Finley and Harper: Behind Lisa Marie Presley's Name Choice

10/14/2008 at 01:00 PM ET
Joseph Llanes, courtesy Lisa Marie Presley

With many readers expressing their opinions on Lisa Marie Presley and husband Michael Lockwood‘s choices of Harper and Finley for their new fraternal twin daughters, we spoke to Linda Rosenkrantz, co-owner of NameBerry, as well as co-author of The Baby Name Bible: The Ultimate Guide By America’s Baby-Naming Experts to get her take on the monikers and the popularity of unisex names. She tells us,

"So Lisa Marie Presley has had twins and named them Harper and Finley. The questions that pop to mind are: ‘Are they boys? Are they girls? Are they one of each? Do we need to look inside the diaper to find out?’ Well, the news is out that they are twin girls, but the names of Elvis’s new granddaughters are certainly typical of the unisex choices that are epidemically popular these days, including both names that have long been used by each sex and names like these that have recently started to cross over.

Harper has a real tradition as a female name, dating back to To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, for whom it was a family name. It was more recently used by Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos, as well as Dixie Chick Martie Maguire for their daughters. Finley was a 100 percent male name until Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn bestowed it on their daughter in 2003. A good old Scottish royal name (it belonged to Macbeth’s father), it’s part of a whole clan of Fin names that are rising in popularity — Finn, Finlay and Finley, Finola, Finian and Finnigan.”

What do you think of unisex names? Would/did you use one for your child?

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Nicole on

I have always really loved the name Alex, although honestly I always think boy first before I think girl when I hear that name. So that would be one I would use!

kate on

My 2 year old son is called Finlay, we call him Finn for short, and I have never heard of it as a girls name here in the UK.

If I have a girl next time our name for her will be Harper Lily!!! How strange.

Obviously, I love the names! Congrats xx

JM on

I like the names. Different and unique without being to outrageous. I much prefer Finley for a boy over a girl though.

Harley on

I’ve never been a fan of unisex names but what I dislike most is taking a masculine name and “making” it feminine. It’s depressing when you see a name you have wanted to name your child for well over 10 years end up on a little girl when for the past 500 years it’s been masculine.

Stéph on

I want ot name my son Finley.

janine on

I love Harper! Finley, I’d probably prefer on a boy, but have no real objection to it.

mandy on

Well…my daughter’s name is Emerson, so obviously I would give my daughter a unisex name, although Emerson is still almost exclusively listed as a boys name. I adore the names Harper and Finley…I think they are beautiful, strong little girls’ names. As with Emerson, when I think of Finley…I think of a little girl.

Candice on

These days, unisex tends to mean “totally and unquestionably masculine names on girls”, so I’m very much against it. Finley and Harper are all boy to me, as are Aidan, Riley, Avery, Addison, Madison, etc.

I don’t intend on ever giving my child a ‘unisex’ name. I think there are plenty of beautiful gender appropriate names for each sex. Well, actually, I do like Meredith on a boy a lot, and I guess it’s more commonly feminine these days (it’s traditionally masculine, though), so if that’s considered unisex, I guess I might.

Kimberly on

love the names. have 2 daughters- Avery Karson and Barrett Marianna, love the boy/girl names…

Kate on

I like the name Ryan for a girl.

brannon on

As someone who considers both Finley and Harper feminine, (never consider either for a boy) I guess I see where some of you are coming from. WHen pregnant for my son, I shied away from all “trendy” names because I know they will someday be feminine. Example; Logan. I work in a whole school of them and they are all girls. No boys. Same with Austin, Mason, Bradley, Griffin, Riley, Morgan, etc. It’s difficult for me ton find boys names that don’t sound feminine.

natasha on

I don’t like unisex names. My best friend is a girl and her name was Ryan (changed it to Debra), she hated it. She was teased profusely as a kid and I would never put my kids through that.

Michelle on

Candice, if you name your son Meredith, you better be prepared for some serious issues! Even though it may be “traditionally” masculine, the kids in his class will not know that and he will be teased to the high heavens. In any case, I have a son named Taylor, which I more commonly hear of as a girls name nowadays, but I like it for a boy.

Tammy on

I love unisex names. I am not planning on having children, but if I did, I’ve considered naming a girl Travis. It’s my dad’s name and it was his mother’s maiden name.

Amy on

I just had a daughter in July and named her Harper since I have long loved To Kill a Mockingbird. I thought it was going to be a nice unique name but apparently that’s not going to be the case since she is 3 months old today and there have been 3 celebrity babies named Harper in that time frame. Personally, I have always considered the name Harper to be feminine (I guess because of Harper Lee) so it never crossed my mind that it was unisex. We did pair with with a girlier middle name- Eliza.

dee on

If I had a daughter I always liked the names Bo and Harrison. I liked Harper and wanted to name a future daughter that since I was 13, but it’s getting way too popular for me.

And I grew up with plenty of girls with more traditionally boys names, and they never got made fun of for it at all.

amandamay on

i’m also one of the minority who dislikes boys names on girls. i have a son called finlay and living in the uk it was only a boy name. now in the states it’s becoming a trendy (dare i say a bit cheesey) girl’s name. i also don’t like when people use bad spelling like “fynlee” to make it sound “cool” – to me it’s just tacky. it’s sad when you pick a boy name only for it to turn girly years later. i guess i love the tradition and history of names. they really mean something, to me it’s not a trend. and to take a name like finley/finlay that has serious history and meaning and sort of dishonor that (in the uk you really don’t take boys names for girls or vice versa) it’s sort of like disrespecting that culture/history. it makes me cringe all of the little girl finleys being born the past year. when i named my son finlay in 2002 it wasn’t even on the social security top 1000 names list. now it’s very high up in the girl name list. oh well. guess that’s what happened to all of the “ashley” men many years ago. once upon a time that was only a boy name! having said all of this, it’s really only my opinion and to each his/her own.

rebecca on

Matt Morris (who recently retired from major league pitching after playing for the Cardinals, Giants, and Pirates) and his wife, Heather, named their baby girl Harper as well. She was born in October, 2007.

brannon on

Bo and Harrison are cute🙂

Kristin on

my 9y.o. daughter is ryan, and we love it. it suits her to a t, although she is a girly girl through and through. note she has never been teased, she is named for her daddy and is very proud of that!

