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Gender-Blender Name
aka: A Boy Named Sue
Her dad was a psychic who pre-ordered her birth certificate. He only got one thing wrong.

"I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named 'Sue.'"
Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"

Most of the time, one can guess somebody's gender by reading his/her first name. Most first names have a well-defined gender, such as Alice or Robert.

...Well, most.

Sometimes the only name you get is an ambiguous abbreviation, such as Sam. Or a gender-neutral name, such as Dominique or Claude in French. Or worse, a name whose "default gender" changes from a country to another (or even over time in the same country!), like "Andrea" which is typically female in the U.S. but typically male in Italy (in Greek it means "manly"). And let's not forget the names that must be written down to determine the gender, such as Tony/Toni, Adrian/Adrienne or Francis/Frances.

Titles and initials can be misleading too, since many are assumed to be male.

... And last, there are names which have no cultural ambiguity, but were chosen for the sole purpose of being the opposite gender. Usually played for laughs, but not always.

A frequent variation occurs when writers who skimped on research of a foreign culture's naming conventions inadvertently give a woman a masculine name or (less commonly) a man a feminine name. Russian characters are particularly vulnerable to this. (Confusingly, "Sonya" and "Tanya" are female names but "Sasha" and "Valya" are gender-neutral and "Nikita" is a male name, even though they all end with the same vowel.)

If a character is fated to become a permanent Wholesome Crossdresser or the victim of a Gender Bender accident they will typically have had names like this, because Fate is just funny like that.

Can sometimes be considered the Embarrassing First Name or the Embarrassing Middle Name.

Tomboyish Name is a Sub-Trope. Moustache de Plume is a similar trope, where a female author goes by a male pen name or uses an ambiguous form of her real name.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Chosen on Purpose 

