180 gender-neutral and unisex names

Gender-neutral baby names are hot. They're also cool, unique, modern, and, in some cases, even vintage. Naming babies has never been quite this fun and free. 

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Unique unisex names

Alix is a French variation of the name Alice. This name shares roots with the German word for "nobility."

Azure is the color that describes a cloudless sky. The word has a long and ancient history beginning in the Turkestani region where lapis lazuli, a blue stone used in dyes, was collected.

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Blythe is derived from blithe, an Old English word meaning "cheerful" or "kind."

Bram is short for Abraham, a Hebrew name that means "father of many" or "high father."

Blaise can be traced loosely back to Latin and Greek words that mean "lisping" or "stuttering."

Bryn was originally a masculine Welsh name meaning "hill." Repurposed for unisex use, it's sometimes spelled Brynn.

Campbell comes from the Gaelic word meaning "crooked mouth." It's a popular surname, as well as the name of an infamous Highland clan.

Desi is commonly used as a term for a person from Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi descent. It's also a nickname for Desmond, the modern version of Gaelic name Ó Deasmhumhnaigh, or Desiree, which means "to be desired."

Echo isn't just a word that means reverberating sound, it's also the name of a mythic Greek nymph who fell in love and lost everything but her voice.

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Lennox can be traced back to 1174 in Scotland, where it was originally stylized as Leuenaichs, then Levenax.

Lael is traditionally a masculine name that means "of God" in Hebrew.

Mead is most commonly associated with a fermented beverage made from honey, but it's also an Old English term for "meadow."

Prosper comes from the Latin word prosperus, meaning "fortunate" or "successful." The English verb comes from the same root.

Raleigh is a surname from Great Britain, meaning "deer's meadow" or "woodland clearing."

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Seneca refers to both an indigenous American tribe in upstate New York and an ancient Roman philosopher.

Taran goes all the way back to Celtic mythology. It was derived from Taranis, the god of thunder. 

Temple comes from a Latin term for "consecrated ground," or, more metaphorically, a "place of divine presence."

Valor dates back to the 1300s and means "bravery" or "courage." Val is a great unisex nickname.

Yael, a biblical name also sometimes also spelled Jael, is the Hebrew word for "mountain goat."

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Cool gender-neutral names

Auden comes from the same root as the name Alden, meaning "old friend" or "half Danish."

Avis is a Latin word meaning "bird."

Beckett, from English and Irish origins, quite literally refers to a "small beak." Over time, it's come to mean any type of pointed feature or object.

Berlin has uncertain origins, but it's thought to come from an old West Slavic word for "swamp," since the German city is located in a lowland, on the banks of the River Spree.

Carter is an old British occupational surname originally given to people who used a cart to transport goods.

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Cody is derived from an Old Irish surname that means "helpful one."

Ellis has multiple origin stories – one is traced back to a Welsh word meaning "kind" and "benevolent," while the other is a variant of Elijah, a Hebrew name meaning "my god is Yahweh."

Emerson is a straightforward English surname meaning "son of Emery."

Gage means to "pledge" or "wager," according to the name's old French roots. Some theorize it's a variant of the noun gauge, meaning to "calibrate" or "measure."

Harper is both a musical and a literary name. An Old English surname meaning "one who plays the harp," you could also use it to pay homage to the late author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.

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Haven, originally another name for "harbor," surged in popularity in the '90s. It's commonly come to mean "safe place," which is how we use it now.

Kyle is a regional, Scottish-Gaelic surname that became very popular in the '90s. It still refers to "straits" in Scotland.

Lane is an English surname with a functional meaning that brings visions of dirt paths winding through the countryside.

Lyric comes from the French word lyrique, meaning a "short emotional poem." The Latin root word is lyricus, which means "of the lyre," an ancient stringed instrument.

Navy just recently made its debut on the Social Security Administration's top 1,000 popular baby names list. It's a color name with an alluring nautical theme that conjures the power of the sea.

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Paige is a given name that's derived from the word for "servant." In medieval manors, a page was often a young boy training to be a knight.

Palmer is an English surname meaning "pilgrim" or "palm bearer." It traces back to the times when religious pilgrims journeyed to the holy land, often returning with palm fronds as proof.

