Sometimes the perfect name is one that isn’t too anything. Not too feminine, not too masculine, just a perfect gender neutral combination of everything you’re looking for in a name. Over the years, names can shift, and trends mean that what was once a name used exclusively for boys becomes a more popular choice for girls. And every once in a while, things can move in the other direction, with a traditionally feminine naming becoming more popular for boys as well.
Names have a lot to do with perception, and can influence the view others have of an individual. Studies have been done on the effect of names on future success or even how well kids will get along on the playground. Considering all the options, sometimes parents might see the value in choosing a name that gives their child a little more of a chance to set their own future identity, without being pre-judged.
With options from the traditional to unique, check out this list of 45 names that can work whether you’re naming your baby boy or baby girl.
While more traditionally used for boys, this name has a certain lovely lilt to it that makes it equally appealing for girls. The meaning is “dark one” but it feels light and melodic.
While traditionally thought of as a shortened form of names like Andrew or Andrea, this can also stand on its own. An alternative spelling would be Andie, as it is used for the main character in Pretty in Pink.
Another name that is typically seen as a shortened form, it retains a lot of charm.
Even back in the 1920s, Hemingway’s character Brett Ashley was demonstrating the way a woman could take over this traditionally male name.
A little more unique than the familiar Brett, this one still has room to work for both sexes.
With an unexpected meaning (crooked nose) but a reliable charm, this one is a good example of the last name as first name trend that often works for boys or girls.
A common last name in Scotland, this name reminds me of childhood (thanks to the soup), but still has a sophistication that works well for a child or an adult.
Historically the name is associated with the strength of the famous train engineer, but it is also soft enough for a little girl.
A name meaning “young wolf” that has certainly grown in popularity thanks to a certain male star.
While often a nickname (for Charles or Charlotte), this friendly version makes a charming choice for girls or boys.
Meaning “poet”, this one sounds perfectly fitting for a boy or a girl.
Made famous as a female name by Drew Barrymore, this name, meaning “wise”, works just as well for boys.
Meaning “born near the sea”, this name has already been associated with talented poets and songwriters, making it a special choice.
Another Irish last-as-first option that works well for boys or girls.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Drew Barrymore carried on the trend of her own traditionally male first name when she named her little girl Frankie.
This one hits a lot of buttons on trends – last name as first, color name, and gender neutral.
Sometimes used as a nickname for James, this one also works well as a standalone.
Often used as a shortened form of Jessica, this is one of the few more typically feminine names that also works well for boys. (Remember Jess from Gilmore Girls?)
Derived from the name of the river, this one works well for deep-thinkers of any gender.
Traditionally reserved for boys, this one has moved more into the girl camp thanks to use by soap operas and reality stars.
Meaning “ruler”, the neutral sound of this one works for girls and boys alike.
Meaning “from the meadow path”, this works well for boys and girls who are going somewhere.
While the similarity to the little bird lark makes it sweet, the meaning of “rough, fierce” brings it back to the middle.
The name of a tree, this presidential name has a lilting rhythm that works well for boys and girls.
A popular Scottish choice, and made tough by association with Wolverine, it retains a certain loveliness that works well for girls as well.
A short form for Maximilian, Maxwell , or Maxine, this nickname is strong enough to stand alone.
Meaning “circle” or “sea”, this has a natural charm for girls and boys alike.
A solid choice from the last-name-as-first-name category, it has charm enough for any little one.
Meaning “regal” or “royal”, it makes a fitting choice for a young prince or princess.
Derived from the immortal bird of Greek mythology, it’s a magical choice for boys or girls.
Made famous as a choice for girls by Reese Witherspoon – the name is actually her mother’s maiden name – it works equally well for boys.
Traditionally a choice for boys, the melodic sound and -y ending help make it equally charming for girls.
Meaning “courageous”, it’s a loveable and popular choice for girls and boys.
Meaning “red king”, it’s a strong choice for boys, but also has an appeal for girls, as a stand-in for the super-feminine Aurora or Lorelei.
Deriving from a tree with red berries, this is a fiery choice for either sex.
Tradition shows this strongly in the boy camp, but more recently it has grown in popularity as a choice for girls.
Meaning “wise one”, this is a fitting choice for girls or boys.
Another Irish choice, derived from the name of the river, it’s a natural choice for both sexes.
A unique choice for boys and girls alike. Worn well by the X-Men character played by Halle Berry.
A “fair” choice for any baby, with a few spellings to choice from.
Meaning “from the hills”, it’s a strong and simple choice.
Made famous by a knight in medieval legend, the strong name also bears a gentle sound and works well for girls and boys.
Similar to the popular unisex choice Taylor, this one works well for young and old alike.
A strong last name that has potential for boys and girls.
While there have been some famous females with this name, it would work just as well for a boy.