“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.
A reader named Kennith contacted me a few weeks ago about the names Dale Earl and Dallas Earl for his son.
He didn’t receive my initial response (as my emails haven’t been going out lately) but, luckily, he stopped by the other day and left a comment letting me know that he’s now considering the name Dalen Earl as well:
Nancy, I emailed you awhile back about a boy’s name but I’m not sure you got it. I like the name Dallas Earl but now I have a new name to consider, Dalen Earl. My late father and late brother’s middle names were Dale so I added an n at the end and loved it, does it sound good? My middle name is Earl as is my uncle and grandfather.
First, thank you for trying again, Kennith. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to give you some feedback.
Second, let’s try a three-way poll:
[Update: The poll is closed now. The final tally was: 40 votes for Dallas Earl, 39 votes for Dalen Earl, and 12 votes for Dale Earl.]
In the comments, please let us know which option you chose and why.
Here are my thoughts:
When it was Dale Earl vs. Dallas Earl, I had a slight preference for Dallas. I loved that Dale was a family name, but I just wasn’t keen on the sound of “Dale Earl.”
Now that it seems to be Dallas Earl vs. Dalen Earl, I think I’ll stick to my preference for Dallas. I like that Dalen is close to Dale, but I also think people will misspell and mispronounce it a lot because it’s rather unusual. Dallas is more familiar, so living with it ought to be less of a hassle.
Do you agree? Disagree?