Your newborn might look like a wrinkly, grumpy old man, and you can give him a name to match! We kid. However, we’re certain there are some names that have fallen from fashion that deserve some love from new parents. These classic baby names once enjoyed broad appeal and many will be familiar to you. Names like Wilbur, Mortimer, and Seymour might look a bit dusty to you. Let’s knock the dust off and make them shine once more!
Old-fashioned doesn’t necessarily mean dated sensibilities. The act of choosing a name that’s not commonly used anymore brings it back to life and can actually seem extremely modern because it is now seen as unique. Here are 25 old-fashioned names for boys we’d love to see make a comeback.
Cecil is a fantastic old-fashioned name for boys that’s no longer enjoying the same sheen it once did. The name Cecil has roots in both Welsh and Latin and in Welsh, it means “sixth child.” The Latin root means “blind.”
You’ll find the name Horace in many beloved works of fantasy fiction including Harry Potter and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Unfortunately, you don’t see it in the real world as often. Horace comes from the Latin name Horatius with the root word being hora. It means “time” or “hour.”
Bernard was once a thriving name, but by the 1950s the name had fallen out of fashion for many parents. The name comes from German and means “brave bear.” With a meaning like that, do you still have reservations about this wonderful name?
G-Unit rapper, Lloyd Banks certainly possesses an attractive name. Lloyd has Welsh origins and means “grey.” It is traditionally spelled Llwyd, but then someone along the way decided it needed a vowel.
Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, a perfectly handsome name! We suppose Elton John rolls off the tongue a bit easier, but Reginald is still standing. Reginald is a German name that means “ruler’s decision.”
We think that Flat Stanley has more dimensions than people give him credit for. Stanley is a beautiful name with English origins that means “stone clearing.” Actor Stanley Tucci brings this name plenty of gravitas.
How cute a nickname is Vic? Victor has Latin origins and means “to conquer.” French author Victor Hugo is a famous example who is one of France’s most well-known writers. Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame 1800s and they are still extremely relevant today.
The sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond had it right! Raymond is a fantastic name that comes from German and means “trusted advisor.” The nickname or shortened name Ray feels modern and fresh.
Ernest has German origins and if there was any mystery surrounding this name, it can be quickly dispelled because this name means “earnest.” Journalist and novelist Ernest Hemingway did right by this name and heavily influenced 20th Century fiction.
You often see the name Leo these days, but the fuller version, Leonard is a fine choice. Music makers Leonard Cohen and Leonard Bernstein are reason enough to bestow this fabulous name. Leonard has German origins and means “brave as a lion.”
Albert is a popular name among royalty and belonged to Queen Victoria’s husband and later to the current Prince of Monaco. Two historical Alberts had major impacts: Albert Einstein and Albert Camus helped to reshape the world. The German name means “bright.”
Rupert is a German name that’s long been popular in the UK. English actors Rupert Everett and Rupert Grint are two famous examples. Rupert means “bright” or “fame” and is closely related to its more popular cousin, Robert.
Basil is a beautiful name that hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity in the US as it has in Europe. The name has Greek origins and means “royal.” The herb has religious significance in Greece where it is a symbol of fertility and holiness. Basil and basilica share the same root origin.
If you pronounce the name Ralph like the Brits do: “rafe,” it’s a completely acceptable and charming name. However, “ralf” does sound like the act of vomiting so proceed with caution. Ralph has German origins and means “wolf protector.” English composer, Ralph Vaughn Williams changed the sound of English music forever which earned him an Order of Merit in 1935 after he refused a knighthood.
Otis Redding is considered one of the greatest singers in American History and a seminal artist of soul and R&B music. Otis is an excellent name with Greek origins that means “wealthy.” Actors Olivia Wilde and Tobey Maguire both have sons named Otis.
Sidney Poitier is a living legend who became the first Black male actor to win an Academy Award. The name Sidney is a popular gender-neutral name that is sometimes spelled like the city, Sydney. It has French origins and means “wide island in a river” and is associated with Saint-Denis.
Much more than just a cartoon cat, Felix is a sophisticated name for boys. The name Felix has Latin origins and means “lucky.” German composer, Felix Mendelssohn is a famous example who is known for his incredibly romantic works.
Laurance can be spelled, Lawrence, and is an ancient name associated with the Roman town of Laurentum. Laurence Fishburne is an actor with a distinguished career and an equally distinguished name.
As you might imagine, Clifford is an English name that means “ford by a cliff.” Clifford might conjure images of a big red dog, but its shortened form Cliff certainly has a cool demeanor.
Kenneth is a handsome Scottish name that means “handsome” or “fire.” Kenneth Branagh is an esteemed actor and director with the name.
Norman is a German name that refers to a Norseman or Viking. In France, Norman is also a name that applies to people from Normandy. Norman Rockwell is one of the US’s most beloved artists who created illustrations and paintings that reflected on everyday life and American culture.
Cyril is a most uncommon name these days. The name has Greek origins and means “masterful.” There are a number of Popes and Saints who bore the name and it’s a great option for parents looking for a religious name that isn’t so ubiquitous.
Eugene is a Greek name that means “born well.” Eugene is a classic name you don’t see too often these days, but it’s primed for a comeback. Famous namesakes include actor Eugene Levy, playwright Eugene O’Neill, and artist Eugene Delacroix.
Vernon is an impressive name for boys that has origins in French and means “alder tree.” Elvis’s father’s name was Vernon. The name Vernon fell out of fashion after the 1920s but ticked up again in the 1980s. We’d love to see this name continue to gain momentum.
Thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie is having a moment. This Old German name means “brave.” A little known fact is that actor Cary Grant’s real name was Archibald Leach. Archibald and it’s shortened form Archie deserve your consideration.
What’s old is new again! These old-fashioned baby names are ready to be reintroduced. Strong, bold, and with plenty of gravitas, a classic name for your son will never go out of style.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
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