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On the hunt for the perfect short unisex name? Check out this list of gender neutral names that are short and sweet, with their meanings and origins.
Short names are perfect for those who love a simple or minimalist style. Couple that with cool and flexible gender neutrality and you have names that are highly wearable and effortless.
Unisex names are en vogue as parents seek to give their future babies space for individuality and freedom from gendered expectations.
Personally, both of our children have at least one unisex name so this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent countless hours pouring over books, forums, lists and databases looking for the perfect gender neutral names for our babies so this list comes from hundreds of hours of research.
We opted for short unisex names because I wanted names that were straightforward and easy to wear.
Below you’ll find short gender neutral names broken down by letter length and style, including: short 2-letter gender neutral names, 3-letter unisex names, 4-letter unisex names, one-syllable unisex names, cute short gender neutral names and unique short unisex names.
And if you’re looking for more nonbinary name ideas, don’t forget to check out my other lists:
On to the names!
2-Letter Short Gender Neutral Names
You can’t get any shorter than these 2-letter unisex names so they’re the perfect way to start off our list.
Bo is a gender neutral name coming from Scandinavia meaning “to live.” It also is a Chinese surname and a common nickname for names like Bodhi or Boaz.
Jo lands in gender neutral territory since it works as a nickname for popular names of both genders. You can envision a Jo being a male Joseph as easily as a female Joanna. As a standalone name, Jo means “God is gracious.”
Though more commonly a boy name, Ty also works as a crossover name for girls. It can serve as a nickname for common names like Tyler or Tyra. Ty is an international name and means “tiler.”
3-Letter Gender Neutral Names
Next up we have 3-letter unisex names.
Ace was once a nickname that has gained traction as a given name since the 2000’s. Ace comes from Latin and means “one” and “unity.”
Bay is a concise and easy word name, that fits in well with other fashionable names like Crew and Navy. It is a nature name that means “sea inlet.”
Though Eli is more commonly seen as a boy’s name, it also works as a girls’ name given it is a natural nickname to popular girl names like Elizabeth and Eliana. It comes from Hebrew meaning “elevated.”
Ira is a short gender neutral name of both Hebrew and Sanskrit origins. In Sanskrit it means “earth” or “wind God,” and in Hebrew it means “watchful.”
Jax rose to prominence as part of the Jackson name trend. While more common for boys, it is also used for girls, often as a nickname for Jacqueline or Jackie. Jax means “God is gracious.”
Lux is a name meaning “light” that comes from Latin roots. With it’s ending -x and gender neutrality, the name has a lot of appeal for fashionable parents.
Pip is a short unisex name and nickname that means “horse lover.” Most commonly known for the Dickens’ character, Pip works as a nickname for Phillip, Piper, or Pippa. I personally love the name and pitched hard (and unsuccessfully) for naming a boy Piper because of it.
Rio is a short unisex name meaning “river” in Spanish. The name has only recently started to enjoy some popularity, entering the boy’s list only in 2020. Time will tell if it stays gender neutral or swings to being exclusively a boy’s name.
Rue is an adorable short gender neutral name, with a less adorable meaning. In English, it means “to regret” (it also is the word for “street” in France). Rue saw an uptick after the name was featured prominently in Hunger Games. Before that, you may have associated the name with saucy Golden Girl, Rue McClanahan.
Sky is a gender neutral name with a hippie vibe. This nature name has never gained as much popularity as its cousin names Skyler and Skylar. If you like a hippie vibe, check out my list: 75 Hippie Names.
Modern Tru is a play off the word “true” and means “loyal one.” It now ranks higher than it’s more classic formal name, Truman.
4-Letter Short Unisex Names
Here are some great 4-letter gender neutral names.
Cade is a name coming from English meaning “round.” Caden for boys and Cadence for girls are similar names for those looking for a full name option.
Cary is a mid-century favorite that has fallen out of fashion today. A Cary today would very likley be the only Cary in their class. This 4-letter unisex name has roots in both Latin and English and means “pure” or “stream.”
A diminutive of the name Andrew, Drew is a Welsh name meaning “wise.” While it always been a more common boy’s pick, it has steadily been given to girls since the 1990’s, perhaps thanks to Drew Barrymore. In recent time, the name’s popularity has been trending down for boys and up for girls.