  • The Butt Monkey main character in Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan name is Sakura which means "Cherry Blossom". But there are rare cases on which it's a guy's name.
  • The journalist Dicky Chapelle (she of the pearl earrings) ... chosen over her original name of Georgette...
  • Bridget from the Guilty Gear Video Games. Chosen because he was raised as a girl, due to a superstition of twin boys being unlucky.
  • Edward from Cowboy Bebop. Part of a ridiculously long name which Ed chose for herself because she thought it sounded cool. It was Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV. Even though her real name is just Francoise Appledelhi.
  • "A Boy Named Sue", from the Johnny Cash song of the same name. Chosen intentionally to get other kids to tease him, to toughen him up. (His father was a jerk.)
    • Culminating in an epic fight when he finally tracked down his dad ("My name is SUE, how do you DO? Now you gonna die!"), which ends with reconciliation between the two (though he does make it a point to say he'd name his own son "any damn thing but Sue! I still hate that name!").
    • A male character in the movie Swingers is named Sue. Apparently his parents were inspired by this song.
    • On Nashville a country musician names his male dog Sue in reference to the Johny Cash song.
    • Subverted on The Partridge Family. A young male visitor introduced himself as what sounded like Sue, but when Reuben responded, "A boy named Sue?" it turned out the visitor's name was actually Sioux, as in the Native American tribe. He was one-quarter.
  • Nancy Drew has a friend named George, although it's always made clear that she's a girl. At least one spinoff series has attributed this to her real name being "Georgia" and her being a tomboy.
  • The Wayside School series has two characters named Nancy and Mac who eventually swap names to fit their corresponding genders. Nancy was named after his aunt, and Mac's mother named her after a dog.
  • On Dexter's Laboratory, Mandark's hippy-dippy parents gave him the name Susan.
  • Elliot from Scrubs, her parents were expecting a boy. John 'JD' Dorian's original name was Joanna, for the same reason. Another character, Veronica, goes by Ronnie. According to Elliot, she was trying to copy her.
    • Also from Scrubs, Jennifer Dylan Cox - Dylan comes from a Welsh sea god. But Jordan named her after JD just to screw with Cox. Jordan herself has an ambiguous name, and there was a running joke that all the women JD slept with for the first few seasons had unisex names (including Jordan's sister, Danni, and Alex).
  • Jayne from Firefly has an ironic name in contrast with his vicious, mercenary nature. However, Jayne is actually a real, though uncommon, male name. Characters on the show have teased him about his name.
    • Whether or not Jayne's father was a Johnny Cash fan remains frustratingly unclear, however.
    • There's also Mal and Zoe's old war buddy, Tracey Smith.
  • Holly on Red Dwarf starts out as a balding middle aged man, and only in series 3 becomes a blonde woman. Curiously in a parallel universe, Holly's female counterpart, whose likeness he later copies, is called 'Hilly'. Strictly speaking, as a computer, 'he' doesn't have a gender, and the name is partly influenced by HAL ('HAB' was used in a prototype radio show). Not that it matters as 'Holly' is a unisex name anyway, it's simply more commonly seen as a woman's name than a man's which is why it doesn't matter that Holly was originally supposed to be a girl. The writers were blown away by Norman Lovett's preformance, and cast him instead.
  • The AI 'Ziggy' in Quantum Leap turned out to have a female voice after yeas of referring to it as "he."
  • Real Life example: Billie Piper, her mother decided that either way she was going to be called Billie before she was born. She was registered on her birth certificate as Lianne but her parents changed their minds back and always called her Billie. And her middle name is Paul.
    • It's debatable whether her first name (at least) is actually a gender bender, as "Billie" was a common girl's nickname at one point. Billie Jean King and Billie Holiday are perhaps the two best-known examples.
  • Alex, from the webcomic Aoi House. is a guy... But it's short for Alexis, which is in the Country-dependent list.
    • Alex from Building 12, on the other hand, is a girl...though everyone in the house pretends otherwise at her request. It's...complicated
  • Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach - the typical translation of his name is "strawberry"! His father tells him it means "the one who protects", but it was probably the mother who chose his name. Just don't try to bring this up in front of him. It's spelled with the kanji for "one" and "guardian", but still sounds like "strawberry".
    • Gin Ichimaru actually shares his name with a famous geisha.
    • Berenice Gabrielli is a guy according to the Viz translation.
  • The two more "masculine"-acting soldiers among the Sailor Senshi of Sailor Moon are named Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter) and Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Uranus); the former is a Huge Schoolgirl who loves martial arts, while the latter is a Butch Lesbian. Both names are traditionally male boys' names; however, since then, the name "Haruka" has become more of a unisex name.
  • Pat from Saturday Night Live was a Running Gag based on this trope. And then someone had the bright idea to make a movie revolving around that one joke.
  • Not really on purpose, but George Parley of Gunnerkrigg Court (above) is a girl. As mentioned above, her father was a psychic who filled out the birth certificate in advance.
    Andrew: They fixed her gender [on the birth certificate], but left her name as George because everyone thought it was hilarious.
  • Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson most likely chose their stage names with the intention of being edgy. Cooper states he got the name (which originally baptized his whole band) from an ouija board. Manson's whole group combined female model names with serial killer last names.
    • Manson's name is only a stage name, his real name being Brian Hugh Warner. Cooper legally changed his name from Vincent Damon Furnier.
      • Cooper once acknowledged this in an interview- he was at the bank for some reason. When asked for his name, he replied with Alice Cooper. The teller responded with something along the lines of "There are four Alice Coopers in our records." Alice's reply to that? "I'm mister Alice Cooper."
  • In Catholic countries, it is somewhat common to name boys "Maria" or some variation thereof as a middle name, or as a composite first name. Prominent examples include the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke and French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen.
    • Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, although it is only his middle name
    • In fact Jean-Marie Le Pen (full) real name is Jean Louis Marie Le Pen, making this a straight example. Jean-Marie is a nickname he started to use on the advice of his (now ex) wife in order to sound more Catholic, a traditional target for what passes for the far right parties in France.
    • Likewise, Joseph sometimes turns up as a girl's middle name or as the second part of a composite first name.
    • Maria José and José María are not uncommon names in Mexican history (sometimes get even a Jesus in the combination!!!) but most cases the first name matches the gender, as the Josés are mostly men and the Marías women.
    • In France, at least until the 18th century, "Anne" also was used as a first name for boys. A prime example would be Anne, Duc de Montmorency (1493-1567), Constable of France and one of the great Catholic military leaders of the Wars of Religion.
    • Other examples of now-female names being given to boys include Marshal Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon (a twofer, as Dominique is an unisex name) and General Jean-Louis Brigitte Espagne.
    • In Scotland, where family surnames are common as middle names (but not first names) girls often end up with middle names that sound pretty masculine. Or just plain unfortunate, such as "Duff".
    • "Mariya" from Maria†Holic seems to be example of this particular instance.
  • Ukyo Kuonji has a few problems related to gender identity throughout her childhood in Ranma 1/2; then again, in that series, it's not exactly unusual. Still, "Ukyo" is reserved for manlier folk.
  • There is also Ryunosuke and Nagisa from Urusei Yatsura. They also both fall under Wholesome Crossdresser and are engaged to each other.
  • Novelist Anne Rice's legal given name is Howard Allen O'Brien, because her parents thought it would be cute to name a girl Howard. Apparently, she didn't agree; on her first day of kindergarten, the teacher asked her name and her parents never pushed the issue thereafter. She answered "Anne". Remarkably quick thinking for a five-year old.
  • In the movie The Producers it's said that Adolf Hitler middle name was Elizabeth, which also turn out to be the middle name of the trasvestite director.
  • And Fay Weldon's parents named her Franklin Birkinshaw (but started calling her Fay almost immediately). One can kind of see the -lin ending might work as a female name, were it not for the connotations.
  • The poet Stevie Smith was female (originally named Florence). It's also been known as a shortening for Stephanie, as in Stevie Nicks.
  • Stacey/Stacy is a common female name and uncommon male name.
    • In Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, Stacey is the main character's brother.
    • Stacy Keach's first name is actually Walter, but he chose to go by his middle name, Stacy, perhaps in honor of his father, Stacy Keach Sr., who was also an actor.
  • The first President of Mexico was Guadalupe Victoria, as in the Guadalupe Virgin, the country's protector Saint. He picked it himself.
  • From the book Chartbreak, Finch (last name) and Christie. The former's a girl, the latter's a guy.
  • Douglas Hofstadter of Gödel, Escher, Bach fame wrote "A coffeehouse conversation about the Turing test", whose characters all have gender-ambiguous names. This is a homage to Turing's original article: there he presented his thought experiment, with the object of distinguishing human from machine, as a variant of an earlier party game with the object of distinguishing woman from man.
  • One Encyclopedia Brown story featured a Gender Bender Name as the key to solving the case (a male doctor named Vivian).
  • Vyvyan from The Young Ones. His mum never did explain why she gave him a girl's name. It is a unisex name.
  • Actor Mandy Patinkin, whose name is a shortened form of Mandel. Usually when you hear "Mandy", it's for a woman, and short for Amanda.
  • United States President Barack Obama's mother was named Stanley Dunham, after her father, but went by her middle name, Ann.
  • If Stanley Allison Rogers and Gordon Meredith Lightfoot are any indication, the Canadian folk scene is paradise for men with feminine middle names. Except that Meredith was an exclusively male name until late in the 20th century — as Meredith Hunter could have told you, if he hadn't been murdered by Hell's Angels at a Rolling Stones concert. Meredith Blake from Agatha Christie's Five Little Piggies is another example. It has been speculated that Meridia from Brave was planned to be Meredith, until the writer found out about this.
    • Gordon Lightfoot passed his middle name along to the next generation. He bestowed it as a first name—upon his daughter.
  • The wife of Irish poet William Butler Yeats was named George.
  • Claire Stanfield from Baccano!. It doesn't help that he's also a murderous psychopath. No wonder he prefers to go by nicknames. This is lampshaded in the Light Novels, where Isaac points out that it's not too uncommon for men to have feminine names, "and who knows what sort of name a *monster* would have."
    • Switching genders, Chane is a woman given a (French) boy's name. Maybe that's why she ended up with Claire.
  • Miyuki Tezuka, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Raia from Kamen Rider Ryuki, is a guy. It only goes unnoticed because everyone only uses "Tezuka" to refer to him, but that's the character's official name.
  • Rapper Tramar Dillard must not have cared that Flo was short for Florence, traditionally a female name, when taking Flo Rida as his stage name. And, yes, that is his home state.
  • Actress Michael Learned of The Waltons. To avoid confusion, she's often billed as "Miss Michael Learned".
  • Adrian Andrews from the second and third games of Ace Attorney, which is important because her name sounds masculine (and her last name literally is). This helps derail Shelly de Killer's argument that Adrian is his client, since he states that he physically met Adrian to make the deal, but refers to her as male because he hasn't actually met her.
    • Robin Newman from Dual Destinies plays with this, having a name that is masculine on one side of the Atlantic and feminine on the other. And is actually female.
  • Kamille Bidan of Zeta Gundam. It might be a country-dependent choice given his French-sounding last name, but Kamille's sensitivity about his name causes all sorts of things to happen in this series. Indeed, there may not even have been a Zeta Gundam if he were named Bob.
  • Subverted in the book Beyond Rejection - a former man whose personality has been transferred to a female body asks to be called "Patricia", aiming at this trope. The therapist points this out and starts calling her "Trish".
    • Also subverted in Robert Heinlein's book I Will Fear No Evil, character Johann Sebastian Bach Smith has his brain transplanted into the body of a young female murder victim named Eunice Branca. Johann then chooses the name Joan Eunice Smith. He states that if "Joan" is pronounced as two syllables, it sounds a lot like 'Johann.'
  • Harold Belserius from Tales of Destiny 2. Remembered as a brilliant male scientist. Or rather a brilliant female scientist who wanted to be remembered as a man just for the lulz.
  • The gynecologist brothers from Dead Ringers are named Elliot and Beverly. It's implied that their parents gave Bev a girl's name to help set their identical twins' childhood experiences apart from one another.
    • "Beverly" was originally a male name that became a mostly female name
  • In the Heechee Saga, the main character is Robinette Broadhead, a man. He usually goes by Robin or Bob. Still, being saddled with a woman's name is one of the things he talks about during his extensive therapy sessions.
  • Sapphire: Not only does Claude sound rather feminine in English, it is a gender-neutral name in his native French. Rather fitting for a French-born Bishounen, eh?
  • Kahn Jr. in King of the Hill. Naturally, she prefers to go by 'Connie'. She explained she was named after her father because he wanted a son.
    • The episode, "Uncool Customer" has the birthday girl name Michael.
  • Sissel of Ghost Trick is quite male even if he's not human, but has a female name. This is because he's named after Yomiel's fiancee.
  • BioShock has the class of Big Daddy known as "Rosie" (after Rosie the Riveter, because he carries a rivet gun). They are still very much male.
    • As is Subject Delta, another Big Daddy and the protagonist of the sequel. He is actually addressed as simply "Delta" on at least one occasion. Not a common proper name, but a female character from Luann has it.
    • One of the Little Sisters' random lines in the original was "That's a lady's name. Not a boy's name!" It's especially funny when she's traveling with a Rosie.
  • The Soldier in Team Fortress 2 is apparently named Jane Doe. Probably due to this, he insists on a note on his door that he should be addressed Mister Jane Doe to avoid gender confusion by the name.
  • Jack AKA "Subject Zero" in Mass Effect 2, named apparently solely to have a Samus Is a Girl moment...for everyone who avoided seeing the several trailers she appears in. Not to mention that all in-game mention prior to first meeting Subject Zero conspicuously neglects any sort of gender identifying pronoun.
    • The same actress who voices Subject Zero also voiced Juhani in Knights of the Old Republic. The name Bioware picked was a Finnish variant of John.
  • Bryan Fuller likes to do this to his female characters. In Wonderfalls the main female character is named Jaye, which is a little ambiguous. Dead Like Me made this habit blatant, with the main female character George(tte) and her sister Reggie (Regina). Ned's love interest in Pushing Daisies is Charlotte... but goes by Chuck.
  • The trope is used in the 16th century madrigal "Of all the birds that I do know", which is ostensibly about a pet sparrow named Philip, but which is always referenced with female pronouns. There is probably some sort of Double Entendre that hasn't survived for 400 years, but the song is still beautiful. Can be found here.
  • Super Hero Mr. Mighty from Everyday Heroes is named Marion. (His two brothers are Michael and Morrison; their parents were big fans of John Wayne.)
    • Mr. Sir's real name Marion Sirvio. "It is a boy's name!"
  • Lucia Raregroove, the ultimate Big Bad of Rave Master. Yes, he has a girl's name. Since he's the embodiment of darkness, his name also means light. His stepbrother's name isn't much better.
  • African-American heart surgeon Vivien Thomas, whose parents thought they were having a girl and really liked the name. Also has a nephew named Koco.
  • Tohru from Fruits Basket explains that her father gave her a typically masculine name in order to emphasize her femininity, comparing it to adding a little salt to something sweet to enhance the flavor.
    • Akito is another girl who was given an intentionally masculine name, since she had to be passed off as a boy.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name. It didn't stop Hanna's parents naming him that. He doesn't know why they named him Hanna.
    • Discussed in a guest strip, where Toni suggests Kat as a possibility for {...}'s lost name. Her reasoning is that since he was drawn to Hanna, his own name must also be on the feminine end of the gender spectrum.
    • The couple in The Blue Lagoon name their son Hannah because Paddy Button had told them about his cousin's baby by that name. In the 1980 film, they name the baby after Paddy. In the second book, the sailors call him Dick after his father, and his friend Katafa calls him Taori.
  • Although Edith, a male character from Ghost Dad, claims his first name is a boy's name, he also explains he was named after his grandmother.
    Sir Edith Moser: It's pronounced edd-ith!
  • In Kyon Big Damn Hero, the Tsuruya family doctor is called Sakura. Yes, he's male.
  • Bullet-Proof Monk actress James King wanted to defy naming conventions, but apparently switched to Jamie to avoid confusion.
  • Ruby and Pearl from Pokémon Special, and maybe Diamond, though the fact that these are female names is never noted in-story. Platinum might count; while it's not a real name, it doesn't really sound feminine, which caused the creation of the fan name "Platina". All of these came about because the protagonists are named directly after the titles of the video game series the manga's based on.
  • Bobby from the eponymous Bollywood film.
  • A few Vivians (variously spelled) so far, but no mention of Vivian Stanshall (born Victor Anthony), the Bonzo Dog Band frontman, among other things, who embraced the christened name of his father (who hated it and prefered to be called Victor).
  • Merideth in Dreamsnake, whose gender is left entirely up to the reader.
  • Tyler Rodney Clark from the little-known novel Ghostland had her name chosen because her mother was part of the Women's Liberation Movement. However, it barely matches her personality, her only tomboyish trait being her male friends.
  • Sisters Teddy and Charlie in Good Luck Charlie had "masculine" names chosen (allegedly) to attract more boys to the show.
  • Abe from Spice and Wolf. It's not her birth name, but being a female merchant has its difficulties, so it's better for business. She also calls herself "ore".
  • Where to categorize this is a mystery, due to limited character information, but it really ought to be known that somewhere in the Star Wars universe lurks a grizzled genocidal maniac named Danetta, who is, as far as anyone can tell, a man. Did his parents give him a girl's name? Is the suffix -etta somehow a masculine additive, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away? Is he hiding more than one terrible secret? The world will probably never know, because his creators have most likely forgotten that he exists, as it the fate of many Star Wars EU characters.
  • Similar to Dr. Vivien Thomas above, the mother of NFL player Danieal Manning liked the name "Danielle", but had a boy instead. Perhaps she didn't like "Daniel" quite as much.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Rico and Claes are given male names by their handlers, who are somewhat uncomfortable working with brainwashed underaged girl killers, so the names help to disassociate them.
  • Charlie from Khaos Komix is a male-to-female Transsexual. Her name can be gender-neutral, however it's rare as an actual name for a girl (it's typically a nickname).
  • Gary, the owner of the shoe store where Al Bundy works in Married... with Children, is a woman.
    • Mary, the maker of the Bundys' couch, is a man. He insists that his name is a male name and emphasized on the last syllable whereas the usual female version is emphasized on the first syllable.
  • In Duck Dodgers episode "Back to the Academy", Duck Dodgers was evaluated by a drill sergeant named Emily Dickinson Jones. Emily got this name because people's names in the 24th and a half century aren't choosen with basis on their gender and his mother was a fan of classic poetry.
  • Julia gets quite a shock in Date Movie when Grant's "best man" Andy turns out to be an extremely attractive woman.
  • Tiffany (a boy) and Gary the Mermaid Queen (a female) from Adventure Time.
    • Also Jake Jr., a girl. Especially odd since her parents could have used the name for one of her brothers.
  • Community had Troy dating a person name Randi. He very quickly points out "Randi can be a girl's name" to avoid any confusion.
  • In "We Will Rock You", Britney Spears is the very male "...the biggest, baddest, meanest, nastiest, ugliest, most raging, rapping, rock'n'roll, sick, punk, heavy metal psycho bastard that ever got get-down funky." And Meat Loaf is his girlfriend, who is called Ozzy in some versions.
  • Dr. Edward Bunnigus from Schlock Mercenary. Her parents were considered too stupid to breed under eugenics laws so they commissioned a Designer Baby from scratch. When she arrived, they (being idiots) interpreted the "ED" (which stands for "Exotic Dancer", her genetic template) in her medical bracelet as the lab having named the baby for them. They didn't think Ed was "pretty enough" so they called her "Edward".
  • The titular character in The Little Devil is a little devil who possessed an Italian lady named Giuditta. He liked her name, so after his exorcism, he decided to keep it as his own.
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, the main character gets a bizarre-looking plant and names it "Audrey II", after Audrey, the girl he likes. The plant gets loosely referred to as female by the characters, but when it starts to talk, it sounds and acts very male. Since plants sometimes are hermaphrodites and this particular plant is also an alien the gender distinction thing gets weird if you think about it too hard.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War gives us Claude, a male Bishop ; and Eve, Eva and Alva, who are male Same-Sex Triplets. Alva can actually be a male name (see Thomas Edison, whose middle name is Alva), but Eve and Eva are decidedly feminine.
    • A deliberate example is in Fire Emblem Awakening with the Canon Name of the player unit, Robin (Or Reflet in Japanese and Daraen in international versions). This is done on purpose since Robin can be either gender. This is carried over to his/her appearance in Super Smash Bros. since you can also play as either gender there too. It also applies to his/her Kid from the Future, named Morgan since he/she will always be the opposite gender of Robin.
  • Kevin from Up was apparantly so-called because Russell actually thought that "she" was male until Dug corrected him, telling Russell that Kevin is looking for "her" babies.
  • In-Universe, Nezumi in No.6 chose to go by the stage name Eve because he plays female roles.
  • Mary Palorocini of Limozeen.
  • The mother in FoxTrot is almost always referred to as "Andy" (short for Andrea).
  • Beth Metatronim in Burying the Shadow is a man. This is not considered strange or embarrassing in canon.
  • Country Music singer Gus Hardin was a female. (Her real name was Carolyn Ann Blankenship.)
  • A more common example is singer Charly McClain (short for Charlotte).
  • In the NBC Television series "Sisters," the five sisters have female names but are given male nicknames by their father, who always wanted sons. Thus Alexandra, Theodora, Georgiana, Francesca, and Charlotte are called Alex, Teddy, Georgie, Frankie, and Charlie. Alex's daughter is named Reed, which is also typically a male name.
  • Megumi Kitaniji, a major antagonist in The World Ends with You, has a very feminine first name. According to the manga, he was teased as a child because of it.
  • Jessica Simpson named her daughter Maxwell.
  • An episode of The Looney Tunes Show has Bugs and Daffy at a spa, getting massages. Daffy sees that he's scheduled to get a massage from "Joe", while Bugs is going to get one from "Leslie". Daffy swaps the signs, so of course Joe turns out to be a beautiful woman named Josephine, while Leslie is a big, hairy man who twists Daffy into a pretzel.
  • Jeopardy!'s 2008 Teen Tournament had two contestants named Rachel. One of the two went by "Steve" during the entire tournament to avoid confusion.
  • Chukchi will give boys female names and girls male names to confuse evil spirits.
  • Tron 2.0 has Mercury, played by the sultry Rebecca Romijn. Jet has a brief Samus Is a Girl moment upon meeting her.
  • Superhero and supervillain codenames can fall prey to this, especially if it involves a foreign language. One well-known example is the former X-Man Sean Cassidy aka the Banshee (bean sí is Irish Gaelic for "woman-fairy"), another is the Russian superhero Ursa Major (Ursa major is the Latin name of the constellation colloquially known as the "Big Dipper" - it literally means "great she-bear").
  • In Noob Omega Zell (basically a Straw Misogynist) has Morgan as his real life first name. Gaea's real name is Gabrielle, a perfect homophone to its male variation (but possibly less intentional).
  • George in Mokepon is indeed a girl.
  • Etward and Ennarcia in Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy were originally a boy and a girl, respectively, but the sister decided she liked the male name Etward better than the female name Ennarcia and forced her brother to switch names with her.
  • The main character of the Vanessa Michael Munroe series by Taylor Stevens chose her alternate (male) name as part of a disguise she once took up, for which she shaved her head and crossdressed. She's been called Michael by associates and clients ever since.
  • Major League Baseball pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
  • Sebastian Fox of The Platoon Of Power Squadron is female.
  • In Tunnel in the Sky, the inventor of teleportation and savior of humanity was Dr. Jesse Evelyn Ramsbotham. The narration suggests that he may have become a quarterback capable of talking to women if his parents had given him masculine names. Instead his Embarrassing First Name and Embarrassing Middle Name drove him to lonely mathematics and physics.
    • It should be noted that Tunnel was written in 1955, long before Jesse became a popular - and heavily male - name among parents of millenials.
  • Homosexual males in fiction are sometimes given gender-bending names to emphasise their percieved femininity for example Ian Mc Shane's character Meredith in 44 Inch Chest and Beverly Leslie in Will and Grace.
  • In some areas of Sweden (such as Dalecarlia), people still occasionally uses the name of the family farm as part of their personal name, regardless of wether the farm had a "male" or a "female" name. For example, a man living at a farm called Sara (a female name) might be named Sara Erik Persson. This naming convention is becoming increasingly rare, but used to be somewhat common before the industrialization.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is a white haired Bishōnen although Tomoe is a female Japanese name.
  • Karla, the shadowy Russian spymaster, from John le Carré's Karla trilogy and the film adaptation of the first novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In this case Karla is definitely male, but very little more is known of him; he chose his codename from that of the first agent he recruited, sometime during the Spanish Civil War, and it's used because his real name is unknown.
  • Prison Island Break changed Shadows full name to "Ursula Leslie Robotnik. He claims that it means "Oops. We expected a girl."
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, a certain pirate barber's given name is Heart Liver and Kidneys Boiled in the Stomach of the Animal McMutton; Guybrush correctly surmises that his parents were expecting a girl. (Presumably, only "Heart" is his first name.) Understandably, he goes by what all that is a definition of: "Haggis".
  • The villain in Streets of Fire is named Raven. Raven is a dude. Played by Willem Dafoe.
  • Dr. Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, in Gravity.
  • Some theme park rides with pre-recorded video use this so that the ride attendant can be male or female. For instance, at the "Disaster!" ride at Universal Studios Orlando, the real-life person interacting with Frank Kincaid (a pre-filmed Christopher Walken) is named Taylor, which can be a boy or a girl. At the "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith" in Disney's Hollywood Studios park, the assistant in the recording booth who interacts with Aerosmith in the pre-ride video is similarly named "Sam".
  • * In Sure the descendant of The Invisible Man is named Riley and refuses to let anyone know his or her gender, unless they cheat.
  • Jack Monroe, the food writer, journalist, anti-poverty campaigner and author of blog (and book) A Girl Called Jack, who apparently changed her name from Melissa.
  • In Corgi Quest, Kousuke's horse is named Susan. He wants you to respect his life choices.
  • In Restaurant: Impossible, one of the interior designers Chef Robert Irvine trusts the most to renovate a restaurant is the very male Lynn Kegan.
  • In the 1967 Casino Royale, Peter Sellers plays a baccarat expert recruited to play James Bond, with the name Evelyn Tremble. Vesper Lynd asks him straight off if that isn't a woman's name. Of course, there was also the writer Evelyn Waugh.
  • Nemesis is Gender-Blender Name: The Movie. Alex (male), Sam (male), Max (female), Angie (Male) Julian (female), Michele (male) , Billie (male), Germaine (male), Claire (male). What the reason for this is unclear, because the movie is generally a cyberpunk thriller filled with ludicrous explosions.

