"Tristan" now feminine given name

Brenda Lester alphatwin2002 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Feb 23 23:49:55 UTC 2006

"Frankie and Johnnie were lovers."
  I went to high school with a girl name Frankie, and there's Johnny Belinda.
  And so on.

Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM> wrote:  You mean to say that by a commodius vicus of recirculation, Allison is again a feminine name. Or still, as the case may be.

  "Alysoun" is the name of the female lead in the "The Miller'sTale."  I've known several female "Allisons." (That was in the last century,  however.)

  And I once knew a female dental hygienist named "Johnnie."


James Callan  wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: James Callan
Subject: Re: "Tristan" now feminine given name

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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