Fashionable baby names for boys have taken a turn in recent years with more and more parents exploring vintage names. These clunky, old-fashioned options come befitted in a sweater vest and a pair of thick-framed glasses. Appellations that were once popular in the US now feel so dated and uncool that they are actually chic and interesting, drawing the attention of new parents who want to breathe fresh life into these dated and offbeat options.
Geek chic baby names for boys tend to first become popular (again) across the pond in the UK before they eventually make their way to the US. For instance, Alfred and Harvey have already staged comebacks in the UK but they have yet to land on many birth certificates in the US. But, if history is any indication, Alfred and Harvey as well as other geeky names that become popular in the UK will be trendy here within a decade. We wanted to round up some idiosyncratic baby names for boys that will likely become fashionable in the coming years so that you have some baby name inspiration.
The name of Jacob’s twin brother, son of Isaac and Rebecca, Esau could make an ideal option for parents looking for a unique biblical name. You will have to turn back the clock to 1902 when the name was popular in the US to hear this forgotten gem of a name. Esau has Hebrew origins and it does indeed mean “hairy.” However, this geek chic name is so elegant and beautiful we think many can look beyond that meaning.
Percy is an adorable geek chic name that is finally shedding its pampered image and is now being considered along with other names like Elijah or Jasper. Percy has historically been more popular in England and France as it comes from an old Norman surname that refers to the place, “Perci-en-Auge” meaning “one who pierces the valley.” This name has not been popular in the US since the 1980s but new parents today are giving it a shot.
Cy is a diminutive of Cyrus and both seem like monikers from a bygone era. While Cyrus has been mildly popular since 1880, Cy has never shaken its geeky image. Cyrus has Persian origins and means “sun.” In fact, the name belonged to the founder of the Persian Empire. We love Cy for its casual nature and breathy weightlessness.
Once a powerful Roman clan name, Cecil has lost much of its strength over the years, falling off of the US top 1000 in the 1990s. Past bearers include film giant Cecil B. DeMille, photographer Cecil Beaton, and poet Cecil Day-Lewis. Those forebearers could all serve as worthy inspirations for your baby’s geek chic name. The only downside of this name is its meaning, “blind.”
Basil was on the U.S. popularity list quite regularly up till 1970, reaching a high of number 328 in 1904. Its history includes several rulers of the Byzantine Empire and Eastern Orthodox saints. We think it’s past time to take a fresh look at this aromatic name. Basil has Greek origins and means “regal.” What’s not to love about this geeky appellation, parents?
Ephraim is a geek chic boy’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “fruitful,” “fertile,” and “productive.” The name has been rediscovered by a few parents but it has not received its rightful attention since before 1914! In Genesis, Ephraim is the second son of Joseph who was the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. You might also consider the simplified spelling, Efrem.
Hiram is the kind of forgotten biblical name that adventurous parents who wish to move beyond David and Daniel are beginning to reconsider. The name belonged to an Old Testament king of Tyre who helped David and Solomon plan and build the temple in Jerusalem. The most popular year for this name in the US was 1880 and it has declined ever since and is no longer found in the top 1000. Hiram has Hebrew origins that mean “brother of the exalted one.”
The time has come for parents to dust off the stately English name, Edmund, as it has been absent from the top 1000 for nearly 30 years. Edmond is the French form of the name and you get to choose which way you want to take it. Edmund means “fortunate protector.” We think any baby boy would be fortunate to receive this geek chic name.
Gus is a homey nickname name that can work as a short form for Augustus, Angus, Gustave, Augustin, Augusten, Augustine, and August. The name has effectively been off the US top 1000 since 1978 with a random blip in popularity in 2006. It’s heating up once more! Gus is a blunt and casual geek chic name with Greek or Irish origins and can mean “one strength.”
While you could go full-on geek with Barnaby or Barnabas, we love the amicable sound of Barney. Barney has unfortunately been absent from a lot of birth certificates since the 1970s. Barnabas, the name from which Barney derives, is one of the world’s oldest names coming from Aramaic. It means “son of consolation.”
Leland is a rare example of a name that completely turned around its popularity in the 1990s. After falling from the US top 1000 for years, it has rebounded and become a top 500 name again. This geek chic name is a great way to get the attractive Lee nickname. Leland has English origins and it means “meadowland.”
Linus has never shaken its Peanuts image in the US and thus, has not been popular since 1940. However, if you look at Germany, Norway, and Sweden, you will find the name is a top 50 choice. It’s clear it does not carry the geeky image there. Linus has Greek origins and means “flax.”
