Charlie: Boy name or girl name?

To some, Charlie is a boy name. It’s a nickname for the male name Charles.

To others, Charlie is a girl name. It’s a feminine form of Charles, just like Charlene and Charlotte are feminine forms of Charles.

How are parents actually using the name Charlie nowadays?

Well, if we look only at the spelling “Charlie,” the boys are on top. Of the 1,727 U.S. babies named Charlie last year, 1,242 (72%) were boys and 485 (28%) were girls.

But if we count all versions of the name, the girls take the lead:

Name# of Boys# of Girls
TOTAL1,408 (46%)1,684 (54%)

In England and Wales, where Charlie (ranked 7th) is so popular that it beats Charles (ranked 58th) by over 4,000 babies, Charlie is still mainly a boy name:

Name# of Boys# of Girls
TOTAL5,530 (92%)458 (8%)

This makes me think Charlie could be headed the way of Ashley (i.e. becoming feminine in the States, remaining masculine in the UK).

To you, is Charlie a girl name or a boy name? (Or is it a unisex name?) Please also mention where you live–it’ll be interesting to see if/how responses differ based on location.

38 thoughts on “Charlie: Boy name or girl name?

  1. I’m on the Maryland side of Washington DC. I only know boys named Charles and nicknamed Charlie.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to meet a girl Charlie, though – there are lots of girls wearing surnames and unisex names around here. But then, we’re a little bit Southern, so some of those are family names.

  2. I live in London and I know boys and girls called Charlie.
    However, the boys are just called Charlie (I don’t know any actually called Charles) whilst all the girl Charlies are actually called Charlotte.

  3. There is probably one major factor that you need to take into consideration when comparing U.S. vs. U.K. results – in the latter nicknames as full names on the birth certificate are very trendy right now. Since Charlie (and its spelling variants) fall in this category, if you could take all the Charleses/Charlottes/etc. who go by this nickname I wonder what the numbers would show? (Of course there is no way to get accurate statistics on nickname usage.) This may in part explain why there are more than four times as many boy Charlies on the U.K. stats, but yet that country is several times smaller in population than the U.S.

  4. My given name is Charly, I’m female, and was born and currently live in the Western U.S. I always saw the spelling of my name as very feminine (the numbers belie this), doesn’t seem so different from the mmmany Brittanys, Ashleys, and Audreys out there. Of course the name seems feminine to me; Charlie and Charles seem masculine but “boyish.”

    Interesting that you posted this on my mom’s birthday!

  5. New data is out!

    Charlie in 2009: 1,242 boys (72%), 485 girls (28%)
    Charlie in 2010: 1,415 boys (68%), 660 girls (32%)

    So, a higher proportion of baby girls were named Charlie (just this spelling) in 2010.

  6. As a given-name Charly who is female, clearly that is the association for this spelling for me. (I was born in ’88, named after the schmaltzy novel, well before the trend.) Charlie, written, is masculine (and British!) to me.

  7. We are from the mid-atlantic U.S. and our daughter, who was born in 2008, is named Charley. We often thought of the -ie spelling to be more masculine than the -ey spelling. It is a family name for us. We are hearing more and more stories of people naming their girls Charlie/Charley. We get a lot of positive feedback on the fact that we named her Charley (not Charlotte, Charlene, etc.). No offense to the people named Charlotte or Charlene. . .they are pretty names, but I wanted to have a little girl named Charley. :) The name suits her perfectly. . .I am glad we didn’t bend to family that felt we should give her a more feminine name and then Charley could be her nickname.

  8. The current status of Charlie…

    In 2011, the name by itself was given to 1,503 (64%) boys and 848 (36%) girls.

    If we look at all the other spellings that year, though, the percentages switch places:

    Charlie: 1,503 boys, 848 girls
    Charlee: 18 boys, 703 girls
    Charley: 85 boys, 459 girls
    Charly: 32 boys, 79 girls
    Charli: 5 boys, 379 girls
    Charleigh: 347 girls
    Charlea: 23 girls
    Charlye: 15 girls
    Charlei: 8 girls
    Charliegh: 7 girls

    Overall: 4511 babies, 1643 (36%) boys and 2868 (64%) girls

    To compare: The 2009 numbers I used for the original post gave me 46% boys and 54% girls. So the Charlie-group has become more feminine in the last two years.

    P.S. Recently learned about the Disney show Good Luck Charlie. The titular Charlie is a girl (Charlotte).

