“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.
A reader named Jessica contacted me a few days ago with an interesting question.
She and her husband have one son, named Cruz. They are expecting a second son in December. The only name they’re both really enthusiastic about is Grey.
The problem? Their last name starts with the word “black.” Let’s say it’s Blackburn. So, if the baby’s first name were Grey, his full name would be Grey Blackburn.
Jessica and her husband aren’t so sure about the combination:
What do you think? Is the Grey-Black color pairing ridiculous?
Jessica’s question reminded me Julie’s question about the initials S.O.S. from last year. Both cases have to do with given names that are perfectly fine (Samuel Otis; Grey) but surnames that create issues (S.O.S.; Grey Blackburn).
My take? I wouldn’t say the pairing is ridiculous. I think Grey is usable.
But, personally, I’d keep looking. (Especially since there’s so much time left!)
There are thousands of good names out there. I’ll bet Jessica and her husband could find at least a few others as enticing as Grey, but that mesh better with their surname.
A reader named Leigh will be having a baby boy within the next few weeks. She writes:
I am a teacher and have heard so many names that I don’t want to name our child. My husband and I really like the name Miles, however, there are many new baby boys in my friend circle, named Miles. I really like Emmett, but my husband is afraid he’ll be mocked because people might only know of his name from the Twilight series. We’re interested in two or three syllable strong, unique (not necessarily unusual) names. A current front runner is Anders, possibly Anders Gray Hollyard*. We also like the name Lars. I guess I’m finding we like names that end in s!
First name and possible middle name suggestions to go with Anders would be greatly appreciated.
*Their surname isn’t Hollyard, but a like-sounding two-syllable h-name.
A few thoughts on the current favorites:
Miles: The popularity of this one has been on the rise for years, so it makes sense that you’re hearing it more often. I’m sure this has already come up, but just in case: Have you considered Milo or Niles as alternatives? They both sound a lot like Miles, but they’re not nearly as popular (i.e. only 29 babies were named Niles in 2010).
Emmett: Personally, I associate this name with Emmitt Smith, not the fictional vampire. And I’m not even a sports fan. This Twilight craze will blow over one day (thankfully!) and, when it does, these vampire/werewolf associations will fade. Possible exception: Renesmee.
Anders: I really like this one. I especially like that it shortens to the nickname Andy, allowing anyone with this name to flip back and forth between formal/unusual and informal/familiar, depending on the occasion. Versatility is always a good thing.
Lars: I have a strong association with this one as well, though I’m not sure how many others have it — Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. So this one may prompt people to ask about the possible Metallica connection. Much cooler than a Twilight question, anyway.
Here are some other names, many with s-endings:
As far as middle names for Anders go, I think Gray is great. I think a one-syllable name with a hard sound (that g) sounds good in that spot. Other names that fit this description are Brett, Craig, Drake, Frank, Grant, Jack, Kent, Mark and Paul.
Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Leigh?
Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down for the name (or just click here).