"Tristan" now feminine given name

James Callan james.callan at COMCAST.NET
Thu Feb 23 17:37:57 UTC 2006

It's a longstanding trend for parents to give girls names that used to be masculine -- my wife, Allison, was named after her grandfather.

A good Web resource that discusses naming trends, rather than just spotting them, is the Baby Name Wizard: http://www.babynamewizard.com/blog/

There's an entry on the androgynous trend here (scroll down to the second post -- for some reason the direct link doesn't work): http://www.babynamewizard.com/blog/archive/2005_11_01_nameblog-archive.html

It doesn't discuss Tristan itself, but if you plug the name into the site's Java-based NameVoyager, you'll see that it's never been a top-1000 boy's name in the US, hit the girl's list at #819 in the 1970s, shot to #218 in the 1980s, #148 in the 1990s, and was #116 in 2004. That translates to over 800 babies per million born in the US being given the name.

James Callan

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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