    Country-Dependent 
  • Adrian is almost always a masculine name in most countries, but occasionally a feminine name in the United States (and can be confused with the feminine form Adrienne).
  • Alexis, Nikita and Sasha are actually masculine names of Greek origin. Alexis is the common French spelling of "Alexios", in Russian it is usually "Aleksej" or "Alexey" depending on how you transliterate it, "Nikita" derives from "Niketas", and Sasha is a common diminutive of "Aleksandr", and a common boy's name in both Russia and Germany (hence Sasha Nein) where it can also be given to females. And to make it nice and confusing for all, we have an American and a Brit: Sasha Cohen, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Two similar names, but one is a female figure skater, and the other is a male comedian.
    • Sasha can be used as a diminutive for Aleksandra in Russian.
  • As for Nikita, you have Khrushchev (Russian Prime Minister) and Koloff (Russian sounding stage name for an American pro wrestler), and Nikita from La Femme Nikita.
  • Nikita is a male's name in Russia (think Khrushchev) and Finland, but female elsewhere. Like France. (La Femme of the same name).
    • This puts a different light on Elton John's mid-80s hit "Nikita" (the video featured a female East German border guard), but Elton John is gay... Could go either way depending on who's singing it.
    • It possible that Nikita of the movie had knowingly adopted a masculine nickname; hence the femme of the title, to clarify that it is about a woman.
    • Nikita is a female name in India, that's South Carolina governor Nikki Haley's full first name.
  • Andrew, derived from the Greek root "andr", meaning "male" has cognates in most European languages. Andrea is often used as a feminine form (see above) that is spelled exactly like the Italian version of the male name. It is usually pronounced slightly differently. The English version with a long "e" (AN-dree-ah), the Italian with the "e" as a long "a" (An-DRAY-ah). Can still cause much confusion.
    • Ah, but the pronunciation wouldn't excuse Spanish, where Andrea is also used a female name and it's pronounced much the same as in Italian, except for the accent. The male version of the name in Spanish is "Andrés" (as in baseball player Galarraga).
    • The cruise liner Andrea Doria was named for a man (16th Century Admiral).
    • Andrea Stavros from The Guns of Navarone is a man.
    • One of the women in a couple of James Bond films is named Andrea Anders.
    • In MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unwed, Betsy throws Sinclair's opera CDs from his car in revenge. Leading to (paraphrased):
      Betsy: Andrea Bocelli? Who the hell is she?
    • Comic book artist Andrea DiVito, Italian, was once frequently mistaken for a woman. Ironically, female artist Nicola Scott is still frequently mistaken for a man.
    • The (female) Survival of the Fittest character Andrea Vanlandingham.
    • The female sprite AndrAIa in ReBoot is given the Italian pronunciation because of the capital letters in the middle of her name.
    • The male lead singer for Lacuna Coil is Andrea Ferro.
    • In the Supernatural episode "Blood Brother", vampire pirate Benny's long lost love is a Greek sailor named Andrea Kormos. She's female.
    • Many other Italian male names may fall into this category, especially if they are the "Hebrew-descent-angel-names-finished-in-el", among them Daniele (Daniel), Michele (Michael) and Gabriele (Gabriel). What sets them apart from English is that, when such names are used for girls, they are usually spelt with LL's (and thus, treated as feminine versions of the respective names), but some languages (Brazilian Portuguese prominently) admit the use of a single L.
  • Likewise, the name Simon has identical or unambiguous cognates in most other European languages...except Italian. The masculine Italian version is Simone (even though it's pronounced "see-MAW-neh", unlike the feminine English and French Simone, which sounds like "sea-MOAN"). The Italian female version is Simona, if you were wondering. The reverse happens in Spanish: the masculine version, Simón, is spelled exactly like in English save for the accent, but is pronounced more like the female version.
  • Angel is gender-neutral in English, but specifically male in, at least, Spain. Oh Dear.
  • The same goes for the Italian and American versions of the name Luca - some were confused about Suzanne Vega singing "My name is Luka (I live on the second floor...)".
    • The song, though sung by a woman, is written to be from the perspective of a little boy named Luka.
    • But what floor did Teen Genius Lucca from Chrono Trigger live on?
      • She was presumably named after the city.
  • Anne, although a female name in most languages, is traditionally a male name in Frisian. Pronounched something like Oh-one-eh, but more fluent.
    • Anna is commonly female as well. But then there's this activist guy from India: Anna Hazare.
      • Well, actually, his name is Kishan Hazare. Anna (pronounced uh-na) is an Affectionate Nickname which means 'big brother' given to him.
  • If a person is unfamiliar with Armenian names, the endings of the names frequently leave the gender to the imagination.
  • Artemis is the name of a Greek goddess.
    • One should have told that to Artemis Fowl. Granted, he is told in one of the books. And takes it all in stride just like a good little criminal with the highest IQ in Europe would. In the end of the book he answers to this insult from the antagonist: "Every now and then a male comes along with such a talent for hunting that he earns the right to use that name. I am that male. Artemis the hunter. I hunted you." Ba-zing! Even better is that the phrase Artemis the Hunter is the signal to his allies to unleash hell.
    • And the Robert Rankin character Hugo Artemis Solon Saturnicus Reginald Arthur Rune.
    • And Artemis Entreri, of R.A. Salvatore fame. Played with, as there's no deity named Artemis in-universe so it's possible this trope doesn't actually apply. Either way, nobody ever comments on it, and considering he's Neutral Evil and among the deadliest swordsmen on the planet, doing so would fall under Too Dumb to Live.
    • In Codename: Sailor V, the manga that led to Sailor Moon, Minako calls Artemis a "transsexual cat", teasing him for having the name of a goddess. He's at the same time upset and impressed with her knowledge of Greek mythology... until she tells him she learned it from a video game.
    • It should be noted that the name Artemis is unisex in Greek. The female version is pronounced with stress on the first syllable and the male version with stress on the second (ART-teh-miss vs art-TEH-miss). But basically it's the same name. There is also an anglicinized male-only version of the name, Artemus. Fairly rare today, but was somewhat popular in the US during the second half of the 19th century. Fictional bearers of the name include Artemus Gordon from The Wild Wild West and the Keeper Elder Artemus from the Thief game series.
  • Blaise, a masculine name in most of Europe, has been used as a feminine name in the United States.
    • Harry Potter used the name "Blaise Zabini" in passing, only telling us that s/he is a Slytherin. "She" became a popular OC Stand In when fans needed a Slytherin girl, only for the sixth book to depict him as male, much to the amusement of those of us who assumed him to be male all along, including Europeans and people from elsewhere who (correctly) assumed that a European writer would follow European naming conventions.
  • The English name Chris/Kris can be short for Christopher, Kristopher, Christian, Christine, Christina, Kristina, or Kristen, though it's more common for males (females tend to prefer Chrissy/Krissy although Chris Evert is a woman.).
  • Demeter, the fertility goddess. The usual form for males on the Balcans is "Dimitri" but you'll find all variations. A well-known fictional example is Demeter Borus. An even more well-known fictional example is the ship who brought Dracula to Britain, but it's unclear if the name is intended male or female.
  • Deri. A Welsh male name meaning 'oaks', can now be found as a female name.
    • Same goes for Ceri. Male in Wales, Female elsewhere.
  • In Spanish-speaking countries, Jaime is a male name pronounced "Hi May", however in America, Jaime is typically a female spelling of Jamie. Other than that, the trope is largely averted in this language, due to it distinguishing names and words by gender.
  • Jan is a Germanic male name — or an American female one. Both are pronounced differently like the male version is pronounced (yan), but on paper it can leave you uncertain. (Both Jans are originally Hebrew, forms of "John" and "Joan", respectively).
    • Although back in the 1960s there was the singing duet of Jan And Dean, who sang "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Dead Man's Curve".
    • Don't forget the (male) American actor Jan Michael Vincent, the comedian Jan Murray, and Czech keyboard wizard Jan Hammer, who popularised (if not invented) acid jazz.
  • The Teutonic male name Djalma, in Brazil, went into this case.
  • There was male African-American World War 2 hero Doris Miller.
  • Flo is short for the male name Florian in Germany, but for Florence in anglophone countries.
  • The men's name Jean is apparently commonly assumed by American mailers and telemarketers to be female (presumedly the Scottish "din" pronunciation), even when appended as in French naming conventions to more plainly masculine names such as Joseph or Pierre. It's actually a French equivalent to John.
    • A rare German variant of "John" is "Joan", pronounced "YO-unn".
    • "Joan" is also the Catalan equivalent of "John", as in artist Joan Miró, pronounced "hwan".
  • Kari is another name that is male in Finland, and female in some other parts of the world.
    • Thus, when the American version of the first Digimon movie was brought to Finland, they tried to fix it by calling Kari 'Kaari'. Doesn't really help, because that word means 'arch' in Finnish.
      • It is, however, better than Kari. At least Kaari, though rare, is used as a female name in Finland. Case in point: Kaari Utrio, a writer.
      • Keeping in mind Kari's name was originally 'Hikari' (Hee-kah-ree for all you English speakers), which means "Light" in Japanese, and helps explain a bit of why she was the Digidestined of Light as that's what her name meant.
      • Kari's name was actually Hikari in the first season, but changed to Kaari in second season and the movies - figures, because in Finnish, "hikari" is short for "hikipinko", Finnish for (school) nerd.
      • Finnish language makes a clear distinction with short 'a' and long 'aa'. In Finnish, there is no danger of confusion.
  • The main character of John Masefield's children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights is called Kay. He's a boy. So (unsurprisingly) is King Arthur's foster-brother, Sir Kay. In the early twentieth century, Kay came to be an alternative shortening of Katherine.
  • Kim, which at least in English tends to be feminine, while in Nordic countries it is masculine. Also Kimi (as in Räikkönen).
    • However, we can point out at least two male English Kims: author Kim Newman and the title character of Rudyard Kipling's Kim. (There's also the spy Kim Philby, but in his case "Kim" was just a nickname, after the Kipling character, and his actual given name was Harold.)
      • Kim (short for Kimball and other names) was in fact a not uncommon MALE name in English into early 20th century, along with various other names (Vivian, Meredith, Ashley, etc.) that have skipped the gender line in the past century. (See "Cultural Transformation" below)
    • It is also masculine in the former Soviet Union, being one of the numerous "revolutionary" names that were invented after the Red October. It stands for "Kommunistichesky Internatsional Molodyozhy" ("the Communist International of the Youth", the youth branch of the Comintern). Such names lost popularity by late 1920s.
    • The fact that Kim is the single most common Korean family name just adds another layer of confusion.
    • There's also the male Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, who is American, but of Indian descent.
  • Mika is a fairly common name among females in Japan, but in Finnish it's distinctly male (as in Mika Häkkinen). It's the Fennicized version of "Michael". Even so, several websites listing names from around the world claim it to be a girl's name in both Japan and Finland. Of course, some know better.
    • Senko no Ronde, despite being a Japanese game, gets it right: the main character, Mika Mikli, is a guy.
    • This sets off the plot of the movie Euro Trip. Scotty thought he was talking to Mike, (as in Michael) his German pen-pal, who had sent a picture of himself with Jan, (as in Janet) Mike's hot cousin. Turns out Mieke is a girl, whose name is pronounced "Mee-kuh", which is short for Michelle. Jan is the dorky cousin "Yan". Scotty's little brother, who had only taken one year of German, had to tell him this. Turns out he's in love with Mieke. This causes some confusion:
    Scott: I'm in love with my pen pal! I'm in love with Mike!
    Cooper: Okay, okay. You know what? I was actually expecting this. And frankly, listen, I'm flattered that you picked me to come out to first. And don't worry about telling your folks, cause, eh, I think they already know.
    Scott: No, you idiot, Mike is a girl!
    Cooper: No, no, no, I get it, yeah. He's the girl, you're the girl. Sometimes you're both the girl. Right, right? That's hot. But, you know, whatever works for you. I'm not gonna judge it.
    • The actual name is Meike, but we'll let it slide for a movie that basically parodied research failure. (If it wasn't intended a parody, keep quiet and leave the Europeans that comfortable illusion.)
    • Mieke is a perfectly cromulent German name.
  • Noah, generally considered to be a masculine name in English, is actually a feminine name in Hebrew. The man people are trying to name their sons after has a name ending in a sound that English doesn't have, so when The Bible was translated, they both got the same name. But they're spelled and pronounced differently in Hebrew (Compare nun-ayin-hey for the girl's name and nun-chet for the boy's name.) So yes, her name is actually fine.
    • "Noa" is also gaining popularity as a feminine name in Japan.
    • Similarly, Shelah is a Biblical name that can go both ways but was most commonly on men. Now it's most common on women.
    • The name Micaiah is used for both women and men in the Bible, though a variant is traditionally used for the female version in translations to reduce confusion.
  • In English, Ringo is usually more a nickname than a normal first name, but mainly given to guys. On the other hand, in Japanese the name Ringo is more usually a female name.
    • In Air Gear we have a girl named Ringo, but this is also an example of Theme Naming, since she and her sisters were all named after fruits ("ringo" means "apple" in Japanese).
    • Similarly, in Puyo Puyo 7 the protagonist is named Ringo. Her best friend and classmate is named Maguro, which means "tuna" in Japanese. This is also an example of Theme Naming, since Ringo's family runs a greengrocers and Maguro's family is a fishmonger.
  • Robin was originally a diminutive form of Robert, but now can be given to either sex. According to Wikipedia, it is more popular as a boy's name in the United Kingdom and more popular as a girl's name in the United States, but it's not rare to have American boys or British girls called Robin (Robin Williams is American, mind you).
    • To make the gender clear, the name has gained alternate spellings over time: e.g. Robyn (like the - female - Swedish pop singer), Robynne.
      • Even that has become less clear, as the spelling Robyn is sometimes used for males.
    • And while Robin may now be a gender neutral name in English-speaking countries, in other countries (such as France) it is still pretty much a boys-only name.
  • Rowan used to be gender-neutral in Scotland (and in England, though less used there) but the popularity of Rowan Atkinson has pretty well cemented its status as a male name. It's pronounced with a long "ow" sound when female.
  • Taylor was once a boy's name, but has slowly shifted to being predominantly a female name.
  • Yuri is masculine in Russia, but feminine in Japan.
    • Yuri Hyuga from Shadow Hearts is half-Russian and half-Japanese, so one assumes his Russian mother named him. It's still better than "Urnmaf", mind you.
    • Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia was mistaken for a woman a lot by fans before the game's release, although that probably has to do more with his design than his name.
      • There's also a male Karol in the same game, and a male Jade in Tales of the Abyss. The Tales series must enjoy putting names in the blender.
    • Most Japanese media render the Russian version as Yu-ri (to simulate the stress on the first syllable) and the Japanese version as Yuri. Still a bit confusing, though.
    • As an interesting note, those names are pronounced and spelled differently in Russian. The Russian name is actualy Yuriy with Y like in "May", but this is usualy skipped in translation.
  • Laurence is feminine in French-speaking countries (as a female form of Laurent), masculine in English-speaking ones.
  • Gillian Seed from Snatcher, whose given name is usually considered a female name. However the Japanese pronunciation of his name is actually Girian (), which is closer to the surname Gilliam, than the female name Gillian (, Jirian in Japanese).
    • Incidentally, "Girian" is about as close as Japanese can get to the name "Gideon". (The "di" spot is taken up by a "ji", and r and d are phonetically closer than you'd think.)
  • American Kelly Slater is male.
    • It's often a male name in NZ.
      • And in Ireland, where it has several Gaelic origins.
  • Marion Cobretti, Stallone's character in the film Cobra.
  • Elis, Kai and Terje are feminine names in Estonia, but masculine in most other countries.
  • Vanya is a diminutive of Ivan in Russia: a male name. In Brazil it became a girl's name.
  • The Irish name Conor, sometimes spelt Connor (although thats usually reserved for surnames). It's unquestionably a mans name in its native Ireland and the neighboring UK. However it's apparently found some use as a female name in the United States (though even there it is still overwhelmingly male). Americans not knowing its origins and simply liking the name is one thing, but there are seemingly some Irish Americans who have forgotten this too.
  • While more common as a female name, in Mexico Guadalupe can also be male. Shortened to Lupe in both cases.
  • Kida is a masculine name in Japan, but a feminine name in Atlantis.
  • In Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Pleakley's real first name turns out to be "Wendy." It apparently means "Great Warrior" in his home language, but even he seems embarrassed to use it on Earth.
  • Carol/Karol vs. Carole. The former is often male in Slavic countries (as attested by the late Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtya); while the latter is feminine at least in French. Note that Carole is a later construction, both a variant of Caroline and a modernization of the German "karl" root; this very root actually means "manly", by the way.
  • Hilary/Hillary in English is unisex but predominantly feminine, but the French variant Hilaire is exclusively masculine. (Spanish and Italian have separate male and female forms - Hilario/Hilaria and Ilario/Ilaria.)