The name Otis will forever make us think of the smooth voice of Otis Redding. Thankfully, this name has been on an upward trend over the last few years with a ranking of 707 at last count. However, it is nowhere near its height of popularity in the early 1900s when it was a top 100 pick. Otis has German origins and means “wealthy.” Cha-ching!
Johnny Mercer was a talented and charming songwriter-singer who wrote the lyrics for more than 1,500 songs, including “Moon River.” He could be an inspiration for this geek chic name or you might just be attracted to its handsome sound. Mercer is a French occupational surname for “a merchant.” This name has not been popular as a given option since 1881.
Jethro, though the biblical father-in-law of Moses, has suffered for a long time from a Beverly Hillbilly image, even though it was used as a name for a popular sixties rock band in Jethro Tull. Jethro has not been popular in the US since 1913! A hundred years later, we feel it could be a real possibility for adventurous parents. Jethro has Hebrew origins and means “excellence.”
Homer is a geek chic name that has traveled from the ancient Greek writer of the great classical epics to a long-running animated comedy in the US. Homer fell from favor in the 1980s and it is rarely used today by new parents. That’s beginning to change! Homer has Greek origins and means “security.”
In Ireland, Art is used as a name on its own, separate from Arthur. There, the name comes from an ancient word for “a bear,” and is used in the sense of “outstanding warrior” or “champion.” Art was a legendary Pagan High King of Ireland who was so honest that angels watched over him when he fought in battle. In the US, we often consider the name a short form of Arthur which is English and means “noble one.” Sadly, this geek chic name has not been widely chosen since the 1960s.
Bertram is an Old German name with Norman roots that means “bright raven.” This treasure was last fashionable in the 1930s as it was a favored vehicle to get to the nickname, Bert. This geek chic name has not been popular at all since the 1960s and we think that it is due for a renaissance.
Amos is a geek chic name that’s being discovered by a new generation of parents in a refreshing way. The name was exceedingly popular with Puritans which could explain how the name lingered on and enjoyed its most popular year in 1880, the first year baby naming data was released by the US government. Amos has Hebrew origins and means “carried by God.”
Eugene is a classic name that hasn’t been one of the cool kids recently. However, Eugene has had a long history of popularity, as a top 50 name from 1880 to the 1940s. It is still a top 1000 baby name for boys but it pales in comparison to its previous heights. British actor Billie Piper named her son Eugene Pip when he was born in 2012. This geek chic name’s fortunes are about to change!
Mortimer sounds like a quintessential geek name because it has not been widely used in the US since the 1920s. Mortimer has English origins as a variant form of Moses. The name means “dead sea.” Mortimer is a playful name that’s so ugly it’s cute and we would love to encounter this offbeat name more often today.
Homer’s hero, Ulysses is the Latin variant of the Greek name Odysseus which means “wrathful.” The most popular year for the name in the US in recent memory was 1999 when it hit the 694th spot on the US top 1000. Since then, the name has practically fallen from use. The name of a celebrated novel by James Joyce, Ulysses could act as a literary namesake or as a hero name inspired by Ulysses S. Grant.
Winston became most popular in the US in the 1940s and 50s, no doubt as a tribute to Winston Churchill. Surprisingly, this geek chic name has been on the rise over the last ten years and it could see its most popular year ever in the next five years if trends hold. Winston is an English name that means “wine’s town.” Cheers!
Sylvester was at its height in the 1920s, when it was in the top 200, and hung on in the lower rungs until 1994. Today, very few new parents are choosing this classic name. But, that’s likely to change. Model, Emily Ratajkowski chose the name for her son recently. Sylvester is a name with Latin origins and it means “wood” or “forest.”
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Vernon reached its height of popularity for new parents in 1920 when it was a top 100 baby name. It slowly declined over the years before it fell off the US top 1000 baby names for boys in 2003. Vernon is an English surname-name that sounds very British and means “place of alders.” If you’re after a distinguished and subtle nature name, this would be a perfect geek chic choice.
There you go! We hope you fell in love with some of these Geek chic names. These appellations for boys are primed for a comeback in the coming years so get ahead of the trend by choosing one of these familiar yet offbeat baby names for your son. If you liked these names for boys, perhaps you will also like these timeless names as well. Keep reading for even more baby name inspiration!
These Simple Boy Names Are Tried & True Classics!
Modern Yet Timeless Boy Names
Let’s kick things off by talking about established simple boy names that feel modern and warm today.
