Top Gun: Maverick is officially the first big summer blockbuster of 2022. It also helps that it's one of the best movies of the year.

Don't take my word for it either. Sitting at a sterling 97% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and backed up by an average audience rating of 8.7/10 on IMDb, it is perhaps the most acclaimed movie of the year thus far.

But the movie's impact has seemingly gone far beyond just the box office and entertainment circuit. According to data from the Social Security Administration, "Maverick" is now the sixth most popular baby boys name in Iowa in 2022!

Additional research shows that the name "Maverick" has been in the top 100 most popular Iowa boys names since 2015. Its been on a steady climb each year, having placed 11th in 2019, ninth in 2020, and 14th in 2021, before now breaking back into the top ten at number six this year.

Nationally speaking, "Maverick" has gone from the 864th most popular baby boys name in 2000 to 47th most popular in 2021! You can only bet the number of Mavericks are going to rise with the long-awaited Top Gun sequel taking flight.

Tom Cruise at a "Top Gun: Maverick" premiere event. Photo Credit: Kate Green, Stringer.
Tom Cruise at a "Top Gun: Maverick" premiere event. Photo Credit: Kate Green, Stringer.

The Oxford Dictionary defines "maverick" as an "unorthodox or independent-minded person." That couldn't better describe Tom Cruise's Peter Mitchell in both Top Gun movies. Nicknamed "Maverick," he's a test pilot for the U.S. Navy who is guided by his own rebellious zeal. He routinely defies orders, but he always has his crew's best interest in mind. And, admittedly, he likes to go fast.

I, personally, think "Maverick" is a great name for a boy. Its connotation is sure to remind people of Cruise's iconic character, especially with Top Gun: Maverick being a huge hit and a major talking point of the zeitgeist this summer (and likely beyond). It's an original name that almost demands a mic drop after it's been said.

In 2021, "Oliver" was the most popular baby boys name in Iowa, followed by "Liam," "Henry," "Noah," and "Asher," respectively rounding out the top five.

Could "Maverick" break the top five in 2022? Time will tell.

As of this writing, Top Gun: Maverick has topped the box office in consecutive weekends and has already raked in $295 million in America alone.

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