Kelly as a boys's name? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you like Kelly as a boy's name?
Yes! 20 60.61%
No way, girl's name only! 13 39.39%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-25-2011, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're having our third boy and it seems that Kelly is one of the only names that's grabbing both DH & I.

 

We think it's classic, Irish, vintage-y, charming...we know a few adult male Kellys and they are all strong, adventurous, laid-back men. 

 

I know that Kelly is orignally is a male name...

 

But I just can't get over the fact that it's currently more popular as a girl's name. I mean, I like it as a boy's name, but will the rest of the world be as kind?

 

What's your honest opinion?

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Old 09-25-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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I think in the states, it is decidedly a girl's name. The only Kellys I ever knew were girls. Though I realize its likely this name was in a cluster of names that slipped to cute baby girls at some point. There are other names like Cary, Leslie, Marion, Dana, Sidney, Shelby..... that all used to be boy names.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Honestly? I don't think people will be kind. I was born in the early 70's, and I had male classmates named Tracy and Shannon. When you look at the name index on the social security website, those names weren't terribly uncommon for boys born in that era....both names were near the top 100. They were still taunted about having "girl's names."

 

Kelly has been more popular as a girl's name in the U.S. for over 50 years. It's not a new thing.

 

As someone who has dealt with name torment my entire life (yes, even as an adult), I'm pretty sensitive to that issue. Your child has to live with the daily effects of his name for the rest of his life. Keep that in mind.

 

I didn't vote because I don't dislike the name Kelly for a boy. I just don't think it's a wise choice.

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Old 09-25-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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Well as a Shannon I went to school with loads of male and female Shannon's and always found it mildly annoying that it wasn't strictly a girl's name.

As for Kelley (this is the way guys I've known spelled it) I also knew several males with this name. I think it may have something to do with where you live. I grew up in the deep south and Kelly was a name lots of "country" guys had (along with Terry and Jessy and such). Similarly Shannon can be a more popular male name with African Americans so growing up in the south I probably ran into more male Shannons. Now living in New England I can't really think of Kelly as being a common male name.


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Old 09-25-2011, 02:30 PM
 
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Most of the Kellys that I have encountered have been males, but I'm aware it is more typically a "girls name" now. That said... I can't actually think of any young, female kellys (or males) so I think you may have time on your side. Where is it on the popularity lists? Maybe it's just regionally, but since I can't think of an overwhelming number of Kelly girls, I wouldn't be as worried about using it.  I'm looking at it from the perspective of say Avery- which I know is male historically, that has transitioned, but the first 4-5 times I heard it used, was on a toddler aged female, so to me, at that age group, it was a female name. I've since heard it on young boys, but more commonly on young females. 


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Old 09-25-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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I don't think I agree with the PP's reasoning. I know a ton of female Kellys in their twenties and thirties and I do know of a baby girl named Kelley (it was a family last name). I don't know if the name is going to be so common for girls in this next generation, but it'll be common for people's moms. I probably wouldn't do it--I think that kids will be conscious that it's a name more used on females, and they'll probably be mean about it.

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Old 09-25-2011, 10:44 PM
 
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If you are looking for an irish boys name my son is Keagan. Have you considered that one?


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Old 09-26-2011, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I doubt it will be "the" name...if I was so attached to it, it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask the public's opinion.

 

But, I'm interested in the responses I've gotten and am now inspired to play a little devil's advocate...mischievous.gif

 

So, my topic of discussion #1 is this: There are a lot of non-traditional, invented, and gender-neutral names going around out there now (and maybe even especially here at MDC). Is there something that's inherently taboo about giving a boy a "girl's" name?

 

And topic #2: Aren't kids going to find a reason to tease regardless of what name you have? I mean, I have one of the most common names a girl my age could possibly have and I still received a fair amount of teasing as a child.

 

Talk amongst yourselves winky.gif

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogautumn View Post

Well, I doubt it will be "the" name...if I was so attached to it, it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask the public's opinion.

 

But, I'm interested in the responses I've gotten and am now inspired to play a little devil's advocate...mischievous.gif

 

So, my topic of discussion #1 is this: There are a lot of non-traditional, invented, and gender-neutral names going around out there now (and maybe even especially here at MDC). Is there something that's inherently taboo about giving a boy a "girl's" name?

 

And topic #2: Aren't kids going to find a reason to tease regardless of what name you have? I mean, I have one of the most common names a girl my age could possibly have and I still received a fair amount of teasing as a child.