- Guy – A French name of German origin, meaning “wood” or “guide”
- Ward – An English name, meaning “guard”
- Miles – A name from Latin, meaning “soldier”
- Rhett – A name of Dutch origin, meaning “advice”
- Tripp – A name parents are returning to after decades of underuse, Tripp comes from English and means “journey”
Fresh Yet Simple Boy Names
Here are even more simple boy names that should be familiar to you but sound cool for baby boys born today.
- Cole – Yet another English name, meaning “charcoal”
- Ace – An American nickname-name of English origin, meaning “unity”
- Cade – Another English name, meaning “round”
- Cash – A cool kid name from French, meaning “case”
- Brooks – A subtle nature name from English, meaning “dweller by the brook”
Historically Beloved Boy Names
What are some of the most popular names that generations of parents have returned to again and again? Let’s take a look at some time-tested classics for you to consider.
- Shane – A beloved name from Hebrew, meaning “Yahweh is gracious”
- Vince – Sharing the same Latin root that gives us Vincent, Vince means “to conquer”
- Troy – A French habitational name, meaning “from Troyes”
- Trey – An English name from Latin, meaning “third”
- Stan – An English habitational name, meaning “from the stone clearing”
More Evergreen Simple Boy Names
Let’s continue taking a look at simple names that have been perennial favorites through the last several decades.
- Mac – A Gaelic name, meaning “son”
- Kirk – A name of Scottish origin, meaning “church”
- Josh – A contemporary Hebrew name, meaning “God is salvation”
- Jake – A name from Latin, meaning “supplanter”
- Garth – A name from Norse, meaning “garden”
More From the Top of the Charts
Each year the Social Security Administration (SSA) releases a list of the top 1000 names for boys. Here are names that have been on that list for nearly 100 years!
- Clark – A name from English, meaning “priest”
- Cal – A name from French, meaning “bald”
- Bruce – A name of English and Sottish origin, meaning “thick brush”
- Brett – From Middle English, meaning “Breton”
- Brent – A name of Celtic origin, meaning “hill”
Simple Boy Names from the Bible
You may or may not be religious, but (mostly) Hebrew names found in the bible make for excellent options as they’ve been in use so long they now feel secular to most. Take a look!
- Joel – A name from Hebrew origin, meaning “the Lord is God”
- Seth – From Hebrew, meaning “who puts”
- Paul – From Hebrew, meaning “stone”
- John – From Hebrew and English, meaning “God is Gracious”
- James – From Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”
More Biblical Names to Consider
Here are more simple boy names that you will find in the bible that are worthy of your consideration.
- Saul – A name from Hebrew origin, meaning “prayed for”
- Jude – A Latin form of Judah, meaning “praised”
- Zeke – A name from Hebrew, meaning “God strengthens”
- Luke – An English form of Lucas, meaning “man from Lucania” or “light”
- Mark – An English name from Latin, meaning “of Mars”
Simple Boy Names Inspired by Mythology
Another excellent source for baby name inspiration comes from mythology. These names that mostly originate from Greek and Latin are antiques that still dazzle today!
- Thor – From the Norse god of strength, meaning “thunder”
- Bran – From a Celtic (Welsh) god of the underworld, meaning “broom hill”
- Llyr – The mythological father of Bran, meanings “sea god” or “sea”
- Jove – An alternative name for Jupiter, meaning “sky father”
- Pan – A Greek nature god of herds and flocks, meaning “shepherd”
Rare Names That Are Simple in Nature
Some simple boy names are very simple in nature and structure but have become rare among new parents in recent decades. Let’s take a look at some familiar yet underutilized options!
- Zed – A name from Greek and Hebrew, meaning “just”
- Thane – A name of Scottish tradition, meaning “chieftain”
- Vance – A name from English and Irish, meaning “dweller from the marsh”
- Teague – Another Scottish name, meaning “bard” or “poet”
- Shaw – An English habitational name, meaning “thicket”
More Underutilized Simple Boy Names
Here are even more appellations that have gone unsung but likely are very familiar to most expecting parents.
- Kemp – A name of English origin, meaning “champion”
- Leith – A Scottish name, meaning “damp”
- Redd – An English surname-name, meaning “read”
- Price – A name of Welsh origin, meaning “son of Rhys”
- Pace – A name from English, meaning “peace”
More Unsung Heroes
We found even more rare simple boy names that are worthy of consideration. These names are some of the most fun on this entire list.