  9. This is just more silliness from left-wing celebrities. People like Elisabeth Shue [daughter ‘Anne Charles Guggenheim’] just want to undermine sex distinctions. The same film industry also portrays people calling their parents by their first names, a deliberate attempt to replace natural and proper forms of authority with that of an ever-expanding state bureaucracy. People are herd animals of course, and will follow their example, thinking themselves frightfully progressive into the bargain. Personally I despise them all.

  10. We are thinking about naming our little girl Charly or Charli. It is a family name and we named our first child after my family so we are trying to name our second after my husband’s. Can’t decide, don’t really want to deal with the fools of the world such as Joe Saponic.

    To Mr. Saponic directly, I think it is odd that you contribute naming children to a person’s political status. I am neither a left-wing celebrity nor following such trends to undermine sex distinctions, unless you are speaking of the negative and limiting distinctions, then yes, I would like to undermine these distinctions for both sides. I would love to say I make my decisions based on a unaffected perception of reality, but alas, we all make decisions based upon outside influences – that includes you. It seems that such left-wing celebrities affect your thoughts and opinions a great deal – what importance you have placed on people you despise. Hopefully, you can overcome this anger and not offend people named Ashley, Charli, Danny, Sammy, etc, for no good cause or reason.

  11. My name is Charlie and I’m a girl. I’ve live in France, Spain and England and never met any other girl with the name Charlie (or any other spelling), not even as a nickname. I’ve read many comments on other websites that say it should only be a boys name and if not would cause confusion (which I have had a bit of a problem with in the past, especially with my subscription to a Formula 1 magazine). I love the name, especially as it is rare amongst girls. My name is not a shortened version of Charlie either. I personally find it quite annoying when people ask me whether my name is short for Charlotte (because I really don’t like that name myself) or Charlene. I wish there were more girls called Charlie (or even Charly/i/ey etc), but then again, it would make me more common and I wouln’t like that one bit :) .

  12. I have a daughter Charlie (real name Charlotte) . She’s always been known as Charlie. I like in the midlands in the UK. I know a few Charlie’s but there are more male Charlie’s in this country.

  13. I am from Estonia and to me personally Charlie is a boy name and Ashley is a girl name. There is no particular reason, it’s simply how I feel when I first hear those names spoken out. In the back of my mind I do know that Charlie and Ashley could be names for both sexes, so I don’t rush into any conclusions, but if I could pick from these two names then Charlie would most definitively be a boy’s name and Ashley would be a girl’s name.

  14. It is a boys name. I live in South Florida but am from the West coast of Canada.

    I think it’s sad when mom and dads give their boy a girls name and vice versa. Let’s keep Charlie a boys name!

  15. Hey rachel…..why dont u mind your own business and keep your negativity to yourself, my daughters name is charly and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Its unique and it fits her to a T! So sorry u dont like unisex names, but that sounds like a personal problem to me! Get over yourself its 2014…times have changed and people want unique names for their kids!!! Thats the joy of being a parent…u can name your babies whatever u want amd nobody else’s opinions matter!!!

  16. I have a little girl named Charli. We live in Texas. I stressed about naming my daughter an untraditional name quite a bit because of my fear of people like Rachel and Joe Saponic. But, I wanted to have a little girl named Charli. I think Charli is so feminine – it ends with an “e” sound, as many girls names do, and the spelling makes it very apparent it is intended as a girl’s name. Moreover, we did not establish a more formal version, we just named her what we wanted her to be called.

    Sometimes I get odd looks from older women, but mostly I get people telling me how much they love that name for a girl and their family’s history in regards to Charles.

    My parents were not supportive of this decision, and I respect my parents very much. I understand their concerns. Interestingly, my parents are very supportive of strong females and raised three very successful and driven women. Also interesting is I, myself, am named after my father, Lacie. I use the nickname Libby because my middle name is Elizabeth. As a child, I grew tired of explaining my nickname to everyone on introduction. Hints why I named Charli, Charli, not some other name I liked less.

    In any regard, I am happy with my decision. It is important to support people who take chances AND those who uphold tradition. I like to think I do both – i have one little girl named Lillian, a very old and traditional girl’s name. She goes by Lilly. As previously mentioned, I have a second little girl named and called the same, Charli. And just in case she ever got overwhelmed by the ignorant people, no names necessary, I gave her out an out. She can choose to go by her very old and traditionally feminine middle name, Marie.

