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.