“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.
I examined the impact of first names on ratings of physical attractiveness as judged by British undergraduate subjects. […] Names accounted for approximately 6% of the variance in subjects’ ratings of physical attractiveness. This effect was highly significant for pictures of women (p < .001), but nonsignificant for pictures of men (p > .05).
The researchers used Danielle and Alexander as the “attractive” names and Tracey and Kenneth as the “unattractive” names.
The study also looked at the characteristics associated with certain types of first names:
“Men’s names connoted more masculine characteristics, less ethical caring, and more successful characteristics than did women’s names.”
“Nicknames connoted less successful characteristics, more popular fun, and less ethical caring characteristics than did given names.”
“Androgynous names connoted more popular fun and less masculine characteristics for men and more popular fun, less ethical caring, and more masculine characteristics for women than did gender-specific names.”
“Less conventionally spelled names connoted uniformly less attractive characteristics.”
“For men only, longer names connoted more ethical caring, less popular fun, more successful, and less masculine characteristics.”
“More anxiety and neuroticism were attributed to those with less common names and more exuberance was attributed to those with more attractive names.”