I have a friend, a pretty quirky guy, who has one of those generic boys’ names: Bill. I was thinking recently what an advantage it is for Bill to be named Bill rather than something like Jasper or Jarvis, one of those boys’ names that’s his equal in quirkiness. Bill takes the edge off his eccentric attitudes and offbeat style. It’s almost like the name Bill runs interference for my friend, telling the world: Don‘t worry, he may seem odd, but at heart he’s just a regular guy.
Of course, today naming your child Bill wouldn’t have the same effect. Bill is too mid-century a name and so seems old-fashioned or stodgy, not a regular guy of 2018 or 2025 at all. It’s one of those names that count as Regular Guy Names for dads or grandpas, but not for babies. These include:
- John or Johnny
- Rich or Rick
There are fewer Regular Guy Names in vogue today; in fact, the whole idea of being a Regular Guy and all that implies — sports-loving, emotions-withholding, conventional — is less appealing. Many fewer boys receive one of the most popular names than they did a generation or two ago, and many of the most popular boys’ names are not Regular Guy Names.
While a name can’t qualify as Regular Guy without being popular, popularity alone doesn’t make a name Regular Guy. Ethan, for example, which is one of the top boys’ names, just doesn’t cut it as Regular Guy, nor does Noah, Aiden, or Mason. On the other hand, some names that are popular and that were Regular Guy Names of the older generation — Michael and David, for instance — have become too grownup-sounding to be Regular Guy Names today.
Bill‘s corollary today would be, of course, Will. If you want to give you son a Regular Guy Name, which can definitely help any boy, quirky or mainstream, fit in with his peers, you have to choose one of the new generation. The names we see as Regular Guy Names for today’s boys include:
What do you think? Are there names you’d add or subtract to either list? Would you give your son a Regular Guy Name — and why or why not?