Christina Bledsoe on

I don’t like Harper or Finley, they both sound like boy names to me. I suppose I could live with Harper as a girl name with a soft middle name, but not Finley, not for a girl. My son’s name is Xayne (zane) and I just saw a CNN news anchor named that spelled the regular way Zane.

Aelys on

We don’t have many unisex names in France, but I don’t mind them. If anything, unless it’s a very masculine name, I find them quite unique on a girl.

Sasha, USA on

I personally really like the twins’ names because they complement each other. It’s a high honor to name one’s child. Regarding unisex names, I definitely weathered a bit of teasing about having a boyish name, but today I get very sweet compliments🙂

Kate on

Most “unisex” names are surnames, which I see as inherently masculine. I strongly disapprove of giving surnames to girls as first names. It is getting really confusing.

melody on

One of my daughters is Sage Avery and I love her name! I think as long as the parents like the name, our opinions don’t matter at all, but I happen to love Lisa Marie’s choices! I know of another little girl named Finley, and several girls named Harper.

Michelle on

Love, love, love the names. I also really like the idea of using surnames as first names for boys or girls. Especially if you are honoring someone important to you.

kate on

I have to say that I HATE feminine names for boys. I think it’s cruel.

Jessy on

I personally hate the trend of giving boy’s names to girls. To me it’s almost a denial of the girl’s femininity, and not at all creative or interesting. Hardly anyone ever gives a girl’s name to a boy, so it also seems vaguely sexist to me.

I have many issues with my own name, as a girl’s name it’s traditionally a nickname and it’s also weirdly spelled. And as a proper name spelled correctly it’s traditionally a boy’s name. It’s incredibly annoying to grow up with a name like that, and I always hate to see a child get a name with similarities to mine. I have to constantly correct spelling (people I work with, despite seeing my name spelled correctly in my email address, still don’t spell it right and I have family members who don’t spell it right and I’m 26) and dispell the notion that my name is Jessica. I actually often have to convince people that it’s not a nickname because they don’t believe me!

And Harper wasn’t Harper Lee’s given name, her name was Nelle and that’s what everyone called her. She only used Harper to publish her book because it was a more masculine name and therefore easier to get published. Nelle is a lovely name and if I wanted to name my daughter after Harper Lee I’d name her Nelle. Not Harper.

jordan on

I like unueual names but these sound like boys name to me. Just like Stephanie McMahon named her little girl Murphy. I think a lot of celebs try to be diffrent. I feel sorry for the kids, Just look at Moon Unit Zappa.

Stacey Orlowski on

I guess the problem I have is not with unisex names it is with girls having boy names. What are we going to start naming our boys if we keep making traditional boy names into common girl names.

Lauren on

Sasha, did you really get teased for having a “boy name” when you were young? That name screams “girl” to me, which is why I’ve never liked it for Alexander, Naomi Watts’ son-way too girly for a boy imo.

As far as unisex names go, I don’t have a problem with them. I adore very feminine names for girls (Isabella, Eva, Sophia, and Isla are four of my favorites), but while I wouldn’t personally name my girls Finley and Harper, I don’t see anything wrong with them, especially if they are paired with feminine middle names the way most celebs have done (Finley Faith, Harper Andrea, Harper Rosie, etc).

What I do have a problem with are people giving unmistakably masculine/feminine names to children of the opposite sex, ie Soleil Moon Frye naming her daughter Jagger Joseph Blue. Regardless of the intention behind that name choice, there is absolutely nothing feminine about it, and to me that is disrespectful and inconsiderate of the child’s gender, particularly since this trend is much more popular with regard to parents giving masculine names to girls as opposed to the other way around.

yogadaisy on

It is a bit frustrating when you named your son a masculine name, checked the last 100 years or so of Social Security name records to confirm this and when he is 5 or so moms of girls start using it for their daughters and it suddenly becomes a girl name.

A friend of mine named her son Avery (he’s 9 now) and in the last 7 years or so Avery “became” a girls name. I feel bad for these boys who will have to deal with this gender confusion for their whole lives.

Makes me want to name my next son James, oh wait, that’s a girls name now, too! LOL

Jennifer on

You can also count me in the minority who isn’t a fan of unisex names but specifically doesn’t like traditionally “boy” names on girls. There are way too many beautiful girl names out there anyway. I do agree that it’s getting more and more confusing when you just see a child’s name in print to know if they are a girl or a boy.

amandamay on

yogadaisy – i completely agree!!

please, moms of girls o be – PLEASE leave the boys some names! there are so many more great girl names already. the mothers of boys have fewer options to begin with and then you steal all the boy names we have left!🙂 and, really, let’s be honest. unisex names don’t really exist. once a name starts becoming “unisex” it’s really code for “no longer a boy name” lol i am sooooo sad that my very boyish finlay is losing his name to girls. bleh. 🙂

Rachel-Jane on

I have always liked Eden. But for a boy. It is a unisex name, but I’ve only heard of it on girls. I don’t think it’s girly enough for a boy to be teased about it, and I’d pair it with a more masculine sounding middle name.

As for surnames/’unisex’ names on girls, I don’t mind them but I think it’s a passing fad, and not one I’ll really buy into. That said, I love the name Blake for a boy or a girl.

