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 series featured card player Bret Maverick and sometimes other family members, like brother Bart 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?