- Baer – A Germanic name, meaning “bright”
- Niels – A Danish form of Nicholas, meaning “people of victory”
- Alp – A Turkish name, meaning “hero”
- Brant – A Norse name, meaning “sword”
- Pim – A Dutch diminutive form of William, meaning “resolute protector”
Simple Boy Names from Nature
Nature names are a huge trend today with more parents than ever before choosing names that evoke imagery of our natural world. Let’s take a look at some simple options that paint beautiful pictures!
- Sky – A nature name that means exactly what you think it does
- Oak – An English name for a very special tree
- Birch – Another English name, meaning “birch tree”
- Cliff – A habitational name, meaning “from the cliff”
- Flint – Another habitational name, meaning “from the outcrop of flint”
More Appellations Inspired by the Great Outdoors
Here are more simple boy names that sound fresh thanks to their connection to nature. We refer to these appellations as “econames.”
- Pierce – A Welsh name, meaning “rock”
- Ash – An English name, meaning “ash tree”
- Reed – En English name, meaning “red hair”
- Lance – A name from German, meaning “land”
- Lake – An English name, meaning “lake” or “from the lake”
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Simple Boy Names Inspired by Animals
Don’t let the plant and landscape names hog all of your attention! Other nature names, from animals, are also in high demand these days. Take a look at our favorites!
- Wolf – From English
- Drake – A form of Mandrake, meaning “duck” or “dragon”
- Fox – From English
- Bear – From English
- Wren – From English, the bird
More Wild Names for Boys Inspired by Animals
Check out even more nature names that are simple yet evocative and even romantic.
- Jay – An English name, meaning “jaybird”
- Buck – An English name, meaning “male deer”
- Hawk – An English name, meaning “hawk” or “a bird”
- Colt – An English name, meaning “young horse”
- Finch – An English name, meaning “finch” or “a bird”
Classic Simple Boy Names Worthy of a Comeback
Some names were once wildly popular in the US but have since fallen from favor. Let’s take a look at some of the simple options that have evaded new parents’ imaginations for years now.
- Art – A diminutive form of Arthur, a Celtic name that means “noble bear”
- Walt – A name of German origin, meaning “army ruler”
- Lyle – A name from French, meaning “the island”
- Lloyd – A name of Welsh origin, meaning “gray”
- Bert – A diminutive form of the German name Bertram, meaning “bright”
Other Vintage Options to Bring Back to Life
Here are even more simple boy names that are ready for a modern-day Renaissance.
- Finn – A storied Irish name, meaning “fair”
- Bart – A shortened form of Bartholomew, meaning “son of Tomai”
- Sage – A name from Latin, meaning “wise”
- Doug – A name from Scottish, meaning “black river”
- Baz – A diminutive form of Basil or Sebastian, or a Kurdish name, meaning “regal” or “man from Sebastia,” or “falcon”
Simple Boy Names with Attitude
For whatever reason, one-syllable boy names tend to come off as cool and aloof making them attractive to parents. We can’t guarantee your son won’t have the coolest name in their class but they’ll come close with any of these options.
- Tate – An English name from Norse, meaning “cheerful”
- Stone – An English name, meaning “rock”
- Spike – A nickname-name originating in America
- Giles – A Greek name, meaning “young goat”
- Sid – A French name, short for Sidney, meaning “Saint-Denis”
More Simple Boy Names for Cool Kids
Here are more of the cool kid names for boys that we think your son will love.
- Rex – A name from Latin, meaning “king”
- Duke – An English name, meaning “noble”
- Dane – An English name, meaning “from Denmark”
- Burke – An English name, meaning “fortress”
- Chance – A French form of Chauncey, meaning “chief”
Simple Boy Names Inspired by Americana
Some names feel wholly American thanks to their history in our shared lexicon. These simple boy names feel rugged and cowboy-inspired.
- Vint – A habitational name for a person living on or near a town called “Vint” or “vineyard”
- Earl – An English aristocratic title and name, meaning “noble”
- Kid – An name meaning, “young goat”
- Roy – A Scottish or French name, meaning “redhead” or “king”
- Butch – A nickname-name, meaning “butcher”
Simple Boy Names from Diverse Origins
Most of the names that land on birth certificates today can be traced to English, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin origins. But, there’s a whole world full of names that are worth considering. Here are some simple names that you might have never encountered before.
- Hans – A form of John, meaning “God is gracious”
- Lars – A Scandinavian name, from Latin, meaning “crowned with laurel”
- Juan – A Spanish form of John, meaning “God is gracious”
- Zayn – An Arabic name, meaning “beauty”
- Blaise – A French name, meaning “lisping”
More Simple Boy Names from Around the World
Check out even more names that are popular overseas but could totally be possibilities for American boys born today.
