Speaking from personal experience, I grew up in Germany born as Michael but was (and am still) called “Mischa” by my family and friends (this is the German spelling). I never met a female Mischa (or Misha) until I came to the United States, and, ironically, went out with one on a date. Her father had a fascination with Russian history, but, apparently, was not aware that this name was given to boys in Russia. Again, in Germany I have never met a girl/woman with this name ever, and I have been back extensively. While the comments make it clear that there are any number of girls/women who have been given this name in the U.S. in recent decades, it has historically been a boy’s name. Now, given all of the changes with respect to gender, gender-roles, etc., it is not surprising that the name has been given to girls in the U.S. I cannot tell you how many times someone here in the U.S. had significant misconceptions, when they saw my name only on paper or heard my name, about my gender and race, only to be surprised when meeting me in person. On a personal level, I was always annoyed when someone thought it was a girls’ name. However, living in the United States meant having to put up with it.
Mischa - Deutschland  3/25/2021
Naming my daughter "Mischa", her father's name is Michael. I think it's cute. It's also ridiculous how worked up anons get over names lol.
hnymnphs  3/11/2021
There's nothing feminine about this name, boy names can end in "a" too.  3/7/2021
It's interesting to see how many different opinions people have on this name based on their cultural and/or personal experiences!
I was born in Czech, and name Misha is used in Czech, Slovakia and Poland as a pet name for Michael and Michaela, so it has a unisex feel in those countries. I am currently expecting and my partner who is British absolutely loves this name and he feels it's appropriate for both genders. And he is begging to call our first born with this name regardless if it is a boy or a girl.
I had different names on my mind, but seeing how much my partner loves it, I am considering it as a strong option!
He probably loves it that much because my partner's name is Mike and our cat is called Mikeš, therefore having Misha is just having someone else called practically the same name but using a different version
(P.S. My cat is 13 yo, and I have known my partner for 7 years, so no, I haven't called my cat after my partner. However, they are both ginger! What a coincidence or maybe it's not, maybe it's just my odd taste lol).

Also Misha sounds like a combination of our names = Mike and Šárka (pronounced as Sharka).
German version of this name is spelled Mischa but correct way of English spelling is Misha.
However, it doesn't really matter- it's a beautiful name and we are humans we can adapt to anything, so if we see it as a male name, surely we can eventually get used to the fact that girls can have this name too x.
Sarka  2/21/2021
The reason why "Misha" is now considered a unisex name is because Westerners appropriated it as a girl's name since it ends on "sha". As a Russian living in the US, it doesn't bother me because Americans do name baby girls with masculine sounding names. In Russia, it is not considered a unisex name. It is a short version of the name Mikhail or Michael in English, which is a male name. Russians don't name their daughters "Misha". Paradoxically, "Sasha" is unisex because it is short from Alexandra or Alexander. Go figure.
YulieAna  10/19/2020
"I play Pokémon Go ever-E-day, I play Pokémon Go."
The singer who sang that was named Misha.
Sorry, but he's all I can think of when I hear this name. It also sounds very feminine for a boy.
Anders1234  8/21/2020
My name is Misha, and I am a male and I have always wondered if people thought that my name is a girl name or boy name and sometimes it makes me laugh to think that most people think that the name Misha is a girl name. My parents gave me this name because they thought that my name felt strong and sometimes I would like to believe that.
― Anonymous User  7/1/2020
This name can also be FEMININE, making it UNISEX.
In the USA, 135 girls and 7 boys were named MISHA in 1991.
In the UK, 53 girls and 0 boys were also named MISHA in 2009.
LionB3  6/16/2020
It is UNISEX, not masculine. It also can be a short form of the Russian girl names Mikhelina, Mikhailina, Mishel, etc... All Mishels (Michelle in English) I know go by Misha.
― Anonymous User  9/25/2019
Misha doesn't sound very masculine.
kayisforkeen  8/12/2018
Misha Collins, a famous actor, plays the angel Castiel in the hit television series Supernatural.
impala67  3/13/2018
It seems like more of a diminutive to me. Like Mike as well. I wonder if they use it as a full name in Russia ever. I love Misaki which sounds kind of similar in sound, instead for a girl.
― Anonymous User  1/11/2018
I absolutely love the name Misha. It’s masculine but still has a warm nice sound.
I’m not sure whether I like Michael (and all the other forms of that name) and seeing as I probably wouldn’t use a nickname as a given name...
― Anonymous User  11/29/2017
My name is Mischa. Honestly, I don’t like the name because no one that I’ve met has known anyone named Mischa and everyone pronounces it wrong and I just want a normal name.
― Anonymous User  11/15/2017
I always thought this had a very feminine sound. I actually knew a female Misha before I knew a male Misha.
― Anonymous User  9/10/2017
Misha Janette is an American fashion journalist, fashion director and fashion blogger, based in Tokyo. She is best known for her unique personal style, that has made her a fashion personality in Japan.
cutenose  6/11/2017
Well I think Misha is suitable as both a masculine and feminine name. In Slovenia we have a diminutive as Miša (pronuciated ME-SH-A) and though it's used more on girls there are boys with this name too and it's beautiful.
avagirl  2/19/2017
In the case of actor Misha Collins, this is a diminutive for Dmitri (Dmitri "Misha" Collins, born Dmitri Tippens Krushnic).
Feorsteorra  1/24/2017
My name is Misha and I am female. I always thought it was a feminine name, I guess not. :( Oh well, I love my name either way.
oOYellowFoxOo  9/23/2016
Alternative diminutives:
Michael, Mikhail- Mickey, Mike, Mikey.

