ICYMI, it’s 2022—and more so than ever, people are engaging in open conversations about gender fluidity and actively working to break the very tired male-female binary. And that, naturally, includes baby names. There’s already so much stress involved in naming your sweet bb offspring, and trying to stick with “traditional” male and female names just makes it harder.
To be fair, you can name a human baby whatever name you want, no matter the sex they’re assigned at birth. These are just facts. But if you don’t want to think about whether or not your bundle of joy’s name is viewed as more feminine or masculine (f*ck those norms, really), then you’ve come to the right place. If you have a partner, it’s already tough enough to agree on names you both like—I loved one name, my husband loved another, and we couldn’t agree on either—much less come up with something that doesn’t feel overused, dated, or potentially inauthentic for your little one in the future.
To make the process easier, we rounded up 100 gender-neutral baby names that’ll be perfect for your future angel on earth—no matter their gender. And as a bonus, they’re all unique too. (Psst, it’ll be hard to choose because we’re obsessed with all of them.) Some have historically been used for a particular gender, and others have always been used for their gender-neutral potential. Yes, this is your cue to toss those outdated color coded baby-name books that your mom dusted off from storage. Who reads baby-name books when Google exists, anyway? Sorry to all baby-name book writers out there, but we have all the unisex baby names you need below.
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C’mon, baby global citizen! Here’s a unique and modern name for any gender.
Doesn’t this one just make your heart swell? It’s actually derived from the Latin word “valen,” aka “strong,” which feels perfect somehow.
This Old English names mean “white meadow.” How serene tho.
Here’s a Scottish name that translates to “winding valley.”
This name was originally an occupational one, used to signify leather-makers. Now it’s a *very* trendy name that anyone and everyone can take advantage of.
Don’t you just love the nautical vibes here? Bonus if they love the water.
This is a Gaelic surname that has become a beloved boy’s name over the years. There’s no reason it wouldn’t be extra cute for any baby though!
This name means “from the hare’s hill,” which already sounds poetic enough. You can choose to drop the ending “e” too for a slightly different vibe. (The same note applies to a bunch of names on this list.)
This short and sweet name means “someone who lives by the stream.” The ideal way to live, tbh—plus it’s got musical connotations.
Here’s a real statement name. Who doesn’t love a little justice in life?
This Arabic name means “elevated” or “champion.”
If you’re going to go the color-inspired route, this is a fresh option. Yes, we love a Violet or a Garnet, but I mean…Beyoncé doesn’t have a kid with either of those names, so Blue comes out on top.
Here’s a derivative of an English surname that makes for a simple, classic moniker.
This is another common surname that works very well for any gender and has some Beyoncé vibes to it.
This name is French for “young wolf.” That’s just powerful as hell. Also, a cool famous namesake!
Does this name mean “wild garlic”? Yes. Does that change the fact that it’s still somehow chic AF? No.
This name has French and Latin origins (v fancy) and means “oarsman.”
Here’s a certified classic. It means “greatest,” which is probably why it’s remained a staple for generations. Also, if you watch Stranger Things, you’ll know it’s not just for boys.
This name is a solid way to set the tone for a kid’s life.
Not only does this name have 50,000 song mentions (approximately), but it’s also Hebrew for “the Lord exists.”
Here’s an Irish unisex name that means “vigilant.”
Now, this has totally been deemed a girl’s name over the years, but honestly, changing the spelling opens a whole bunch of doors. Nikki, Nicky…there are countless possibilities.
This is a Welsh name meaning “son of Madoc.” The name was popularized quite a bit when Angelina Jolie made it a thing with her oldest child Maddox.
Here’s a solid unisex name for sure that means “sea dweller.” Again with the water theme!!
The sea seems to inspire all the best names, tbh. Dylan actually means “born from the ocean.” Who knew?
This is a Chinese name meaning “a great extreme” and also a totally lovable Clueless character.
This Hebrew name for “my God” has typically been designated for boys but is gaining traction in the unisex department.
The gender-neutral name means “boundary gate.”
This popular unisex name translates to “fighting man’s estate.” That’s so legit.
This German name means “magical being,” and it’s the rapper Drake’s real name. So that’s two major things going for it.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, the whole surname as a first name thing sounds suuuper chic.
This is actually a derivative of the name Nicholas (who knew??) and means “people of victory.” Colins everywhere have essentially won at life, I guess.
Don’t even front—how delightful does it sound to be a “dweller at the holly trees”?! That’s bliss, baby.
We all love a winner. This Old English name actually means “friend,” and we def love that too.
Another Yoncé-approved name here ’cause taste is taste. This one has Japanese origins and translates to “beautiful.”
Joe may seem like a set-in-stone guy’s name, but drop the “e” and you’ve got a flexible name with a Little Women cosign to back it up.
One-syllable names just exude chicness. This one means “of the ash tree.” So, extra cool.
This has English origins and came about from the phrase “hallow stone.” Super trendy too, with some major fashion vibes to go with it.
