A is for Female

About half the female names in English end in the letter A. I was oblivious to this until I noticed it when the song Mambo #5 was a hit. In that song, every single female’s name rattled off ends in an A except Mary. And that name contains an A.

It’s not just English. I can think of many foreign female names that end in A. I think it is an Indo-European family of languages thing. Maybe it’s even a worldwide thing. Regardless, a lot of female names end in A.

But what struck me was that the last name Taylor was being given out as a first name almost exclusively to females. And the last name Tyler was being given as a first name almost exclusively to males. They’re both surnames and as such can be male or female. Is that A denoting female names even when it’s not the last letter?

I found other female names that when the A disappeared became male names. I change the spelling in the following to the most common spelling of the male name:

Addison becomes Dyson, Alessa becomes Les, Bailey becomes Billy, Bertha becomes Bert, Gayle becomes Giles, Joan becomes Jon, Kayla becomes Kyle and Layla becomes Lyle.

If you are hoping to find rarer male names that are English words, we then have our next list:

Alice becomes Lice, Amy becomes My, Athena becomes Then, Avery becomes Very, Carol becomes Crawl, Charo becomes Crow, Diana becomes Din, Elsa becomes Else, Ida becomes Id, Laura becomes Lore, Maud becomes Mud, Maura becomes More, and May becomes My.

If you are wondering why the names stop halfway through the alphabet it is because figuring these things out takes a lot of time so I stopped at M.

But what about those female names that exist both with an A and without an A?

Like Gisella and Giselle, Helena and Helen, and Julia and Julie?

Maybe Giselle, Helen and Julie are very masculine women.

Which brings us straight to the question that aren’t males, with an A or two in their name, effeminate? As a Larry, I have to say decidedly not! I am masculine in every way. Don’t let the long hair fool you. Oh. The long hair.

Well if that’s true, I’m going to throw Giselle, Helen, and Julie under the bus of masculinity.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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2 Responses to A is for Female

  1. Jennifer Ladano says:

    Outside of my love for sports, I’ve always seen myself as a girly-girl. (Jennifer) I guess my middle name (Anne Louise) covers me there.

  2. I was hoping we wouldn’t get to middle names. Because I have another a in mine.

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