Michelle- Shelly, Elly, Mickie (Miki, Mickey, Micky, etc.) Mika.

Michaela (Mckayla, Mikayla, etc.) Kayla, Chaela, Ala, Mickie, Mica.
Eileen1209864  6/24/2016
My name is Misha and I love my name. I am a woman, very feminine. Every woman or person should be proud to hold this name, because our name means a bearer of light spirit soaring whom is like the Lord, my love outpouring. We touch the heart of God and in part his love with all those around us. We are also Michal or Michael, God's mighty heavenly Archangel of war. We are merely God's greatest vessels.
Mishablessed  6/11/2016
I am Indian and in our language meaning of Misha is smile. Traditionally we use this name for girls in Hindu religion. In the Urdu language Misha means beautiful and pretty so as per our culture this name is feminine. We should not hurt each others emotions and respect the feelings attached to it for different cultures.
sha  3/25/2016
Earlier this year BabyCenter declared 2015 "The Year of the Gender-Neutral Baby," and the trend of rejecting the idea of traditional "boy" and "girl" names is still going strong.

Of course, parents have switched up so-called boy and girl names for ages. But there were also unspoken rules about it. Usually girls were given feminine names like Alexandra or Nicole and went by boyish nicknames (Alex or Nicky) just for fun. And once a traditionally male name (like Ashley or Leslie) took off for girls, parents generally stopped giving it to boys.

Many new parents – including celebrity moms and dads – are even using traditionally male names for their daughters. For example, Wyatt (like the daughter of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher) jumped 84 percent on our list of girls' names, Lincoln (like the daughter of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard) gained 47 percent, Maxwell (like the daughter of Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson) leaped 39 percent, and James (like the daughter of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds) climbed 13 percent. Announced today- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg introduced his DAUGHTER - Max!

