20 Gender Neutral Baby Names Even Grandma Will Love

Jess Richardson | Mar 15, 2019 Pregnancy
Image: iStock

Adorable baby

We love a gender neutral name. No matter how the kid's gender identity turns out, these names are kicky and cool for a girl named Charlie or a boy with a cool, modern name like Sydney. And they just make life easier for kids who are more gender-fluid. Plus, giving a girl the gift of a gender neutral name when she's an infant means she will experience a lifetime free of gender discrimination based on a feminine name, at least when it comes to stuff like job applications later in life. 

It's also just a nice nod to a cultural moment we're in -- babies today aren't born in the age where it's normal to name a kid "Ida" or "Norman," so why not give them a contemporary-feeling name that reflects the current time and place?

For babies of both sexes, being assigned a gender neutral name at birth also means the kid won't have to deal with a big name change (unless they want to) should they end up transitioning to a different gender later on in life. Giving kids this level of security can show them from an early age that we love them no matter what, and that it's who they are that makes us adore them. 

But we also know that sometimes older generations don't really get it when it comes to gender neutral names. A lot of newer gender neutral names feel kind of silly to older generations, and to be honest, we can't always blame them. (Hipster parents naming their kids after random objects and fruit can sometimes feel just a little ... weird to us, too. Not that we're ever really in a place to judge other people's choices, but ya know. We do it anyway.) But there are some really pretty, classic baby names that also just happen to be gender neutral -- and those are the ones that made this list. 



    Of Old English origin, Ashby literally means "ash tree home," and refers to a house or village near ash trees. It's a great name for boys or girls, and offers the cool nickname "Ash."



    Originally a last name, Avery has become more popular as a first name for both boys and girls in the past 10 years. Plus, the meaning is great, especially for fans of Lord of the Rings, since it literally means "ruler of elves."



    An incredibly classic name for a boy (Charlie Chaplin! or name for Charles Dickens! Charles Darwin!), and such a cute, playful name for a girl (often a diminutive of Charlotte). And for those who watch the show Supernatural, this one's a clear winner. 

  • EVAN


    Although Evan is a more common name for boys than it is for girls, it is a great name for both genders -- and actress Evan Rachel Woods has popularized it for both genders. 



    Grier is derived from the Latin, meaning "watchful guardian." It's unusual for either gender, so any baby with this name will be almost sure to be the only one in their class. 



    Hunter is a super cool name for any baby -- and it's traditional enough that even grandma will be OK with it. It was originally more popular for boys, but these days, it's common for both genders. 



    An English name referring to the county of Kent in England, this name is both classic and modern -- and so long as it's not spelled with a "y," it won't upset Grandma. 



    A surname in Finland and a first name in Estonia, the name Laine means "wave," so it's perfect for a baby born by the water. It's less popular for girls than it is for boys, but it makes a great name for babies of either gender.



    Of English origin, this name means "meadow town," which just sounds kind of idyllic for babies of any gender, right? Some pronounce this "Lay-ton," whereas others will choose "Lee-ton," but we all get to pick the pronunciation for our own babies!



    We love the county in California (pronounced Mah-RIN), but we also love the Latin meaning -- "of the sea" -- perfect for a little ocean baby. It's a common first name in Croatia and Romania, but it's been gaining in popularity in the US.

  • MAX


    Max is a classic boy's name and sounds hip on them, but it's also so darn cool on a baby girl. Often a diminutive of Maximillian, Maxwell, or Maxine, it's also just neat as a one-syllable name on its own.



    Of Welsh origin, the name "Morgan" means "Sea-born," or "circling the sea," which is such a nice little mermaid or merman name. Fairly split among the sexes, the name has been gender neutral for a long time.



    Charlie Parker was an incredible saxophonist, and Parker Posie is a gem of an actress, so for someone to be named after either of them -- of any gender -- would be a heck of an honor. Meaning "Park-keeper," this name gender neutral name is cute without being cutesy.



    We associate this name with the American South, where it's so common to give kids first names that are traditional family last names. However, the name Peyton is great for a baby from anywhere -- and while it's more common for boys than girls, still, it's great for babies of both genders.



    Traditionally of Irish origin, the name Quinn means "descendent of a chief," or having to do with intelligence and leadership. That's a great meaning for any baby, and this name is traditionally used for babies of both genders.

  • REMY


    Classically a French boys' name -- meaning "oarsman" -- this is actually the name of a fifth-century saint. However, it's becoming increasingly common among babies of both genders, although for girls, it's often spelled Remi.



    Reese is a Welsh name (in Wales, it's spelled "Rhys," which is also pretty cool -- although hard for Americans to get right on the first try), and it means "passionate" or "enthusiastic." More common in the US for girls, it's more commonly used for boys in other countries.



    For boys, Sasha is a traditional Russian nickname for Alexander, and for girls, for Alexandra. However, it's becoming increasingly common as a given name for babies of all genders, and no wonder -- it's adorable, and it means "defender of humankind." Yes, please.



    Whether it's being used as a reference to St. Denis, the place in Normandy; St. Denis, the saint; the Old English "from th