The baby name Everest combines the natural world with high achievement.
Thanks to Urban Angel for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.
The baby name Everest brings to mind a colossal – and legendary – peak. But it actually connects nicely to a given name with plenty of history and a strong meaning, too.
Sometime around the year 100, Evaristus served as pope in Rome. While little of his backstory remains, the name persists in Spanish and Italian – Evaristo – as well as the French Évariste. While Everest isn’t directly related to Evaristus, it seems like a logical English form.
As for meaning, Evaristus comes from Greek. The first element, eu, means good, and the second, arestos, means pleasing. Ten boys were named Evaristo in the US in 2020, but the other two forms are virtually unknown.
The mountain’s name has nothing to do with Greek.
The highest mountain on Earth, the Himalaya’s Mount Everest stands over 29,000 feet tall, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. This lends the baby name Everest the sheen of a modern virtue name, signaling achievement – or maybe a sense of grand aspiration.
Of course, the mountain’s name is a subject of some debate. Locals call the peak Qomolangma, Chajamlangma, Sagarmāthā, Zhumulangma and Chomolangma. The native names were in use in 1856 when British surveyor Andrew Waugh put the mountain on the map. While the surveyors preserved local names elsewhere, in this case, Waugh insisted that wasn’t possible. Instead he suggested the peak be named after his predecessor as British Surveyor General of India, Colonel Sir George Everest.
Everest himself opposed the idea. Maybe he was embarrassed by the honor, but he was also concerned that Everest couldn’t be pronounced by the locals. The European name remains a sore point in the region today. The local names all translate to something along the lines of Holy Mother. Doubtless it feels insulting to have a random British surveyor’s name supplant a goddess.
But the name has stood all this time. As for Sir George, his family surname comes from Evreux, in the Normandy region of France. In turn, Evreux took its name from the Gaulish tribe that settled the area. And their name? It likely came from the tribe’s name for the yew tree. No matter what, the baby name Everest seems to lead back to the natural world.
French history includes the comtes d’Évreux from the tenth century onward. The US Air Force used Évreux-Fauville Air Base into the 1960s, and the French military has used it since.
Back to the mountain.
Scaling Mount Everest is no small feat, and many have perished in the attempt. Books and movies, as well as countless articles, have chronicled these tales. Jon Krakauer scored a New York Times bestseller in 1996 with Into Thin Air. The Discovery Channel turned the trips offered by one company into a reality TV series in 2006 and 2007. In 2015, a major motion picture re-told the 1996 story, with Jake Gyllenhaal as the American expedition group leader. It was a commercial success, often debuting in IMAX theaters.
Perhaps this is one of the challenges with the baby name Everest. It suggests tremendous challenge and achievement, but also risk – and tragedy.
Disney World unveiled Expedition Everest at their Animal Kingdom theme park in 2006. It’s a thrill ride, but with a more fantastic bent – they’ve worked a Yeti into their coaster, one of the few perils not reported by climbers. It’s cemented the tie between Everest and adventure for millions of visitors who will never set foot in Nepal.
BY the NUMBERS
But never mind the Yetis.
The baby name Everest succeeds on sound, too.
We love a great middle V name. And Ev is enjoying a moment. Just ask Everett, a surname name with Old English roots that entered the US Top 100 in 2018.
A small number of boys have received the baby name Everest over the years.
Five boys were named Everest in 1914, perhaps because British explorer John Noel had attempted to reach the peak the prior year. The successful 1953 expedition of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay doesn’t seem to have had an impact.
But names changed over the next few decades.
In 1998, 19 boys received the name, as coverage of the 1996 tragedy continued. By 2015, US families welcomed 111 boys and 29 girls with the baby name Everest.
What moved the needle on the baby name Everest?
It might be down to the dogs.
In 2013, PAW Patrol debuted on Nickelodeon. The Canadian animated series introduced the world to a team of heroic pups. It’s currently at nine seasons and counting, with a movie set to debut in 2021. Ryder is the school-aged human leader of the canine crew. The dogs include Chase, Marshall, Skye, Rocky, Zuma, Rubble … and, starting in season two, Everest.
Everest specializes in snow rescue. She’s a Siberian Husky, of course. And yes, she’s a she.
While it seems like odd inspiration for a child’s name, the combination of factors – a stylish sound, the ideas about challenge and achievement, ties to the natural world – combined. And plenty of toddlers’ parents probably got used to hearing the name Everest on the screen around the time they were considering possibilities for a new baby.
RUGGED and ASPIRATIONAL
As of the year 2020, the baby name Everest was given to 84 girls and 214 boys. That’s enough to tip Everest into the boys’ Top 1000 at #982.
