12 Unisex Baby Names Cooler Than Your Name
When it comes to baby names, we’re all for something that defies convention. While we’re already accustomed to trendy unisex names like Sasha or James, here’s a new generation of choices that push those gender boundaries even further. Whether you’re looking for a creative baby name for a boy or girl, scroll on down for some fresh ideas.
1. Arden is both a place name — it was the magical forest in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and it means “valley of the eagle” — and a surname. But its strongest appeal may be its similarity to the word “ardent.” Arden was given to 243 girls and 94 boys in 2014. That’s a slight shift toward Team Blue, though on the girls’ side, Arden is poised to break into the Top 1000.
2. Ellis: All names El-related are fashionable these days for girls — from Ella to Eleanor, Ellery to Elliot — and Ellis is one from the boys’ side that is starting to cross over. Ellis was in the Top 200 for boys until about a century ago. After a long decline, it’s on a sharp upswing again, at Number 443 for boys, up from 529 a year ago. It’s not in the Top 1000 yet for girls, but it won’t be long.
3. Hero: We are used to thinking of heroes as male, but the mythological Hero was female. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who met a tragic end with her lover Leander. Despite its origins as a girls’ name, Hero was given to 20 girls in the US in 2014 versus 16 boys.
4. Indigo: There were just over 100 babies named Indigo in 2014, about a third of them boys. But it’s a name that can work equally well for both genders. And Indigo is an intrinsically cool color: the color of jeans, of royalty, and of New Age intelligence. Plus, it has independent-minded nickname: Indie.
5. July: The month name July relates, as do most names Jul-beginning, to the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. July has been used much less frequently than April, May, June, or August, but is starting to be rediscovered along with other names from the calendar. It was used for only 12 girls in 2014, many fewer than Julia, Juliet, and sisters, and a mere eight boys, much less popular than Julian or even Julius.
6. Lynx: is a slinky animal name with a sexy “x” ending, but much more unusual than Fox: There were only six boys named Lynx in 2014, compared with 15 times that many Foxes. And there were too few girls named Lynx to even be recorded — but that may be the best possible reason to choose the name, for a daughter or son.
7. Oak: seems like a stereotypically masculine tree name, and indeed there were 27 baby boys named Oak in 2014 versus fewer than five girls. But interestingly, the name Oakley is just about equally popular for girls and boys — 362 versus 394 — putting it back on the Top 1000 for both genders. But we actually prefer the sleek simple Oak.
8. Quincy: Who’s cooler than Quincy Jones? Although there are nearly three times as many boys named Quincy as girls, this Presidential name was given to more than 150 girls in 2014. Mia Farrow, master namer, has a daughter called Quincy. Still on the Top 1000 for boys, Quincy means “estate of the fifth son.”
9. Romy: has been a cool celebrity baby name in recent years, used by such hip parents as Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars, along with Matt Lauer. Popular in The Netherlands and France, Romy may be seen as a short form of Rosemary…or Romeo. It was used for 62 girls in 2014 and only six boys.
10. Sasha: is a name that hip parents often tell us they’re considering for their sons, though it’s much more heavily weighted on the girls’ side than you might guess: There were over 535 girls named Sasha in the US in 2014 versus just 20 boys. Sacha, the spelling used by actor Baron Cohen, is divided more evenly between the genders but very quietly used: only seven girls and nine boys. Originating as a Russian diminutive of the all-male Alexander, Sasha’s sybillant sounds say girl to many English speakers.
11. Tiernan: This Irish surname has an attractive sound and is both familiar and unusual. It was given to nearly ten times as many boys as girls in the US in 2014 — 48 vs. only five — but works well for both genders. Another, similar name that reverses the gender divide: Tierney, used for 56 girls but too few boys to make the records.
12. Wallace: may be a thoroughly masculine name — it’s Scottish and means stranger — that hit the Top 100 for boys a century ago. But it has some female credibility thanks to the notorious and super chic Wallis Simpson, for whom the King of England abdicated his throne. Fewer than five girls were named Wallace in 2014 with eight using the Wallis spelling.
Did you name your baby a unique unisex name? If so, share with us in the comments below.
This post was originally published on Nameberry by Pamela Redmond Satran.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com