Their firstborn’s name came to them without any difficulty. But if this new baby is a girl, she’s nameless! Can we help Everly’s mama find some fresh inspiration?
Our last name is a long German mouthful that starts with M, so very little flows with it.
My inspiration pool is drying up. Your help would be greatly appreciated!
The Name Sage replies:
I’m a big believer in borrowing from our family trees. It’s often the quickest route to find a shortlist of names rich with meaning. And so Perrie Louise could be a great choice … but it sounds like it’s not a great choice for you.
Let’s take family names off the table – at least for now – and start with a blank page.
It sounds like you’re looking for a modern name, something tailored but still feminine. Everly combines lots of sounds we’re used to hearing in girls’ names, like Eve and Valerie, but seems distinctively different, too. It’s very much a twenty-first century choice.
Since your favorite boy name is also a surname, I’m tempted to start there. But word names – drawn from nature and tied to virtues – seem like a promising category, too. The key is to find another name that feels familiar, and yet unexpected at the same time.
Blair – Spare and tailored, Blair could work for a son or a daughter. It tends to be used for girls, maybe because it rhymes with the classic Claire. Or maybe fictional Blairs, from the 1980s-era Blair Warner on The Facts of Life to Gossip Girls’ Blair Waldorf, have changed how we view the name. While it’s not nearly as novel as Everly, I think Everly and Blair sound just like sisters.
Ember – Ember sounds a lot like 80s favorite Amber, but this name has a fiery side. It also feels more current, thanks to all the Em– names in our Top 100. Ember debuted in the US Top 1000 back in 2009, just a few years ahead of Everly. Both names are fresh discoveries, seldom heard until this generation of children.
Journey – Strictly speaking, Everly isn’t a virtue name. But ever makes it seem almost-kinda-sorta like one. If that’s part of the name’s appeal, then I have a perfect suggestion for her sister: Journey. If you like that idea, but aren’t sure about Journey, maybe Haven, Justice, Arrow, Sage, or True would appeal?
Juniper – Everly is just plain fun to say, isn’t it? That always makes me think of Juniper: three syllables that roll off the tongue. Everly makes me think of the traditional Eve, and Juniper brings to mind June. That lends the two names even more symmetry. You didn’t mention if you ever call Everly “Evie” for short, but if you do, Juniper’s built-in nickname is yet another bonus.
Landry – Lots of surname-style names don’t work with Everly. Avery and Emery are too close; Presley and Lennon are also Rock & Roll Hall of Fame surnames. But Landry is just different enough. For the last few years, it has appeared at the edges of the US Top 1000 for boys and girls. It’s one of those unusual names that fits in perfectly.
Piper – Of course, nothing says that an unusual name is the right choice. Despite Everly’s status as a newcomer name, it sits just outside the current US Top 1000. So maybe you’d like Piper? Boosted by television shows from Charmed to Orange is the New Black to Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger, it’s quickly become a modern favorite. If Perrie seems like a possibility, maybe a name like Piper would appeal?
Rowan – Rowan is both an Irish surname and a nature name, thanks to the tree. It has a bright, modern sound, one that feels right at home with Everly. One note: while Everly is very occasionally used for boys, Rowan is one of the most unisex names of our day. That said, I think it makes a great sister name for Everly.
Saylor – Full disclosure: I’ve never recommended Saylor before. And I personally prefer the word name Sailor. But it’s the Taylor-influenced Saylor that recently debuted in the US Top 1000, and the more I think about, the more I think it could be perfect for Everly’s sister. It has a subtle word-name vibe, putting Saylor in the same category as Journey. Plus, like Everly, it really wasn’t a name until the early 2000s.
Now that we’ve thought about a fresh, modern first name, let’s return to the riddle of the middle. You might already have the perfect choice: Louise, from your husband’s grandmother. Everly Reed and Piper Louise. Or maybe you’d just use Lou. Everly Reed and Juniper Lou. And, of course, Perrie is a possibility. Everly Reed and Rowan Perrie sound great together.
I’m a little bit in love with the idea of Everly and Saylor as sisters. I think they’re both the kinds of names that feel mainstream in 2018, but wouldn’t have been on anybody’s list thirty – or even ten! – years ago. That feels like the kind of fresh, novel choice that might appeal to you. And, should ever have a son, I think siblings named Everly, Saylor, and Wells are great together, too.
Names can define generations, with John and Mary the Number 1 names for The Greatest Generation, Linda and Gary emblematic names of the Baby Boom, and now Jessica and Michael emerging as the top names for Millennials.
Nameberry tabulated the names of all babies born from 1982 until 2004, widely agreed as the boundaries for Millennials, and found that Jessica and Michael were at the head of the list for all names given for babies born during the Millennial generation.
Michael was by far the leader for both sexes, with over 1.1 million boys named Michael in those 20+ years. The reason: Michael is a name that feels at once traditional and modern, and provided the perfect bridge between the Old School male names like Robert and Richard borne by the fathers of Millennials and the new names from Milo to Maverick used for boys today.
On the girls’ side, Jessica‘s popularity is somewhat watered down by having shared the stage for so long with Jennifer, which was off its peak by the time the Millennial Generation started being named. The top Millennial girls’ names are a mix of the classic — Sarah, Emily, Elizabeth — and trendy, such as Ashley and Amanda.
Here are the Top 20 most Millennial Names for each gender, with the total number of people who received the name during that generation.
This Black History Month, we’re taking a look at some of the great jazz musicians of the past century. But these cats didn’t just give us some of the best music. Their names also offer some inspiration for baby boy names—and on the flip, serve as a cool way for jazz lovers to honor and remember their musical heroes.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
One perk of following international events for name nerds is the exposure to a whole new world of interesting multi-cultural names, and the current Winter Olympics is no exceptions. Though many of the superstars have such familiar names as Chloe and Kelly and Jamie and Shaun and Sean, we’ve also spotted some outstanding European, Asian, Africa and even Anglo names that piqued our interest.
This week’s news includes gemstone and virtue names for boys, reasons to choose a popular name, fresh names from the 1990s (yes, really), and Boomer Phelps’s little brother.
Festive, lucky names
At this time of year, the festivals come thick and fast – as do baby names relating to them. Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s or Palentine’s Day) has been and gone, as has Mardi Gras. In honor of the end of carnival season, Cleveland Evans’ column looked at names inspired by days, including Mardi and Domenica, and the more transparent Tuesday and Sunday. If you like these, here are even more days that work as names.
Coming up this weekend is the Lunar New Year. Whether or not you’re celebrating the start of the year of the Earth Dog, you might find inspiration in these names relating to good fortune and dogs. And because good luck is such a common theme in names (who wouldn’t want it for their child?), here are even more adventurous names meaning luck.