Gender-neutral names an increasingly popular choice for new-borns in Denmark

Giving a child a unisex name gives them more scope in later life, contend parents

You have a 14:00 interview with Robin, or have just met Charlie online, and you might presume they are male, but you won’t know until you meet them.

Surely this is the way it should be: gender-neutral names help to remove prejudice, whether it’s a patient anticipating their visit to the doctor or a recruiter looking at job applications.

A DR report contends that parents in Denmark are increasingly wising up to the notion of giving their child a gender-neutral name in order to give them more scope in case they one day choose to identify as a gender different from the one they were born as.

Just under 6,300 Danish new-borns were given gender-neutral names in 2021 – a 8.6 percent rise on the number in 2019, according to Danmarks Statistik.

Certainly, their efforts are making it a more level playing field out there – either that, or they just think unisex names are really cool.

Few names have a 50-50 balance, though
According to a DR report, there are 1,375 names available to Danish parents that qualify as gender-neutral names, although many internationals are probably clueless about many more options.

Some might genuinely surprise you – like the name Ella, which despite ending in a feminine sounding ‘A’, was a common boys’ name in ancient times in northern Europe. Of the 35 new-borns given the name in 2021, three were male.

Noticeably on the list of the top 15 most popular gender-neutral names compiled by Danmarks Statistik, none are equally balanced.

They are either heavily favoured by boys (Luca, Charlie, Bille, Atlas, Falke – the top five on the list), or by girls (Bjørk, Ella, Sol and Billie – ranking sixth to 12th).

And who knows: they might end up marrying somebody with the same name as them. British novelist Evelyn Waugh and former footballer Kerry Mayo did exactly that!