Talking about Kevin

As American baby names go, “Kevin” is on the downward slope after peaking in the early 1960s. As far as Europe is concerned, that’s a Good Thing:

Have you heard of “Kevinism”? It’s Europe’s bias against people who have first names that are “culturally devalued” like Kevin, Chantal, Mandy and Justin — names that were popularized by American pop culture, typically.

In the case of Kevin, actors like Kevin Costner and Kevin Bacon — not to mention the very successful 1990 Christmas movie Home Alone, in which the lead character was a young Kevin — made the name very trendy overseas in the early 1990s. In fact, it hit #1 in several European countries, including France and Switzerland.

But after the trend cooled off, the backlash began. And it’s so bad now that, just a few years ago, a German schoolteacher told researchers that Kevin is “not a name, but a diagnosis.”

As for the French:

A Reddit thread on “what name is considered to be trashy in your country” had commenters from France saying that calling someone “a Kevin” is “practically an insult” denoting childishness and low intelligence because of the association with film and TV.

Yet to be established: any anti-Kevin backlash in the States, largely because Americans, with the possible exception of John Kerry, who incidentally served in Vietnam, give at most half a damn what the Europeans think.

4 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    28 November 2017 · 7:19 am

    Also, in the States? If a teacher referred to Kevin as “not a name, but a diagnosis,” there would be parents willing to either sue her (or him) or demand the firing of said teacher.

  2. Kevin McGehee »

    28 November 2017 · 8:46 am

    Euro-weenies hate the name “Kevin”?

    Yesssssss!

  3. L. Beau Macaroni »

    28 November 2017 · 1:38 pm

    Former Senator and Former Secretary of State John Kerry served in Vietnam? Really? It’s so strange that he never mentioned his service record when he was running for President of the United States….

  4. nightfly »

    28 November 2017 · 3:55 pm

    Pffft. All these Kevins should lighten up, Francis.

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