“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 Kathy is expecting a baby girl in December. She’d like some help coming up with a name. She writes:
I have a 25 month old named Ethan. I have loved that name but am sad to see it’s become so popular. I would like suggestions for a feminine, unique girl name if you have some.
Kathy does like the name Ava, but feels it’s too popular to use.
She also mentions that the baby will be of German/Irish extraction and have a 2-syllable surname that starts with an h (think Hofler).
Ethan and Ava are short, simple, traditional names. But they both happen to be very popular right now. So I looked for girl names that have a similar profile, but that aren’t quite as popular (i.e. none are top 20).
Alice Amy Anna Clara Cora
Elsa Gemma Heidi Ivy Laura
Leah Lucy Lydia Marie Mary
Naomi Paula Ruth Sarah Susan
Now, Kathy did use the word “unique” in her e-mail. None of the above names could be described as unique. In fact, I don’t think any baby name is unique in a literal sense. But here are some names that weren’t popular enough to make the top 1,000 in 2009.
Which of these names do you like best with Ethan? What other names would you suggest to Kathy?
Trump Tower, located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, was completed in late 1983 thanks in part to a $5 million deal with Tiffany & Co. to purchase the unused air space above their flagship store next door.
On October 13, 1993, almost a decade later, Donald Trump and Marla Maples had a baby girl they named Tiffany. Here’s what Trump had to say about Tiffany’s name:
Everything involved with Trump Tower has been successful. And Trump Tower was built with Tiffany’s air rights. But I’ve also always loved the name.
Tiffany was originally an English surname belonging to Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), co-founder of Tiffany & Co. It was based on the medieval female personal name Tiffania, which can be traced back to the Greek name Theophania, comprised of the elements theos, “God,” and phainein, “to appear.”
The name became popular in the U.S. following the release of the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). It was one of the top 100 girl names in the nation from 1970 until 1999.
Journalist Walter Shapiro wasn’t too keen on Trump’s choice back in 1993. “How much more tasteful had the parents simply explained that Tiffany rhymes with epiphany,” he wrote. He also gave us these prophetic lines:
Picture a kindergarten of the future as the teacher calls the alphabetical roll: “Armani, Burberry, Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Hermes…” all the way down to “…Valentino, Vuitton and Zabar.” Instead of superhero lunch boxes, these kids will tote personalized shopping bags.
That future is getting closer, Walt. In 2009, hundreds of babies were named Armani and Valentino, and dozens more were named Cartier and Hermes…
Boyle, Robert H. “The USFL’s Trump Card.” Sports Illustrated 13 Feb. 1984: 53-63.
Brozan, Nadine. “Chronicle.” New York Times 14 Oct. 1993.
“Donald and Marla have a baby Tiffany.” Reading Eagle 13 Oct. 1993: A10.
A reader named Andi has two children, Emma and Ethan. She’s now expecting her third, a girl, and she’d like some name suggestions. Here are the details:
She does not want another E-name.
She’d like something that isn’t very trendy.
The baby’s surname will start with an r and have two syllables. (Think Rogers.)
Andi likes the names Adeline (nn Addie), Ava, Chloe, Ellie, Grace, Isabelle, Lauren, Lily, Madeline (nn Maddie) and Victoria. Her husband doesn’t care for any of these names, though.
She also mentions that the names Olivia, Catherine and Julia are off the table.
This is a curious case. Andi would like to avoid trendy names, yet many of the names she likes are very trendy right now. Ava and Chloe are in the top 10. Grace and Lily are in the top 20. Isabelle is similar to #1 name Isabella. Ellie is similar to #14 Ella. Addie and Maddie are also nicknames for #12 Addison and #7 Madison.
So the challenge will be finding a name to go with Emma and Ethan that sounds trendy, but isn’t. Here are some ideas:
Adele Alice Althea Anne Calla Camille Celeste Celia Claribel
Diane Delia Flora Helen Jane Johanna Josephine Josie Larissa
Lucia Lydia Mabel Marie Marina Marla Naomi Nelle Nicole