“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.
Husband-and-wife dance team Marge and Gower Champion appeared in a number of musical films during the 1950s.
The couple had two sons, the first of whom was born in 1956 and named Gregg Ernest. According to a 1957 newspaper, he “was named after New York novelist James Gregg, who staked the Champions to the $30 they needed to their first dance engagement in Montreal.”
I spent hours trying to find a New York novelist from the ’50s named James Gregg…before discovering that the namesake was actually Jess Gregg, who wasn’t a novelist so much as a playwright. Who knows if that part about the $30 is true…
I also discovered that the baby’s middle name came from Marge’s father, whose full name was “Ernest Belcher,” unfortunately.
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.