Stephany on

Personally, I love the names. I’m actually growing to love the name Harper! I do like the trend of giving former “boy” names to girls. For example, I love the name Bailey for a girl. I’ve only known it as a boy’s name but I’d love to give that name to one of my daughters in the future.🙂

I love the name, and I usually don’t like celebrity name choices. These are very cute but strong names.

Sooz on

I love Finley and Harper as names, but being in the UK, Finley (or Finlay as it’s more commonly spelt) is most definitely a boy’s name, and Harper’s not so common. I have nothing against unisex names, I love love love Avery but it’s not on my definite names to call a child, my little boy’s called Seth and if we have girls we like Lily and Norah, although that may all change when the time comes for more babies…. But yeah, I like unisex names on certain occasions, they’re just not my style- I’m into traditional names personally, although being that I was 22 when my baby was born, I got a lot of funny looks when we announced Seth’s name, as it’s considered very old-fashioned here!

erinbeth on

amandamay, i completely agree with you. our eldest SON, age 9, is named Finley MacGregor, because of the strong historical/masculine meanings behind the names, and i just can’t stand the way the name Finley has become a trendy little girls’ name. my husband and i both have unisex names, and tried to find strong scotch/irish names for our sons and daughter that were definitively masculine and feminine.

Amy on

I’m all for using unisex names that ARE actually unisex. To me, giving a girl a name that is traditionally a boy’s name just says that the parents wanted to be different and give their child a unique name, and immediately went to “let’s give her a name that’s more common for a boy, that’s unique!”

I would seriously feel bad for a little boy who goes into a class with a girl who has the same name he does.

Harper I’ve always seen as a girl’s name, Finley screams boy to me. They’re not my kids, but frankly, I don’t think it’s cute when I see a little girl with a boy’s name.

Dee on

Why do people feel sorry for little boys if they have the same names as girls? Does it automatically make the boys weaker in the eyes of his peers? “Oh my god, my son shares the same name as that little girl!” Personally, it screams insecurity to me.

Chicki on

I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve always wanted to name my daughter after my dad, George, but probably using it as a middle name; like Savannah George or Lucinda George…or would that be too cruel?🙂

Maddy on

OMG!!!! If I had twin daughters I was going to name them Harper & Finley!!!! Not even kidding! I about fell out of my chair when I saw this. For years I’ve loved Harper & Finley for girls! I even debated having “Harper Finley” as a name or “Finley Harper”…

I can’t even believe this!!! I’m actually kind of happy though because my boyfriend hates both :(…I’m glad their being put to good use —- WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harper & Finley!!!! <3 <3 <3

Harper's Mom on

Why judge? If a name doesn’t suit you or your baby, don’t use it. To everyone who “disapproves”… I am so very sorry I offended you by naming my very sweet daughter, Harper. Oh yeah, I also promise not to judge your name or your childs.

erinbeth on

IMO, dee, no it doesn’t scream insecurity, it screams, i’m annoyed that i took the time to name my son something strong, masculine, and befitting his character, and moms who just think it would be cute to have a daughter with the same name as angie harmon’s kid jump on the bandwagon and fill up the gymboree classes with little girls with my kid’s name. not implying that i’ve by any means copyrighted the name, however, i never wanted my children’s names to be run of the mill, common names. annoyed, not insecure.

Blythe on

We named our 2.5- year-old daughter Harper. No one has ever confused that for a boy’s name, and she get lots of compliments on it. I never considered it as a boy’s name. Most people have at least heard of Harper Lee. I thought it sounded cute and spunky for a little girl, yet dignified for an older woman.

I keep running into people with Avas and Graces who say “Oh, my next daughter will be Harper,” so now I’m afraid I stumbled onto a trend, which is what we were trying to avoid. According to the Social Security administration data, it was in the 800s for popularity for a girl back in 2006, wonder what it is now?

I would guess that a Finley was a boy, but it doesn’t really bother me one way or another. I have met girls named Archer and Hunter and Keith, so nothing really surprises me. I prefer unisex names to kre8tif spelling names any day.

Carol on

I have 2 boys. 1 of them has a unisex name, although “Ryan” wasn’t a unisex name back when he was born almost 15 years ago.

Betsy on

My daughter’s name is Merrick, and I do like girls’ names that could be for boys…it seems to give girls a little edge – just a touch of ‘don’t mess with me’. I like strong women and I am one, so maybe that’s why it’s appealing. We did think long and hard before bestowing the name…we knew she’d have to spell and explain it her whole life, but it fits her and she likes it. If we had had another girl we were considering Brett.

Amy on

LOL, Carol. I’m sorry but Ryan is not a unisex name. It’s a boy’s name that started being given to a girl. Like I said before, I don’t mind unisex names at all, as long as they are REALLY unisex.

dee on

So,are saying erinbeth, that you are annoyed that girls have your sons name, or annoyed that it is not as unique as you thought it would be? Both? If those girls in gymboree were boys would it be less annoying? If so, it seems to be a little insecurity in there to me.

Sasha, USA on

Lauren, I did get teased about my name, but the fact that I was a total tomboy probably added fuel to the fire, plus it was a “different” name back then🙂 It’s the Russian nickname for “Alexander”. I went through a short phase of calling myself “Alexandra” in fact.

Jaime on

I don’t mind unisex names and I gave one to my daughter, Cameron. I paired it with a feminine middle name, Elizabeth, but part of what I did like was that it was a little edgy. I don’t like the creative spellings though. My name is unisex and while I don’t mind my name a bit, it is exhausting to explain the spelling to people. What can I say, my parents watched too much Bionic Woman.

erinbeth on

the word “insecurity” is irrevalent to the argument. since when is it a crime to desire your son’s name to be masculine and your daughter’s to be feminine? if the name becomes increasingly poplular for boys, that’s an entirely different issue. the topic at hand was unisex names.

