Ok, first thing’s first. I’m going answer my own question. Elliot is a boy name.
No, let me rephrase. Elliot is currently a boy name. It could become a girl name, though.
“What!? It’s not in the top 1,000 for girls. Stop your crazy-talk.”
It’s not crazy-talk. Elliot isn’t in the top 1,000 for girls, but that’s only because baby girls are getting multiple versions of the name. Combine the raw numbers for these various spellings (Eliot, Elliet, Elliette, Elliot, Elliott and Elliotte) and the Elliot group would rank about 703rd for girls. That’s well within the top 1,000.
Of course, if we combine spellings for girls, we ought to do the same for boys. Last year there were baby boys named Eliot, Eliott, Elliot and Elliott. The last two versions were popular enough to rank on their own (297th and 350th, respectively) and all four combined would reach 175th.
If we lumped all of those girl and boy Elliots together, we’d have over 2,600 babies. About 16% of those babies would be female.
First, 16% is nothing to sneeze at.
Second, there’s a pop culture precedent. At least one female TV character is named Elliot.
Third, Elliot does sound rather feminine. It sounds like the girl name Ellie (now ranked 145th and climbing) plus the common French feminine suffix –ette. Parents opting for the “Elliette” spelling have already caught on to this.
Where do you think Elliot is headed–will it remain a boy name? Will it turn into a girl name? Will it reach unisex territory and be mired there indefinitely?