The baby name Everett has become a fast-rising choice over the last two decades. Mixing a stylish sound with a traditional vibe, it’s a logical choice for parents who want something fresh, but still traditional.
Thanks to Nicole for suggesting her son’s name as our Baby Name of the Day.
You might think of Everett as a first name. That’s true now.
But to get there, we have to start with the Germanic Eberhard or even the Old English Eoforheard.
It’s a compound name. In this case, it comes from elements meaning “brave” and “wild boar.” It’s tempting to put that together into a phrase like “strong boar.”
Like so many Germanic names, the Normans brought it to England following the Conquest, where it became Everard.
As a boy’s name, Everard – in various forms – was fairly common across medieval Europe.
A number of noblemen, religious leaders, and other notables answered to the name over the years, and it remained in use.
In fact, Everard now feels like a traditional, quirky English origin name. Maybe that’s because of aristocratic families that kept it in use.
Everard Digby was one of the conspirators in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot, intent on returning England to Catholic control. Other Digbys answered to the name, along with Kenelm, another lost medieval gem.
A distinguished Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy during the early twentieth century answered to the name Kenelm Everard Lane Creighton.
The name made it across the Atlantic, too. In post-Civil War America, German immigrant Eberhard Anheuser co-founded the brewery that we now know as Anheuser-Busch.
Today, however, the baby name Everard is all-but extinct. According to the Social Security Administration, the last year it was given to even five boys was way back in 1998.
It feels a little like a neglected antique.
Everett eventually emerged as a familiar surname form of Everard. Spellings like Everitt are seen, too. Related surnames like Eberhardt and Everhart come from the same elements.
That means that even though Everett is freshly popular, there’s no question that this English surname name offers plenty of history. And it’s not completely novel as a first or middle name, either.
Famous people include:
- Olympic track and field medalist in track and field Danny Everett and former Chicago White Sox outfielder Carl Everett.
- Hugh Everett III developed the “many-worlds interpretation” of quantum mechanics in the 1950s. His son, Mark Oliver Everett, is better known as E of indie rock band Eels.
- Everett Dirksen represented Illinois in Congress from the 1930s into the 60s.
- Nineteenth century painter John Everett Millais is remembered both for his art, and a complicated personal life. (He eventually married Effie Gray, despite her earlier marriage to his good friend, art critic John Ruskin. Their love triangle has been the subject of many a fictional re-telling.)
- During the 1980s, C. Everett Koop served as US Surgeon General.
- Everett Sloane’s long career spanned Broadway, Hollywood, and radio, including a part in the 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane.
Today, you might think of English actor Rupert Everett or American actor Tom Everett Scott.
There’s also Everett Hills, a minor character from Eugene O’Neill’s “Mourning Becomes Electra.”
In 2000, George Clooney played Everett McGill in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a Coen Brothers movie loosely based on the Odyssey.
And Dermot Mulroney played Everett Stone in 2005’s The Family Stone. That use tracks mostly closely with the early rise of the baby name Everett. While the movie wasn’t a big hit, it earned plenty of critical acclaim, and has become something of a sophisticated Christmas favorite.
It’s an eclectic group of Everetts, impossible to pigeonhole.
Everett’s meaning includes bravery, which could make this a virtue name all by itself.
But it’s also worth noting that Ever is a white hot option for boys and girls alike. That connects this popular boy’s name to something a little more daring. Ever suggests a faithful, loyal soul. It also brings to mind evergreen trees and all the majesty of Mount Everest.
Those associations make the baby name Everett even more appealing.
POPULAR PLACE NAME
We find Everett on at least a dozen sites on the map, including a mountain range in remote Antarctica and more familiar suburbs of both Boston and Seattle.
The latter Everett, in Washington state, is arguably the most famous. It was named for American banker and politician Everett Colby, though Colby was from New Jersey.
BY the NUMBERS
Everett has been a surname and a given name for generations. From the 1880s through the 1920s, Everett often appeared in the US Top 100 for boys, making this more of a revival choice than a new discovery.
In the US, the name has never been out of the Top 1000. As of 2011, it stood at #259. Everett entered the Top 100 in 2018. As of 2021, the name ranks #82.
Singer Isaac Hanson has a son called Clarke Everett, and author John Irving gave the name to his youngest son.
In some ways, Everett succeeds former favorites like Evan while mirroring girls’ names like Eveyln and Eva. But it also echoes so many similar names ending in T, like Elliot and Beckett.
While it’s nickname-proof, it’s also possible to shorten this name to Rhett – or Rett – which makes it just a little more flexible.
No surprise that Everett has become a popular boy’s name. On sound alone, it’s a natural choice. But all that history, and the broad range of famous figures, make this a lock. Parents can love it because it’s traditional or trendy, nickname-proof or easily shortened, a literary European pick or a wintry New England name. It’s a little bit of everything and that makes it a versatile favorite.
What do you think of the baby name Everett?
First published on June 19, 2008, this post was revised on April 8, 2013, and again on April 15, 2023.