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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baby Name to Consider: Even

Jenna writes:
A few weeks ago, our family went to check-out day of a summer camp. The kids were all signing autograph books. One teenager, Evan, asked my daughter to sign his book. My husband happened to peek over her shoulder and asked, "Ah, does everyone know that your name isn't spelled that way?" The boy looked at his book and shrugged. "Probably not, but it's a cool name anyway!"

What the other campers had been writing: Even.

So I offer it up to you, Swistle. Is this a name possibility waiting to be sprung on the world?

1. It's like Evan (obviously) and Steven/Stephen and Ruben. But it's also like Eden and Eve and Eva. Is it a boy's name or a girl's name? Would comments like, "Get Even!" sound extra funny on the playground? Maybe it's a good androgynous name that goes well as a middle name (like True or Blue)?

Thanks, as always, for the insight!

This name SHOULD work. It's a nice sound and, as you say, similar to Steven and Eva and Eden. And it's similar in meaning-style to the name Ever, which is catching on.

The reason I think it doesn't work and is unlikely to catch on is that it looks too much like a misspelling/respelling of the name Evan. I think it would be not impossible but challenging to get people to pronounce it a different way. And the word "even" doesn't have quite the dreamy/significant sound of a word like "ever" or "Eden."

What does everyone else think? Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results for "What do you think of the name Even?" (428 votes total):

I love it! I'd want to use it! - 4 votes (1%)
I like it! I'd want to consider it! - 12 votes (3%)
I like it for someone else's baby - 63 votes (15%)
No particular opinion - 26 votes (6%)
Slight dislike - 137 votes (32%)
Strong dislike - 186 votes (43%)


Leah PS said...

My 5 year old niece named a cow born on New Year's Eve "Even". Just saying.

Becky L said...

I've been reading a Norwegian crime series lately (the author is Jo Nesbo) and Even is a fairly common name in the book. At least two characters have had that name now.

Wikipedia agrees with me that it's Norwegian:

My only disapproval of it is that people might have trouble pronouncing it since it's a word in English.

Erika said...

I had a great uncle named Even, and he was Norwegian. That being said, I personally wouldn't use it, but it wouldn't throw me off to hear it.

Amy said...

We had a little girl on our soccer team named Eavan and it was pronounced Even. The others in her family had more unusual names as well. Malachi is the one that I remember. The dad was German I think so maybe it is more common in Europe.

Jessica said...

Now I'm curious about the Norweigan name. How is it pronounces?

Anonymous said...

My Farher has/had two cousins ( they were father and son/ Jr. And Sr.) whose name(s) are spelled Evan, but pronounced Even. Even Jr. Is probably in his late 60's and I believe his father is dead. They are from a rural area and from what my father has said, Even Jr., like his father before him, is rather uneducated and is something of a "hillbilly" ( I searched for a less potentially offensive way to word that, I don't mean to be derogatory or offend anyone!)

Anonymous said...

Don't really like it much, looks like a misspelling of Evan.

Aven or Avon on the other hand would be pretty awesome on a girl (pronounced like Haven without the H).

Anonymous said...

You know I don't think it's a bad name, I just think it would be frustrating having to explain to people in non-scandinavian countries that it wasn't a misspelling. I also think you'd have mispronunciation issues with people wanting to call you "Ev-en" instead of "Ee-van" I would probably really like it if not for that! It has a nice sound to me.

Suzanne said...

My son is Evan III and the ONLY doubt my husband had about continuing the legacy name was that he gets super super tired of people spelling his name "Even" on paperwork and forms and stuff over the phone. So the misspelling is already pretty common - although I suspect if that was the CORRECT spelling it would get even more tired even more quickly. So my vote is no - unless you're Norwegian.

Angie said...

Hmm. I'm surprised so many people misspell Evan as "Even". I can see how that may have been a problem 50 years ago, but the name is becoming more popular now.

Regardless, I prefer Evan. Naming a child Even in the U.S. seems like naming a child "Level", which I guess could work, but I find the best word-names are nouns or verbs, not adjectives and adverbs.

Angie said...

Sorry, I mean nouns make the best names. I can't see verbs working either.

nieke said...

I find it confusing and pointless as a name for English speakers. Strong dislike.

Eva.G said...

I like it! I do like the name Evening so Even fits with names I like.

However, looking at it I naturally pronounce it like Evan. (Rhymes with Heaven). Hm, that is interesting!

If it were me, I'd pick Evening or Ever instead of Even.