“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 baby name Yarnell was very rare until 1977, when it became a little less rare upon the sudden appearance of dozens of baby Yarnells in the U.S. baby name data:
1980: 9 baby girls named Yarnell
1979: 6 baby girls & 6 baby boys named Yarnell
1978: 22 baby girls & 17 baby boys named Yarnell
1977: 41 baby girls & 25 baby boys named Yarnell
If you think mimes are freaky (like I do) you might find the explanation a bit disturbing.
The spike can be traced back to mime team Shields and Yarnell, made up of married couple Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell. Their TV variety show, The Shields and Yarnell Show, debuted in 1977 (but was canceled in 1978).
If you don’t remember the show, perhaps you remember their robots having breakfast routine [vid]. It was one of the skits they performed on a 1979 episode of The Muppet Show.
P.S. There was no equivalent spike for the name Shields, in case you were wondering. And that’s good, because one freaky mime name is quite enough.
P.P.S. The original appearance of Yarnell in the data in 1962 (as a boy name) can be attributed to TV actor Bruce Yarnell, who was appearing in the TV Western Outlaws at that time.