iddewes (iddewes) wrote in linguaphiles,

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Further to my last post - I am sorry if people think I am spamming the community, I am just curious today! - I was wondering about names and whether there are many unisex given names in other languages? (I know surnames may have a masculine or feminine ending). In English we don't have that many, and it also to some extent seems to depend where you live - for example, I met men called Shannon, Tracey and Stacey in Canada but never in the UK, where I think most people would assume someone called that was female. There are unisex diminutives though like Chris, Sam or Pat which are used in both countries, but again I think there are some differences - Pat in the UK usually seems to be a woman, whereas in Canada I knew quite a lot of male Pats and Patty was used more for Patricia. My experience of Russian is that the official names are usually male or female but there are unisex diminutives, eg you have Alexandra and Alexander both potentially being called Sasha or Shura (I have to say I associate Sasha more with men though because I've known more male Sashas!), or Zhenya for Yevgeny or Yevgenia (again I have personally only known male Zhenyas though!). I think some countries have rules about naming as well don't they? I have a Polish friend who tried to change her name to Charlotte and she had to officially change it to Szarlota because the naming rules apparently said a woman could only have a name ending in -a and it had to be a Polish name. So do you have many unisex given names in other languages or are they mostly male and female?

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