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Does Erin/Eryn/Erynn Sound Just Fine for a Male Character?

  1. Yes (Erin/Eryn/Erynn can be used for a male character)

    12 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. No (Erin/Eryn/Erynn sounds too feminine to use for a male character)

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. JealousSea

    JealousSea New Member

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    Using Erin/Eryn/Erynn name for a Male Character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by JealousSea, Sep 17, 2018.

    Hey all, I was wondering what are your thoughts on this. Traditionally in North America, the name Erin is a common name for girls. It may not be as often, but can be used for males as well. I have this one male character in my story and I think this name with an E is perfect for him (not Aaron or Aryn/Arynn). Now...I would like to use the name with a y in the middle...Eryn or Erynn...when you see the name on paper, do you think “oh that’s a girl’s name” or does it come across you as unisex? I think Eryn or Erynn can be applied either way towards males or females. Just would like to collect your thoughts on this one.

    Ironically, I actually have a male friend considering changing his name to Eryn or Erynn and he’s not sure but he think it’s the perfect fit for him. Eryn/Erynn for a male sounds edgy, not as soft as Aaron. So in a way I’m kinda asking on his behalf as well.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm not clear on why the "A" version is a problem?

    I wasn't sure, but when I Google, it appears that Erin is definitely regarded as a female name, as is Eryn.
     
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  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    When I see the name Laurie I generally assume it's female, and when I see the name Alex I generally assume it's male, but that doesn't mean people of other genders can't have that name. If you want your character to be named Erin instead of Aaron, then go for it. Maybe even use it for a bit of character development. Most of the guys I know with 'girl' names can be pretty sensitive about it. Just ask Johnny Cash.
     
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  4. JealousSea

    JealousSea New Member

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    Good points. I have a guy friend named Courtney and another dude friend name Kimberly (goes by Kim). At first thought, one would think Courntey and Kimberly were exclusively ‘girl’ names but can be applied towards guys too. For this particular character in mind, I think Eryn/Erynn (what I’m leaning towards) sounds and looks like it could go either way. While people with the name of Erin in particular are often female, there are males with that name as well, especially in Europe. In North America it’s not as common. Eron is considered a male name often. Eren too. So why not Eryn or Erynn?
     
  5. Irina Samarskaya

    Irina Samarskaya Senior Member

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    It's misleading but I prefer "Erin" over any variations with y's because... well, it's like a discount version of the i-version. Plus the letter "y" sounds radically different in other languages. Like "Eryn" sounds like "Yeroon" in Russian or "Eir-jin" in Spanish. Not a big deal (or even a small deal given the target audience speaks English) but just a personal remark.

    In general I do not like it because the name lacks strength for a male (although if the male in question is weak-willed or effeminate then this makes sense). What kind of guy is Erin? Who would he associate himself with? What is level of tolerance for pain and failure? Does he work hard or quit quickly? Is he family-oriented or a hedonist?

    Maybe those questions could help (at least me as a suggester) conceive of a name to match the character.
     
  6. Ashley Watters

    Ashley Watters Member

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    Many names are originally male then taken as female. Laurie is originally a man's name and is still common for boys in the Canadian French community. Ashley and Kimberly are also originally male. There is a stigma for some boys who have now gender neutral names. It of course has it's similar effect for girls with male names such as Toni. A name can and often does affect behaviour. This is not limited to sexuality.

    Of course, the reality that most people want to believe is that sex parameters are discrete. A boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. Physical attributes are not the only determination. The brain is the actual determinate of behaviour. Most times the two line up and behaviour matches physical perception. Even in these cases, society has a filter for actions which are considered masculine or feminine. "He's a mamma's boy. She's a tomboy." The truth is human behaviour and physical traits are spectrum oriented or scales of grey. It is up to us as writers to make our characters real to the reader. The reader will then determine if they like character or not. Remember, you would not make your MC in a "Christian genre" to be gay :supershock: as readers of this genre are conservative. Know your audience. :bigcool:

    There is no problem with any name for your character as long as you handle it right. If in doubt, spell it out. Insure your description of Erynn identifies him correctly.
     
  7. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    At least according to Wikipedia it can be given to a male as well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin#Males

    Apparently originates from the word Éirinn, so it's of Celtic/Gaelic origin, meaning Ireland. There's also a town called Érin in France, though Erin is also recognized in the French dictionary as another name for Ireland.

    Coincidentally, it also appears in Finnish in the saying vähin erin which translates to 'little by little' but there 'erin' is an inflected noun (root: erä, 'batch' or 'set' of something), but this has nothing to do with the name Erin or its roots.

    On paper Erynn looks fine to me, and I wouldn't really be bothered or confused if it belonged to a male character.
     
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  8. lonelystar

    lonelystar Active Member

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    Erin is female to me (maybe because I knew an Erin)
    Erynn could work for male. But personally it's not a name I like that much. I'd probably be looking at Aaron or similar.

    Remember that like most things in life a name is something that bullies can manipulate or tease. If this has happened to your character how has this affected them? For instance they introduce themselves in a particular way to avoid confusion of pronunciation?
    Do they pronounce the name to sound more like another name?
     
  9. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    It doesn't matter these days. Any name goes. There's no "traditionally" anymore.
     
  10. WaffleWhale

    WaffleWhale Active Member

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    Yeah it really doesn't matter. Someone might be a bit surprised at first, and I only say surprised because I can't think of a word that expresses how slight the level of surprise would be. After they hear/see it for the first time, they'll stop noting the oddity.
     
  11. Privateer

    Privateer Senior Member

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    Laurie is a girl's name and 'Alex' is an abbreviation that can be applied to several names, but is usually short for Alexander, so that's fair enough.


    Erin is a girl's name meaning 'Ireland' and not just a variant spelling of the male Hebrew name Aaron. That said, it's use as a male name is not entirely unheard of. It's just really rare.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  12. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    I have a male character in my WIP called Erin. I don't see any problem with it. Yes, it's more commonly a female name, but as others have mentioned predominantly male names are used by females too. I think it's more interesting, if anything, to use odd gender-name choices like this, and realistic to have some unusual names that are odd rather than exotic.
     
  13. Ashley Watters

    Ashley Watters Member

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    Just sayin'!:fight::friend:
     
  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I see Erin or Eryn or Erynn all being girl names. And in fiction, your readers are going to be seeing a lot of this name and how you choose to spell it on the page. I don't really see the point of doing this unless it plays into the story. And even then, if it's only to be edgy, I think it would just be more of a distraction and not in a good way. I don't see why you want to do this really at all. I think more than looking edgy it will come across looking like a mistake or maybe like you were trying too hard to be edgy.
     
  15. ShalaylaW

    ShalaylaW Member

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    I seriously have heard more guys with the name Erin than I have girls, so I say you should go with whatever feels right. I don't think it's cool to pin a name to a specific gender unless it's super feminine sounding, like Ella or Rosalee. Otherwise what does it really matter? As long as it suits your character is what's important.
     
  16. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    I used Aeryn for a male MC in a novella once, and really liked it. But if you really want an "E" version, I like Erynn. Something about the double "n" makes it seem more masculine than Erin or Eryn. Not sure why, but that's the vibe I get lol. Maybe bc it reminds me of Flynn, which is male? And the masculine form of Lynn (vs the feminine Lynne). Just my sorta rambling 2 cents.
     

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