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Baby Men Names

photo by Georgia Brizuela

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Baby Men Names are names that sound perennially middle-aged, born wearing ties and carrying leather briefcases, buttoned-up and oh-so-adult.

These names carry several advantages: They’re rooted in tradition, of course, and so give your child a solid base for any grownup pursuit.  And since so many of them have been out of style through the past decades of hippie names and androgynous names and nature names and invented names, they feel distinctive now and even fresh.

And if they feel too forbiddingly adult to bestow on a baby, many of these names come packaged with cuter, more kid-friendly nicknames, so that Frederick can be shorted to Freddy and Philip can be called the playful Flip.

Along with stalwarts such as Edward and James and Thomas, the Baby Men names we like best today include:

Arthur – Arthur was a Top 20 name until 1926, when it began a long, steady descent, touching bottom in 2010 at Number 389 only to bounce back.  We see that new upward trajectory to continue, as Arthur has two prime advantages: It’s an ancient king’s name (and may even be a choice of Kate and Will) and it has the creative nickname Art.

August – We love all forms of this venerable name, drawn from the ancient Roman Augustus, but the simplest is also the most fashionable: August.  August also has a day name gloss and the cute nickname Augie or the more mannish Gus.

BorisThe Russian saint’s name Boris is definitely on the outer fringes of the Baby Men names, still carrying a Cold War era Boris-and-Natasha taint — at least to Americans.  In Europe, it’s fashionable along with many other things Russian.

Edmond Twilight made the more conventional Edward chic, but Edmond and near-identical twin Edmund like outside the Top 1000 and make the name more grownup and more distinctive.  And you can still use short forms Ed, Ned, or even Ted.

Frederick Will or won’t Frederick take off?  That’s the question many parents attracted to this attractive classic have been asking, and truthfully it could go either way.  Our best call: Frederick will remain in that golden zone between geek and chic.

Leopold A royal name as well as a literary one, Leopold is a an adventurous choice with the user-friendly nickname Leo.

Lionel Jazzy Lionel is a member of the leonine group of names so fashionable in Europe now: you might also consider similar Baby Men names Leon and Leonard for boys or Leona or Leonie for girls.

Montgomery – Gorgeous, tortured Montgomery Clift was the best-known bearer of this surname-name, and short form Monty definitely cutes it up.

Raymond Raymond is definitely a mannish name, while RayCharles, LaMontagne — sounds like the coolest guy on the block.  Excellent combination.

Victor Victor is a somber-yet-triumphant choice, while Vic is a midcentury-chic short form.

Vincent – The glamorous lead character of Entourage along with Vince Vaughn have done much to polish up the image of Vincent, a famous saint’s name and also an honorific for artist Vincent VanGogh.

Winston Winston stands out as a name honoring British statesman Winston Churchill and also carries the inspiration short form Win.

Photo by Georgia Brizuela

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