There’s something vaguely British about today’s choice, even after he’s spent nearly two decades in the US Top 100.

Thanks to Photoquilty for suggesting our Name of the Day: Trevor.

Trevor is yet another surname that’s been far more popular in the first spot. He translates roughly to “from the big village” from the Welsh for settlement – tref – and mawr – large. Some records suggest that it is also a favored Anglicization of Gaelic names like Treabhar and related surnames. And lastly, we’ve found others who contend it’s a Cornish reference to Trevear, a place name.

The Welsh have the first historical claim – in the 1300s, John Trevor served as the Bishop of St. Asaph in North Wales. A few decades later, he was followed by John Trevor II. There’s also a Baron Trevor in the UK, with ancestral lands in Wales, but the title was first created in the 17th century.

As a first name, Trevor was unheard in the US until the 1950s. After a few tentative years, he stood at #528 in 1965, then leapt up the chart to #289 in just one year.

We’re not sure if we’ve found the reason for his meteoric rise, but one Trevor stands out during the era: British actor Trevor Howard. He’d been acting since the 1940s, and earned an Oscar nomination in 1960. His star turn was probably behind him by 1985, but he remained visible – and busy – on both the small and silver screens into the 1980s.

Since then there have been Trevors of note in sports, film and politics. We even find a Texan called Trevor Brazile holding the title of All-Around Cowboy. That means he won the most cash during the recent rodeo season.

There are plenty of fictional Trevors, too. A few that come to mind are a character on the EastEnders, a tractor in the Thomas the Tank Engine series, even a Harry Potter staple – except that last Trevor is a hapless toad.

While Trevor didn’t sound new in the mid-80s, he did fit with an emerging trend: two-syllable boys’ names that end in -er. While they’d never be as hot as the Brandons, Aidens and Logans, the -er and -or class is not insignificant.

When Trevor peaked at #57 in 1994, he was accompanied by Tyler (#5), Taylor (#54), Connor (#54), Hunter (#67) and Tanner (#96). While some of the names have changed, the ending remains current, with Tyler, Hunter, Carter and Cooper currently ranking in the Top 100.

Trevor is clearly fading, but we won’t go so far as to call him dated – at least not by American standards. He still sounds faintly British, but that association has weakened over time. Trevor remains a solid, non-controversial choice. It’s just impossible to think of him as especially fashionable.

While Trevor continues to fall, we suspect he may fare better than Carter and Cooper, Tyler and Taylor. Parents will always look to their own family trees, but we suspect we’re nearing an end of choosing unrelated surnames.

We think Trevor will become one of those choices that prompts this response: “Hmmm … you don’t hear Trevor so much these days.” He might satisfy parents searching for that elusive “normal” name that isn’t widely heard.

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 suppose most people wouldn’t share my association with the name, but Trevor makes me think mostly of Trevor Rabin — guitarist in Yes through the ’80s and early ’90s, who’s since gone on to write film scores.

    I think the name sounds energetic and proper at the same time — it works well for a child as well as a grown man. This was on our short list of boy names.

  2. My brother’s best friend’s name is Trevor, which makes me fond of the name since he was practically a part of our family growing up. I think it would work fine on a little boy. Although I wouldn’t use it myself, I think it’s a solid name. Possibly not a very exciting one, but at least he’ll never have trouble with spelling or pronunciation.

  3. I disagree about it being such a grown-up name. If anything it sounds more like a kids name to me. That’s probably because the Trevor’s I’ve known have been really immature. I worked with one that was around 30 and had toys ALL over his desk, he also had red hair and dressed like an unfashionable teenager, he was a pretty nice guy though. The other Trevor is my friend’s ex… he was gay but dated her and denied it for the LONGEST time, plus, he was a jerk. The only other Trevor I think of is from General Hospital, and he’s not so good. Anyway, I don’t like it.

  4. After briefly knowing a Trevor a couple of years ago in college, I now know of 2 Trevors born in the last 5 months! Each time the choice surprised me because it isn’t a name you hear often (at least in my experience).

  5. I beg to differ! Trevor works quite well on little boys. I taught a darling six-year-old last year with this name. His twin sister was named Riley.

    While Trevor’s not on my list, I like it just fine.

  6. I love it. It might sound a little adult on a boy, but I would welcome that in the face of all the cutesy names I regularly encounter…even on boys.

    Trevor is buttoned up and serious, but still lighter than some of the old man names like Arthur, Alfred and Gilbert. It’s a nice transition name between the two styles. Still has the fashionable -er sound at the end, but a much older-school style.

  7. I think I like it better than Hunter, Taylor, Cooper, Parker, etc. I’ve never met one. Would not choose it, but I don’t mind it, and I do agree it’s one of those names that’s not really unusual but sounds like a “normal” name.

  8. I have to agree with Photoquilty here. Trevor’s not very kid friendly. I know three grown Trevors (not a one of them is really worth a mention, though, nasty characters one & all) I think Rowling completely pegged Trevor, actually. I wouldn’t hate a kid upon learning he was a Trevor but I surely would not consider him for one of mine, either. He’s just passably okay.

  9. Not only does Trevor sound British, the name sounds all growed up. It is one of thosee names I just can’t picture on a little boy – even though all men were once boys. I do like it, but would probably not use it. Definitely wouldn’t merit an eye roll, though.