Above-aVERage Names for Boys
By Kara Blakley
I recently wrote about some VERy exciting names for girls, and now it’s time for the boys’ list.
Recently, Brooke Cussans wrote about PERfect names: a wonderfully diverse list of names all sharing the PER syllable.I was inspired to create a list of VER names, and found that like PER, this sound leads to a diverse list of names that are fresh and vibrant. VER names are so plentiful, in fact, that the list is divided into girls and boys. Now, here are the best VER names for boys.
Denver – City names are gaining in popularity, and in recent years, parents have been looking beyond London, Paris, and Brooklyn. If Hudson and Camden can climb the charts, why not Denver? A boy named Denver will probably be the only one in his class, but it’s unlikely he will have to spell it out at every cafe he visits as an adult.
Deveraux – Surnames are hot. Names ending in X are hot. Names with a V in the middle are hot. So where is Deveraux? Ok, so this one actually fits the ends-in-O trend better because of its pronunciation, but this is one seriously cool name. While its origins are French, the vivacious Blanche Deveraux of The Golden Girls lends a touch of American charm and romance.
Everett and Everest – Prepare to hear the name Everett more and more, as sisters Eva and Evelyn push this classic choice up the charts. Its vintage appeal and -ett ending don’t hurt its rise, either. Everest, a daring geological choice, is a more unusual but wearable choice as well. And if that’s too much name, Ever is a snappy unisex option.
Grover – Sophisticated, nature-inspired, and unique: what more could anyone want in a name? With under 150 boys receiving this once-popular name in the past decade, Grover is long overdue for a comeback. He has all the makings of a cool, quirky vintage revival, and if the Muppet connection lingers, think about how Zoe has only skyrocketed since her Sesame Street namesake debuted.
Maverick – Did you know that in 2014, Maverick was ranked higher than Peyton, Conner, and Elliott? The year after Top Gun was released, only 44 boys were named Maverick, but in 2014 that number had risen to 1,862. While parents are embracing and celebrating individuality in their name choices, perhaps it will become a bit too ironic if this one becomes banal.
River – As a nature name, River is about as unisex as they come, although some may argue in favor of its use on one gender over the other. Ranked Number 287 last year for boys (and 453 for girls), River strikes the right balance between fitting in and standing out. It’s also a great name for the free spirit who is too timid to choose Rainbow.
Tolliver – Today, Oliver is everywhere, but what about Tolliver? It is an uncharted occupational surname, and Cy Tolliver of Deadwood provided the name with some much-needed grit and swagger. Tollie, fitting right in with Tommy, makes an adorable nickname.
Severin – J. K. Rowling has left an indelible mark on our naming culture, but some variations are more wearable than others. Severus may still sound too Roman (although with names like Maximus and Titus rising, that perception could change) but Severin feels ready-to-wear in 2015. A saint name that fewer than 30 boys received in 2014, Severin feels at home with other -in ending names.
Vero – This choice puts VER front and center. Meaning “great hero” and having the stylish -o ending, it’s surprising that this name is virtually unused in the US. With parents noticing virtue names like Valor and Justice for boys, Vero may just be the next big hit. Verdi is an equally off-beat choice, and could appeal to nature or opera lovers.
Which boys’ VER name is your favorite, and what would you add to the list? What are some other sounds that lead to interesting lists?
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on July 17th, 2015 at 9:21 am
I love Grover so much! It would be really nice to see this name get used more. Let’s all get over the Muppet connection please.
Everett is also wonderful. Old but fresh!
Verdi is unique and very cool. I’ve never heard it used before but it seems so wearable.
on July 17th, 2015 at 9:28 am
The only name on there that I love is River!
on July 17th, 2015 at 4:00 pm
River is my fave, but gosh do I like Deveraux! So fun and handsome.
I used to nanny for a little 3-year-old Gulliver.
on July 17th, 2015 at 4:19 pm
I like River, Denver, Maverick, and Severin the best out of the list.
on July 18th, 2015 at 11:15 pm
Deveraux is one of my biggest male guilty pleasures. So over the top but I love the sound, nickname options, and ending that sounds like “o”. Sounds like a fun, cool, adventurous boy. And it has just barely made the SSA list…6 boys in 1994. The Devereaux spelling has been used more. NB says Devereaux is a variant of Deveraux….but isn’t it actually the other way around?
on July 19th, 2015 at 3:24 am
Gulliver is another option which is seriously underused. It’s a literary name with Irish roots and a similar sound to Oliver and Tolliver.
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