    Cultural transformation 
  • The long list of names which were originally male but have morphed into female because folks give girls "boy" names, but then don't like giving boys names that have been used for girls: Beverley, Courtney, Shirley, Laverne, Evelyn, Dana, Gail, Jocelyn (yes, really), Lesley (note the spelling), Lindsey, Kelsey, Stacy, Tracy, Morgan... Ashley and Sidney seem to be headed in this direction. While Ashley has definitely shifted to the female side, Sidney is still more of a male name (Sydney is definitely female, though).
    • And is the reason one Badass in the Evil Dead series goes by the name "Ash."
    • Ash Crimson, from King of Fighters is called Ashley, probably due to his French origin. Maybe his true name generated the whole fruity behavior he has. Fitting.
    • The male protagonist of Vagrant Story is named Ashley Riot.
    • Ashley Winchester of Wild ARMs 2 fame.
    • "Ashleigh", a male variant of "Ashley," has evolved, as in the case of author Ashleigh Brilliant.
      • The "-ley/-leigh" names - including "Leigh" itself - have gone through a double or even triple transformation. Most were originally place names (it refers to a meadow, or clearing, "lea"), later becoming hereditary surnames, still later used as male names, and finally female names. It's just a Double Standard.
      • Ashley has shifted to the female side mostly in North America, while it's still a rather common male name in the UK.
    • There was a pro football player named Ashley (Ambrose) a few years back. Appropriately enough, he played for Atlanta (cue sports anchors doing their best Scarlet O'Hara, "Ashley!")
      • There's Ashley Cole too. That black English footballer guy who plays for Chelsea, for those unfamiliar.
    • Ashley is a great (and seemingly popular) example because it wasn't used for girls until The Seventies, so it's in the midst of the switch (as noted above). Interestingly, as women co-opt male names, they abandon "old" sounding names like Dorothy and Margaret.
    • Irish people always felt it sounded like a girls name because it sounded very similar to a locally common girls name, Aisling.
    • Not to mention the famed author Evelyn Waugh, who was a dude (and whose first wife was also named Evelyn), or Marion Morrison, who later became known as the ultimate man's man John Wayne.
      • And another famous male author, Beverley Nichols. Interesting also in that his surname is one form of a Latin name which started out as male (Nicola), but in its male version has been anglicised to "Nic(h)olas".
    • Shawn is another name that's going this direction, at least in the US (Sean and Shaun are still pretty exclusively male, but Shawn has about a 50/50 chance of being a female).
  • The name Chris was formerly common to both males (Christopher and Christian) and females (Christine and Christina) not to mention Kris was more common for females (Kristina and Kristine) back in the day. Today, both Chris/Kris are more common for boys nowdays (women, especially younger women, prefer Chrissy/Krissy to avoid being mistaken for a guy).
    • Leslie Lynch King, Jr., named after his father, would change his name to Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (after his stepfather) when he was 19.
    • The baccarat expert from Casino Royale (1967) goes by the name of Evelyn Tremble, that is, until he is recruited by the Secret Service and renamed James Bond 007.
    • In 1974, Fleetwood Mac were reinforced by a couple named Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The former is the guy.
    • Wasn't always a Double Standard, way, way back, Phillip and Philip were girl's names.
      • How far back? Alexander the Great's father was Philip of Macedon. The name was more or less abandoned in the West, but some Russians liked it, and western Europe re-borrowed it from them.
    • Evelyn, the guy Vanessa meets in the Otherworld in Silent Hill: Promise. He's just the teeniest bit touchy about it.
  • Downton Abbey—set in the 1910s and 20s has the upper-class male, The Hon. Evelyn Napier (heir apparent to a viscountcy and one of Lady Mary's suitors).
  • Hayden, despite being extremely popular as a male name (along with Jaden, Aiden, etc.), is becoming a female name. A quick check of US Social Security records shows that the first significant use of Hayden for girls coincides with ... Hayden Panettiere's breakout role.
    • She actually has two Gender Blender Names (her middle name's Leslie).
  • The 1944 film Laura stars Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. Guess which actor is male and which one is female.
  • In Philip Jose Farmer's Science Fiction novel Dayworld, (set many centuries in the future) the custom of men's and women's names has died out. Several male characters have female names and vice versa.
  • In Duck Dodgers, the eponymous duck meets a very masculine-looking drill sergeant called Emily Dickinson Jones, and when he remarks on that is told "we've left behind such concepts as names being for males or females". And his mother liked Emily Dickinson.
  • Ariel is Hebrew for "Lion of God" and used to be exclusively male. Nowadays it leans more towards the female side—outside of Israel, that is, where the people (speaking Hebrew) still use it for men (e.g. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon).
    • Niko's mentor on Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Charming, elderly lady with a thing for orchids and a fondness for Alice in Wonderland. She specializes in illusions and tricks.
    • Ariel in The Tempest is genderless, and in modern productions is typically played by a woman.
    • In The Little Mermaid Disney picked the name because it was already an up-and-coming girl's name: in 1986, the year before production started, female Ariels outnumbered males by a little more than 2:1 among U.S. births, a list of famous Ariels going back to 1862 shows female Ariels outnumbering males as far back as the late 1800s.
    • The main female character of Drowtales is Ariel, and the creator tends to use the more masculine R-E-L pronunciation when he says it. Also works in that she was disguised as a boy for part of her childhood.
    • The Hebrew version is pronounced R-E-L, while the female version is usually Air-E-L.
  • One of the interesting backcurrents in John Varley's Eight Worlds stories and novels is the effect that Easy Sex Change (and easy name change) has had on gender-based naming conventions. Some change names when they change sexes, some don't, some adopt gender-neutral names, others prefer nicknames, etc.
  • Tyson was previously exclusively a boy's name, but has started to be used as a girl's name in the past couple decades.
  • MacKenzie (son of Kenneth) was originally a Scottish surname, then a masculine first name, but now is mostly feminine.
  • Gabriel, another once-male Hebrew name, is occasionally used for girls (as opposed to Gabrielle).
  • Meredith is a Welsh boy's name and a Welsh surname. It gained life in America as a girl's name, where it is now considered old-fashioned as both a boy and girl's name. It remains a common boy's name in Wales under both its native spelling (Meredudd) and anglicised spelling (Meredith). Elsewhere in the UK, female use is more common but it's still predominantly male.
    • In Stargate Atlantis, Dr. Rodney McKay is revealed to be going by his middle name because he's suffered humiliating teasing over Meredith being his first name. The cultural dissonance means Rodney's embarrassment makes sense to American audiences but doesn't make sense to British audiences.
    • An example of this is found with the character Meredith in the webcomic Todd Allison & the Petunia Violet
  • A probably accidental occurrence in Dragon Age II: Petrice is actually a French form of Patrick. Not the sort of name you'd give to a scheming lying fanatic of a priestess.
  • In English, Hilary used to be the masculine form, Hillary the feminine form. Hilary is now unisex, mostly used for women.
  • In the Timmy/Jimmy Power Hour 3, the best name Timmy could think of for the (male) supervillain they created on purpose was "Shirley", which at one point was also popular for boys (an example being Shirley Povich, father of Maury).