 

Talk amongst yourselves winky.gif


#1, most boys in American society are offended to be called girly.

 

#2, yes, kids will tease about all sorts of things. However, I'm 40 years old and still have to put up with crap about my name on a regular basis. When I said "for the rest of his life," that's what I meant.

 

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by frogautumn View Post

So, my topic of discussion #1 is this: There are a lot of non-traditional, invented, and gender-neutral names going around out there now (and maybe even especially here at MDC). Is there something that's inherently taboo about giving a boy a "girl's" name?

I ran a new mom's support group for many years. The fathers are generally furious as hell if another baby in the group who is female, shares a name with their son, a male. It does not help postpartum family dynamics/relations at all. greensad.gif

It is my general opinion that boy names are getting very strong and even a bit harsh because the girls have stolen so many boy's names. I'm meeting girl Aidens and Elliots now in my town. No wonder the boys are getting names like Hugo, Lloyd, Earnest and Silas.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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I apparently voted against the curve and said "yes" to Kelly as a boy's name. I grew up on the west coast in Canada and I knew a lot of Kellys, and it was a pretty even mix of boys and girls. Currently the only Kelly I know in real life in my area is a male.

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Old 09-26-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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We struggled a bit with this with our top boys' choice, Morgan. Funnily enough, my husband's name is Kelly, and he didn't think naming a child a unisex name was a big deal at all. My husband was never teased for having a "girls" name- although he was called Smelly Kelly Jelly Belly, which is a discussion for another day, lol.

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Old 09-26-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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I may be biased b/c I know a really cool male Kelly who's a man.  I don't often hear the name Kelly at all for boys or girls and think it would be fine for a little boy.

 

as for #1- it is okay to be considered a tom boy but people have a hard time with girly boys. I disagree with this sentiment, but it is an overwhelming feeling in this country.

 

#2- Kids will tease any name or for nay reason. We did make fun of one guy, Mike when we found out his name was actually Marion but it was all in jest and friendship. mean kids are mean kids.  friendly jest is friendly jest and both things will happen no matter what.


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Old 09-26-2011, 08:03 PM
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We did make fun of one guy, Mike when we found out his name was actually Marion but it was all in jest and friendship. mean kids are mean kids.  friendly jest is friendly jest and both things will happen no matter what.

 

After a number of years, friendly jest gets tiresome when you're the recipient of it. Why do you think your friend goes by Mike?
 

 

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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i can see that. the friendly jest did not last years, but just about a week after we found out


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Old 09-27-2011, 04:43 AM
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i can see that. the friendly jest did not last years, but just about a week after we found out



No....what I'm trying to point out is that if every person poor Marion meets makes "friendly jokes" about his name, it probably will wear on his nerves.

When people comment on my name nowadays, most of the time they think they are doing it "all in fun" and don't mean anything by it. I hate to break it to you, but it's not much different than making friendly jokes about someone being flat-chested, too tall, or having freckles. I'm just giving you my perspective. I don't think it's nice to comment on things that are somewhat beyond a person's control.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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I love it for a boy's name... not so much for a girls name. 

It seems to me also that Kelly is decreasing in popularity so it seems less likely that there will be a girl with the same name in his classes.  Kids can only tease about what they know.


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Old 09-27-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I think in the states, it is decidedly a girl's name. The only Kellys I ever knew were girls. Though I realize its likely this name was in a cluster of names that slipped to cute baby girls at some point. There are other names like Cary, Leslie, Marion, Dana, Sidney, Shelby..... that all used to be boy names.


Sidney is no longer a "boy name"?  Really? 



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Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

Honestly? I don't think people will be kind. I was born in the early 70's, and I had male classmates named Tracy and Shannon. When you look at the name index on the social security website, those names weren't terribly uncommon for boys born in that era....both names were near the top 100. They were still taunted about having "girl's names."

 

Kelly has been more popular as a girl's name in the U.S. for over 50 years. It's not a new thing.

 

As someone who has dealt with name torment my entire life (yes, even as an adult), I'm pretty sensitive to that issue. Your child has to live with the daily effects of his name for the rest of his life. Keep that in mind.

 

I didn't vote because I don't dislike the name Kelly for a boy. I just don't think it's a wise choice.


I guess I somewhat disagree.  I don't disagree with your experience, of course, but I had a name that people made fun of and it wasn't a big deal to me.  Sure, it was annoying at times, but nothing long-lasting.  I had other lovely attributes to make fun of, so perhaps they overshadowed the name mockery.  orngtongue.gif  My partner had a unisex name and got some comments, but overall, it wasn't a big deal.

