Is Kelly a girl or boy name to you? — The Bump
Baby Names

Is Kelly a girl or boy name to you?

rider5344rider5344
Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 25 Love Its
member
edited August 2013 in Baby Names
I absolutely ADORE the name Kelly for a boy (he would be Kelly James InsertIrishLNhere). DS is Donald Greig. While I find it highly masculine and know that older generations do also (think 50+) A lot of our generation does not. What is your take? Too socially accepted now as a girl name for a boy or time to take it back :) I personally find nothing feminine about the name at all. So what are your thoughts, and please feel free to add comments one way or the other, Thanks!

Is Kelly a girl or boy name to you? 175 votes

Too feminine, no way
43% 76 votes
Time to take it back, go for it
26% 46 votes
Either way I don't like it
9% 16 votes
Either way I like it
20% 36 votes
SS
0% 1 vote
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Re: Is Kelly a girl or boy name to you?

  • I prefer it for a girl but, I don't mind it on a boy.

  • When I hear the name I assume girl, but I like it on a boy.
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  • It's all boy to me, I've always thought it was too masculine for a girl.
       
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  • The only Kellys I know are my Grandpa & my Uncle. I assume boy, but am not surprised either way.
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  • I'm an 80's child so I knew a lot of female Kelly's growing up. But I've also known a few male Kelly's, so it works on both in my opinion.
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  • It is unisex to me since it trended so high for girls in my generation. But it has fallen quite a bit in use for girls since the 70s, I think the trend is over. Meanwhile it has been consistently used as a boy name, just not super popular. I think it probably won't be considered unisex for future generations, it will resume being predominately an under used boy name.

    I voted time to take it back.
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  • I am a Kellie so naturally I say girl.


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  • I'm a Kellie as well, one of my husband's female relatives is a Kelly and also growing up in the 80's/90's (kelly kapowski) feel like it's a girl name now. I was just explaining to one of my international student's last week that it used to be a boy's name but now is used for girls. I don't think it's bad on a boy, I just think people would assume it's a girl from the name. 

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  • edited August 2013
    I always think girl first. Growing up, the only Kellys I knew of were a girl in my class, Barbie's little sister, and Kelly Kapowski. FWIW, my husband actually has a brother named Kelly and he still considers Kelly to be primarily a girl name now.

    ETA that while girl is always my first thought, I wouldn't side eye you for naming a boy Kelly.
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  • It's 100% unisex to me. If I had a Kelly on my class roster, I would make no assumptions. The first Kellys I knew were boys (2 of them growing up), but over all, I have known more girls than boys with this name.
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  • Love Kelly on a boy!
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  • mh89mh89
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    Don't like it strictly because it is so unisex and could lead to confusion and annoyance for the child in question. That said, if I HAD to use it, I'd use it on a girl. 

    Boys tend to be teased more over having "girly names" than the other way around (which the feminist in me really hates, but its the sad truth).
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  • I think it's unisex, but I don't like it because it feels too 80s to me.
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  • edited August 2013
    If this was 20 years ago I might assume a Kelly was a girl, but it peaked in 1977 has fallen steadily since then. In fact I think it is so dated on a girl I might guess boy first. I think it is time to take it back. If this baby is a boy Kelly Patrick is on our short list. 

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  • I think girl first. I don't know if I have ever met a male Kelly, personally. But I don't think it is an awful choice for a boy.

     

     

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  • My name is Kelly, so of course I always think of girl first. I work with a couple of female Kellys and went to school with only female Kellys. I believe I have only known 2 male Kellys in my entire life. I think that it could easily go both ways. I've never really thought too much about my name being unisex because I just haven't met too many male Kellys. I think it is refreshing that you want to bring this name back, boy or girl! I have always loved my name.

    However just a warning... a lot of unpleasant words rhyme with Kelly: smelly, belly, jelly which has always irritated me, not that any of them were used in a demeaning way towards me, but it is possible.
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  • I like it a lot better on a boy
  • My mind goes automatically to girl name; but I know plenty of men named Kelly, Shannon, Dana, and Linn that I don't actually say "she/her" without finding out if it is a man or a woman. 

    However, it is NMS for a boy or a girl; it just seems really dated.  Girl = 80s, Boy = 50/60s
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  • It can go either way. Within my age group, the majority of Kellys are female, so the only confusion I experience is based on spelling. I still have to spell it for people as they always ask, Kelly with a -Y, -EY, -IE, or -I?? 
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  • My name is Kelly, so of course I always think of girl first. I work with a couple of female Kellys and went to school with only female Kellys. I believe I have only known 2 male Kellys in my entire life. I think that it could easily go both ways. I've never really thought too much about my name being unisex because I just haven't met too many male Kellys. I think it is refreshing that you want to bring this name back, boy or girl! I have always loved my name.

    However just a warning... a lot of unpleasant words rhyme with Kelly: smelly, belly, jelly which has always irritated me, not that any of them were used in a demeaning way towards me, but it is possible.
    Only one person ever teased me with these names repeatedly (actually used these specific ones all in one go---smelly kellie belly jelly roll) but it wasn't fun at the time. It really does rhyme with a lot of awful words to tease someone with. 

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  • I think it's a great name for a boy - and since Kelly is much less common for girls now than when you were growing up I think a boy with that name would have it easier now than back then (plus there are more names that are successfully being used both ways now). It may be a bit dated either way, but that's not necessarily a bad thing to me.
  • I know at least two males who have the name Kelly.  I have always thought it was a girls name until I met these two guys.  It is not a name I would ever consider for a boy, but I would no longer side eye seeing it used on a boy. 
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  • While these days I might assume girl if I saw the name Kelly on paper, I wouldn't be totally surprised if it was the name of a boy.  I voted that I like it either way.
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  • My name is Kelly, but I grew up knowing a couple of male Kellys as well. So, while I identify it more as a female name, I really like it for boys, too.
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  • annabelle.27annabelle.27
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    edited September 2013
    My husband's name is Kelly so for me it is boy. I admit when I met him though it seemed like a girl's name. But I also come from the era in which Kelly was a popular girl name. I think now, as a girl's name, it is very dated (like Tiffany, Jennifer) and so probably could be reclaimed as a boy name. I doubt a male Kelly will have many female Kellys in his school today. But I could be biased :)
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  • I know both girls and boys named Kelly. I think it's still a unisex name and I actually prefer it on a boy.
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  • All girl to me
  • I would say girl.
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