    I have been following this site since my first research into girls named Charli, about two years. I don’t typically follow sites and I had reluctance to do so; especially when I began to receive the emails. However, it makes me happy to see that the overwhelming majority of people have their heads on straight…much obliged.

    Best wishes to those who can’t quite seem to love thy neighbor in spite of differences…

  17. Charlie is hardly unique, Danielle. But I see nothing wrong with Charlie on a girls, its traditionally a very much masculine nickname name, but it can work as a nickname for Charlotte.

  18. The scales might be tipping, you guys!

    In 2012, the Charlie breakdown — for that spelling alone — was 54% boys (1,551) and 46% girls (1,315 girls).

    Do you think the majority of Charlies in 2013 will be girls?

  19. Ok, here’s the full breakdown of all 2012 spelling variants:

    Girls: 3,916 out of 5,611, or 70%

    Charlie: 1,315
    Charlee 992
    Charley: 572
    Charleigh: 506
    Charli: 387
    Charly: 70
    Charlea 21
    Charlei: 14
    Charlye: 13
    Charliee: 11
    Charlii: 10
    Charle: 5

    Boys: 1,695 total out of 5,611, or 30%

    Charlie: 1,551
    Charleigh: 89
    Charly: 34
    Charlee 16
    Charli: 5

    So the girl/boy split has continued to widen, from 54%/46% (2009) to 64%/36% (2011) to 70%/30% (2012).

  20. My name is Charli & I am a girl. I have met 4 girls also named Charli(e). I love my name. I think it is perfect for a boy or a girl! Just like the name Jesse or Logan, I think they both fit well for girl or boy!

  21. My name is Charlie. I am currently in school and people often ask me if my real name is Charlotte but with my head held high I say NO and I wouldnt change it for the world!????????

  22. Charlie is not a name and I don’t understand how it ever became a nick name. Charlie is neither boys name or girls name its a nickname for a boy. But like I said why have a nickname like Charlie when people will just call you Charles because that’s your real name. Same as Bobby name. My cousins name is Robert but no one calls him Robert which is strange. Anyways nicknames are stupid just go with the name you were born with and stick with it I’d say.

  23. my name is Charlie and im a girl I hate my name to death I with I can change it. this week I have everytime I get called a boy and no once knows how that fills everytime it fills like im getting stabed in the heart. everytime I walk out of lessons coz right now I don’t know what to do. so I went on this website and I saw most people has said that it is a boys name and it is.

  24. My name is Charlie and i’m a girl. I love my name because its so different. I get asked all the time if my name is short for anything but its not!

  25. My name is Charlie, short for Charlotte. But no one calls me Charlotte and I prefer charlie. I think it suits me well. When I was a kid people were confused when I told them my name was charlie. It was always annoying to explain it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  26. Hello,

    my name is’nt Charlie. But, I will now change my name, and I want be Charlie named. Many people think, this is a boys name, but this is not true. I think, with changed my name, it will be problem, but I will fighting.
    Sorry for my bad english, I am from Slovak Republic.

  27. Just noticed (late! sorry) that “Charlie” was given more often to girls than to boys for the first time in 2016:

    • 2016: 1,751 girls and 1,697 boys named Charlie
    • 2015: 1,557 girls and 1,666 boys named Charlie
    • 2014: 1,436 girls and 1,685 boys named Charlie
  28. Nancy Man May 3, 2016
    “Charlie was a top-10 girl name in Quebec two years in a row (2013 and 2014). It dropped back out of the top 10 in 2015.”

    Charlie-as-a-girl’s-name may get a bit of a boost in Quebec this year. An 18 yr old girl named Charlie from the Montreal area bought a lotto ticket to celebrate her birthday and won the grand prize.

  29. My Danish girlfriend and I live in Amsterdam together and we named our daughter Charlie.
    I haven’t heard of any girls named Charlie, but I love the statistics posted in this thread. I had no idea Charlie was rising in popularity like that.

    Charlie’s second name is Athena. Our son and Charlie’s older brother, is called Dexter, second name Storm.

  30. My daughter’s name is CHARLIE. Not short for anything, just Charlie. It suits her and I think it’s a lovely girls name. We are English.

  31. When I shortened Charles to Charli people kept telling me Charli is a girls name and I should spell it Charlie. There’s a musical called Charlie Girl and a perfume called Charlie – but maybe that’s just in the UK.

  32. I think it’s awesome to give a child a unique name without it being a made up name. Charleigh (however you choose to spell it) is just that kind of name. I have one of those names that is old fashioned and boring.

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