Old Man Names are the new Old Lady Names.
They’re the next frontier of vintage names, we mean. Old lady names — from Beatrice to Violet, Florence to Eleanor — have been mostly cool and rarely crusty for several years now. As with other fashionable categories — Old Testament names for boys, say, or Irish names — parents seem to push continuously into new and braver territory, stopping just this side of Bertha.
But old man names have been a different story. Sure, you’d get a girl cutely called Sydney, or a boy named Harold the III — but always called Tripp. And Harvey and Stanley are very trendy in England — though Americans find that totally baffling.
Now, though, we think it’s time to take a fresh look at old man names. For boys, of course, and yeah, even sometimes for girls.
The first tier of Old Man Names are the Grandpa Names, some of them Biblical, that have become popular and have paved the way for their crustier brothers. In this group we’d include:
The second tier are those names that are starting to be stylish now. This group would include:
Some of the names in the next group, in some people’s eyes, may start veering into the crusty group.
Abraham or Abe
Montgomery or Monty
Crusty or cool? It’s borderline, with that last group. The key to moving from crusty to cool may simply be getting old enough; the crustiest names are those like Larry and Gary, Richard and Ron that were most popular in the 1940s and 1950s and are still too unseasoned to be cool.
And what of Old Man Names for girls? In our book Cool Names, we had a group called Geezer Names for Girls. It is kind of an outrageous idea and we’re not going to launch a big campaign for calling your daughter Seymour. But these names, to us, sound really cute for girls:
What do you think? Where does the line cross from crusty to cool, and back again?