"Tristan" now feminine given name

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri Feb 24 01:27:20 UTC 2006

>So it seems. Per NameVoyager
>(http://www.babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html), Allison was a
>boy's name from at least the 1880s to the 1920s -- ranking low in the top
>1000 names, but always for boys.
>Then, in the 1940s, it turns up as a girl's name -- obscure at the time,
>but now the 40th most popular girl's name for babies.
>According to my wife, Alison used to be the feminine spelling and Allison
>was the masculine, but they've both been coopted by girls. (Alison isn't
>quite as popular as Allison, but its popularity follows the same curve
>without the male preamble.)
> -- James
> -------------- Original message ----------------------
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>> 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."
>>   JL
>> James Callan <james.callan at COMCAST.NET> wrote:
In my case, I was told I was named for an early poem (ca. 1300) of unknown
authorship, "Alisoun,"  which begins:

Bytuene Mershe and Averil
When spray biginneth to spring,...

 And, yes, my parents were lit'ry types.

I never knew another child named Alison while I was growing up, though
there was a rumor of another one living in another part of Lincoln.  There
were twin boys with the middle name, Allison, in my school.  My brother,
named Geoffrey,  was similarly unique among our circle.  I believe both
names were in common use in the UK then as now.

A (one l) M

~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

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

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