Reader Q&A Poll: Is Lennon Masculine or Feminine?

lennon-glasses

A few months ago I decided to reach out to the UBN email community and ask what they felt was the most difficult aspect of naming a baby. Their answers to that question were eye-opening.

I decided this question would be a great followup email to new members once they join the community. I set the email to automatically go out to new members, and have been pleased with the feedback so far.

One reader mentioned some concerns she has with the boy and girl name she picked for her expectant baby–gender unknown.

She likes names that start with L, and had picked Lachlan for a boy and Lennon for a girl. She mentioned the following concerns:

  • Does Lachlan seem feminine?
  • Is Lach (pronounced LOCK) a good nickname for Lachlan?
  • Could Lennon be mistaken for “lemon” or is it “too out there”?

Since I’m aware of Lachlan’s popularity on boys in Australia, I believe Lachlan is all-boy, and I feel confident that I stand with the majority on this.

But the name that stood out as causing gender confusion to me is Lennon. As I read her question, my thought *wasn’t* “Is Lachlan too feminine?” my thought *was* “Is Lennon too masculine?”

Lennon reminds me of two things:

  1. John Lennon
  2. The nicknames Len and Lenny–both masculine names to me.

For girl names, Lainey, Laney or Lane seem like good fits for this reader’s preferences (modern L-names).

But perhaps this is just me? I have seen Fallon on a girl and that name has a similar style to Lennon. Perhaps Lennon would make a good unisex name? I’m not sure what the consensus is.

And that is why I decided to ask readers: Do you think Lennon is more feminine, masculine or unisex? And if you have any suggestions for this reader, feel free to leave them in the comments. 

 

Photo Credit: MrJamesAckerley via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. I think Lennon is still unisex, though the current numbers are higher for the boys. My prediction is that this will change over time and Lennon will eventually tip to the girls’ side, just as masculine-leaning names like Addison/Madison, Emerson, etc. have become mainly feminine names. The nickname Leni is used by many girls; it might sound like Lenny but it looks feminine and can be lovely on a little girl. Lennon Stella (on “Nashville,” with little sister Maisy) makes it more real on a girl.

    • You make a good comparison with Addison/Madison and Emerson. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking Lenny might seem feminine with a different spelling and I forgot about the Leni spelling. I never watched “Nashville”. Maybe I need to brush up on my TV watching. :)

  2. Jennifer R. says:

    I consider Lennon (such as John Lennon) and Lachlan as both masculine. I would go with Lark over Lachlan for a girl.

    I would NEVER name a child Lennon. It sounds the same as Lenin, as in Vladimir Lenin. As in, the most notorious leader of soviet Russia who oversaw the death of about 7 million people. His name is ingrained in most people’s psyche negatively and it would be like naming a baby Stalin or Hitler in my opinion, even if the parent is oblivious to this. I get that it would be for John Lennon, the Beatle, but you can’t differentiate the sound so it still conjures up the same feeling. Perhaps Lennon would not be so bad as a middle name.

    • Interesting perspective. Though Lenin is pronounced Le-yen-in, not Lennon. Still, I think it’s a little different than Stalin and Hitler in that the average person today would likely think of John Lennon first and possibly only. If I only heard Lennon, it would not even occur to me that someone might have named their child Lenin because it is not, as you say, “ingrained” in my psyche negatively. In my opinion, the recognition of the positive personality significantly outweighs the negative personality, so much that the negative personality becomes a non-entity. It just seems most likely to me that the source would be John Lennon and no one else. Perhaps it would be different in different cultures? But even then, the pronunciations are still not the same. It’s always good to have a different perspective like yours because it’s something that someone might want to be aware of before they gave the name to their child.

      • Jennifer R. says:

        Perhaps I overestimate it because of my Russian heritage. My family only made it America to escape Lenin and the revolution. I just can’t fathom any name so similar being used on a child.

        You’re right about the correct pronunciation. However, you would be hard pressed to find someone in real life who does not pronounce Lenin and Lennon identically in the U.S. unless they know a lot about Russian history or the Russian language. I’ll be in Russia next month oddly enough, and have been several times. The name would definitely not go over well there.

        It’s really a nice name other than my Lenin association. Still all masculine to me though. If I saw the Lennon spelling I would assume John Lennon, but usually when you meet someone you don’t see the name written. You are right, everyone brings a different perspective. Sort of reminds me of the name Cohen and all of the religious issues surrounding it’s use. Still, there are perfectly sweet babies named Cohen, or Lennon, or possibly Lenin lol

        • Jennifer, I loved hearing your perspective. It’s something I wouldn’t have considered, even though I am familiar with Lenin. It’s not often that people get a view of what a name could mean in a specific culture. It reminds me of the Cohen controversy, too. I like to look at it like, even if it doesn’t affect the parents’ name choice in the end, at least they are aware of any potential negative association before the baby’s born, and not blindsided with it afterwards.

  3. Brittany says:

    I think of this name as mostly unisex but leaning toward feminine, mostly due to the aforementioned Lennon Stella from “Nashville”. I think these two sisters (Lennon & Maisy) are going to be big, so I expect the name Lennon to be thought of more as a girl name in the future. But also, the last name Stella seems very feminine, so I think that helps balance out this actress’ particular name.

  4. Both 100% masculine to me, no question about it. They sound terrible on a girl, and that goes for Lane too.

  5. This is my niece’s name, so it sounds nothing but girly to me!

  6. I still think Lennon sounds more feminine. Probably because it brings to mind Lynn. However, I will say (IMO) I prefer girls names that could be boys names as opposed to the other way around. I think we are seeing a lot more of that lately. Names I have always considered 100% “boy” names like Evan, Owen, Carson, Sutton, Maddox, Lincoln – I’m seeing used quite a bit for girls. And I like it! So Lennon could definitely start to lean more feminine or just be viewed as unisex over the next few years. In the end, if you like it, go for it!

  7. Both 100% masculine. And yes I know many Lachlans in Australia, it doesn’t seem at all feminine.
    Lennon on a girl seems very strange to me, I don’t know if it’s different in other countries but also with the nickname ‘Lenny’ seems very manly.

  8. One more thing, yes the usual nicknames for Lachlan are Lach (Lock) or Lachie (Lockie).

  9. My son’s name Finn Lennon… Definitely a boy’s name.

  10. Lennon doesn’t sound feminine to me at all, but if I overheard someone talking about a small child named Lennon, I would automatically assume they were talking about a girl.

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