“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.
In the early 1950s, famous husband-and-wife dance team Marge and Gower Champion appeared in a string of musical films (such as Mr. Music, Show Boat, Lovely to Look At, and Give a Girl a Break). They also performed on a number of TV variety shows, and even had own sitcom, The Marge and Gower Champion Show, that aired on CBS in the summer of 1957.
The couple had two sons, the first of whom was born in late 1956. He was named Gregg after novelist/playwright Jess Gregg. According to a source from 1957, Gregg “staked the Champions to the $30 they needed to their first dance engagement in Montreal.”
The baby’s middle name, Ernest, came from Marge’s father, Hollywood dance teacher Ernest Belcher.
Gower Champion was also a successful theatre director, and, in the ’60s, Gregg worked as an assistant to Champion on four musicals (including Hello, Dolly! and I Do! I Do!) while continuing to work on his own novels and plays on the side.
Gilvey, John Anthony. Before the Parade Passes By. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005.
Please note that I did include names in the gray area between one syllable and two syllables. The deciding factor on these particular names will be your own interpretation/accent, so be sure to test the names out loud before making any final decisions. (“Hayle,” for instance — would you say it like Hale, or like Hailey? Or “Rise” — is it rize, or ree-sah?)
Please note that I did include names in the gray area between one syllable and two syllables. The deciding factor on these particular names (such as Charles, Miles, and Noel) will be your own interpretation/accent, so be sure to test the names out loud before making any final decisions.