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Grayson and Greyson - Baby Names

It would be logical to assume the names Grayson and Greyson have something to do with the color gray...right?

Actually, no. :) These two names are variants of an English surname that, etymologically, has nothing to do with color.

They can be traced back to the Middle English word greyve, which signified a steward -- a person who was employed to manage the domestic concerns of an estate or property. The word greyve came from the earlier word greifi, which was an Old Norse title denoting a certain type of nobleman (the equivalent of a count).

So our modern names Grayson and Greyson come from surnames that meant either "son of the steward" or "son of the count" (depending upon the source of the surname).

Grayson has been among the most popular baby boy names in the U.S. since 1984. Greyson jumped onto the list a little later, in 1995. Both have become more and more popular over time:Neither name is currently popular for baby girls, but I've seen some anecdotal evidence suggesting that they are currently being used for both genders. The big question now is: Will these names eventually go the way of Peyton and Avery, one-time male-only names that have since become more common for females?

Grayson and Greyson could be appealing as girl names because they combine the sound of Grace (currently ranked 21st) with the trendy, tomboyish "son" ending shared by Madison and Addison (4th and 12th). But I believe the one-two punch of "gray" and "son" (somber color + masculine suffix) will likely be enough to stave off a total gender crossover.


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