I personally think tomorrow's children will never consider this to be an issue. They will get that Mischa can be feminine or masculine without much question.
― Anonymous User  12/1/2015
"What about the name Sasha? It's also masculine in Russia- short for Alexander." - Sasha isn't masculine in Russia, LOL, where did you find this? Sasha is short for BOTH (Alexander and Alexandra) like Alex in English speaking countries.
― Anonymous User  9/25/2019
Love Misha or Mischa for a girl. It's lovely!
― Anonymous User  12/1/2015
Living in the US, I didn't know (or know of) folks named Misha, but I would have guessed that it was a female name. That is not to suggest what gender ought to use it. I have heard from friends in Latvia (not Russia, but Russian influence) that male names typically (always?) end in "s" and female names end in "a". And in Latin-based languages, often the the way to distinguish between a male and female name is by the ending, e.g., Mario (male) and Maria (female). So I don't think it is a problem for our "anglophile ears" to guess (assume) that a name ending in "a" is female. But I *do* find it a bit disturbing when people suggest that the name should not be used as it has been used in its native culture historically.

Having said that, the reason I looked here in the first place is because I met a Russian/Ukrainian guy who identified himself as Misha and wanted to make sure I understood him correctly. So my single data point supports the assertion that Misha is a guy's name. I have found this forum interesting and educational. It's interesting to hear both the history and people's perceptions of names.
sswarren  11/20/2015
I love this name! I hear it and think of Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov who goes by this nickname with friends and family so they say.
littlescarlett  11/19/2015
This thread about Mischa is hilarious! This exact site that you all subscribe to for knowledge and insight, by definition, lists Mischa as Masculine AND Feminine. The site guru who gathers countless data points have resolved that question! What about the name Sasha? It's also Masculine in Russia- short for Alexander. But President Obama uses it for his daughter. Is that rocking your world? Get over it. Jessica Simpson just named her daughter MAXWELL DREW. Girls are named Ryan, Drew, Charlie, Elliot. I love character, I love sexy, I love mystery- I love Mischa for a girl.
ElizaJane  9/30/2015
I have heard this name in passing a number of times and I guess I initially thought it to be unisex. However, I have since started learning the Russian language and learnt it was a Russian name. Strangely enough, that changed my view of it towards 'feminine' because I learnt that Russian nouns ending in -a or -я (-ya/-ia/-ja). I did not realise that this was not the case when it came to names (in particular, the diminutive forms of names). I do understand the true usage of the name in Russian culture, and will not make female characters with this name (I am an author). It does not mean, however, that this name is not considered 'feminine' in other cultures, and I also respect this. I think it is always important to consider all parties involved in situations like this))
Nic.127  7/26/2015
Hahaha, I'm curious to see how many Americans think the name Misha is a girls name or even unisex for that matter. If you wish to use the name go ahead, but for a boy for god sakes. You name your daughter this and you'll only be giving her a man's name. Better hope she doesn't ever leave the country.
― Anonymous User  5/18/2015
NEWS ALERT! Misha is also an Arab name that means beautiful/pretty. Why not research something before showing off your lack of cultural IQ. I love it when people are sarcastic about a subject as if they have knowledge but really don't.? Then again maybe that's why some people use "anonymous" as a user name.
Think beyond  6/22/2015
I love this name for a boy. I don't see how it sounds remotely feminine.
hkols  11/5/2014
My name is Mischa. I am female and I wear this name with great pride. I live in the USA.
Comments that my name is disgusting, wrong, make you want to barf, dumb, etc. are incredibly insulting.
My mother was not a "dumb American" to name me this. She was a very forward thinking lady who saw the beauty in my name. I love it. It is is a very strong, exotic, beautiful name for either sex.
If you don't like my name, just say you don't and why. It's not necessary to hurl slurs at my name, my nationality or my family. That is just juvenile.
Mischa  10/12/2014
The usage of names underlies changes and ensures that new / modern names are created. Regardless if a Russian origin of Mischa is masculine and the nickname of Mikhail / Michael, why can Mischa not be a modern unisex name? BTW, there are also a lot of Arabic and Hebrew variants like Miesha or Myiesha. All of them are female names. I fell in love with the sound of Mischa and its spelling right away. It's a great unisex name and a beautiful one for women.
NiKaBe  7/1/2014
I've heard Misha be used as a nickname for Michelle.
DaisyGraceBaker  6/18/2014
If you seriously believe this name is feminine, I think you need to rethink your life choices. Misha sounds extremely masculine, why do Americans, or English speaking countries in general believe everything should be changed to fit them. Stop trying to be unique by torturing a girl with this name.
KenniWinchester  6/4/2014
I'm not Russian and names ending in -a are feminine in my language too. But I've always thought that Misha, Nikita and Sasha were veeeery masculine. I cannot even imagine a girl called Misha. Don't know why it's so, but it's definitely a boy's name.
Philidel  12/25/2013
Surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but Misha Collins is an actor who plays the angel "Castiel" in the show Supernatural and also appeared on a Charmed episode titled "They're Everywhere" portraying as a volunteer called Eric who happened to know Phoebe Halliwell.