Quinn, an Irish name, means "sensible," "reasonable," and "chief."

Ripley is a playful unisex name with roots going back to Old England, where it referred to a "grove" or "thicket meadow."

Shea comes from an Irish surname, O'Shea, and could mean "learned" or "favored."

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Cute gender-neutral names

Bennie can be a nickname for Benjamin, which is a biblical name that means "son of the right hand" or "son of the south" in Hebrew.

Billie is a diminutive of the classic male name William, but it's also a translation of a Navajo word that means "his horse."

Bowie is said to come from a Gaelic word that translates to "yellow-haired." It's also the name of a hunting/fighting knife first used in the American frontier. 

Charlie is usually a nickname for Charles and Charlotte. This name comes from the Proto-Germanic name Karl, meaning "free man." 

Colby is an Americanized version of an English phrase for a person from a coal town.

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Eden is currently enjoying an all-time high when it comes to popularity. From the Hebrew language, it means "pleasure" and "delight."

Keeley is of Irish origin and is rooted in an Irish word that means "slender." It's sometimes considered a short form of Keelan.

Lenny is a great unisex name. Though it doesn't have a direct meaning, it's often short for Leonard, which means "strong as a lion."

Merritt feels modern, but this name has been around since the turn of the 20th century. It's a recent variant on English names Merriott, Marriott, and Marritt.

Opal is a gemstone name that comes from the Sanskrit term upala, meaning "precious stone." Opals are magically iridescent and sometimes opaque.

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Paisley is reminiscent of the curved teardrop textile pattern that originated in Persia and India. The name Paisley was derived from the Scottish town where this design was reproduced.

Radley is yet another Old English surname that roughly translates to "woodland clearing."

Reese comes from the Welsh name Rhys, meaning "ardor" and "enthusiasm." German and Dutch peoples used this name to refer to a large man or a giant.

Remy finds its origins in St. Remigius, who hailed from Reims, France, a place famous for its champagne grapes. Remy can refer to either an "oarsman" or a "cure."

Rory is the English variant of an Old Irish name and means "red-haired" or "red king."

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Scout, a person who observes and gathers information, comes from the French word escouter, meaning to "listen" or "heed."

Stevie is a diminutive of the Greek-rooted Stephen – a name with the auspicious meaning of "crown of victory."

Tatum comes from an Old English place, a village in Lancashire called Tatham, which was itself a combination of "joyful" and "homestead."

Tory can be a short name for both Salvatore and Victoria, but it also refers to a particular group of plunderers in 1500s Ireland. Currently, it's the name of a political philosophy in Britain.

Whitney is a name that translates as "white island" in Old English.

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Vintage unisex names

Arden is another British surname with a decidedly posh feel to it. This could be explained by the name's etymology, which connects it to a Celtic word that means "high" or "lofty."

Blair is a Scottish word for "plain field" (specifically a battlefield) and was a boy's name long before it became popular for girls.

Curtis comes from the Old French term courtois, the same root as the name Cortez, and means "polite" or "courteous." This name came to English speakers as a Hungarian surname: Kertesz.

Dale is yet another geographical feature name. In Old English, it refers to the sloped ground between hills.

Eddie can stand on its own, but can also be a short name for Edward, Edwina, or Edith. Edward has Anglo Saxon roots and means "protector of wealth."

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Everett is rooted in the Middle English name Everard. This no-nonsense name means "brave" and "wild boar."

Ezra is a biblical name that comes from a Hebrew word meaning "helper" or, more specifically, "helper of God."

Frankie comes from Francisco, meaning "Frenchman."

Freddie, also spelled Freddy, originated as a short name for the Germanic-rooted name Frederick, which means "peaceful ruler."

Harley either means "hare's meadow" or "stony woodland clearing," depending on the location, and was a popular given name in 1880, two decades before Harley-Davidson motorcycles came on the scene.

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Hollis saw peak use in 1908. An English surname, it's thought to be a geographical name referring to "one who lives near holly trees."

Jerry or Geri can either be translated to "powerful spear" in Old French or "passionate" in Old English.

Jo was considered a term of endearment in Old Scotland. Jo March from Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women had a large influence on this tiny name's enduring popularity.

