I’m not sure to what extent it is the same in other cultures, but in English there are quite a few names which sound exactly the same whether they are for boys or girls, it’s only the spelling which can differentiate. I know that these days it is very fashionable to give children names which are anonymous as far as gender is concerned, names which might have been surnames, names which might be natural things such as seasons, fruit, weather events… but actual traditional names, there are quite a few!

Ashley/Ashleigh, Julian/Julienne, Peter/Peta, Robin/Robyn… and there are many more where only the spelling is different; there are others where not even the spelling gives a clue unless the person is standing right there in front of you, Hilary, Evelyn, Rowan, Toby, Lee, plus although abbreviated names or nicknames – Sam, Sammy, Jo, Joey, Jamie, Terry.

My name isn’t that unusual, but there are still people who haven’t come across it before, and think I might be male, or that I’m actually Louis or Lewis…there are also people who meet me face to think I am Louise, Lucy or even Loris!

Gabriel/Gabrielle Lindsey/Lindsay, Sidney/Sydney… and there must be many more!

4 thoughts on “Leslie/Lesley, Francis/Frances…

  1. The first time I encountered the name Lois was in the Superman comics Lois Lane the reporter or Supermans girlfriend. I pronounced it Loys Lane. I guess I got it from noise as I had never heard it before so thats how I thought it was pronounced. Then I fell in love with a cute girl across the street called Lois who set me straight. I can’t remember who i liked more her or her cocker spaniel as I was only twelve.

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    • I have learned to reply to most things – I had a swimming coach who always called me Loweese… he was such a nice man I didn’t mind! I think Loris is the strangest tthing I get called!

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  2. There was a girl in my class called Lois, and I remember being surprised when our teacher had no idea how to pronounce it. She thought it was ‘Loys.’ I never considered Lois that unusual a name, although my granddad did have a cousin called Lois.

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