He is the only person I currently know about who bears this name, and I think he bears it well. So whatever gender this name belongs to, perhaps it's most important if the child can grow into adulthood without wanting to legally change it the moment he or she turns of age. They don't stay babies forever, in a way, you're naming an adult.
Crimson Firelily  11/22/2013
"Mishka" (meaning "teddy bear" in Russian) can be used as a pet form of this name.
― Anonymous User  11/10/2013
"Misha" is derived from the "mi" in "Mikhail." Many Russian diminutives are created by taking a part of the given name and adding "sha" to it. Well-known examples include "Natasha," taken from "Natalya" (nata+sha), or "Sasha," taken from either "Aleksandr" or "Aleksandra" (sa+sha), though in the case of Sasha, it is more commonly used on males, despite being a unisex name.

The alternate spellings of "Mischa" and "Micha" seem to have originated from France and Germany. In French, "ch" makes the "shh" sound, therefore, "cha" is pronounced "shah." In German, it is practically the same way, only it also includes the "s" to make the "shh" sound out of "sch." Think of Schumann, the composer, as an example of this, whose name is pronounced "SHOO-mahn."

Misha (and its variant spellings) used on females came from anglophone countries, whose ears interpret most names with "a" at the end to be strictly feminine, regardless of ethnic background or meaning.

The origin of Misha is strictly masculine, as it was a nickname created from a masculine name ("Mikhail," a.k.a., "Michael"). I have seen "Mike" and "Mikey" used on girls as nicknames for "Michaelina" (and its variant spellings), "Michelle" (and its variant spellings), and "Michaela" (and its variant spellings). Coming from someone born and raised in the United States, I can honestly say that using "Mike" and "Mikey" on females sounds extremely odd. I can imagine that it also sounds strange to most of Europe to hear their ethnic variant of "Mike" and "Mikey" used on females.
― Anonymous User  7/31/2013
Despite the fact that it's a Russian masculine diminutive, the name Misha was given to 94 baby girls born in the US in 2012. I do know a boy named Misha though. I think it's his full name.
Oohvintage  7/18/2013
See (and some of you Russians might kill me for this, but) I can see this name on a girl. But at the same time, I can also see the name Mike on a girl. I am not really strict about masculine and feminine names. Especially because many boy names become girl names.
Though Michael and Mikhail on a girl is pushing it, even for me. I suppose it's less masculine because it's a diminutive?
EkiAku  5/17/2013
Misha is also commonly used in Georgia, where it is a diminutive of Mikheil. In Georgian, Misha is written as: მიშა.
Lucille  5/1/2013
Only angry, jealous euro-Russians would feel offended and confused by anyone using Mischa as a girls name. The rest of the world doesn't care about name vs gender. Most russians are immigrants of some sort themselves, that country is littered with mixed cultures, so they're really, really confused. Use whatever inspires you. That is how modern intelligent progressive cultures operate.
bigjohnstud  3/25/2013
A character from the visual novel Katawa Shoujo is nicknamed Misha. Her name is derived from her full name which is (in Japanese name order) Mikado Shiina.
TomMH2  12/5/2012
This name may be used only for males in Russia and other European countries, but I think it's acceptable to use it as a girl's name in US and perhaps other countries. I personally like it for both males and females. To say it's disgusting, disrespectful, or wrong isn't very nice and it's judgemental. To be so possessive over a name is ridiculous. People use names for their children that they like, not to be disrespectful of a country or culture. This is the problem with the world today. We view ourselves as so separate and having boundries, while we really are all connected. If more people thought of the world as one and all citizens of this earth a part of the human race, instead of specific races and nationalities, this world would be a lot better place.
BooandSamba  6/22/2012
Mischa Barton is an American actress.
― Anonymous User  12/12/2011
First of all, this name is misspelled. Its M-I-S-C-H-A.
Second, this name is actually unisex in some parts of world such as the US (where I live), I love it for a little girl, although I don't think I could ever use it thanks to Thomas Haris (author of the Hannibal Lector series).
Digikitty219  11/12/2011
Actually it can be spelled Misha or Mischa... not just Mischa.
The only reason it's "Unisex" in the U.S.A is because of their ignorance and lack of respect for other country's names.
The use of the name on girls is disgusting.
― Anonymous User  11/30/2011
I like the name Misha for a guy.
In Polish the feminine name Misia (pronounced Misha) means little teddy bear. :)
blueeyesparkle  5/23/2011
Although it may horrify people of Russian origin, this name is nearly always used as a female name in English-speaking countries.

