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5. Giving a Boy a Feminine Name, and Vice Versa

5. Giving a Boy a Feminine Name, and Vice Versa

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1) Some say that one may name a male child after a female. Others maintain that it is better not to convert a feminine name to a masculine one.

2) It is not proper to name a female after a male. Some authorities disagree, and do have a custom of giving a man’s names to a female.

Rabbi Zushe Wilhelm is the author of many compilations on Jewish law. This book with its extensive footnotes can be purchased here.
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Genevon Hinseth Spokane Valley December 13, 2012

Naming a child so that it will not damage them is the most valuable thing that a parent can do for their child! To deliberately name a child strangely is nothing less than the worst form of child abuse. That is a human being who will have to LIVE inside the name they are given throughout their most developmental years of their lives! They could legally change it later in life, but take it from someone who did that - it is not always a good option - I had grown into my name & suffered an identity crisis & also suffered in other ways. A couple I knew once, named their 1st born son "Adam Quincy Cumber" just so he could be called "A Cucumber!" - A.Q. CUMBER - which would lead to other torments such as PICKLE! & they thought they were being so cute. I don't think anything of the sort! And perhaps that boy who has grown into a man by now doesn't think so either! What about those poor children in the N.E. USA who are being named after Nazi War Criminals!? It's criminal and pure child abuse. Reply

Jack W Chicago December 4, 2011

Although I am known as jack, my legal given name is Jacqueline. Lots of family stories as to why but I have always been convinced it was because of my five older brothers and a mom who wanted a daughter. Reply

Anonymous Ft Worth, TX December 19, 2009

I was named after a woman that helped my mother while my father was off to war. Although the name is gender neutral, the spelling was not. My given name is Terri, however I am a male. I was lucky in one way; the woman's name was really Teresa. Reply

Genevon Hinseth Nampa, Idaho/USA January 6, 2009

I was given a name that was after another female, but it is a male name. At least it has a male spelling. I would like to get a Jewish name that means the same as the name I was given. Reply

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