Names

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Sep 24 08:51:43 EDT 2003


Robyn remarked:

>>interesting things). The most popular girls name is
>>Jessica (21 of them), followed by
>>Ashlea/Ashleigh/Ashlee/Ashley/Ashliegh
>
>Yeah, what is it with Ashley? I have 4 of them in my 3 classes this year. I
>also have 7 Jennifers, and 3 Lindsays.

It's bewildering that Ashley, which in England was a boy's name -- and all
the people I have known here called Ashley have been male -- is a girl's
name in the USA.  I'd love to know why the shift happened, and when.  I
think it had happened by the 1960s, because looking through the name-books
I have, the English ones up to that time give it as male, the two US ones
as female, and Lareina Rule (Bantam, so I suppose US, 1963) gives it under
male but adds in brackets "(also used for women)"; under female she says it
is "Anglo-Saxon" but adds "Popular modern U.S. name."

Come to think of it Lindsey or Lindsay used to be a boys' name too.

Not Jennifer, that I ever noticed, though!  (Phew)

Minnow


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