Maverick is a boys' name that comes from an English word meaning "an unorthodox or independent-minded person." It was popularized by devil-may-care characters in pop culture, but has more humble roots in agriculture.
The word "maverick" comes from Samuel Maverick, a Texas cattle rancher in the 1800s who refused to brand his cattle. This was unorthodox at the time and led to people calling unbranded cattle "mavericks" – and calling people who don't follow the rules "mavericks," too.
The word entered the popular lexicon in the 1950s, when the show Maverick aired on ABC from 1957 to 1962. The Western followed the Maverick family – Bret, Bart, Beau, and Brent – brothers and cousins who traveled through the Wild West by horseback, winning their riches from playing poker. Although the Mavericks were loners and gamblers, they were always ethical, honest, and conscientious.
The 1986 blockbuster Top Gun – and its 2022 sequel Top Gun: Maverick – kept Maverick in the limelight with its lead character Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a rebellious fighter pilot played by Tom Cruise.
Maverick's dictionary definition says it's a three-syllable word pronounced "MAV-er-ick," though you'll most likely only hear it pronounced as two syllables: "MAV-rick."
Since the name is rooted in a noun, the only official spelling is Maverick. Of course, this name is loved by independent-minded parents who opt for their own spellings. These variations might include Maverik, Mavrick, or Mavric. And while the name is typically given to boys, giving it to a girl would perfectly capture a true maverick's spirit.
Maverick first appeared in the Social Security Administration's top 1,000 baby names in 1958, shortly after the show Maverick started. It fell out of popularity for several decades after that, but reappeared in the '90s and has been slowly climbing ever since, breaking into the top 100 in 2017. By 2020, it was listed among the top 50 most popular names.
Americans have always loved an independent thinker. If that's a priority for you, the name Maverick is perfect for reminding your kid that their life is their own, and they can forge a unique path.
Maverick Carter : Sports media personality and longtime friend of LeBron James
Maverick McNealy : Amateur golfer
Maverick Sabre : English rapper
Samuel Maverick : Texan rancher in the 1800s; reportedly the originator of the word "maverick"