Lee, in nautical terms, is the side of the ship that is sheltered from the wind. This name comes from a word that means "sheltered" in many languages, but also from an Old English word that means "forest clearing."

Leslie has roots in Scotland, where it's the name of a region and a clan, and quite possibly means "holly garden."

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Lynn comes from the Gaelic term linn, which translates to "pool stream."

Odell is what's known as an "ornamental name," created around the 1700s when the middle class began to make up their own surnames. It reached peak popularity in 1922.

Ollie is short for Oliver, a name which seems to have roots all over. It could mean "olive tree" in Old French, but it could also mean "elf army" in Ancient Germanic.

Otis has roots in Ireland (Ott), France (Ode), and Germany (Aud), but it has always meant "wealth" and "prosperity."

Sidney translates to "dweller by the well-watered land" in Old English. Sydney is a popular variation, and it also happens to be the name of one of Australia's largest cities.

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Terry doesn't translate to anything directly, but Teresa has roots in Greek words for "to harvest" and "summer," while Terrence means "tender and gracious."

Wallace is a Norman French name meaning "foreigner," or "person from Wales."

Modern gender-neutral names

Ainsley is an Old English surname that means "solitary meadow" or "hermitage."

Bellamy takes the prize for the most meaningful name. With Norman origins, this name comes from French words that mean "beautiful friend."

Bentley was borrowed from an Old English surname meaning "grassy wood clearing."

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Collins is the most modern variant of this name, which can be traced back to Colin, a pet name for Nicholas. The Latin and Greek translation for Nicholas is "to conquer people." 

Ember refers to "burning coal" and "hot ashes" in today's world, but may have started as Imber, and Old English name that means "one who resides by a pool."

Gael is a modern translation of a word that means "Gaelic-speaking person" in Latin. This modern unisex name is a far less common variation of the name Gail.

Holland entered the top 1,000 baby names in the U.S. in 2014, but it's not as trendy as Paris and London. It means "wooded land" in Dutch.

Jax is a modern variant of the French-rooted Jack, meaning "vital" and "healthy."

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Jordan is a place name, popular due to the biblical association with the River Jordan. 

Journey comes from the French term journet, meaning a person who worked land during the day.

Lane means "narrow passageway" or "strip of road" and was used to denote someone who lived in or near those places in Old English.

Nova quite literally translates to "new" in several languages. 

Onyx is a type of gemstone, but the word itself comes from the Latin word for "claw."

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Reign is a trending word name referring to the period of time a monarch or spiritual leader rules or stays in position. This name first appeared on the U.S. Social Security Administration's baby name list in 2016.

Ridge is an adventurous name, a geographical term referring to an elevated crest of land with long steeply sloping hillsides on either side.

Rowan comes from an Old Irish name meaning "son of a redhead." It has increased in popularity for both genders beginning in the early 2000s.

Ryder is a stylized version of Rider, a surname meaning "mounted messenger" or "mounted warrior." It came into popularity in the late '90s for boys, but lends itself perfectly to unisex use.

Shiloh may be a variant on the Hebrew word shalo, which means "to be peaceful." 

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Sloan (also spelled Sloane) comes from the Old Irish name sluaghadh, which means "raider" and "warrior." It's a truly old name with a modern sound.

Taylor has long been an occupational surname, coming from the Latin word taliare, "to cut." European languages evolved the verb into variations on tailor, a person who tailors clothing.

Unisex middle names

Avery was derived from Alfred, which itself comes from an Old German name meaning "elf counsel."

Bay has a variety of meanings depending on which language you're looking at. In Middle English and Old French, it's a nickname for someone with reddish-brown hair. In German and Dutch it means "storyteller," and of course, it's the name of a topographical water feature.

Blake translates to "swarthy" and "dark-haired" in Old English. Old Norse has a different meaning: "pale" or "sallow."

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Blue is a color name with a variety of adaptations, including Blu and Bleu.

Dakota is the name of an Indigenous American Plains tribe. The word is said to mean "friendly" or refer to allies.

Justice, from a Latin word meaning "righteousness," is a virtuous name that knows no gender.

Love is a great way to honor your new baby with the universal emotion of parenthood. It comes from Old English (lufian) or German (lieben).

