Edgar Allen Poe - The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe - The Raven; Image by oddsock via Flickr

He’s always lagged a few dozen paces behind the evergreen

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I actually know a little Edgar! He’s in kindergarten and is cute as a button. He absolutely turned the name around for me (although I’m a fan of Ed- names so it didn’t take much). Edgar was a bit of an outlier among the Eds, but now it seems very wearable.

  2. Edgar is one of those names that I really, really like, but probably wouldn’t ever use. Well, scratch that, given that Mark and I are now getting desperate when it comes to choosing a boy’s name, I’ll probably offer up Edgar as a possibility sometime soon. I doubt he’ll go for it though.

    Along with all the fabulous literary and historical Edgars that have been mentioned, a current pop-culture reference for the name is Edgar Wright, British director and co-writer for films such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

    1. I love Edgar Wright, he’s hot in a geektastic way.

      Anyways, Edgar used to be high on my list because it could be a combination of my Grandpa’s name (Edwin) plus my great-uncle’s and my brother’s names (Gerard/Gary.) It doesn’t work with my current surname, but I still like it.

  3. Not really a fan, but I couldn’t pinpoint why. I will most likely be using Edward (after my great-grandfather, not a sparkly vampire), so I couldn’t use Edgar, even if it was one I was keen on.

  4. Edgar is second on my list right after George. If I use it, it will be after Edgar A Guest, the poet.

  5. I think Edgar sounds much more handsome with a Spanish accent than in English: Ed-gahr vs. Ed-gurr, and the consonants are softer as well. I had a Hispanic student named Edgar, the only Edgar I remember meeting.

    1. I agree, it sounds much better in other languages/accents. I like Edgar, except when pronounced by Americans. 🙂

      That said, I prefer almost all other Ed- names above Edgar, since they generally sound softer.

  6. That’s my last name! It is a very epic last name, though I remember being disgruntled about the Aristocats bulter ‘stealing’ my name when I was little. It has definate middle name possiblities one day and I will doubtless be sad to say goodbye too it when I get married. It will be a tough one to replace.

    1. Kaye, you know you don’t HAVE to change your name when you get married. It’s a choice, like anything else. If your last name is really important to you and you like it, you should think about keeping it. I kept my last name when I got married, and it’s really no big deal. You can always hyphenate your name so you don’t have to lose Edgar 🙂

      Men get to have the same name on their birth certificate and their death certificate, why not women?

    2. I wanted to take my husband’s last name when I got married (so that our whole family would have the same family name), but I didn’t want to say goodbye to my maiden name entirely. I ended up turning it into a second middle name. It actually seemed like a very “old-fashioned” thing to do (since women often used to make their maiden names their middle names when they got married). Just something to consider.

      1. I was rather happy to get rid of my maiden name when I got married! It was quite clunky and didn’t flow well. It also would not have worked as a hyphenated name. Rather than using my maiden name, I’m hoping to incorporate a little bit of my German heritage into my children’s names in other ways.

      2. I always suggest women turning their last names into a second middle name when they don’t want to give up their own name but still want to take their husband’s. It is very “old fashioned”, isn’t it? Isn’t that why so many women were given “throw away” middle names like Ann, Lynn, Marie, etc.?

        I just get surprised when women don’t explore different options, especially in cases where they really love their last names and don’t want to lose them.

  7. I’ve met one Edgar in my life, and he was a bit of a “dweeb” to be honest. The name itself appeals to me if only for its history, what with the rulers mentioned above and those superb literary references – Poe and Linton (Wuthering Heights). But, from an aesthetic perspective, Edgar leaves me something to be desired…

    Alright. Question. Why does everybody really dislike Edsel? Nameberry has nothing but negatives to say about it, and I understand that it’s a bit odd and terribly associated with Ford, but isn’t it somewhat cool? I think so!

    1. Considering Edsel is associated in most people’s minds with the biggest corporate flop of all time, it doesn’t surprise me that it’s seen as a rather cruel moniker to bestow on someone.

      1. True. True. I suppose it’s like naming your child “failure” in a dressier package, right? Gosh, that makes me think about the original Edsel Ford, son of Henry, for which the car was named. But, I suppose that doesn’t matter considering both Henry and Edsel had passed before the car was manufactured…

    2. I’ve read that Edsel comes from Attila, as in Attila the Hun, probably via a Hungarian variant. I’m not sure where the Ford family got it from – I’ve just been pouring over their family tree, and I don’t see the connection. Intriguing …

      But yes, I think Edsel is potentially a great name, but it is hard to shake the association with the car. Though a Google search suggests that the car is wildly popular with at least some collectors, so who knows? Maybe Edsel will seem just fine in another generation.

  8. I too am surprised that Edgar is as popular as to be ranked #200. I really like fusty ‘old man’ names, but I can’t seem to like Edgar.

    Maybe it’s the association from the ‘Men in Black’ movies that has ruined this name for me. If you recall, Edgar (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) is the mean farmer whose body gets taken over by the alien cockroach invaders. The scene where his wife notices his strange behavior and repeats his name Edgar over and over really kills this name for me.

    Isn’t it funny how even one little association like that can forever taint a name? That said, I’d love to meet a little Edgar 🙂

    1. Sarah, I had forgotten about the Men in Black reference – that’s right! Okay, not the best association.

      But a great movie moment.

      1. Maybe J. Edgar Hoover also lends the name a negative association, especially among those like myself who lean Left!

        And yes, Men in Black is a classic and that is a classic movie scene.

  9. This one doesn’t appeal to me – yet. And I do like fusty ‘old man’ names. It still seems a little too fusty for me. I did recently look up the names of all the English kings fir inspiration and the Ed- names weren’t ones that jumped out to me, as something I’d personally use.

    I’d totally like to see the name one someone else’s child though and I bet that would make the name grow on me.

    Maybe the ‘Wuthering Heights’ association – it was one of my ‘exam texts’ that we studied extensively when I was 17 – gives me a more negative vibe to the name.

    I am surprised that he ranks #200 nationally. I guess I didn’t know he was popular in Spanish speaking families too. (I much prefer Oscar and I think even Hector.)

  10. My first Edgar assocation is Pop-culture: Edgar Frog. (told you we were vampire movie fans here!)
    But yeah, Edgar’s awesome. I get a real swashbuckling feel from him. I don’t think I’d be allowed to use Edgar myself but Wow, I’d love to meet a horde of little Edgars!