Much like the name Nikita.
keepitreal  1/21/2011
This is a boy name. It's disgusting to think that people think it's a girl name. It's a boy name. I'm from Russia and this name is never used on a girl.
Katya  1/16/2011
I think this is a total kickass name for a guy!
Chrila96  10/21/2010
My Samoyed's name. He's a boy, of course. Why would I name a girl "Mike"?

But apparently English-speakers own this name now and say it's soooo girlyyyy. I wonder what the Russians have to say about that?
― Anonymous User  10/7/2010
I don't understand how Anglophones in Anglophone communities can claim that "this is SO a girl's name" when it's not of their own language or culture! How rude do you have to be to try to discredit an entire ethnicity's traditions? Misha is a Russian nickname for a boy named Mikhail. Deal with it.
Hart  3/23/2010
Only dumb Americans or English speakers would ever consider this name for a girl. It's a strictly masculine name all over Eastern Europe.
― Anonymous User  12/5/2009
In Russia it's only a masculine name! And it sounds too weird for a girl.
Ravynne  9/11/2009
This is SO a girls name!
― Anonymous User  6/6/2009
On Mercenaries 2, the drunken jet pilot's name is Misha.
drkangelcat  5/30/2009
Listen you people (especially you "penneyperson"). Misha is a Russian, masculine name which is short for Mikhail (Michael). It doesn't matter how "feminine" your ignorant anglophone ear thinks this name sounds, Misha is a masculine name. Calling a girl Misha would be like calling her Mike or Michael. She'd endure torture if she ever went to Russia, because this is a STRICTLY MASCULINE NAME, and always has been. If you want to choose a Russian name, then you should respect the language and culture, and not use Misha on a girl.
― Anonymous User  5/25/2009
Actor Misha Collins plays Angel Castiel in the CW show 'Supernatural'. He has also appeared in TV shows like CSI:NY and Nip/Tuck.
NessCortese  3/30/2009
Micha Bergese is an actor best known for his role as the Huntsman in the film "The Company of Wolves". I love this name, though I prefer it spelled Mischa, and I also like it more for a boy than a girl.
harry_sent_me  10/1/2008
I really like this name, especially for a boy. On a girl, it's okay, but kind of "Hollywood" because of Mischa Barton.
― Anonymous User  6/26/2008
I love this name! It's by far my favorite masculine name. If I ever had a baby boy, I would totally give him this name. It sounds really strong. Too strong to be a girls name, I think. Actually, it would sound kinda ghetto on a girl :^\
Jesus_Freak  4/2/2008
I think that Misha is a great name and is beautiful. I know many nice people named Misha.
sunny456  2/5/2008
It seems to be fairly common in Germany too (I've seen it mostly as Mischa). But yeah, seeing it on girls sets my teeth on edge, too.
Pie  10/17/2007
In a story I'm writing one of the characters is named Misha, but is a girl. I never thought Misha was a boy's name and never as a nickname for Michael. (I've only known boys with the name Michael to call themselves Moe or Mike.) I think it makes a better girl's name.
Renthead13  8/10/2007
Misha is DEFINITELY NOT a masculine name! Any boy named Michael who is called Misha for short, I'm sorry you have to endure this torture! On a different note, I know a girl named Misha.
Penneyperson  7/8/2007