Montana – more accurately, montaña – translates to "mountain" in Spanish.

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Morgan is a popular surname of Welsh and Scottish origin that means "sea dweller."

Parker dates back to the 12th century and literally means "keeper of the park."

Rain is short and sweet with roots in Middle English, Dutch, German, and Old Norse.

Ray has roots in both French and German languages and means "famous protector" or, more commonly, "king."

Sawyer is an occupational surname that makes a great given or middle name. From the French word for "to saw," as in wood, it makes an industrious moniker.

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Sky (often stylized Skye) is a word that roots back to the 13th century. In Old Norse, it means "cloud" and "mirror." In Old English, it means "the heavens."

Storm is a name inspired by the High German word sturm, and refers to a "disturbance of the atmosphere."

Story is a creative name derived from the Old French word estorie, which translates to a "connected narrative."

Summer is a word that has roots in many European languages and means "hot season of the year" or "half-year."

Trace, like its definition, is merely "an outline," or a "passing over" of something. It's often short for Tracey, which is a habitational name.

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Thatcher is an Old English occupational name given to someone who covered roofs with straw.

Zuri means "beautiful" in Swahili and has been rising in popularity since 2018.

Rare gender-neutral names

Aslan translates to "lion" or "brave man" in Turkish, so it makes sense that it's the name of the fictional lion in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series. 

Arwyn (also spelled Arwen) has a disputed meaning. Some cite it as meaning "fair and bright" while others say it means "muse" or even "royal maiden."

Bishop is a surname, from the Latin-rooted Spanish word obispo, that means "watcher" or "overseer."

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Bronte is the goddess of thunder, according to Greek mythology.

Cove comes from the Old English word cofa, which means "enclosed chamber" or "creek inlet."

Denali is the name of an Alaskan mountain, the highest peak in the United States. An Indigenous name, it means "high" or "tall" in the Koyukon language.

Ellery is a modern take on the medieval name Hillary. From the Latin word hilarius, it means "cheerful."

Ever comes from the Old English word æfre, which translates to "at any time" or "always."

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Fable is part of the ever-growing word name trend. This name comes from a Latin word fabula, meaning "a story with a lesson."

Flash literally means "a sudden burst of flame or light," but in Middle English, it referred to a person who lived near a marshy area or pool of water.

Garnet is an attractive color-inspired name. It means "dark red" in French and shares roots with the word pomegranate.

Gibson is a perfect fit for folks looking for names that are trendy but still uncommon. In Gaelic, it means "son of Gilbert."

Honor is a virtuous name that comes from Latin roots and carries a lot of meaning, including but not limited to "dignity, distinction, triumph, splendor, and glory."

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Indigo describes a hue somewhere between purple and blue. It's rooted in a Greek word meaning "blue dye" and "from India."

Quest comes from an Old French word meaning "the act of seeking or pursuit." Depending on the time and geographic region, it could also refer to an adventure or journey.

Sailor is an increasingly popular first name that most likely originated from the historical occupational surname Saylor, given to people who worked on ships.

Slater is an occupational name for a person who makes or lays slate roofs. From the Old French word scalar, this name has a certain, resourceful appeal.

Tempest has a turbulent meaning – "violent commotion" – related to the Latin word tempus.

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Short unisex names

Adi is a short, Hebrew-rooted name with a lot of meaning. It means "jewel," "ornament," and "my witness." In Sanskrit, it means "first" or "superior."

Ace comes from a Latin word meaning "unity." This hip name is associated with an unreturnable tennis serve, the lowest roll in dice, the highest playing cards, and a high mark on a test.

Asa is an ancient name that means "healer" in Hebrew. This name has so many possible roots it also means "morning," "hope," "wing," and "hawk," depending on your origin of choice.

Aura has been a given name as long ago as 1880. The name means "soft wind" or "breeze" in Middle English.

Bex is a variant of Beck, meaning "stream," and a nickname for Rebecca, meaning "to bind."

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Bri is often short for Brianna, the feminine version of Brian. It's an Old Celtic name meaning "high hill" or "power."

Cambria was once the Latin name for the area encompassing Wales. It's now the name of over a dozen cities in the United States.

