Darby: Boy name or girl name?

Darby, originally a surname, first appeared on the SSA’s baby name list as a boy name. This was during the 1910s.

Two decades later, in the 1930s, it started popping up on the list as a girl name.

Usage was roughly equal between the genders for the next few decades. Not even the male Darby in the Disney movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) moved the needle much.

Since the late 1970s, though, usage has been consistently higher for baby girls than for baby boys.

And in the mid-1990s, usage spiked for girls thanks to the movie The Pelican Brief, which starred Julia Roberts as law student Darby Shaw.

Here’s what the usage of Darby has looked like for the last 5 years:

  • 2012: 117 girls and 39 boys named Darby
  • 2011: 135 girls and 37 boys named Darby
  • 2010: 151 girls and 46 boys named Darby
  • 2009: 136 girls and 23 boys named Darby
  • 2008: 160 girls and 37 boys named Darby

What are your thoughts on Darby? Do you think it works better as a girl name or as a boy name?

2 thoughts on “Darby: Boy name or girl name?

  1. My name is Darby, I’m a girl, and I think that it’s a girls name. It fits girls better than boys.

  2. I’ve always thought of Darby as a boy’s name. I think it just depends on what you’re used to or if you know someone with the name you relate it to that person’s gender. Such is the way with names like Darby, Bailey, Casey, etc.

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