab and my parents named me Alexa because they were expecting a son. They wanted to name me Alexander Cicero, and since our surname begins with E, they would have called me Ace.

June 30, 2015 6:01 PM

I wanted to respond to this personally (I'm the OP). I created this topic 3 years ago, and have since become much more educated on gender identity, but unfortunately there isn't an edit function. Please trust that I cringe every time this thread gets ressurected.

June 30, 2015 6:18 PM

I don't think there's a way to modify the thread's title, but I'd be happy to add an "ETA" comment if you'd care to compose one. I'm sure any of the moderators on here would do that for you. :)

July 1, 2015 2:40 AM

Actually, there is a way for mods to change the title, so if you want to suggest something, ilikemints, we can fix it for you!

July 5, 2015 5:31 PM

I appreciate the response! I wasn't trying to rag on you for that phrasing; I know it's very common for people to say that, sometimes even if they understand the falsity of the gender binary. I just have a difficult time restraining myself from pointing out things of that nature.

July 14, 2015 1:00 PM

I would be Fatih! I would like to be Selim though.

August 9, 2015 6:14 AM

So this is the story:  My grandma from my mum's side, who sadly passed away shortly before my mum got pregnant with my eldest sister, was Italian. So my mum wanted to honour her and her heritage by giving Italian first names to all of the children she'd ever have. My mum and dad always chose our names together as long as they were Italian. In return for making my dad give all his children Italian first names my mum let him pick out English middle names for us. They only call us by our full name when we're angry though. Other than that we go by our first names or nicknames.

My parents always wanted three children. Before me they already had both my older sister and brother. Then my mum got pregnant with me and they had already "used" their favourite boy and girl names for my siblings. They only had boys names they could agree on. They picked out Giuliano Richard (Richard after my grandfather). So I just had to be a boy. I couldn't be a girl, because they couldn't come up with a decent girls name they could both agree on. They found boys names to be a lot easier, they had already struggled to name my sister. When I was born and was in fact another girl I was nameless for a couple of days. At some point my dad just wanted to name me Giuliano anyways or just Baby. As they couldn't agree on anything they tried to "feminize" the name they had picked out  and came up with Giulia Rachel ((Rachel was the only girl name they liked that at least sounded a bit similar to Richard)). They hadn't thought of it before, but they immediately loved it. So that's how I ended up with my name and I'm glad I'm a girl, because I like Giulia Rachel a lot more than Giuliano Richard.

My parents now finally had the three children they always wanted and even though two were girls and therefore difficult to name they were quite happy with all our names. As luck would have it my mum ended up having another two girls after me and the whole "it has to be a boy, we only have a boys name" thingy started all over again. Twice.

By GigiElizabeth7896 (not verified)
September 12, 2015 6:49 PM

Charles is mine!

By dayj
September 15, 2015 4:05 PM

I would have been either Frederic or Benedict, with a tendency towards the name Frederic (or Frederik, not sure if they would have spelt it with a c or k). I would have preferred Benedict, though, because there's a tradition on my father's side of the family that each first born son gets the middle name Franz (it was my great grandfathers name and was passed onto my grandpa and dad as middle names). My last name also starts with an F so my name would have been Frederic Franz F - FFF

October 12, 2015 2:49 PM

If I was a boy I would have been named Austin James and they would call me AJ. I was almost Samantha Lynn and Molly Lynn before I was Shelby Lynn.

My parents completely got rid of the names Samantha and Molly and named my sister Jordan Rosalie. And then for my brother, who is named Sean Thomas, his name would have been Samantha Marie if he was a girl.

My youngest brother Benjamin Roy would have also been Samantha Marie if he was a girl. He was almost Garrett Roy and Henry Roy before they decided on Benjamin Roy.

October 20, 2015 11:12 PM

Mom liked Jack, and Dad wanted Matthew. Luckily for them, I ended up a girl! They would have had to work something out. 

October 21, 2015 3:44 AM

I love reading all these stories :) 

If I had been born a boy, I'd have been called Finn Matthias, both of which were much more obscure back then than today. I like it alot. After me, all my sisters were also mean to be Finn Matthias. My parents' inspiration for baby girl names was sucked so dry that one of my sisters, whom my mother was SURE was going to be a boy, was eventually given my mum's middle name (accidentally misspelled) because she 'didn't hate' it, after having been nameless for days. They couldn't agree on a middle name, so my sister chose her own when she was about 12. 

That was daughter #3. By the time daughter #5 came along, my parents resigned to the fact that they'd never have a little Finn and settled on a Scandanavian feminine form of the name. Then my little brother was born and Finn was off the table. They were so annoyed! They actually had the opposite problem because they had never thought of any other boys name than Finn. They chose a female option (Pia) and let us kids choose a boys name to go with mn Matthias. I remember being so glad that he turned out to be a boy and not 'Pee'-a! I love the name Pia now, though!