Pencils on

I like truly unisex names, such as Jordan, but I don’t like giving traditionally boys’ names to girls very much. It’s my own thing. I just had a baby two weeks ago, and we named her Aurora, which is a very feminine name. But I’m going to call her “Rory” for short, which is a boy’s name. We’re still going to use Aurora a lot, we love the name and my husband isn’t convinced about the name Rory.😉

Lilybett on

I think there seems to be some conflation with sex and gender here. One is a biologically determined category and the other is socially constructed. If you don’t believe me, think of how recently the concept of the metrosexual or the SNAG evolved!

Because we make up feminine and masculine roles or have them handed down to us, I don’t see it as a problem that we buck the trend and give supposedly masculine names to females… the more people do it, the more our ideas on gender change.

The thing to remember is that children aren’t naturally cruel about boys having feminine names or vice versa – they learn all of that from their parents, siblings or friends.

J on

Lisa has a daughter named Riley which is also a unisex name. Well, actually her name is Danielle Riley but she goes by her second name. Maybe Lisa figured that when her daughters grow up they’d maybe prefer a uni-sex name. It also said Finley was a Scottish royal name, well Elvis had Scottish in him and Lisa and her family often spend time in Scotland.

Gelareh on

I’m absolutely against unisex names. Why name your child something so people would mistake them for the opposite sex? I never get it.
Like Harper, for a girl? Seriously? It’s not even that cute for a boy!

angel on

erinbeth, it is interesting to me that you see yourself as having put a lot of thought and effort into choosing your son’s name but assume that moms of female Finleys “just think it would be cute to have a daughter with the same name as angie harmon’s kid jump on the bandwagon.” Perhaps those moms took as much time, thought and effort in naming their daughters as you did in naming your son. I would wonder how many of them would even know who Angie Harmon is.

LolaBean on

My problem is with people like Betsy who think a woman’s strength comes from her name or appearance. Women can be very girly and still tough as nails. You’re just creating a different stereotype about females. Logan is tougher than Christy because she has a boy name. Trading one stereotype about girls for another isn’t progress.

Also it’s all about girls getting boy names. Would everyone who likes unisex or gender-bending names be thrilled with a boy named Dixie or Mary or Serena or Betsy? Would you be impressed by his parents’ coolness?

I personally don’t care what people name their kids, but so many people on here seem to think that the name makes the kid. Your daughters won’t be tough because they have boy names and your daughters won’t be sissies because they have girl names.

Kenny on

Well, I knew a long time ago that if I had a daughter, her name was going to be Rien.
I have no problem with boys names being girls names or vice versa.
My little sister’s name is Grayson, as well as my older sisters name is Myka. Both male names, but yet it suits them. My neices name is Meryk, which is a more male name, but like I said, it suits her.
I think as long as the name suits your child, it works.

JM on

Chickie…not cruel as a middle name but why not consider Georgina or Georgia for a first name??

And I know someone that named their little girl Spencer and I absolutely love it. I’ve also met both boy and girls named Devon and Blake. I kind of like that for both boys and girls.

Thi-Anh on

I love unisex names. I think it’s fun to think of names before you find out the sex of your child. My daughter’s name is Kannyn, but if we would have had a boy, we would have named him Kannon.

Rachel-Jane on

Ryan didn’t even used to be a first name! That started with Ryan O’Neal and his popularity. My poor brother is always being called Ryan mistakenly by teachers etc. because it’s his surname. I even got it at school too when they didn’t read the register properly.

MB on

I think it depends on the name. Addison I view as being a female name. Finlay I tend to view as a boy’s name. Some, like Taylor, I could see either way and would use for either a girl or a boy. However, my husband is adamant on not using a unisex name. He says if he has ever heard of a boy having the name, we can’t use it for a daughter.

Denise on

I’m not overly keen on unisex names (and did not think of ever using Finley for a girl…I think it’s a beautiful boy’s name)…however Harper is quite cool, however American it is.

I like normal names…

Shawn on

I have a unisex name and I have to say I was never fond of it. When my parents named me they thought Shawn was a girl’s name and paired it with Michelle as my middle name. As I get older the less I dislike my name. I have two boys and I had originally picked out Jordan Nicole for a girl with my oldest but changed it to Jordan Joel since he was a boy. My youngest is Dakota Blake and I know Dakota is used for both a boy and girl. We call him Kota or Ko for short and to me that sounds like a boys name. I don’t mind unisex names. I say if you like it go with it!

Chicki on

Kenny, Rien is French for “nothing” or “zero” so I would personally reconsider that as a name choice!🙂 I do like the other names in your family though – especially Grayson for a girl!

Nicki on

My daughter’s name is Carsyn…I debated the spelling with the “y”, but felt I needed to so that when people look at it they think “girl”. I’ve just always loved that name for a girl…I had to!

Susan Ketchale on

We have 3 daughters (and a son) Shaye, Avery and Emma are our girls (Drew is the boy) I love unisex names but also love classic names (Emma’s middle name is Riley)…We were recently pregnant and were looking at the name Finley for a girl or Ryan …we then lost the baby so who knows who they would have been…..I have always thought name whatever you feel you want who cares what everyone else thinks…everyone will have an opinion one way or the other…so make yourself happy !!

Candice on

Y does not make names feminine or unisex. Emersyn still means “SON of Emery” and Addisyn still means “SON of Adam”. A lot of baby name books have changed the meaning of those names to “CHILD of Adam” or “CHILD of Emery” to pacify those who want to bestow a masculine name on their little girl and not be confronted with the fact that it is a boy’s name through and through.