    Diminutives 
  • Alex - Alexander, Alexandre, Alexis (see below), Alexandria, Alexandra
  • Aly/Ali/Alli/Ally - Alison, Alistair, Alicia
    • Also overlaps with cross-cultural: "Ali" is a masculine name in Islamic countries.
  • Andy/Andie/Andi - Andrew, Andrea
    • Also Andy being short for Andromeda in Kyle XY.
  • Angel - Angela, Angeline, Angelo, Angelina, Angelica. Strangely enough, "Angel" by itself is quite gender-neutral in the US and the Philippines.
    • To quote Cordelia from Angel, on Wesley pretending to be the title character - "If I thought that was going to work, I could have been Angel, 'cos lets face it, it's kind of a girly name."
    • Angel is full of this trope, what with Fred, Lindsey, Francis (Doyle), Harry, and Angel himself.
  • Annie - Anakin, Antigone, Anne, Annica, Anders
  • Bob (or Bobby/Bobbie) - Robert, Roberta, Barbara. This means that "Me & Bobby McGee" can be (and is) sung about a man and his girlfriend (the original version), or a woman and her boyfriend (the famous Janis Joplin version).
  • Candy - of the Latin name "Candido" (male) or Candace (female). Thus, "I Want Candy" can be sung by both the Bow Wow Wow (with a female lead singer) and by Aaron Carter.
  • Cam - Cameron (itself pretty gender neutral)/Camilla
    • Cameron is also an example of Country Dependant/Cultural Transformation. Originally a Celtic warrior's name, and was a masculine name when it originally transplanted to America, where it gradually became unisex.
  • Charlie/Charley/Chaz/Chas - Charles, Charlotte, Charlene (this one oddly enough, means "male")
    • Chaz/Chas can also be short for "Chastity", as with transsexual activist Chaz Bono.
      • There's an alternative theory that it might also be derived from the german word for "mighty" or "warrior," which, while those are still rather masculine concepts, is better than outright naming your girl "man."
  • C(h)ris/Kris - Kristopher, Crystal, Christine (And any one of them can be spelled a half-dozen ways, too.)
    • This was used in a Batman Episode where Poison Ivy had two stepsons name Chris and Kelly. the real Chris and Kelly were girls.
  • Connie can be short for Cornelius, Conrad, Constantine, or Constant; however, you're not likely to find a male Connie these days (possibly because none of these names are popular anymore). Connie Mack is probably the best-known male Connie.
  • Danni/Danny - Daniel, Danielle, Daniella
  • Dave - though one doesn't usually come across a Davina who goes by Dave, it's still a possibility.
    • In Scotland, it was common for a child born after the father's death to be given his name.
  • Denny - Dennis, Denzel, Denise
    • And of course "Denis" (pronounced almost the same as "Denny") which was used in Blondie's Gender Swap cover of "Denise" by Randy & The Rainbows
  • Dom - Dominic,Dominique
  • Don - Donald, Donna
  • Felix can be short for Felicity
  • Fran - Francis, Frances
  • Frankie - Frank, Francis, Frances, Francine, Francesca (or a full name on it's own - it's getting trendy in the UK for both genders)
  • Fred - Fredrick, Fredrika, Alfred, Wilfred, Winifred
    • The last one giving us Fred from Angel.
      • And the Carol Burnett vehicle Once Upon A Mattress.
        I'm in love with a girl named "Fred"!
      • Oh lord, Once Upon A Mattress.
        Fred: My name is Winifred, but you can call me by my nickname.
        Dauntless: Winnie?
        Fred: NO! Fred!
      • A one-off villainess from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was named Winifred, and she flew into a rage when someone called her "Freddy".
      • On the other hand, we have the dyke named Freddy, from "Bobby Brown".
  • George/Georgie - George, Georgina, Georgette, Georgia
    • There are both a Georgia and a Georgette in the News Flesh Trilogy. Georgia goes by George, matching her (adoptive) brother Shaun. Georgette goes by Buffy.
    • And George Lass (who is a Georgia).
  • Gerry/Jerry - Geraldine
  • Harry - Harold, Henry (e.g. Prince Harry, who if he ever becomes King will be Henry IX), Harriet. Can also be a full name in its own right, as in Harry Potter.
  • Joey/Jo(e) - Joseph, Jocelyn, Josette, Joetta, Josephine, Joanne, Joanna, Jodie
    • Jo March from Little Women. It's stated in the book that this diminutive is one of the things that add to her image as a tomboy. In the sequels, her sister Meg has a daughter named after Jo, but they call her Josie to distinguish between them.
      • Then there is the man Jo had a crush on, who later married her sister Amy instead. His first name was Theodore, but because he found Teddy too feminine, he nicknamed his last name (Laurence) instead, and insisted on being called Laurie.
    • In one episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will gets a part on a soap opera. He gets his script and rehearses having to kiss someone named Jodie who he assumes is a woman. When he starts shooting, it turns out that Jodie is a man.
  • Ken - Kenneth, Kendall, Kendra (Needless to say, Ken is mostly a boy's nickname)
  • Kim - Kimberley, Kimball
  • Lulu
    • In Code Geass, the main character was named Lelouch, an extremely uncommon name, even in French - in which it could be translated as "The Deceit", if you ignore grammar - and unheard of everywhere else. He is a man. Due to the Japanese language, it was pronounced "lulushu". The one character who kept using it suffered constant romantic setbacks, despite Lelouch barely paying any attention to it. Or her, really.
  • Mackenzie was originally a boy's name (son of Kenneth), but is now mostly a girl's name.
  • Max - Maximilian, Maximiliana, Maxine, Maximus, Maxwell, Maxim, Maximum
  • Mel - Melvin, Melanie, Melissa, Amelia
  • Mickie/Mickey - Michelle, Michael
    • Due to the nickname deriving from these names, Mike from Mike, Lu & Og should fit in here. Her given name, however, is the rathern uncommon Michelanne, but still she prefers Mike.
    • Classic SF short story Placet is a Crazy Place has fraternal twins Michaelina (female) and Ichabod (male) Witt. They are universally known as "Mike and Ike".
  • Mo - Moe, Mohamed, Monique
  • Nic/Nick/Nicki/Nicky - Nicole, Nicola, Nicholas... Phoenix? or possibly a full name. Also, Dominique..
  • Pat - Patrick, Padraig (the Gaelic form of Patrick) and Patricia. This was the name of an SNL character whose whole joke was that nobody could tell whether the character was a male or a female.
    • Also in the case of "Patty." St. Patrick's Day is known as St. Patty's, especially in the United States.
      • Paddy is a perfectly fine diminutive of Patrick. "Patty" is used for girls called Patricia. Getting this spelling wrong isn't looked on very kindly by the people with these names. And it's ''Paddy's Day'', never ''Patty's'', in Ireland.
      • However, in Australia, the use of "Patty" as a diminutive for Patrick is not unheard of. For example, there's an Australian in the NBA known as Patty Mills.
    • Used in the manual for Fallout 2. Because the gender and sexual orientation of the first game's protagonist is not determined, his/her journal entry simply refers to his/her significant other as "Pat".
  • Reg/Reggie - Regina, Reginald
  • Ronnie/Ronny - Ronald, Veronica, Sharon (especially in its "shah-ron" pronunciation)
  • Rosie - A fine girl's name on its own, or it can be short for Roosevelt (incidentally, Dutch for "Rose field"), as in Mr. Rosey Greer. The BBC sitcom Rosie used it as a diminutive for the surname of the protagonist, PC-in-training Penrose.
  • Sam - Samuel, Samantha
    • One notorious example is Samantha Carter, from Stargate SG-1.
    • Another notorious example is in John Scalzi's The Android's Dream, since Sam's sex is deliberately never mentioned in the book. The author noticed he hadn't mentioned Sam's sex after a few chapters, and ran with it.
    • Also used in a gender-confusion situation with Salome Fredericks in Otherland.
  • Sandy - Cassandra, Sandra, Alexander, Alexandra (say these last two aloud and you'll see why). It's mostly used for girls, such as in Grease and Sponge Bob Square Pants. The hurricane that slammed into the Eastern United States in October 2012 had its name used as a female.
    • There's also Alasdair, which is based on Alexander.
    • Joked with on Scrubs.
    Dr. Cox: Sandy!
    JD: You know, Sandy isn't necessarily a girl's name.
    Dr. Cox: It's short for Sandra.
  • Sasha - Alexander/Alexandra, in Russian. More typically used with males.
    • In Akata Witch, Sunny is told about a person named Sasha and is surprised when he is a boy.
  • Steve - Steven/Stephen, Stephanie
  • Ted/Teddy/Teddi/Teddie - Theodore, Theodora, Edward
  • Terry/Teri - Terrance, Teresa
  • Tommy - Thomas, Thomasina (though admittedly not a very common girls' name often now)
  • Tony/Toni - Anthony, Antoinette, Antonio, Antonia—but could also be a full name.
  • Valya - Valentin, Valentina (from Russia).
  • Vic/Vicki/Vicky - Victor, Victoria
  • Wil(l) - Generally William, but can also be Wilma, Wilhemina, and as Buffy fans know, Willow.
  • Zhenya - Eugene/Eugenia (from Russia).

