In the L.A. Times the other day, an article talked about prime-time television’s “reinvigorated love of the western, where projects are sprouting like cactus in the desert…and viewers may see the biggest glut of westerns since the genre’s heyday of the ‘60s.”
It was that heyday that incited the stampede of names that hadn’t been heard in a century onto the boys’ popularity lists of the 1950s, sixties and seventies, some of which are still riding tall in the saddle.
Heroes and villains, famous and infamous, real life, big and small screen characters and the actors who played them—there’s a whole genre of cowboy names that have a certain swagger and western twang all their own.
Here are a dozen of the best: who they were and why we like their names.
Beau(regard) Maverick was one of the B-named Maverick brothers in the long-running TV series, along with Bret, Bart and Brent. Beau was played by future James Bond, Roger Moore, and the name Beau has retained both a southern drawl and a western twang.
Cole Younger (born Thomas Coleman) was a real-life Confederate guerilla during the Civil War, who then became an outlaw with the James-Younger gang. Cole has been in the Top 100 since 1997 and makes a strong but sensitive choice
Cheyenne Bodie was the lead character in the 1950s western TV series, Cheyenne, set right after the Civil War. A place name in many old cowboy movies, it became a legitimate first name with this show, and became a cowgirl name beginning in the eighties, reaching a high of 72 in 1998 and now ranking at Number 184.
Emmett Dalton was another bad boy—an outlaw member of the Dalton gang. Nowadays the name is associated with a character in the popular Twilight series, which helped propel Emmett up more than 200 spots in the past year, but it still has something of a far west feel.
Flint McCullough was a co-starring character on the seminal TV oater, Wagon Train. Flint is the kind of heavy-metal macho moniker being considered by some parents today, along with cousins Steel and Stone.