And Kannyn still means “a large artillery gun on wheels”.

lilly on

i love love the name finley, i think it sounds more like a girl name, maybe cause i didnt know anyone with that name, and when i first heard i thought of a girl, not big on the name harper for a boy or a girl, but as long as there happy, its all good

M on

It’s been interesting watching the trends as a teacher. I very much agree that girls are getting boys’ names. Ten years ago, I had an Addison – a boy – and now I’m sure in ten years I’ll have twelve girls with the name. It’s not fair or unfair, but you might consider it a girl’s name because you’ve only heard it used for girls.

There was a time when all Taylors, Ryans, Jordans, Rileys, Baileys, and such were boys. I have several students who appear to hate being the boy X in a class of two girl Xs.

I don’t think it’s about insecurity, more the age of trying to fit in. You, the parent, can think it’s cute, but that child who asks to be called by his middle name… Just something to consider as you pepper the world with more surnamed girls.

poppy on

These types of names are very popular for girls. To me they sound very slick and cool and modern.

HOWEVER, I don’t like them. They are unfeminine to me, and I don’t think they will age well.

Rebecca on

I don’t like male names on girls. That’s what they are.. They’re male. They’re not unisex. If people truly want uncommon names for girls they would go with a name like Felicity or Jane. Names that are truly uncommon. When people give a girl a boy’s name it makes the name even more popular. It’s actually twice as popular because it’s used for girls and boys

Amellia on

One of my son’s has a pure boys name (at least I hope it is one) Joshua. While when I named my oldest son Corey I only heard it as a boys name but at a laundry mat imagine my surprise to hear a girl being called Kori. Now even years later I have met more Boy Corey’s than girl Kori’s it still is considered a unisex name.

Lilly on

The thing to remember is that children aren’t naturally cruel about boys having feminine names or vice versa – they learn all of that from their parents, siblings or friends.

Well said Lilybett.

So many people are so personally offended by what other people do or how others raise or name their children. Hmmm.

A little bit of tolerance goes a long way.

Shane on

As being a girl, who has a “male” name, I can say there are some pros & cons to it.

I hated it growing up, but as I got older it’s grown on me.

sage on

I have to say I was very bothered by some comments. As a mother of a daughter whose name happens to be Finley.

My daughter is five, I didn’t name her Finley Lauren because of some “trend or thought it was “cute”.I named her Finley because I Loved the name. I searched equally as hard to find the perfect name for her as the mothers with the little boys whose names are Finley. I don’t see the problem with it to me it means we have great taste. So I don’t see where this resentment is coming from. I didn’t take away anything from your boys, I surely didn’t take away his masculinity or my daughters feminity. I think we make a big deal about girls name ryan, boys name casey because kids may tease them. But if you think about it whose teaching those kids that .

brooke on

Congrats to lisa and her family, but although both her names are unisex names they remind me more of boy names than girl names. There’s so many pretty girl names out there, I agree let the boys have these type names.

Demi on

i dont mind unisex names. Its only a name afterall! My brothers name is Logan and my best friends sisters name is logan. so obviously my mum didnt mind unisex names much. I like the name indie for a girl and bayley for a boy and i know that both of those names can be used for either boy or girl so i guess anyname can realy be a unisex name.These days people are naming their kids such crazy and out there names that i dont think unisex names should realy matter.

eva on

Well,just to send a girl-name-turned-into-a-boy-name story, I was VERY sad when Gwen Stefani named her oldest son Kingston, because that’s my daughter’s name!her daddy was Jamaican and nine years ago it was such an unusual name no one asociated it with a gender.My Kingston was the right gender until little Kingston Rossdale was born and now everyone assumes my girl is a boy or has a boyish name.Now she wants to change her name!
So it can happen the other way around too =)

ellie on

i dont mind it…but only if its fair.

i have a cousen Harper who is a boy and it fits him perfectly

My friend also has an 2yo daughter names Jaymes pronouced james

AJay on

Ive grown up with a male name but spelt differenly, it gets annyoing sometimes, to people you dont know, but becase of the spelling it is usally ok

i love my name…


Catherine on

I to two friends bth with yound children by the name River…one is a boy and the other a girl…

and they both really suit the name…

Suz on

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the names that Lisa and Michael chose for their girls. They are strong and individual names! Good for them and I wish them all the very best :^)

DLR on

Oh those are nice names for the baby girls! I do like unigender names, where one doesn’t know whether the kid is a boy or a girl. That is really useful in case the kid enters a “genderized” profession such as a mostly-male field like engineering or something where they’d be in a position of power like a CEO. I know I am being sexist here, but I think I would be more apt to assume Harper Lockwood was more capable of doing the job than Tiffany Lockwood.

emma on

I first heard Finley as a girl’s name and I think it sounds odd on a boy now!! There used to be a character in the Australian soap opera Home & Away called Finley – a teenage girl, back when I was a teenager myself (I’m 33 now) – and I loved it, for ages I was going to call my daughter Finley if I had one. Never happened, as I had 2 boys🙂

Amy on

To the person who mentioned Harper Lee’s name as being Nelle- yes, her first name was Nelle but her middle name was Harper. Perhaps you knew this but I wanted to clarify. And fwiw- while Nelle is a nice name, it’s not my style so we chose to go with Harper anyway.