It’s a name that feels rugged and strong. And it’s hard not to hear Everest and think of adventure and achievement. The name brings to mind the grandeur of the natural world.
And, given how very stylish and current it sounds, it’s easy to see why parents are embracing the baby name Everest.
What do you think of the baby name Everest?
First published on June 29, 2010, this post was revised substantially and re-published on July 23, 2021.
I am debating about Everest. I climbed Everest Base Camp not knowing I was pregnant. So my hubby thinks it would be great to name the baby Everest if he’s a boy… What do you think?
It works! It might be mistaken for Everett some of the time, but wow – what a GREAT story you have. Plus, Everest signals achievement. And many parents balk at place names borrowed from places the parents haven’t been – but you clearly have, and so has your son!
Yeah, I might hesitate if you just always vaguely liked the idea of climbing there, or even if you’d climbed there years ago … but given the circumstances, it’s almost like he named himself, isn’t it?
Hey Abby, I like evaristus better a family name on my mums side. A neglected but.lovely saint.name
Evaristus is a great name to discover on your family tree!
I LOVE my mom’s name. Everest Cade (middle) We named him after my brother whose middle name is Everest. My dad picked the name in the 80’s and of course my brother was so honored. It helps that my brother is 6’5″ and very masculine. I associate the name with him. My little man is just now 4 months old and has a twin sister named Evelyn. 🙂
Love my baby boy’s name! I hope it doesn’t become trendy!
Son’s name**** not Mom.
Wow – I love Everest Cade. A great combination of sounds, and how incredibly cool that it honors your brother! Does Evelyn’s name have a story?
I too thought it would be unique when i
Named my son Everest 8 years ago
He loves it
And tells people he is named after a mountain
He likes to look at Everest on google earth
My son, born in 1998, is named Everest. We (also) thought he was the only one — it’s so neat to see that there are others out there.
I also have heard of a girl being named Everest.
It is a great name, isn’t it? Glad to hear Everest wears well!
Our son was born in 2008 and we named him Everest. My wife and I love original names and being geography buffs we couldn’t have picked a more awe-inspiring and majestic monument of this great earth to name him after. I can’t help but get a little bit jealous to read that others have fell in love with this name too. The last thing we want is for it to become, “trendy”.
I named my son Everest, and we LOVE it! It’s different, familiar, and masculine. I’m so glad we did.
THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!! After spending 3 months trying to find the perfect name for my son I finally found it 🙂 You can’t imagine how happy and relieved I am right now :))
So glad I could help, Monday! Congrats on your darling son …
I named my son Everest Van. People are always confused by it, but we loved the name. We loved the stregnth of it. I am kinda sad to see it promoted, I thought he would be the only one in the world. 🙂
Doug Hawkes says
Confused meaning they don’t know if it’s Everett etc?
Jenn in Canada says
It’s cute, but I couldn’t imagine ever using it. And despite the possibility of Evie, for me it’s definitely a boy’s name.
I wasn’t aware of the history surrounding the name – hadn’t really thought of it before – but now that I have, I definitely wouldn’t want to use it. It’s too insensitive.
What history are you speaking of?
Shelly Ok says
Hmmm…this is a tough one. Knowing this was named without regard to local culture and customs, it would be hard for me to use. Plus, I prefer Mount Kilimanjaro–since I have seen it in all its glory in person.
I can see the appeal, and wouldn’t mind it in other children. I can see it used in the middle name spot, or on a girl with nicknames Eve, Evie, or Ever.
I do prefer Everett—I actually love the name, but had a larger than life co-worker who’s middle name was Everett but was known as Everett, and when I was pregnant with my daughter campaigned for his name if I had a boy–so it would be weird to use.
I cab see the appeal if you don’t dig into the history, or if the parents have a special connection to the mountain.
Charlotte Vera says
Everest is pretty, but I prefer Everett. My preference is partially due to the fact that Everest — “Ever Rest” — sounds like a funeral home.
Even if I liked the name, I’d have a hard time honoring a name that blatantly ignored the culture surrounding it. That was a really interesting history, as I had never stopped to think why Mt. Everest had an English name. Everett isn’t my favorite either, but I like it much better than Everest.
Thanks for doing this as NOTD, Abby!
When reading up about MT.Everest a couple of months ago, I learned that the modern pronunciation of Everest is different to how George Everest said his surname. That absolutely gobsmacked me. I do like Everest , but not for myself. It’s a great middle name and it would be delightful to see on someone elses’ kid – but not mine. Ironically, I really don’t like Everett which is really similar in sound. I do like the Ever sound, though.