I've been meaning to write about this topic for a while and was reminded of it again recently when I saw The King's Speech, and the speech therapist, Lionel Logue, calls one of his son's by his name, Laurie. I bet a lot of Americans wondered about that.
Some popular first names for boys in the UK are more likely to be first names for girls in the USA.
Here are a few examples:
Laurie - male name in UK (short for Laurence)
Laurie - female name in USA
Terry - male name in UK (short for Terrence)
Terry - female name in USA
Hilary - male name in UK,
Hilary - female name in USA
Ashley - male name in UK
Ashley - female name in USA
There are also lots of examples of names that are used for both male/female although the female version is usually more popular in the USA:
Some names are quite common in the UK but not in the USA:
Gillian or Jillian is a popular name for girls in the UK
Jill is more common in the USA
I'm sure there are lots more examples that I haven't thought of. If you can think of others, please leave a comment.