A few months ago, in a post about bizarre baby names in Latin America, I mentioned “Makgiber” — a take on MacGyver, the name of both the popular American TV show MacGyver (1985-1992) and the remarkably resourceful lead character of that show, secret agent Angus MacGyver.
It made me wonder…have any U.S. babies been named after MacGyver?
Turns out the answer is yes! According to Social Security Administration data, well over 40 babies born in the U.S. since the late ’80s have been named MacGyver:
- 2006: 7 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1995: 5 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1994: unlisted
- 1993: 5 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1992: 9 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1991: 7 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1990: 6 baby boys named MacGyver
- 1989: 6 baby boys named MacGyver [debut]
- 1988: unlisted
(The name was bestowed a handful of times prior to the ’80s, but usage was far too low during those years for MacGyver to show up in the SSA’s data.)
In my opinion, MacGyver might be the best ’80s-inspired baby name of all time. Seriously. How could anyone with even a passing interest in pop culture not appreciate this name? The main associations are inventiveness/ingenuity, cheesy ’80s TV, Scotland, mullets, and possibly duct tape.
The surname is a variant spelling of MacIver/McIver, which is based on a Gaelic phrase meaning “son of Íomhar.” The name Íomhar is based on the Old Norse name Ívarr, made up of the elements ýr, meaning “yew” or “bow” (bows were made yew wood) and herr, meaning “warrior.”
In mid-2015, MacGyver — long used informally as a verb — was added to the Oxford Dictionary. To “MacGyver” is to “make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.” “[H]e has a shock of short red hair and a pair of rectangular-framed glasses MacGyvered with duct tape”.
The only ’80s name I can think of that might be cooler than MacGyver? Chucknorris.
I have yet to come across a baby named , but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.