Until this year I HATED this name, but one of my new friends is named Mesha (slightly different spelling) and she's a really nice person. It's weird how your opinion of a name can change based on one specific person with that name.
joanie2007  6/26/2007
Misha is only a masculine name in Russia, so how can 57% of the public ever think that it is a feminine name? If some poor girl will say there: "Hi, I'm Misha", most of people will think they heard wrong. Or simply that they've met a great joker.
ToveTer  6/19/2007
Misha/Mischa is a Russian name that means "Who resembles God?"
elysa  5/11/2007
I live in a area full of Russians, I've learnt it isn't a girls name. In my school (which is very good making it big) they're 4 Russian boys with this name and 1 girl but she's Anglo-Australian (I live in Melbourne.)
Koolgal  4/2/2007
I always thought this name was a girl name. Guess I was wrong.
― Anonymous User  1/23/2007
Madison and Ashley and hundreds of English male names are constantly being used for girls, so whose to say Misha isn't becoming a trendy girls name in Russia? You never know.
― Anonymous User  1/20/2007
It bothers me when writers don't get names right.
Thomas Harris named Hannibal Lecter's sister Mischa, and the family is supposed to be Lithuanian. It is slightly different spelling than Misha, and in some countries they spelled it Misja, but still. I've asked Russian friends and they all say that Misha is never ever used for girls. Couldn't Harris have looked into that?
― Anonymous User  1/10/2007
I love this name as a nickname for Michael. It makes me want to barf when I see it on a girl.
― Anonymous User  1/9/2007
My name is Misha too. I live in the Uk, I am feminine! And I think it was rude of you to comment, this name on a girl makes me want to barf! Because I wear my name in pride and not even your comments will change that, so I don't mean to be rude but please don't comment that again! There are people with feelings out there too, you know! And my mother gave me the name, it was very judgmental to say mean things about it! And my mother can choose what she likes, and it suits me really well.
Mishalansberry  1/15/2015
Mishalansberry you need some thicker skin. I personally like the name, although only on girls, it's ridiculous for guys. But just because some random person on the internet that you don't even know said they don't like it is no reason to get all bent out of shape. I hate to break it to you, but I'm sure there's plenty of others out there that don't like your name either. Or my name or any other for that matter.
Thanatopsis  2/1/2015
I like the idea of using Misha as a nickname for Michael, especially since I hate the nicknames Mike or Mikey. It's also good if the child has some Russian in his heritage.
Missy  12/13/2006
Mischa Elman was a Russian violinist.
mymymetrocard  12/1/2006
One word: Dreadful!
― Anonymous User  11/11/2006
I don't really like this name, something about it, I don't know.
― Anonymous User  10/27/2006
Actress Mischa Barton (formerly Marissa on The O.C.) bears this name.
― Anonymous User  5/22/2006
Misha is pronounced MEE-shah, and is also a pet form of Mihail (mee-ha-EEL).
AshJ  2/7/2006
The mascot (a bear) at the 1980 Moscow Olympics was named Misha.
AshJ  2/7/2006

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