Cristy on

I once heard a mother call her SON ‘Nature’, come on if Nature was even a name at all surely its only a girls name; sometimes people have to step back and remember they will have this name for life. I named my daughter “Drew”, we are big Drew Barrymore fans and we love the name, about half the time people think its a boy but there are so many unisex names its hard to keep up; i am sure Sarah will soon be a boys name too, parents can be so curel.
I have also heard Harper for a boy, that poor kid will have issues growing up, femanine names should be kept for the girls and real masculine names kept for boys. to the girl who wanted to named her daughter “Travis” wake up, that would be considered child abuse, you better have a good middle name cause they will be sure to go by that instead when they can think for them self!

ashley on

I have three little girls. Each has a masculine name. Micah, Sloane, and Emerson. I have a friend that just named her son Ashley. I think you can name your kids whatever you like if you love the name. There is a lot more to their well being than just a name.

Trish on

I love both the names! After seeing the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when I was 16 yrs old, I always knew I would name a child (boy or girl) Cameron. I had a daughter and changed the spelling a little bit to Camryn. I also like the name Morgan.

Sherry on

I’m all for unisex names. I personally favor the names Avery, Harley, and Micah for my girls. I feel like in the corporate world, they won’t be unfairly judged with preconceived notions (e.g. “oh she’s named Laura, she must be some girly girl.”)

Michelle on

My great nephews, fraternal twins, are named, you guessed it, Harper and Finnley, I love their names and think they are just as unique and appropriate for girls. Of course my nephews had them first!


I have a neice named EZRA. I thought it was weird at first but now that she’s 5 that’s just her name!!

Michelle on

I honestly can’t understand why people get so worked up over what other people name their children. Whether or not someone uses a “girl’s” name for a boy, or a “boy’s” name for a girl shouldn’t be cause for such controversy. If you don’t like a name, don’t use it. If someone else does, then they must have liked it, so get over it.

Tracy Slaughter on

I cant stand unisex names and I have one! We have two sexes here. My son has very MALE name. IF I had a daughter, it would be the same

CEGriggs on

My first name is Connie taken from my Dad’s middle name of Conly. When I was in elementary school there was a high school boy named Connie. I also went to school with several girls with variations on the spelling. I consider my name unisex and for a few years I didn’t like it. Now I’m proud of it! I named the daughter I miscarried Faith Lea (Lea from my older brother’s Lee). If I could have had more there names would have been Cyra Jade, Caitlyn Pearl and Cody Alexander. Cody being a unisex name too. How your children accept or don’t accept their names as fem or male depends on how YOU raise them to think of the names. My older brother’s first name is Tommy and there are several female Tommies in the world. This just shows that having unisex names is nothing new, people have been doing it for ages. My younger brother is Justin and there are Justines. As far as spelling… people change the spelling to differentiate the name from all the other common spellings of the name. Tomi, Tomy, Cameron, Camryn, Connie, Konnie, Coni, Koni, Conny and, yes, Konny. Dad nicknamed me Missy when I was a baby, when I got older and saw how many Missys there were I changed it to Missi. It’s all in preference look at Geoffrey, Jeffery, Jeffrey, Cathy, Kathy, Catherine,Cathryn,Kathrine,Kathryn!All old common names which have long been given a twist in the spelling. Personally, I just HOPE no one names their boy SUE! LOL.

Chris on

I have 2 sons…Sean and James who we call Jamie. We always said that if we had another boy he would be Shannon. I look back at the times when Ashley, Lindsay and Shannon were masculine names. I am on board with gender bending names, obviously. My parents have always called me Chris. I do not, however, like “made-up” names.





Roberta on

I have Three Daughters,
Brooke, Morgan and Cameron,
I love the names Finley and Harper,

jmfmomma on

Picking a name for your child is one of the hardest things to do!
We have a 6 month old daughter who happens to be named Finley. We picked it because we like names that are unique that not every other kid in her class will have. It is in baby books listed as a girls name. We get compliments on it left and right. I was always mixed about unisex names, but I have a hard time seeing Finley as a boys name. Fin or Phineas maybe, but Finley sounded feminine to us. We picked it because of it’s meaning as well which is “fair hero”. She was a preemie and has been through alot so it suits her perfectly.

So much for it being different now🙂 There will probably be a ton of them in the next year. Thanks Lisa Marie!

Sarah on

There are ways to make a name more feminine if it originates from a masculine name. My middle name is Michelle and it’s the feminine version of my father’s name, Michael. I plan to name my children unisex names simply because I like the names. Avery Mitchell, Parker Rae, Rory Monroe, Holden Lee and Genevieve Marie. Now you tell me which ones you think would be the boys and which ones you think would be the girls.

mm on

In the American South, there used to be a tradition of giving a daughter her mother’s maiden name as her first name. I used to know a girl named Collins, and I’ve heard of another woman named Thompson. That tradition would have been odd for me, as my mother is Japanese. However, I’ve often thought of replacing my middle name with her maiden name, because it is a part of who I am.

Laura on

I love the unisex names.
We named our daughter Kennedy, which I absolutely love!! after her Grandpa Ken-he is so proud. We have definitely gotten some strange looks from some people but oh well, I would rather have something unique than to be another “emily, etc” in the classroom. People know who Kennedy is, even without her last name.

Linda on

Whatever makes the mom happy.
Finley is a cute name — Harper may take some getting used to.
I have two daughters and named
them Lesley and Robyn — they are called Les and Rob for short.

Lisa may set a new trend in girls names.

amandamay on

jmfmomma – you’ve proved my point. in a mere 2 or 3 years, the name finley/finlay (which for HUNDREDS of years has been a strong, male name in the UK) has been turned into a trendy girl name – even the new baby books are eradicating the true history of the name to make it more “female acceptable” . the true meaning of finley/finlay is not fair “hero” , it’s “fair haired warrior”. most likely it’s been changed to “hero” to make it seem more girl friendly.

yes, it’s up to each parent to decide a child’s name, and it’s really the business of no one else. BUT i’m annoyed that hundreds of years of history and cultural heritage are being changed so completely. the truth is, you won’t be alone in 5 or so years when you say it “sounds like” a girl name. 5 years from now it will most likely be a female only name.

and for the people who want to “honor” their irish ancestry (which seems to be popular with americans) first of all, finley/finlay is scottish, and secondly, if you truly want to honor your “homeland”, then respect their history and heritage and be respectful by using a name for the correct sex. in the uk no one would call a girl finley/finlay.

