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23rd Jun 2024

‘I want to give my son a unisex name, but people are saying that he will resent it in the future’

Ryan Price

People had mixed responses as to what the woman should do.

A new mother received mixed responses from people on the internet when she presented them with her ‘gender neutral name’ conundrum.

The woman who wrote the post goes by the username @Bossbihrunninit on Reddit asked other users on the public forum for advice regarding what to name her newborn baby.

The post, which is titled ‘Naming my baby boy’, received thousands of views and a lot of responses.

The post reads: “I really love the idea of unisex names and the name “Vivian” has been used within my family twice (my grandfather and my uncle are both named “Vivian”)

“I am thinking about passing the name onto my son because 1) I love my family so much and 2) it’s a unisex name.

“What do you think about the name Vivian for a baby boy?” she asks. “Is it unique, modern and “nice-sounding” enough?”

The woman added as an aside: “We are located in US, grandad born in Alabama in 1914, uncle born in AL in 1950’s.”

While there were a couple who thought that the name sounded nice, a barrage of responses on the post urging her not to give her son that name.

One mum said: “I’ve never met a boy or man named Vivian. The last time it ranked in the top 1,000 names was 1933.”

“Though it may be unisex by definition, I think it’s a stretch to call it unisex in practice. It doesn’t mean you can’t pick the name, but most likely there will be some confusion regarding gender that your son will have to deal with.”

Another agreed, saying: “It seems too feminine to me. I never even knew it was unisex,”

Some people urged the woman to really consider what impact they name would have on the child when he grows up, and suggested that a name that might suit him as a baby won’t necessarily do so when he’s an adult.

“Please don’t name him Vivian It’s going to make life a lot harder on him, and he may resent you in the future,” one person wrote.

Another commented: “I absolutely would not name a boy Vivian today, and I’m very very neutral about gender conventions.”

One person posted a lengthy opinion on the matter, writing: “Vivian is wildly popular for girls in the US, so it’s likely he’d have female classmates and peers by the name. Masculine names on girls are very common, but I’m not sure many people nowadays realize Vivian is a unisex name.

“Unfortunately “feminine” names on males aren’t as well received. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use it, just want you to be prepared! In a different country it might not be an issue,

“I’m speaking purely from a US perspective where Vivian is in the top 100 most popular names for girls, but hasn’t been used on more than a handful of boys per year since the 1930s.

“If that does bother you, I think using it as a middle name would be the right choice. It makes a very handsome middle name and would still honor your family.”

While many argued that it was strictly a female name, one user based in the UK argued the opposite.

“My father is called Vivian. (UK) I’ve only ever known male Vivians, in fact. So for me, it has always been a masculine name, with Vivienne as the feminine version.”