Ezra was previously a male name that is trending towards gender neutrality. Like Elliott and Emerson before it, Ezra has that soft sound that appeals to girl parents looking for a crossover boy’s name. It entered the top chart for girls in 2018 and has been on the rise since. The name comes from Hebrew meaning “God helps.”
Lane is an English name meaning “pathway.” The spelling Lane is much more popular among boys but girls have some great Lane’s in pop culture like Rory’s best friend on the Gilmore Girls. Layne is the more commonly seen spelling for girls.
Coming from French roots, Rene means “reborn.” Unlike many gender neutral names, Rene peaked in popularity for girls well before it did for boys (1967 vs. 1983). Often boy parents shy away from names that are heavily associated with girls, with Rene being a lovely exception to the trend.
Ryan was wildly popular, especially for boys, in the 1980’s. Even as it was a top 20 boy’s name, it managed to hold on to its unisex-status as it continued to rank in the 300’s for girls. Ryan is an Irish name that means “little king.”
Sage has two great associations. First, it is an earthy and botantical nature name in honor of the herb. Second, it means having “profound wisdom.” It’s no wonder its shooting up the charts for both genders.
Tory is a 4-letter unisex name coming from English meaning “victory.” While it is gender neutral, you may associate it more with girls given its use as a nickname for Victoria (in fact, it’s only ever charted as a given name for boys!).
Winn is perhaps my personal favorite short unisex name. It comes from Welsh and English and means “friend” and “fair.” Winn also makes my list of 25 formal names for the nickname Winnie.
Yael is a Hebrew name meaning “to ascend.” Yael is currently rare but is waiting to be discovered by parents looking for unique biblical names.
One-Syllable Gender Neutral Names
Syllable count is another way to measure the shortness of a name. Here are some one-syllable unisex names that are crips and concise. Note that you’ll find one-syllable gender neutral names throughout this entire list as well.
Forget Ashley and Ashton and keep it simple with fully neutral Ash. Ash is an English name that means “ash tree.”
Gale was a popular one-syllable unisex name in the 1930’s and 1940’s. However, it has fallen out of fashion and even the major pop culture spotlight it got from the Hunger Games’ character hasn’t been enough to boost it. The name can reference wind strength, an English surname, or a shortened version of Abigail.
Grey is a neutral name coming from Britain that means “grey-haired.” Grey is the more popular spelling but the American-spelling Gray is also on the rise.
Jove is a spacey gender neutral name with only one syllable. This rare name comes from Latin and means “Jupiter.”
Traditional Lee is one of the few names that has stayed decidedly gender neutral over the last century. The name comes from English meaning “meadow.”
Sol is a bright and shining one syllable unisex name meaning “sun.” The name comes from Spanish, though it can also be a nickname for Hebrew name Solomon.
While much more popular for girls, Wren still can claim gender neutrality as it was just out of the top 1000 for boys in 2021. The name means “small bird” and also makes my list of 65+ Bird-Inspired Baby Names.
Cute Short Unisex Names
Turning now to short gender neutral names by style, here are some cute short unisex names.
Dana is a unisex name that saw a simultaneous rise in popularity for both girls and boys in the 1950’s. However, as it started gaining steam for girls, boy parents backed away from the name. The peak popularity for boy Dana’s was in the 1950’s, while the girl Dana fad didn’t peak until the 1970’s. Dana comes from Hebrew and means “God will judge.”
Eden is a popular name for both boys and girls with biblical garden roots. The name offers a simple formal name with the possibility of the cutesy nickname, Edie.
Iggy is a unique way to get in on the nicknames-as-given-names trend. It is fun, light and gender neutral. Iggy comes from English and means “fiery one.”
Jean is adorably antique. While Jean is more commonly associated with grandmas in the U.S., it is the masculine equivalent of John in France. Jean means “God is gracious.”
Joey lands in gender neutral territory since it is common nickname for classic names like Joseph, Joanna, and Josephine. The name has Hebrew roots and means “God will increase.”
Joss is a gender neutral name with German roots meaning “one of the Goths.” It derived as a diminutive of more-popular Jocelyn and has remained a rare name.