- Kai – A Hawaiian name that means “sea”
- Roan – A Germanic name, meaning “raven”
- Rens – A form of an old Roman name, meaning “from Laurentium”
- Sef – A Dutch name from Hebrew, meaning “God increases”
- Raf – A Spanish diminutive form of Rafael, meaning “God has healed”
Titles Make Great Simple Boy Names
Think of stately titles and then imagine them as given names. It sounds counterintuitive but it totally works and is a trend for baby boys born today.
- Rey – From Spanish, meaning “king”
- Dean – Meaning “chief” or “church official”
- Prince – Meaning “first head” or “monarch”
- Reeve – An English occupational name, meaning “bailiff” or “local official”
- Saint – From Latin, meaning “holy person”
Turn to Your Favorite Places for Baby Name Inspiration
Place names like those belonging to cities are also great. Think of how popular the names London and Brooklyn have become in recent years. But, let’s look beyond those popular options for more inspired appellations.
- York – An English place name and surname, meaning “from the ewe fields”
- Rome – A place name that predates Latin and likely comes from Etruscan and/or Greek, meaning “strength” or “teat”
- Trace – Of Gaelic, English, and American origin, meaning “brave” or “of Thracia”
- Kent – An English surname and place name, meaning “edge”
- Luc – A form of Luke (“from Lucania”), or a French habitational name meaning “lake”
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Our Very Favorite Simple Boy Names
We leave you now with the most subjective portion of our simple boy names list with our own personal favorites. These names have always stood out to us for all the right reasons and we think they will for you as well!
- Grant – A Scottish name from French, meaning “large”
- Fritz – A Germanic name, meaning “peaceful ruler”
- Gus – A diminutive form of many names (Gustav, Augustus, Augustine, August, Angus, etc.), meaning “greatest” or “one strength”
- Hugh – An English name from German, related to Hugo, meaning “mind”
- Klein – A Germanic name and popular Jewish surname, meaning “small”
There you go! We hope these 125 simple boy names have left you inspired to choose a short yet sweet appellation for your son that feels timeless and established. These names are anything but boring and they will serve your son well from infancy and into adulthood. There’s nothing wrong with being pragmatic with your baby’s name and, with these options, you can’t go wrong!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 0.1 Esau
- 0.2 Percy
- 0.3 Cy
- 0.4 Cecil
- 0.5 Basil
- 0.6 Ephraim
- 0.7 Hiram
- 0.8 Edmund
- 0.9 Gus
- 0.10 Barney
- 0.11 Leland
- 0.12 Linus
- 0.13 Otis
- 0.14 Mercer
- 0.15 Jethro
- 0.16 Homer
- 0.17 Art
- 0.18 Bertram
- 0.19 Amos
- 0.20 Eugene
- 0.21 Mortimer
- 0.22 Ulysses
- 0.23 Winston
- 0.24 Sylvester
- 0.25 Vernon
- 1 These Simple Boy Names Are Tried & True Classics!
- 1.1 Modern Yet Timeless Boy Names
- 1.2 Fresh Yet Simple Boy Names
- 1.3 Historically Beloved Boy Names
- 1.4 More Evergreen Simple Boy Names
- 1.5 More From the Top of the Charts
- 1.6 Simple Boy Names from the Bible
- 1.7 More Biblical Names to Consider
- 1.8 Simple Boy Names Inspired by Mythology
- 1.9 Rare Names That Are Simple in Nature
- 1.10 More Underutilized Simple Boy Names
- 1.11 More Unsung Heroes
- 1.12 Simple Boy Names from Nature
- 1.13 More Appellations Inspired by the Great Outdoors
- 1.14 Simple Boy Names Inspired by Animals
- 1.15 More Wild Names for Boys Inspired by Animals
- 1.16 Classic Simple Boy Names Worthy of a Comeback
- 1.17 Other Vintage Options to Bring Back to Life
- 1.18 Simple Boy Names with Attitude
- 1.19 More Simple Boy Names for Cool Kids
- 1.20 Simple Boy Names Inspired by Americana
- 1.21 Simple Boy Names from Diverse Origins
- 1.22 More Simple Boy Names from Around the World
- 1.23 Titles Make Great Simple Boy Names
- 1.24 Turn to Your Favorite Places for Baby Name Inspiration
- 1.25 Our Very Favorite Simple Boy Names
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