Charlotte Bronte may have started the trend towards adapting names
established for one sex to use for the other with her heroine,
who was given the name Shirley, then a man's name only, because
her parents had hoped for a boy. Some names are still equally
acceptable for both sexes, sometimes with spelling variations
(Leslie/Lesley, Frances/Francis), others, like Shirley, have become
so well-established for girls that they are no longer really recognised
as boys' names.
These girls' names all started life as male personal names or
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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