What is UNISEX NAME? What does UNISEX NAME mean? UNISEX NAME meaning - UNISEX NAME definition - UNISEX NAME explanation.
A unisex name (also known as an epicene name, a gender-neutral name or an androgynous name) is a given name that can be used by a person regardless of the person's sex. Some countries have laws preventing unisex names, requiring parents to give their children sex-specific names. In other countries unisex names are sometimes avoided for social reasons.
Names may have different gender connotations from country to country or language to language. For example, the Italian male name Andrea (derived from Greek Andreas) is understood as a female name in many languages, such as German, Hungarian, Czech, and Spanish. Sometimes parents may choose to name their child in honor of a person of another sex, which – if done widely – can result in the name becoming unisex. For example, Christians, particularly Catholics, may name their sons Marie or Maria in honor of the Virgin Mary or their daughter José in honor of Saint Joseph or Jean in honor of John the Baptist. This religious tradition is more commonly seen in Latin America and Europe than in North America.
Some masculine and feminine names are homophones, pronounced the same for both sexes but spelled differently. For example, Yves and Eve and (for some speakers) Artemus and Artemis. These names are not strictly unisex names.
Unisex names can be used as a source of humor, such as Julia Sweeney's sexually ambiguous character "Pat" on Saturday Night Live. A running joke on the TV show Scrubs is that almost every woman J.D. sleeps with has a unisex name: Jordan, Alex, Danni, Elliot, Jamie, Kim, etc. Similarly, the sex of the baby Jamie in Malcolm in the Middle was purposely kept ambiguous when first introduced at the end of the show's fourth season leading to speculation that it would remain unknown. However, the character's sex was revealed at the end of the first episode of season five. In Gilmore Girls, Rory is bothered by the discovery that her boyfriend Logan's workmate Bobby, is female. Rory had assumed Bobby was male and it is only upon their first meeting that Rory discovers Bobby is female.
In Japanese dramas and manga, a unisex name may be given to an androgynous or gender-bending character as part of a plot twist to aid in presenting the character as one sex when they are actually another.
In mystery fiction, unisex names have been used to tease readers into trying to solve the mystery of a character's sex. The novels of Sarah Caudwell feature a narrator named Hilary Tamar, a law professor who is never identified as either male or female.