Alanna on

I want to name my daughter Piper Evan.

Evan after my mentally challenged older brother, and my little sister’s name is Peyton.

I think unisex names are perfectly acceptable, to a degree. Like naming your little girl Mark (means: Male) or your little boy Nina (means: Girl) would just be too over the edge.

amandamay on

oh, and one more thing….

the U.S. is one of the few places in the world where baby naming seems more about the “cool factor” and trying to be unique – for most of the world, naming a child has deep significance, both familial and cultural. names are not given lightly and tradition is very important. many countries even have naming “guidelines” (sounds more severe than it is). india and france are prime examples. i get that americans like to be non-traditional (it’s the whole root of the country! and it’s one of the things i love about the U.S.) but it can be seen as disrespectful to some.

Amanda on

I’ve heard the names Finley and Harper more times than I care to count for boys and girls. (I see a LOT of birth announcements on my job.) The parents get to choose the names, though, and what matters is that they like it. The child can always change at 18 if they’d like. What gets me is the name Annakin for both genders and the name Kal-El for both genders. I know a little girl named Zion and that struck me as odd. I gave my son the Biblical name of Gabriel.

Kathy H on

I don’t just dislike this trend, I loathe this trend. Parents who name their children with unisex names, trendy/cutesy names, or just plain bizarre names (Gwen Stefani comes to mind??), are doing it for THEMSELVES without any thought or regard to what they’re doing to their child. It is just cruel to this to kids – forget gender confusion and teasing, this is a name your child has to live with for the rest of their LIVES and to saddle a child with a name like Pilot Inspektor or Zuma Nesta Rock – even Suri – is thoughtless and only for these parents’ amusement, or in the case of celebs, a way of one-upping whatever the last ridiculous celeb baby name was. In 20-30 years, we’re going to have an entire generation of kids whose gender cannot be determined by their name, and frankly that is just sad. And yes, I have a son, Matthew – no confusion there!

Makenzie on

Mothers – stop fretting. Even if your daughters or sons don’t like their names now, the first time a cute member of the opposite gender compliments them on their name, you’ll be forgiven. Growing up, I wanted desperately to be “Jennifer” or “Jessica.” I hated Makenzie, mostly because I was the only one and grown-ups kept asking me what my first name was. I was 14 when a cute guy told me my name was cool. From that day on, I loved my name. Now, I’m proud to say that I’m almost 30 and a million little girls are running around with unique spellings of “my” name. It took a lot of years of growing and learning, but now I can only say thank you to my mom for giving me my name. As a parent though, I named my son Nicholas and it drives me CRAZY when someone shortens his name to Nicky! I gave him a boy’s name for a reason and any other children I may have one day will have names befitting their gender!

crystal on

The names are perfect! I love them both…I wonder what the middle names are? I hate when they don’t release the middle name.

emma on

amandamay – I am English, I live in the UK and Finley/Finlay is a girls name to me! I would agree that Harper isn’t even a first name here though – very much a surname.

Sharon on

I love them… I think of myself as a trendsetter of the unisex name, I named my son Jade Michael back in 1980 and ironically he married a girl named Ryan!

Lauren on

My 4 month old son’s name is Finlee and was planning to name our next baby, if it’s a girl, Harper!! So random – I thought those were such unique names!

Cassie on

I like Harper and Finley. I never related them to being male names at all.

When our daughter was born, we debated a lot about her name. We knew that we didn’t want something that you hear a lot of, so we decided on Harlie. We changed it from Carlie because there are so many of those where we live.

JC on

I found Finley and Harper to be relatively normal names considering some names that people come up with now a days.

Rhiannon on

Hi, I just like to post my thoughts here too.First this conversation is hilarious!
But on a more serious note: I think parents have the right to decide whatever they want for their kids names and it most of the time they do it out of love for their children, even if that’s not how the rest of the world sees it. But I think all to often parents don’t think of all the situations their child with an unusual name will have to be in and deal with that name. My name is a case in point. My dad loved it, thought it would help me be a unique woman, one that stands out in a crowd and he was right about all of that. But what he didn’t foresee was all the judgemental ADULTS(the kids on the playground were pretty easy) I would encounter in my young life that thought badly of ME because of the meaning and connections of my name. I can handle it now as a 30 year old but it was terrible as a kid. I went by Beth in school instead! And Makenzie is right- that first boy that thinks you name is awesome saves the name for you!
On another point- unisex names give girls an edge. I assume you mean in the business world? I would disagree. While no one would guess I’m a boy based on my resume’, I have several friends who have “unisex” names and they have the hardest time getting a job because no one can tell who they are by their resume’. One friend is having such a hard time my husband and I finally recommended she attach a picture, which can still come off entirely wrong. Another girl I know, with a unisex name, has resorted to sleeping with all the guys in her office so she’s taken seriously as a woman too!(yes, I know this is an oversimplification of both situations but the points are still valid).

Anyway, I’m sure Lisa loves her daughters and isn’t trying to diss all the moms out there who had these names picked for their sons. But I hope she thought through ALL the places her daughters might be outside of the entertainment world.

Alison on

I think it’s awful that some people are saying giving a uni-sex name takes away from the girls femininity. I think as long as you are picking a name that has your child’s best interests at heart then it shouldn’t matter. I think loving your child and giving them a good life is a bit more important than deciding if their name follows the gender norms. Maybe if we didn’t focus on things like this so much we wouldn’t have so much sexism in the world like we do? Just a thought. And just to add I think Finley and Harper are beautiful names.

