“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.
The Vietnam War ended with the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
After the South Vietnamese government surrendered, a handful of U.S. Navy ships went back to Vietnam to rescue the remaining members of the South Vietnamese Navy and their families. One of these boats was the USS Kirk, which rescued between 20,000 and 30,000 South Vietnamese refugees, most of whom ended up emigrating to the United States.
Among the refugees were several pregnant women, including 17-year-old Lan Tran. The USS Kirk brought Lan to a refugee camp in Guam where she gave birth to a baby girl in mid-May. Here’s what Lan had to say about chooing her daughter’s name:
I remembered that Capt. Jacobs had said he wanted to put the name of the ship for the baby. But because I have a baby girl I cannot put first name Kirk for the baby girl. So her middle name is Kirk. My husband’s last name is Tran and my maiden name is Nguyen. And then her middle name is Kirk, and her first name is Giang Tien, which means “angel from the sky,” So my child’s name is Tran-Nguyen Kirk Giang-Tien.
Lan’s husband, a pilot in the South Vietnemese Air Force, was left behind but eventually made it to the U.S. as well. The couple decided to settle in California with their baby girl.
After a search for the “Kirk baby,” Capt. Paul Jacobs and other sailors and officers from the USS Kirk were finally reunited with Lan Tran and Tien Kirk in 2005.
In 1994, the Welsh rugby team traveled to the South Pacific, competed against Manu Samoa, and lost. According to the BBC, “[T]he men in red simply could not deal with the power and pace of the islanders, nor the stifling heat, as they slipped from 14-9 down at the break to a crushing 34-9 defeat.”
Soon after, the rugby game got a namesake. A baby boy born during the game was named “Wales Manu Samoa 9-34 Moamoa” — from the names of the teams, the final score, and the game’s location. The baby’s grandmother, Sia Gale, recently explained:
While we were cheering the Manu v Wales at Moamoa field, my [late] daughter-in-law (Talaleu Papalii) gave birth to a boy.
My son (Kirk Faatupuloto Gale) called us and relayed the good news after the game, so I automatically told him to name my first grandson after the Manu Samoa v Wales game.
So my grandson’s name is Wales Manu Samoa 9-34 Moamoa Gale.
Sia also explained why she put the Welsh team first: “Manusamoa is a title from a village in Upolu, so I put Wales first and then Manu Samoa.”
According to the Samoa Rugby Union website, “[t]he origin of the name Manu Samoa is surrounded by a veil of myth and legend,” but many believe it was “the name of a famous Samoan chief some 10 generations ago.”
(Also, the word manu happens to mean “bird” in Samoan.)
I was going to publish all of the 2009 names here in a single post, but WordPress couldn’t handle it. So instead I’ll start where the top 1,000 left off and give you all the names that were given to 100+ babies last year.
Let’s start with boy names. The 1,000th most popular boy name last year was Mustafa, given to 194 babies. After Mustafa comes…