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Name Sage: Honoring Grandma Beverly

October 27, 2015 Abby Sandel
baby girl names

Christina writes: 

I’m just a few weeks away from my due date and my husband and I are having major naming blocks! With our first I knew her name before we were even married. My grandmother is Theresa and I knew Tessa would be the perfect way to honor that, as well as a beautiful name without being too unusual. 

This time around we’re trying to honor my husband’s grandmother who passed away earlier this year. But Beverly is a hard one for me to get on board with – and my husband agrees!

We’ve been trying variations on Beverly but haven’t really stuck on anything as a first or middle name. I’m not a huge fan of B names in general, but I could get on board with an E name. I have liked Erin for a while now, but still not sure it is The Name.

Suggestions?

The Name Sage replies:

Ooh, yes! I knew the second I saw your letter that I wanted to suggest Everly.

It’s Beverly minus the B, which is pretty close to the original. Beverly and Everly are English surnames, both borrowed from place names, so they’re related in that sense, too.

One possible downside to Everly is that the name is rising fast. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan gave the name to their daughter in 2013. Since then, Everly has leapt up the popularity charts to rank Number 178 in the US. Tessa is currently Number 221, but Tessa has held steady over the years, while Everly has caught on quickly.

Still, Everly is fresher than long-time favorites like Emily and Avery. It’s musical, too, thanks to 1960s duo The Everly Brothers. And it’s tough to beat Everly as an update for Beverly.

But maybe Everly isn’t quite your style. Let’s take a look at some other ideas:

Bevan Bevan is a very rare name, a Welsh surname meaning “son of Evan.” Style-wise, if Everly doesn’t appeal, I’m not sure that Bevan will be the name for you, either. Still, it could be great in the middle spot.

Ever – It’s a bold word name choice, but the letters appear in bEVERly. With girls answering to Serenity and Grace, Ever isn’t such a stretch.

Eve – Drop the ‘r’ from Ever, and you’ll have Eve. It’s much more conventional than Ever or Everly, and has a ceratin vintage style that pairs well with Tessa. You might also take inspiration from Eve and use a longer form, like Eva or even Evie.

Evelyn – I think Tessa and Evelyn sound like sisters, even if we weren’t looking for a name that shared sounds with Beverly. But Evelyn shares most of Beverly’s letters, minus the B, add an ‘n’ at the end. It also reminds me of Erin, which you’ve mentioned that you like.

Vera Tessa feels like a gentle, old-fashioned name, and so does Vera. It’s associated with the Russian word for faith, as well as the Latin word for true. While the tie to Beverly is less obvious, the two names share sounds.

If you’re willing to consider another B name, there are plenty in the current Top 1000: Brooke, Blair, Beatrice, Brenna, Bianca, and Bria are some of my favorites. For a rarer name, there’s Blythe, which means happiness, or maybe nature names like Briar and Briony. But it sounds like you’ve probably flipped through all of the B names already, and decided against that approach.

It might be worth considering whether there’s another way to honor your husband’s grandmother. Does her middle or maiden name suggest any possibilities? Or maybe there’s something associated with her – a favorite flower or color, or maybe her hometown – that could inspire a daughter’s name.

My top suggestions for your family are Everly and Evelyn. They stay faithful to the sound of Beverly, while feeling like names that would wear well for a daughter born in 2015.

Readers, what would you suggest as an updated name to honor Beverly?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

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