We have to praise Reese Witherspoon’s mother for giving her this name and putting it on the map for all of us to reuse.
Blake is often automatically associated with boys, but it definitely isn’t that way anymore. Psh, ask Blake Lively!
Hebrew for “tranquil,” Shiloh has historically been dubbed as a girl’s name for a long time. But that’s changed recently!
One of the top unisex names in the U.S., Dakota originates from the Native American community in the northern Mississippi Valley. It means “a friendly one.”
We’ve seen this one commonly used with boys and girls throughout the years. It still stands as a very popular gender-neutral name (and not just a nickname).
This name has English, Irish, and American origins. In English, it translates to “from the shady grove.” And in Irish and English, it means “gift from God.” It’s been popularly used as a boy’s name, but it would be just as cute for a baby girl. It can also be spelled as Sean or Shaun.
Derived from Scotland, the name Leslie translates to “garden of holly.” We’ve seen stars like Leslie Mann and Leslie Jordan share the name too!
I think we have Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds to thank for popularizing and retooling this boy’s name. They named their daughter and oldest child James and it’s the cutest thing! (Also, you could use Jamie, above, as a nickname.)
Can’t help but think that maybe Cameron Diaz is the one who changed the game??
The name Billie has an English origin and has been a common name for boys. But girls can 100 percent have the name too! (Hi, Billie Eilish.)
An Irish name meaning “chief leader” or “intelligence,” Quinn has become slightly more popular with girls than boys in recent years. TBD on whether or not Glee had anything to do with that.
This name has been popular with all babies for decades now. You can also opt to spell it with a single “t” or “l” to make it a little ~extra~ in a cute way.
While this one used to skew more female (61 percent in 2013), it’s slowly on the come-up as a more gender-neutral name too.
This is one of the few gender-neutral names that are truly unisex, meaning it doesn’t skew heavily one way for boys or girls. As of 2018, the gender-split percentage was reported to be 58 percent girls, 42 percent boys.
Marlowe means “driftwood” and has historically been coded as a girl’s name. In recent years, however, it’s been branching out.
Obviously, Kim popularized this name when her and Kanye’s first child was born in 2013. However, baby-name experts say it’s gaining momentum not just as a girl’s name. Plus, the nickname Nori is a grade-A option.
This name derives meaning in several different languages—“sea” in Hawaiian and “keeper of the keys” in Welsh—and is super popular right now.
You can immortalize Rory from Gilmore Girls with your baby too. 😉
This is an English name meaning “valley of the eagle.” Although it tends to be almost twice as popular with girls, it’s not limited.
It has an Irish origin and means “courageous.” Originally a popular name for boys, Riley has grown so popular that it is the number one female name starting with “R.” Fans of Inside Out, raise your hands!
While it may forever be thought of as something that should be mixed with coffee, Bailey is still an adorable name for a baby. It’s popular with all the lil bbs but it currently trends much higher for girls.
Often a nickname for Julie or Julia, Jules has become popular with the boys over the years as a nickname for Julian and as a stand-alone name. Also, it’s the name of our fave gal from Euphoria.
Sage is of Latin origin and means “wise,” which is pretty baller, if you ask me. Who wouldn’t want a brilliant bb?
Alex as a nickname for either Alexander or Alexandra has been huge pretty much since the dawn of time. That said, Alex on its own has been seeing a steady rise over the years.
Usually a girl’s name, à la Kendall Jenner, Kendall is of British origin, meaning “valley of the river Kent.” It’s also been popular with boys (ahem, Succession!).
Traditionally a boy’s name, Micah is now popular across the board—possibly as an alternative to the increasingly popular Michaela. It means “who is like the Lord.”
Typically thought of as a boy’s name, Angel has been rising in popularity for everyone. Spice Girl Melanie Brown named her daughter Angel Iris, so it’s obvs legit.
Perhaps popularized by The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle, this was typically a boy’s name but absolutely doesn’t have to be.
Becoming more popular for girls for now, London is still a perfectly pleasant name, honoring a beautiful British city (duh).
One of the most famous Rivers—actor River Phoenix—gave this name a traditionally male association. But since Kelly Clarkson decided to call her daughter River, it’s slowly increasing in popularity elsewhere too.
Once the Beckhams named their only daughter Harper, it immediately shot up in popularity for girls, which checks out. But parents really like it for all their little ones.
Charlie has long been thought of as the nickname for Charles, but recently, it’s been a popular nickname for the name Charlotte.
Typically a boy’s name (save for the queen, Drew Barrymore), Drew is quite popular for little fellas. But expect to see lots of little girls named Drew running around in the upcoming years, now that Jessica Simpson gave it to her daughter Maxwell as a middle name.
Reagan, which occasionally is spelled Regan, is more popular with girls but certainly works as a gender-neutral name as well.
It’s damn near impossible to go to a park without running into a little Logan these days. The name has shot up in popularity over the past few years.