Cortney on

With a formally boy but now common girl name,Cortney and a common male but now trendy girl name of Ryan for a middle name I do have to say that I grew up being teased for having a ‘boy name’. But thanks to all the unisex name giving of today, I can now say that I am the original, a whole 25 years ahead of the trends. Thanks mom! Now if only I wouldn’t have to say “There is no U in my name” every time somebody has to write or type it. On a side note my nephew who is 6 name is Carter and now has a ‘girlfriend’ in school named Karter. We also have a boy and girl Peyton/payten in our family and boy and girl Christian/Kristian as well. I think it is the different spellings of some names that throws people off and will annoy the person with that name to no end more than such and such being a male/female name.

ashley on

My daughter is Bailey, and I think both of the names are cute.

Imani on

As someone with an unusual but valid name I find a lot of these comments borderline offensive. Yes, there is a line between giving your child a “unusual” name and a silly one (i.e. Pilot Inspektor or Fifi Trixibelle), but Lisa Marie and her husband didn’t cross it. There is nothing wrong with naming your daughters Finley and Harper or Ryan or Tyler. Names evolve- they just do- it’s a fact. A generation ago Dana was a man’s name, just ask Dana Carvey or Dana Andrews (if he was still alive). My great uncle was named Ashley (in the UK a perfectly normal “masculine” name in the early twentieth century). And what about Robin or Leslie? Those were guys’ names too (Robin Leach and Leslie Nielsen anyone?). Getting hung up on what’s a masculine name and what’s feminine in unnecessary. Granted naming my son Jennifer or Victoria would be pretty silly of me but that’s a long way from Parker or Avery -which are actually surnames anyway and as such gender-neutral. In fact, most of the names being sited here as “masculine” names turned feminine, are actually gender neutral surnames if you notice. We have to lighten up people! My name is african and also gender neutral, the feminine tends to start with an “i” and the masculine with an “a” (as in Amani Toomer of the NY Giants). All over this world names are fluid and dynamic. We should be more concerned about whether or not children are raised with love, compassion and concern by their parents (which I’m sure these girls will be) than whether or not their names are “girly” or “boyish” enough.

Amanda on

I love these names. They’re very unique.

Miss M on

I HATE boy names for girls. I agree with someone else who said its disrespectful to the culture and almost SEXIST.

Besides, wouldn’t you want your daughter to have a beautiful, feminine sounding name?

What’s next, naming boys “Sophia”?

My son’s name is Jackson Avery and whenever I tell people that, they say “isn’t Avery a girls name??”

No! It seriously is so annoying when people say that! Its a MALE name and should stay a male name.

I considered giving my son the first name Avery, but lots of people said it was too feminine. I really love the name so I didn’t toss it out completely, I decided to use it as his middle name and I STILL comments about it even though its just a middle name.

Stop the trend now!!!!! Avery is a beautiful, classic baby BOY name. Stop naming your daughters Avery before “Avery” is known only as a girl name and older male Averies are made fun of!


My name is Lesley. It is a “place” name – meaning it once was a last name. A place where both men and women lived. Leslie is male in the UK and Lesley is female. Since I live in the US, I have to constantly correct people with my spelling.
All those place names – Ainsley, Brinley any “ley” name I love.
The names are beautiful. To each his own.

lis on

Oops…I always considered Avery a “girl” name. Sorry Miss M!

I don’t really think there’s anything we can do but go back to naming our boys Thomas and Gerorge, etc.🙂

lis on

Ha! I take it back! I actually know a little girl named Jorgi (pronounced Georgie) – and they were calling her ‘Jorge’ for short the other day…poor thing!!!

I guess you all are right! Everyone is “stealing” the boys names!

Destiny on

I decided to name a baby girl not as boys were Cheyenne Emersyn. That’s funny.

Kay on

I named my boys Ashley and Kelley which were at the time boys names until every little girl in the USA got the names. I have alot of people telling me I named my boys girls names but I tell them Ashley was one of the characters in “Gone with the Wind and that was in the 1930s. Ashleigh is a girls name and so is Ashlee but Ashley is a boys name to me.

Jennifer on

Chills went straight up my spine when I heard the announcement that one of the twins is named Harper. How cool is it that MY daughter (Age 13) shares the same name as Elvis’s granddaughter. Cool. Cool. Cool. And, as a musician mother, I tell ya’, I will happily accept any tie between my family and that of Elvis’s! Great choice Lisa Marie!

Amber on

Well, I was actually upset when I heard. I have TWIN BOYS named HARPER & FINNLEY!!!! They were born in March 2007. We love those names and thought they were unique and not overly popular. But now that a celebrity used them …forget it. They’ll be on next years top baby names list! I still think they are wonderful…as BOY names!

Erin on

well we are naming our daughter (due this winter) me it is a girl name. I have two sons and I gave them strong male names. I would never name them something girly with the “ly” ending.

I know many Avery’s, Madisons and Riley’s and they are all girls. Same with Addison..girl’s name. My son even goes to school with an Ayden (girl)

Love the name Harper too (makes me think of Harper Lee..a girl!) we considered the name

kelly archbold on

We live in Scotland our son Finlay was born in 2003 & our daughter Riley was born in 2008🙂 xx
I realised that in America lots of girls are called Finley/Finlay or even Finlee but not in the UK as it tends to be a boys name.
Where as in the UK lots of boys are being called Riley. I dont know of any other girls called Riley….
I love the names Lisa Marie has given the twins though🙂

Karen on

I have two girls o e called Robbyn and the other called Fynlea. Both I and my partner only really agreed on unisex names when we were decoiding.

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