 

I think if you're happy with the name, you should stick with it. 

 

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:42 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by parsley View Post

 

It seems to me also that Kelly is decreasing in popularity so it seems less likely that there will be a girl with the same name in his classes.  Kids can only tease about what they know.



See, I think that Kelly will be the name of everybody's mom/aunt/mom's friend, so they will know it whether or not there's one in the class. Kelly was a top-20 name for girls from 1965-1987.

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Old 09-28-2011, 05:23 AM
 
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My husband has a "girl's" name- Loren. He hates it. Not so much for getting teased, I don't think, though. Growing up he was a cross-country runner and he would always get listed as winning the girls' races. People assume he is a girl when they see his name in emails, and online (he teaches online classes) so he is constantly clarifying. Like when he was in college he had a hard time looking for a male roommate because everyone he responded to thought he was female. We always get mail for him addressed to "Ms. ____". So while thinking of our boys name, he has vetoed anything that *might* be interpreted as a girls name because it has been such a pain for him!

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Old 09-28-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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If you look at my signature, you can see that I'm a male Kelly myself. (As to why I'm on a pregnancy board, I saw this thread on the "Recent Discussions" list; the main thing I visit Mothering for is on the (anti-) circumcision board to share my thoughts on intactness.) I do get the occasional "Isn't that a girl's name?" or the wrong salutation, but other than that I've worn it well and think it's a great name for a boy! I also agree with others that it may be easier than when we were kids, since Kelly has dropped in popularity for girls and with all the popular names being used both ways kids these days tend to be less harsh with unisex names in general.

 

The regional thing is another interesting point I've noticed from my observations (and from the SSA state-by-state popularity lists) - surprisingly those in the more conservative areas of the country tend to use names both ways more often, with the Northeast showing the greatest phobia against cross-gender names for boys.


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Old 09-28-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogautumn View Post

Well, I doubt it will be "the" name...if I was so attached to it, it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask the public's opinion.

 

But, I'm interested in the responses I've gotten and am now inspired to play a little devil's advocate...mischievous.gif

 

So, my topic of discussion #1 is this: There are a lot of non-traditional, invented, and gender-neutral names going around out there now (and maybe even especially here at MDC). Is there something that's inherently taboo about giving a boy a "girl's" name?

 

And topic #2: Aren't kids going to find a reason to tease regardless of what name you have? I mean, I have one of the most common names a girl my age could possibly have and I still received a fair amount of teasing as a child.

 

Talk amongst yourselves winky.gif


i think all things are for all people.  i'm not the person to ask about that ;)  but i like the name.  it makes me think of the color (kelly green)

if we didn't name our babies after grandparents we'd probably try to go with something neutral too, which is another reason i like the choice.  i have known kellys that were male and some that were female, and i think it's just a tradition in some families of using a surname as a first name.  i do like it. 

 

and yes, there's always going to be name teasing no matter what.  anybody's name can rhyme with something stupid or insulting or nasty, too, so it doesn't have to be the name in itself, you know.

 


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Old 09-28-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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I love the name Kelly for a man.  I know a few men with that name (I'm in the Midwest) and think it's great-- very Irish, very classic.  As a girl's name, it sounds so . . .70s/80s.


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Old 09-28-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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Yup, Kelly for a boy/man is a great name. For a girl, not so much any more.

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Old 09-30-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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I know you already have lots of input here - but I knew I guy named Kelly in California...and when I went to college in Canada - there were 5 guys named Kelly there...not one girl.


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Old 09-30-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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I knew a male Keli in college. I have also known some female Kelly's and a Kelli. I like Kelly as a boy's name but my DH would never buy it.


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Old 10-01-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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O know a male Kelly, and think of it as a man's name. 


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Old 10-05-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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I know this is a bit out of date... but back to FrogAutumn's questions about whether kids tease no matter what? 

 

We had an hilarious evening last night with me reading names from a baby name book and DD coming up with an awful nickname.  There were only a few she couldn't find one for (and therefore moved to the top of the list!).  For example, Mathilda-- "No, mommy.  I would always think grouchtilda (something I call her sometimes) and I'd have to call my sister that".  Liron... no mommy that makes me think of macaroon.  And, DH  when I suggested "Wren".  "Hah.  Then I guess I will want another kid after this so we can name him Stimpy".  

 

Yeah... I'm pretty sure kids (and grown-ups) can come up with ways to tease no matter what the name! 


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