    Gender-Neutral 
  • English:
    • Alex
    • Angel
    • Ashley/Ashleigh/Ashlie/aScHl3y
    • Ashton: Kutcher, Holmes (m); Moore, Shepherd (f)
    • Avery
    • Bailey
    • Billy (for a male)/Billie (for a female)
    • Blair: McDonough, Underwood (m), Chenoweth, Waldorf (f)
    • Blake: Lively (f), Shelton (Country Singer) (m)
    • Brett(e): Butler (Baseball Player and Actress)
    • Brook(e)(s)
    • Bryce/Brice
    • Cameron: Crowe (m), Diaz (f)
    • Carol(l) (mostly anglicised to Charles, but Carol is still a common boys' name in Cornwall) (unless one's last name is Shelby)
      • See also the Country-Dependent files, for the French and feminine Carole.
    • Carlin
    • Carmen
    • Carson (McCullers, author of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter)
    • Casey (Lynch)
    • Cassidy
    • Cat/Kat/Katt
    • Cayman: Mitchell (m), Ilika (f)
    • Chase
    • Chris/Kris
    • "Christy" - but only if it's spelled exactly as is, as in the turn-of-the-century New York (now San Francisco) Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson. All other spellings - "Christie", "Kristy", "Cristi", and the metathesized "Kirstie" - are exclusively feminine.
    • Cody
    • Courtney (actress Thorne-Smith, football player Hall)
      • Dakota/Koda
    • Dallas
    • Dana (Carvey)
    • Darren/Daryn
    • Daryl (Gates, former LAPD chief, and Hannah, actress)
    • Devin/Devon/Devonne (My So-Called Life had both actor Devon Gummersall and actress Devon Odessa)
    • Drew: Barrymore (f), Carey (m), Saturday (f), Pickles (m)
      • Drew Carey's middle name is Allison, leading costar Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) to tease him by pointing out that all three of his names are girly.
    • Evan
    • Gale (Sayers)
    • Glen / Glenn
    • Haley/Hayley/Hailey etc. On the masculine side, we have actor Haley Joel Osment; on the feminine side, we have actress Hayley Mills, as well as Haley Starshine from The Order of the Stick.
    • Harley
    • Harper (Lee)
    • Jade
    • James (King)
    • Jamie (Lee Curtis and Foxx)
    • Jaren/Jaryn
    • Jerry
    • Jesse/Jessie
    • Jo/Joe
    • Jordan (Season 16 of The Amazing Race featured both a male and a female Jordan.)
    • Kay
    • Kelly (In fact, check out this article, in which a Kelly Hildebrandt marries a Kelly Hildebrandt: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31994977/ns/today-today_people/?GT1=43001)
      • Ever wondered how to pronounce Ceallach's name from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones? Guess how the male form of Kelly is derived.
      • Ceilidh and Kaylee too, depending on the accent.
    • Kelsey (Mostly a girl's name, but its most famous bearer, Kelsey Grammer, is a man)
    • Kendall (Schmidt and Jenner, whose birthdays are notably one day apart)
    • Kimball
    • Kimberly (Almost exclusively female)
    • Lee/Leigh
    • Leslie/Lesley (Nielsen and Mann)
    • Lindsay/Lindsey
    • Logan (Mostly a male name)
    • Loren/Lauren
    • Marion (It was very heavily used as a girl's name in the early 20th century, but the name has fallen in popularity since and is neck-a-neck with its male counterpart.)
    • Marty/Marti
    • Mason
    • Max
    • Mischa
    • Morgan (Fairchild and Freeman)
    • Page/Paige (the latter is much more common, though)
    • Randy (females are more likely to be Randi)
    • Reese (It's more of a girl's name than a boy's name. Reese Witherspoon is pretty much the only person of note bearing the name)
      • Reese Witherspoon isn't the greatest example as Reese is her mother's maiden name. Her real first name is Laura. That doesn't stop people from naming their daughters Reese, however.
    • Riley/Reilly
    • River (Phoenix and Tam)
    • Robin/Robyn (Williams and Curtis)
      • And Robyn Miller, co-developer of Myst
    • Rowan
    • Ryan is mostly a male name, but is not that uncommon of a female name: for example, actress Ryan Newman(not to be confused with the male NASCAR driver).
    • Sam (diminutive of either Samuel or Samantha)
    • Sha(y)ne
    • Shannon is mostly a female name (as in Tweed, Playboy Playmate/actress/wife of Gene Simmons) but can also be a male name (as in Hoon, the late frontman of Blind Melon;)
    • Shawn can be male (as in Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter) or female (as in Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson). Sean and Shaun, on the other hand, are almost exclusively male.
    • Shelby
    • Sheridan
    • Sidney (as in the Pittsburgh Penguins' Crosby) is mostly for males, but has been quickly overtaken as a female name. Sydney, has been used almost exclusively as a girl's name.
    • Spencer. Spencer Pratt is a guy, Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars is female.
    • Stacey
    • Stevie (Wonder and Nicks)
    • Tanner
    • Taylor (Swift and Lautner, who dated each other for a while leading to speculation of what their Portmanteau Couple Name would be.) At first, it wasn't that popular a name, but was used quite often in the 80's as a boy's name. However, when the 80's became the 90's, it blew up on the girl's side, hitting the top 10, while it stalled in the lower half of the top 100 boy's names for the rest of the decade.
    • Tegan
    • Terry/Terri
    • Tristan. It's spelling tends to vary between -tan, -ton, -ten, tin, and more rarely -tian, and boys tend to use "a" and "o" while girls typically spell it with an "e" or "i", but the pronunciation is usually the same. Some girls may also shorten it to Trista or Tris.
    • Tony/Toni
    • Trac(e)y: Peaked in the 60's.
    • Tyson: It's almost exclusively a boy's name though.
    • Whitney: It wasn't very common originally, but jumped in popularity in the mid 80's thanks to Whitney Houston.
  • French:
    • Ange
    • Camille
    • Céleste
    • Clarence
    • Claude
    • Dani
    • Dominique
    • Eden
    • Erwan (Typical Breton name)
    • Hyacinthe
    • Louison
    • Mal(l)aury, Mallory
    • Maxence
    • Maxime
    • Nolwenn (Typical Breton name)
    • Philippe used to be gender-neutral but is nowadays primarily male.
    • Sacha
    • Stéphane, though Stéphanie also exists for women.
    • Swann (Typical Breton name)
    • Térence
    • Yann (Typical Breton name)
    • Yannick (Typical Breton name)
  • Hebrew
    • A site listing names gives over a thousand names which are gender-neutral. That's 40% of all the names given on the site. Of course, most of them tend to be more common for one gender than another.
  • Irish:
    • Caoilte (pronounced Queel-sha)
    • Saoirse (although mostly female. Pronounced Seer-sha)
  • Japanese (Note, that anime/manga/otherwise fictional characters tend to have more extravagant names than RL people so take everything on this list with a huge grain of salt. Also, the kanji usually makes the gender obvious.)
  • Swedish:
    • Kim
    • Robin/Robyn
  • Arabic:
    • Almas
    • Duha
    • Hikmat
    • Ihsan
    • Ismat
    • Jinan
    • Karam
    • Nima
    • Nur
    • Samir
  • Sikh:
    • Most of them, such as Harpreet, Inderpal. You can tell a person's gender by whether they have a Singh (male) or Kaur (female) as their middle name or surname.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Because in Brazil everyone can name their offspring any wanted name. This may lead to confusion in case of amerindian-language-origined names, such as Darcy and Jacy (Moon).
    • Darcy
    • Ivanir
    • Iranir
    • Jacy
  • In Polish the noun usually have clearly denoted gender by ending but there is one exception
    • Maria (eng. Mary) as second name
  • Fiction

