I suspect that on girls, people were using Elisha
(pronouncing it "eh-LEESH-uh") as just another corruption of Alicia
, along the lines of Alisha
etc - probably not connecting it to the male Biblical name.
Again, the male and female names Jan
are separate (although not unrelated: both are forms of John
It's not quite the same thing, but from the 1100s to the 1400s, Julian
was one of the most popular girls' names in England, being the Anglicized form of Latin Juliana
on a male was not found until the 1200s, and was less common. So in this particular form, it was used on females first. Then, as happens with all names, it went out of fashion for both genders. When revived in the 1700s, Julian
was used mainly for males, and the variant Gillian
for females: occasionally Juliana
as a learned form. So if you're looking for a name that was female to male, then Julian
is one ... See Withycombe for detailed analysis of this.