Baby Name of the Day: Everest

Everest by mckaysavage

Ain’t no mountain higher, so how would this legendary peak wear on your little boy?

Thanks to Urban Angel for suggesting Everest as Baby Name of the Day.

If Everest strikes you as a wild and wacky choice consider this:  there’s a Pope Saint Evaristus on the books.  While we don’t know much about him, his name has survived in some languages, like the Spanish and Italian Evaristo and French Évariste.  A parent seeking a logical modern day English update would almost certainly arrive at Everest.

Evaristus and company have Greek roots, from that oft-used element eu – good – and arestos – pleasing.  But most parents considering Everest are probably thinking of the highest mountain on Earth, the Himalaya’s Mount Everest over 29,000 feet tall.  Everest takes on the sheen of a modern virtue name, signaling achievement – or at least grandeur.

Of course, the mountain’s name is a subject of some debate.  The peak also answers to 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 in Hindi.  The European appellation remains a sore point in the region today. The local names all translate to something along the lines of Holy Mother, and she’s insulted.

Everest boasts a second connection to the map.  Evreux, France in Normandy derived its name from the Gaulish tribe that settled the area.  The tribe’s name was derived from their word for yew tree.  French history includes the comtes d’Évreux from the tenth century onward.  It’s also a familiar locale because the US Air Force used Évreux-Fauville Air Base into the 1960s.

But back to the mountain.  Scaling Mount Everest is no small feat, and many have perished in the attempt.  Books and movies, as well as counltess newspaper 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.  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 work a Yeti into their coaster, one of the few perils not reported by climbers.

But never mind the Yetis and forget wounded national pride.  Everest succeeds circa 2010 simply because he’s so on point with current trends.  That -v sound, his three-syllable rhythm, his surname status.  Parents disappointed to learn that River is no longer rare will find Everest a likely substitute.  While he’s yet to appear in the US Top 1000, Nancy tells us that 36 newborn Everests arrived in the US in 2009.

I suppose a little girl could wear Everest – the nickname Evie is obvious – but there’s something solidly rugged and masculine about this mountainous appellation.

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26 Comments

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?

Thanks!

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?

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!

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.

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”.

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 :))

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. 🙂

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.

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.

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.