I or Y

Someone wrote…

I want to change my name to something more gender-neutral like “Toni/y,” but I’m not sure whether to pick the “i” or the “y” at the end. I feel like the “y” would get me perceived as just another guy (when I’m writing, and everybody can see my name), and the “i” would get me perceived as just a tomboy. I don’t know which one to choose.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 10th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 6 comments »

6 Responses to “I or Y”

  1. Hodge Podge

    How about a completely different spelling? Tonei… TonnĂ© (tell people it’s French…)

    Ok, someone better at linguists than me might be able to come up with something :P


  2. davidbare



  3. Lane

    If all you’re worried about is gender perception, keep in mind there are a lot more ways to express your gender than your name. One thing you could do is think of which gender you are most commonly perceived as/most often express, and pick the contrasting spelling. Or just go with the one you honestly like best when you aren’t worrying about gender.


  4. shaedofblue



  5. Chris

    The “i” ending is definitely feminine in English (that, by the way, is why I also have a problem with the word “boi.”) Go with the “y” ending; it’s grammatically gender-neutral, though in this name it is masculine. Anyway, in most romance languages neuter nouns and adjectives look more like the masculine than the feminine ones.


    anonymous replied:

    well, really, any ending is grammatically gender neutral in english, because in english we don’t decline nouns based on gender. kind of like how we borrow a bunch of nouns from other languages, then insist on pluralizing them our way, so we end up with screwy words like “raviolis” and “candelabras”


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