How popular is the baby name Mel in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Mel and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Mel.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mel

Number of Babies Named Mel

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mel

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“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.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

History of the Baby Name Maverick

baby name maverick

Maverick is currently the 356th most popular baby boy name in the US. In 2012, over 800 baby boys — the most ever in a single year — got the name.

Where did the name come from, and how did it become so trendy?

Maverick the Surname

Maverick began as an English surname. Its etymology is unknown, but there are several theories. Some think the origin is Welsh. Others think it’s related to the name Maurice.

The surname traveled with settlers to the New World as early as the 1620s.

Maverick the Noun/Adjective

One descendant of those 17th-century settlers was Texas cattle owner Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870).

When he returned permanently to San Antonio with his family, Maverick left a small herd of cattle originally purchased in 1847 on Matagorda Peninsula with slave caretakers. It was this herd that was allowed to wander and gave rise to the term maverick, which denotes an unbranded calf.

The earliest recorded use of “maverick” in this sense comes from 1867.

The earliest recorded use of “maverick” to refer to a human — someone who does not follow rules, someone who is unconventional — comes from 1886.

Maverick on Television

The TV Western Maverick debuted in 1957 and ran until 1962. The show featured card player Bret Maverick and sometimes other family members, like brother Bart Maverick.

The show is what put the baby name Maverick on the map:

popularity graph, baby name maverick
The rising popularity of baby name Maverick.

Maverick in the Movies

Usage of the name stayed flat until the popular movie Top Gun was released in 1986. The film starred Tom Cruise as a navy pilot Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. (Also around this time we see the debut of the baby name Cruise.)

Another movie that may have added to the momentum was Maverick (1994), which starred Mel Gibson and was based on the original television series.

Maverick in Sports

The name has really picked up steam in the last few years, perhaps due in part to the success of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, which made it to the finals during the 2005-06 season and won the finals in 2010-2011. (Texas was the state with the most Mavericks in both 2006 and in 2010, incidentally.)

Maverick in The Future

Given the current trajectory, the name set to become increasingly popular in the next few years.

How high do you think it will go?

And, what do you think of the baby name Maverick?

Sources: Maverick – Online Etymology Dictionary, Maverick, Samuel Augustus – The Handbook of Texas Online – TSHA

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Cian’s Little Brother

A reader named Jamie writes:

Cian Joseph is two years old, and will be welcoming a little brother in May. My husband is Irish, and so we’re sticking with names from that region. We know the middle name will be James, but we’re hitting a road block on first names. So far the only name we both like is Declan, but our super-Irish last name includes 2 K-sounds and ends in -lin. They sound a little funny together.

My first thoughts were Desmond and Diarmaid (Dermot), which are both similar to Declan. There’s also a saint named Donnan. Speaking of saints, how about:

Brendan
Brogan
Eoghan
Ernan
Faolan
Fergus
Fintan
Flannan
Finnian
Garbhan
Grellan
Loman
Manchan
Mel
Murtagh
Odhran
Ronan
Ruadhan
Senan
Ultan

Most of the above are spelled other ways as well, which is convenient (as some versions are easier to pronounce in English, while others are closer to the original Irish).

Historical Irish kings had names like Niall (Neil), Domnall (Donald) and Ruaidri (Rory).

Looking to surnames, there are options like Brady, Grady, Murphy and Nolan.

Do you think any of the above sound particularly good with James? What other names would you suggest?

Update, 6/07: Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Jamie chose…

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Andrew

A reader named Jaime is expecting a baby boy this May:

We’re a Hispanic family that like a strong name like Andrew […] but we’re having trouble with a middle name. Andrew is long already so we want something short for a middle name.

The baby’s last name will be Cruz.

I’m not sure what style of name Jaime is looking for, but here are some short names (of various styles) that I think sound good between Andrew and Cruz:

Eli
Ezra
Ian
Jay
Joe
John/Juan
Jude
Kai
Kane
Kyle
Leo
Lou
Louis/Luis
Lucas
Lyle
Mel
Noah/Noé
Owen
Paul
Saul
Scott
Seth
Shane
Tate
Theo
Toby
Todd
Ty
Vito
Zeno

Do you have any other middle name suggestions for Jaime?

Edit, 6/04: The baby has arrived! Scroll down to the final comment to find out what his name is…

Baby Names in Brussels – Gabriel, Lina, Mel-Gibson, Vlinder

In 2007, the most popular names in Brussels (the capital of both Belgium and the European Union) were:

Boys Girls
  1. Mohamed (235)
  2. Adam (169)
  3. Rayan (84)
  4. Nathan (81)
  5. Gabriel (66)
  6. Amine (62)
  7. Ayoub (58, tie)
  8. Mehdi (58, tie)
  9. Lucas (56)
  10. Anas (54)
  1. Lina (94, tie)
  2. Sarah (94, tie)
  3. Aya (86)
  4. Yasmine (71)
  5. Rania (70, tie)
  6. Sara (70, tie)
  7. Salma (69)
  8. Imane (63)
  9. Ines (56)
  10. Clara (49)

According to Brussel Nieuws.be, the number of births between 2002 and 2007 rose by 8.4% for boys and 9.2% for girls, but the total number of different names increased by 17.0% and 20.7%, respectively. Very interesting…

And what about the unique names? They included:

Boys Girls
Adonis, Arafat, Aristote, Aristoteles, Babaloluwa, Beau-Luccio, Blade, Blij, Bonheur, Boy, Broes, C-jay, Christ-Yehochua, Devo, Diesel, Dieumerci, Dike, Doedoe, Elegast, Ensor, Euro, Exaucé, Faithwins, Fox-Anthony, Goodwill, Grimm, Harley-Davidson, Jazz, Jean-Public, Jefken, Joyeux, Kennedy, Kyuss, Lancelot, Lion, Lowie-Viktoor, Maddox, Mekongo-Willy, Mel-Gibson, Merlijn, Moon, Mouhamadousaikou, Mozes, Muhammed-Ali, Odd, Okay, Precieux, Prodige, Quossay, Ridder, Rocco, Serafin, Sky, Spencer-Cash, Stier, Strong, Sufjan, Sunday, Sunny, Synphorien, Thoth, Thörgal, Trésor, Vangelis, Volkan, Vos, Welcome, Wens, Wolf Alaska, Allégresse, Babbe, Babel, Babsi, Bambi, Beertje, Believe, Berin, Beste, Bilitis, Blue, Camus-Salomé, Charisma, Choupette, Condoleezza, Cozmo, Creator, December, Destinée, Destiny, Diva, Echo, Elf, Elie-Blue, Ella-Blue, Enola-Jane, Exaucée, Exocée, Ezel, Fidelité, Glorieuse, Glory, Godwill, Hallelujah, Honesty, Harmonie, Ijoux, India-Summer, Joyful, Kadiatoudiallo, Kikie, Lorelei, Lucrecia-Shanice, Luu-Ly, Lux, Mackenzie, Magnificat, Magnolia, Mammelow, Man, Marvelous, Meadow, Melody, Merel, Missie, Missy, Muze, Nanouk, Netje, Pixie, Salvatrice, Santana, Sherilyn-Morissette, Summer, Sun, Sway, Trinity, Venus, Victory, Vlinder, Winter, Zonne

(I believe the above were culled from records covering the entire country, not just Brussels.)

Sources: Algemene Directie Statistiek, Mohamed tops baby name list in Brussels, and Belgian Baby Names 2007 (Thank you, Luke!)