While I was updating my unisex name page this year, I noticed a several variants of Jordan: Jordann, Jordin, Jourdan, Jourdin and Jourdyn.
Jordan itself wasn’t on the list because, in 2013, 85% of the babies named Jordan were boys and just 15% were girls. (It would have made the list from 1989 through 2007, though, as it was being given to baby girls at least 25% of the time during that period.)
The name is more male-leaning than many people assume, it seems, going by this quote from the 2006 edition of A Dictionary of First Names: “[Jordan] is more popular as a boy’s name in Britain and as a girl’s name in the United States.” Not quite — though they might have felt it was heading in that direction in 2006. Jordan’s best showing as a girl name in the U.S. was in 2002, when the split was 64% boys, 36% girls.
Interestingly, the baby name Jordan — which was popularized in the 1980s by basketball great Michael Jordan — began as dual-gender. During the Middle Ages, crusaders returning from the Middle East brought back water from the Jordan river. European babies baptized with this water were sometimes named Jordan, regardless of gender. (The river name comes from Hebrew and means “flow down” or “descend.”)
What are your thoughts on the baby name Jordan? Do you think it works better as a boy name or as a girl name?
Source: Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.