Tuesday 16 July 2019


Title: The Best Gender-Neutral Baby Name Book
Author: Melanie Mannarino
Genre: Non Fiction, Parenting
Publisher: Tiller Press
Release Date: 16th July 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
What’s in a name? A lot. For generations, they’ve indicated a lot about a person: their family history, personality traits, and qualities—and let’s not forget about nicknames, both good and bad. But while a name may have special significance to the parents who choose it, when you stop and think about it, there’s little else it can reveal about a baby, or the adult that child grows into.

Try to accurately imagine what a kid named Frankie looks like...he could be a preschool boy who loves to paint or a teenage girl who is the star of her track team. Same goes for Casey, Jamie, or Taylor. Just as we no longer automatically choose “girl” (pink) or “boy” (blue) colors, today’s parents want their child to have a unique name that defies stereotypes.

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As I also enjoy reading non fiction books I decided it was time to read and review another one and chose this baby names book. I remember the whole process of trying to choose names for my children. Sadly, I miscarried my first child, a boy, but I had a boy’s name I liked from the moment I found out I was pregnant. (Though I didn’t find out I was having a boy in advance.) I hadn’t decided on a possible girls name at all! The name I chose was Ryan Michael, though my husband didn’t agree and wanted Ryan Andrew (Andrew being after him!). With my daughter I was dithering not having chosen a name for a boy or girl to begin with. Then when my daughter was born everything seemed to pop into my head and I chose Rachel Marie! The concession for the now ex husband was the spelling of Rachel as he could not remember which way the a and e went in the other spelling! I did buy magazines with lists of baby names in them and I think I bought two baby name books with their meanings too.

Anyway, enough about me! I think you do have to think carefully about choosing a name for a baby. Do you name the baby after a family member? Do you choose a name for its meaning? Or the question that comes with this book. Do you choose a gender-neutral name?? Whatever you decide on you really should think carefully about what you pick. This name needs to suit a baby an then the whole way through this humans life. Can the name be shortened into a nickname you will approve of? Does it go with your surname? Do you give one, two or even three fist names?

What is a gender-neutral name? A name that would equally suit a male or female child. Before reading the book, I sat and thought about any gender-neutral names I could think of. Here’s a few I thought of that I think would fit the “gender-neutral” criteria, Ashleigh, Bailey, Harley, Jamie, Mackenzie, and Parker. I discovered many more gender-neutral names and also nicknames that could be for a boy or girl.

The nicknames I like are Rae which for a man would be spelt Ray. I wanted my daughter to use Rae as a shorter version of her name Rachel but she chose to use Rach. I think whatever name you give a child it will be shortened. Some of these gender-neutral names also have slightly different spellings such as Julian for a boy and Julianne for a girl.

So, I will share some of the listings I discovered in this book that I personally think do work for male/females as well as also being spelt the same: Addison, Ash, Bailey, Blaze, Casey, Jesse, Logan, Morgan, Quinn, Spencer, and Tate.

However, there are other names that work for both sexes but in my opinion are more nicknames such as: Dani, Frankie, Jamie, Joss, Lane, Nicky, Ollie, Ray, Stevie, Tony, and Val. The book also lists, Bernie, Charley, and Sam.

The book goes on to list other names which I would honestly say are “more unusual”, some that celebs have made popular and some that are very old and making a come-back. Examples of Celeb influenced names: Apple, Clove, and Sage. According to the book Chris Martin & Gwyneth Paltrow chose the name Apple, from the well known sentiment of “being apple of our eye”! Sage is both a plant and has the meaning wise.

More modern names could come from your favourite:
Author: Fielding or Blake
Rockstar: Bowie, or Dylan.
Cars: Aston, or Ford

There are many other categories featured in the book such as Trees, Months, Days, Colours, Cities ….it seems that names can come from all sorts of different and unusual things around us every day.

If you are pregnant and want to go down the route of a gender-neutral name then this is the book for you. It has lots of idea’s, whether you choose something from the book or it just gives you inspiration to think of something yourself.
The book does list some names that to be totally honest I would only give to a female or male. I did enjoy discovering the different choices of names and it’s a great book to have a bit of fun with too. I guess like everything else it is an individual choice, just remember your child is the one that has to live with the name you give him or her.

To sum up I found it Interesting read for anyone wanting to go down a more unusual gender neutral name for their offspring.
Though to be honest some of the names in the book are...a bit "way out their for any child!!
I also think that some of the names in the book that claim to be gender neutral are more suited to one gender than the other...


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