    Homophones 
(some of these may not be homophones in certain accents)
  • Aaron and Erin (in accents with the Mary-marry-merry merger)
  • Adrian and Adrienne (in some dialects of English, slightly more distinct in French)
  • Bela and Bella
  • Carey and Carrie (in accents with the Mary-marry-merry merger)
  • Carroll and Carol
  • Daniel and Daničle (in French) and Danielle (in English)
  • Don and Dawn (in accents with the cot-caught merger)
  • Francis and Frances
  • Frédéric and Frédérique (in French)
  • Gabriel and Gabričle (in French) and Gabrielle (in English)
  • Gene and Jean/Jeanne (in English)
  • Pascale and Pascal (in French)
  • Joe and Jo
  • Karol (Polish) and Carol (English) / Carole (French)
    • Of course, Karol is the Polish version of Carol/Charles, just as Karel (as in playwright Karel Čapek) is the Czech version.
  • Kevin and Kevyn
  • Michel and Michčle (in French) and Michelle (in English)
  • Vivian and Vivien/Vivienne (the first spelling is gender-neutral)
  • Peter and Peta (in non-rhotic accents)
    • A woman (think she's a dress designer) in NZ is named Peter.
  • Natan and Natane. The former is primarily male, the latter is primarily female.
  • Noël and Noëlle, but only in French. In other languages, Noel is gender-neutral.
    • The name Noel is sometimes pronounced in English to rhyme with Joel.
  • Randy and Randi.
  • René and Renée (in both French and English)
  • Emmanuel and Emmanuelle
  • Virtually any male name (or nickname) ending with "-y" (Bobby, Andy, Teddy, Tony, Danny, Johnny, Ricky) can become feminine by spelling it "-i" or "-ie".
    • And Sandy is the reverse, as it's normally short for Cassandra (see above) but can also be used as a male name on its own, or as a shortening of Alexander.
    • Names that don't end this way can change, too (Scott->Scottie)
  • Claire and Clare, leading to the male character in Baccano! having the feminine spelling of the name, while the female protagonists of Claymore uses the masculine spelling.
  • Valer(i)y/Valerie: The former is a masculine Russian name.
  • Ivan (Russian) and Yvonne/Ivonne (in English accents with the father-bother merger)
  • Elisha and Alicia (averted if the former is pronounced like Elijah)