Sawyer is more popular for boys (maybe thanks to Sawyer from Lost?), but stars like Sara Gilbert have taken to giving the name to their daughters, which no doubt will make it more popular in the next few years.
Once typically used just for girls, Taylor—partly thanks to Taylor Lautner—has been climbing the ranks. While the name may feel a little ’90s for some, Taylor Swift has put it on the map for a new generation. Sort of related: Remember when Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner dated?
The name Kennedy sounds trendy and classic for all human babes but is often thought of as a girl’s name. However, if name meanings are particularly important to you, you might want to steer clear of this one. Kennedy means “misshapen head.”
This celebrity name (Hayden Panettiere and Hayden Christensen) is currently more popular with boys, but don’t sleep on it as a unisex option.
Actor Thandiwe Newton gave the name Nico to her daughter. Alternate spellings include Nikko and Niko, which are both chill.
The name of a place and the name of a bird, Phoenix is on trend for different genders. Former Spice Girl Mel B. is a fan—she gave the name to her daughter.
More popular for boys—thanks to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett’s son—Jaden has risen in popularity quite a bit in the past few years.
The name Grayson for boys has been wildly popular in the past few years. But Gray is cute for everyone!
Although it’s usually thought of as a boy’s name, Jordan makes it into the top 300 names for girls. The name skyrocketed to popularity in the ’90s during Michael Jordan’s heyday and is still going strong.
Skyler—also spelled Skylar—is popular for all. The name is actually a variation of the name Schuyler, which is a Dutch surname (hi, Hamilton!).
Perhaps thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen (who pronounces it “Sasha”), the name Sasha is rising in popularity for boys. The name means “defender of men.”
Rowan, which means “little red head,” is popular among every gender. One of the most famous Rowans is Mr. Bean himself, British comedian Rowan Atkinson. So your kid will have a great legacy there.
The preppy name, which actually means “park keeper,” is trending higher for boys. It’s still pretty hot, thanks in part to indie queen Parker Posey.
This short and sweet name would be the perfect fit for your baby royal. It’s seen a slight uptick in popularity thanks to Kourtney Kardashian’s youngest son, and it’s got a real air of power to it.
Whether you use it with the typical spelling or you drop the “h” and go with Noa, this classic name has always been a hit for boys. In the early 2000s, it gained traction elsewhere—just look at Noah Cyrus!
Surnames that work as first names? Forever chic. There’s even the adorable Andi nickname op!
This name means “watchful” or “vigilant” and derives from Scotland. It’s not the most popular name, but it’s been on the rise since the ’90s.
This name is basically the unisex answer to many of its counterparts. If you don’t want to go too gendered with names like Elliot, Eleanor, or even Ella, Ellis is a gorgeous more neutral option.
If you change up the spelling here just a tad, this name comes with a completely different energy. Kori, Cori, Cory…the opportunities are endless.
We love a city-based name. Also, David and Victoria Beckham have, like, the best taste in unisex names?
Obvi, this one was famously the stage name for rock star David Bowie, but since his passing in 2016, it’s skyrocketed in first name popularity. It’s originally Scottish and it means “fair-haired.”
Originally, this name was developed as the female derivative of Adam, but now it’s a unisex name for common folk and famous TikTokers alike.
Month names are *it*. C’mon, look at January Jones. If you appreciate this vibe, August ranks high up there when it comes to months that look good on an ID.
Has this remained one of the most popular boy’s names for, like, the past century? Sure. But it’s now also a v trendy gender-neutral name. How’s that for a twist?
Now here’s a real classic. It comes from the old English word for “elf,” which, love.
What did we say about city names? They’re usually sooo cool. You can even get a little creative and go with Austyn if you’re looking to switch things up.
Here’s a tried-and-true fave. From Robin Williams to Ms. “Dancing on My Own” Robyn, plenty of icons have done this name proud. I mean, considering it means “bright fame,” that totally adds up.
Niko Newbould is an Editorial Intern. When she isn’t writing, she’s busy drooling over fashion or making her own music. You can find her on instagram @ kissykoko
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Megan Uy is the assistant shopping editor at Cosmopolitan, where she searches for the best products in all things fashion, home, beauty, sex, gifts, and more, so you don’t have to. When she’s not writing for the site, she’s whipping up some cool and trendy content for the fashion section of the print magazine. She’s been with the brand since 2019 (when she was an itty-bitty editorial fellow), and she’s also written for Delish, House Beautiful, and People. Follow her on Instagram to get some BTS of the editor life and chaotic NYC content. Also, feel free to hit her up if you ever wanna discuss the madness that is TikTok.
Katherine J Igoe (she/her) is a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan, covering style, lifestyle, culture, and beauty (she’s obsessed with gift guides, best-of movie lists, and beauty products). She’s been a freelancer for 11 years, previously working for Marie Claire (2018 to 2021) and Bustle (2021), with bylines in the New York Times, Parents magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in Boston with her family, and you can follow her on Instagram or Twitter. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.