Clem is derived from the Latin name Clemens, meaning "merciful," and Old French, meaning "gentle and mild." This short nickname-name has never been in danger of overuse.

Cam is a neat, one-syllable name that means "orange fruit" in Vietnamese. It is most often used as a nickname for Cameron, a Scottish name meaning "crooked nose."

Dar means "mother of pearl" in Hebrew as well as "holder and master" in Kashmiri.

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Dex, short for Dexter, comes from a Latin root meaning "of the right hand."

Drew, when not used as a short name for Andrew, actually has several direct meanings including "to serve as a soldier" in ancient Germanic and "favorite lover" in Old French.

Eli is a name from the Old Testament. In Hebrew, it literally translates to "high."

Jay is a nickname for many names, including James or John, but it's also an Old French word for the type of bird (or person) who is always chatting.

Joss has an uncertain origin, but it was apparently a unisex name way back in the time of the Normans. Looking at Chinese, Javanese, and Portuguese, this name means "sky," heaven," and "luck," respectively.

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Lou is the satisfying diminutive of the names Louise and Louis. In Europe, it stems from Ludwig and means "famous warrior." Lou is also significant in ancient Chinese cultures, as it was frequently used as a location name, and later, a surname.

Mel is the short name for Melvin, Melissa, and Melanie; the Latin root, mel, means "honey."

Mo can be short for Maureen or Morris, a name for someone with a "swarthy complexion." On its own, Mo means Mo.

Neo is a prefix, meaning "young" or "new." It also means "to give" in a Bantu language in southern Africa. 

Val can be a standalone name or a short name for Valerie or Valentin, both of which mean "strong, vigorous, and healthy."

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Wynn is an Old English word that means "friend." Just as lovely, Win translates to "bright" in Burmese.

Gender-neutral nature names

Ash is most often used as a diminutive of Ashton or Ashley. It's also the name of a species of tree.

Birch comes from the name of a stately tree famous for its papery bark. This name comes from a word meaning "to shine bright white." (Fun fact: Bjork means "birch" in Icelandic.)

Cedar is a nature-themed name inspired by the coniferous tree of the same name, which is derived from the Greek word kedros. Cedarwood is said to symbolize resilience and strength. 

Clay refers to the moldable earthen substance, but it's also short for Clayton, a geographic surname for someone who lived near a settlement with clay soil.

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Coral is a name as precious as the colorful marine invertebrates that share the name. Hebrew and Arabic roots of this word mean "pebble" or "small stone."

Dov may conjure up images of a peaceful white bird, but it literally translates to "bear" in Hebrew.

Forrest (or Forest) is an Old English surname for people who lived near the woods; it's rooted in the medieval Latin word foris.

Gardner is an occupational surname, adapted from "gardener."

Hadley is a preppy English surname meaning "field of heather" or "one who lives near a woodland clearing."

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Koa is the name of a Hawaiian tree, the wood of which is used to make surfboards. It's also the name of an ethnic group in Australia.

Lake is a placid, nature-inspired name with Greek and Latin roots meaning "basin."

Landon is an Old English name meaning "ridge." This name is a great alternative to Weston, or Grayson, or Mason. Another variant of this name is Langdon. 

Lark translates to "good singer" in Middle English – a fitting name for a songbird. In mythology and literature, larks are often associated with daybreak, lovers, and spirituality.

Marin is a name that means "of the sea." From the Latin word marinus, this name is popular throughout Europe.

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Oakley comes from the oak tree, long revered for being the kings and queens of the forests of Old England.

Orion is the name of a constellation made up of seven stars as well as the name of a great hunter in Greek myth.

River comes from the Old French word riviera. Once a unique name, it's officially reached common status.

Spruce is a distinct evergreen fir tree. The name comes from Polish, or possibly Old French, and means "from Prussia."

Wilder comes from the Old English word wilde, meaning "in a natural state."

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Wren is a species of bird which folklore warns never to harm lest you have eternal bad luck. A tiny songbird with a big voice, the name comes from the Old English word wrenna.

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Betsy Shaw
Betsy Shaw has contributed to BabyCenter as a writer and editor for more than 10 years. She authored the popular Babes in the Woods series, and now edits articles from parent contributors and writes about baby names. 

Baby Names A-Z