    Titles 
  • See also She Is the King.
  • Ser Cauthrien is a female knight in Dragon Age: Origins.
    • Ser is clearly a gender-neutral title in Thedas.
    • As is Serah, a more informal variant used in Dragon Age II.
    • Sebastian suggests Hawke as a candidate for Viscount, but he still uses the male form instead of Viscountess for female Hawke.
  • Dr. J. Langer [Jenny], from the film The Giant Spider Invasion, which was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. This lead to a painful sequence where the character who came to see her kept assuming "Dr. Langer" was a male relative, to which Servo quipped, "Humor of the 1840s!"
    • A book about sci-fi B Movies said this was a virtual cliche of the genre, even in movies which didn't have a Samus Is a Girl scene. They might have simply been copying from Them!! which has a female scientist with a male first name.
  • When James Bond first meets Dr. Goodhead [Holly] in Moonraker, his reaction is a surprised "A woman!" Her response is quick and sarcastic. Note that by this point (in 1979), Bond has met any number of capable women in positions of (relative) power. Humor of the 1840s, indeed.
    • Just goes to show you how Genre Blind Mr. Bond can be.
  • An episode of All in the Family revolved around the following puzzle: "A young man is seriously injured in a car accident. When he's taken to the hospital, the surgeon cries, 'I can't operate on this man! He's my son!' Yet the surgeon is not the young man's father. How can this be?" It took the entire half hour for the characters to figure it out (the surgeon was his mother), and when the answer was finally given at the end of the show the live studio audience gasped in surprise. 1840s indeed.
    • Same riddle was used on The Cosby Show, you know the one with a the wife character being a powerful attorney. Sadly this puzzle still continues to work nowadays.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Naomi assumes reclusive genius Dr. Clark was a man. It's not until Metal Gear Solid 4 that we learn it was Para-Medic, a female character that was introduced in Metal Gear Solid 3. This was, of course, a retcon.
  • In an episode of Get Smart, Max meets up with an invisible doctor. Knowing that there are KAOS agents guarding the entrance to the restaurant where they met, Max and the doctor have to sneak out another way. Max suggests sneaking out through the men's room, when finally the doctor says that that won't work... In a woman's voice.
  • Sir Integra is a woman. A very scary woman who will kill you at a moments notice and a knight of the Queen of England. Usually when females are knighted, their title is "Dame", i.e. "Dame Integra". Another page on This Very Wiki states that she's legally a man as a requirement for holding her position, so "Dame Integra" would therefore be legally incorrect, or the the writer did not understand the British peerage system and used 'Sir' since it is more common for government officials.
  • The Tentei or "Heavenly Emperor" in Fist of the North Star is actually Lin's twin sister, Lui.
  • In Educomix, Ma'am, Madam, Lady, etc. are all men with no face.
  • The great spirit Lord Maxwell in Tales of Xillia, who choses an attractive female body to manifest in. It turns out Milla Maxwell is actually entirely female, it's just humanity having used her title and surname for so long that detail slipped the collective consciousness. Helpfully, it goes a long way in keeping her incognito despite how... loud her body is.
  • This is likely the reason the writers of Star Trek: Voyager saw fit to name their captain "Janeway"; even though it's a last name, it immediately registers as female, preempting any possible confusion.
  • Magic: The Gathering mostly abandoned gender-specific titles in the 2000s. On some level, this makes sense, since a creature with "sorcerer" in its name can be depicted as male or female while a "sorceress" can only be a female, so it gives the artists more flexibility if the card is reprinted later with different art. However, they also do this frequently with unique characters (for instance, Nylea, God of the Hunt is a woman). They make an exception for "enchantress," since the term has a lot of history within the game.
  • In Neighbors, Kelly believed that the Dean's actual name was Dean rather than her job title. This is due to her being an Australian and being unfamiliar with the term (although Australian and other Commonwealth universities do use the term, usually at a level below the Chancellors that Kelly mentions).

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