Kit falls into gender neutral territory because it is a nickname for two classic names: Katherine and Christopher. It is unique as a given name but would make a short and easy nonbinary name for a baby.
Lael is a short gender neutral name that started as a boy’s name. However, its soft sound with only vowels and L’s made it an easy crossover for girls. It comes from Hebrew meaning “belonging to God.”
Nova in the Mermiam-Webster dictionary is defined as “star that suddenly increases its light output tremendously.” That is a good parallel to the name Nova, which has blazed through the popularity charts for girls, leaping from obscurity to the #32 in a decade. Still, Nova hangs on as a gender neutral name that was given to 274 boys in 2021.
Ray is an English name meaning “counseling protector.” Ray is the more gender neutral spelling of this short name, while Rae is more commonly given to girls.
Remy/Remi is a gender neutral name blazing up the charts. This fun and punchy gender neutral option fits easily in today’s naming fashion. The name comes from French origin meaning “oarsman,” and is believed to also have roots in the Latin name Regimius meaning “rower.” If you like Remy, check out my list of 75 Middle Names That Go Well With Remi.
Rory’s started to make gains in popularity shortly after the run of Gilmore Girls, with its endearing main character Rory. The name means “red king” and comes from Irish origins.
Shea is a soft name with a strong meaning. It comes from Irish and means “dauntless one.”
Yuri is both a boy and girl name, meaning “farmer” or “reason.” From its Russian roots, it leans masculine while it is more often seen as a girls’ name in Japan.
Short Rare Unisex Names
Finally, we close the list with short unique gender neutral name ideas.
Ultra-modern Cove is a concise and strong name meaning “safe harbor.” This name is so new and rare that does not have an established gender association.
Dell is one of my favorite gender neutral names because it is so short and sweet (sadly I couldn’t get my partner on board). It comes from English and means a “small valley.”
Halo is a word name that has recently starting shining (pun intended), entering the girls’ top chart in 2019 and steadily climbing since. Still, new word names are gender neutral as they don’t have the weight of centuries of gender association, such as names like Ann or Jospeh. The name means “divine light.”
Lark is a nature-themed name that means “song bird.” Lark is a unique pick amongst other trending bird names like Wren and Jonah.
Luan is a name of many origins and meaning, given to both genders. In Irish it means “warrior;” in Portuguese it means “moon;” and, in Chinese it means “bird.”
Luz feels like a new and trendy name, but has actually enjoyed moderate popularity for girls since the 1950’s. That ending -z though makes it feel current and fashionable. Like Lux above, the name means “light” and it comes from Spanish and Portuguese.
Names with X in them are all the rage today. That is why it is surprising that the name Lynx is still waiting in the wings. It’s concise, it’s strong and it means “wild cat:” what could be cooler?
If word names like River and Nova can be hits, why not Moon? Moon as a given name may sound like an influencer name but it is also a name used in Korea. As with most word names, it doesn’t have a strong gender association.
Navy is a new nonbinary name meaning both the color blue and “fleet of ships.” While the name works for both boys and girls, its popularity is rising faster among girls. If this trend continues, Navy may slip out of unisex territory in the coming years.
Onyx is a name that simply looks too cool. This 4-letter unisex names somehow manages to fit in trendy X and O, plus a voguish looking -yx ending. The name is shooting up for boys but has been considered a nonbinary name meaning “black gemstone.”
With the rise of other place names, like Brooklyn and Dallas, parents are on the hunt for the next unique city name for their baby. Oslo is a great option, with it’s beginning O and soft sounds. Plus, it is an option for the great nickname Ozzy.
Rain is a rare nature name that feels like it could take off any minute. It would fit in well with trendy word names like Sage and Ember. There are many alternative spellings for Rain, like Rayne and Rainn, which was given notoriety by the Office actor Rainn Wilson.
Tove is an Old Norse name, thought to have roots in a name meaning “beautiful Thor.” Tove is more common for girls but it is still occasionally given to boys. In the U.S. it is so rare that people are not likely to associate a gender with the name.
Ulu is a short gender neutral name with two different origins. It can be a variation of the masculine name Ulric and mean “wolf power.” From its African origins, it means “second born daughter.”
Looking for more name ideas? Check out these lists: