baby name EvanderThe baby name Evander looks like an Evan-Alexander smoosh. But it comes with a fascinating history all its own.

Thanks to Sarah for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


The baby name Evander isn’t related to Evan.

Instead, Evander shares root with Alexander.

Euandros comes from the Greek eu – good – and andros – man.

And so Alexander is defender of men, and Evander is just a straight-up good man.

Wouldn’t you know it?

The baby name Evander is hard to find.


Ancient myth tells us that Euandros was a good guy.

The Greek hero founded a settlement near what would eventually become Rome.

Evander hailed from Arcadia. Depending on who you ask, his dad was the messenger god Hermes or Mercury, or possibly just a regular ol’ king.

Regardless, the son did pretty well for himself – not only did he start a new city, he also introduced the Greek alphabet, their system of laws and justice, and their gods to the future seat of the Roman Empire. He also features in the events of the Trojan War.

Other Evanders were plentiful, including a scholar from Athens and another in Crete.

Little wonder the creators of HBO/BBC original series Rome picked it up as a character name.


Ancient names have always inspired parents. Colonial America had its share of men answering to Homer and Virgil and Hercules.

No surprise, then, that the baby name Evander is sometimes found in US Census records.


The baby name Evander might also serve as an English language equivalent of the Scottish name Iomhar.

Iomhar, in turn, comes from the Old Norse Ivarr.

There’s no linguistic connection. Instead, similar-sounding names were often used as substitutes across languages.


Despite a long history of use, the baby name Evander appears in only the tiniest of numbers.

It appeared in the US Top 1000 just once, in 1895. Until, that is 2021, when it returned to the list at #767.


Back in the late nineteenth century, the fabulously wealthy Evander Wall spent his fortune on clothing.

It’s said he owned 5,000 neckties.

Wall would’ve been a social media-friendly socialite long before Instagram.

Later in life, Wall and his wife lived as expats in Paris, keeping company with figures like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

His extravagant name suits him, but it’s not clear why Evander Wall received his unusual name. His siblings answered to the more conventional James and Louise.


Born in Alabama in 1962, Evander Holyfield became a successful boxer. He won Olympic bronze in 1984. In 1990, he became the world heavyweight champion.

The baby name Evander rose as Holyfield’s career flourished. 55 boys received the name in 1992, a new high.


Holyfield’s success wasn’t enough to push the baby name Evander into the US Top 1000.

But lately, sound alone might take the name higher.

In 2020, 193 boys received the name – an all-time high.

With Evan and Alexander so well-established, and names like Everett and Oliver so popular, Evander fits right in.

If you’re looking for stylish rarities, Evander could be the on-trend, under-the-radar name you’re after.

What do you think of the baby name Evander?

First published on October 11, 2011, this post was revised and republished on December 7, 2021.

baby name Evander

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. We just named our firstborn son Evander. He was born on 28th November 2014. We loved that the name was different, distinctive and strong, with a fab meaning. “eu/ev” is Greek for wholeness, goodness, truth, integrity, (and “ander” is from the Greek for “man”). We’ve had mixed responses, the negative mostly to do with “What is it going to be shortened to?” or “That’s not a family name…” but when we saw it on a baby name site some months ago, we instantly fell in love with it. And our little boy Evander totally looks the part 🙂 (Also we’re all white British! So he couldn’t look less like Evander Holyfield!)

  2. I had no idea it was an actual name with a history. I have always liked the boxer, for some odd reason. I really like the name!

    As for Alaric, it sounds and looks “airy” but Evander sounds grounded. Just my two cents.

  3. I thought this name sounded a bit trendy, so I am glad to hear it has history! Its probably that -er ending that gets me. I do like it though, and it would be a creative way to pass on my name, Vanessa, which makes me like it even more!

  4. This is one of my favourites and I’ve been meaning to suggest it to the DH as a possible hypothetical son’s name for a while, but something keeps holding me back. Naturally, I’m rather fearful that he will instantly shoot it down, but I think that part of my concern has to do with the name itself. I love it. I think it’s elegant, strong, and pleasing — and just a little bit feminine with that long emphasis on the middle syllable. One thing I like about Alaric’s name is that the emphasis (when we say it), is firmly placed on that first syllable. I think it makes the rather lengthy name sound zippy and even slightly macho, Evander doesn’t have quite the same brevity in sound. Anyone willing to try to dissuade me from my reservations?

    1. C.V.,

      I think Alaric and Evander are wonderful together! I see what you’re saying about the zippy flavor of Alaric’s name, and much of that probably does come from the strong first-syllable emphasis, but I think much of Evander’s strength and charm comes from his second-syllable emphasis. Try saying Evangeline versus Evander or even Alexander, which also emphasizes the “and” syllable. At least for me, Evander has much more presence than Evangeline because of that second syllable, thus giving him a masculine, rugged vibe. I wouldn’t worry that the Van part is too long, myself. The interplay between Alaric and Evander, particularly in their unique syllabic patterns, makes for an intriguing but well-matched set of boys. Does your Alaric go by a nickname? To me, Aly and Ev are really cool, but Ric and Van are just as playful and chic!


    2. I think Alaric and Evander are well matched. There are an awful lot of girls with Ev- names, and even a few girls called Evan, but Evander, with that -ander ending and -van in the middle, feels undeniably masculine to me. Definitely a brother for Alaric!

    3. Charlotte, I love Evander as a brother for Alaric! I actually think that the differently placed stresses on the two names keeps them from sounding overly matchy. And I think Evander sounds really masculine with the long emphasis on the middle syllable, but probably because ‘Van’ reads totally male to me.

  5. I like Evander. Like a lot of boy names, it passed a short time on our long list – but it did hang on longer than some… it has a very soft sound, but with Holyfield, it is plenty tough-guy. I agree with previous comments – why isn’t this more popular?

  6. I actually know an Evander! I always assumed his parents made it up. I very much like this name 🙂

  7. Evander always reminds me of Lysander! Not a bad thing, but boy is the connection strong in my mind! I suppose Evander is better than Lysander, since Lys sounds like lice and Ly sounds like lie and Sander sounds like, um, a sander? Ha. Evander with Ev or Evy or Van or Anders is pretty neat.

  8. I love all the ancient -ander names– Evander, Leander, and Lysander. Not sure how usable they are right now, though, seeing as I don’t know a single one in real life. Evander especially seems very current, but I can’t help wondering whether a non name-nerd would write it off as a smush between Evan and Alexander.

  9. I’m really surprised Evander isn’t more popular. I actually know two boys named Evan Alexander, so putting them together as Evander seems like it would appeal to a lot of parents.

  10. Evander’s a fantastic name, one of many from the ancient world just screaming out to be used more.