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Category: classic boys’ names

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There are the eternal boys’ classics that never leave the higher echelons of popularity—names like John, James, William and Daniel.

But then there are those that move in and out of style, names that can appear timeless in one period and then seem tired and fusty in another. These names, once at the top of their class, are now nearer the bottom—in one case having slipped away completely.

Yesterday we looked at forgotten girls’ classics. Today we bring you a dozen classic boys’ names that have fallen off the radar but deserve a fresh look.

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Boys’ Names: What’s your style?

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Today’s Question of the Week:  What’s your style for naming a son?  When it comes to boys’ names, how would you categorize what type you like best?

Traditional classic—as in James?

Ancient classic—as in Augustus?

Old Testament—as in Josiah?

Trendy–as in Hudson?

Powerboy –as in Axel?

Global – as in Enzo?

Nature– as in River?

Nickname—as in Charlie?

Grandpa—as in Arthur?

Great-Grandpa—as in Oscar?

Nouveau –as in Jaxon?

Hipster—as in Ace?

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Cool Baby Names: The -Er Names

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See all our lists of cool baby names here.

Cool baby names often share a certain something: an initial (like O), an origin (like Irish), or a sound — like -er at the end.

Blame it on Jennifer and Christopher. What those two mega-popular names have in common is their unusual –er ending, which launched a name sound that holds a lot of appeal to the contemporary ear.

Dozens of the cool baby names for boys today share the –er ending, along with a handful of choices for girls. Some of these are traditional first names but more are surname-names and occupational names.

Of course, Jennifer and Christopher were not the only popular names or even the first to feature –er at their end. Long-used –er names include Peter and Alexander, other trendy 1980s choices are Amber and Heather, and widely-used popular names that end in –er include such divergent choices as Oliver and Winter, Skyler and Spencer, River and Ryker, Harper and Hunter.

And then, as happens with name trends, there are dozens of choices that are more unusual and more stylish. Among the most appealing are the traditional boys’ names that share the –er ending:

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Click here to see all boys’ names.

The other day we brought you the classic girls’ names: those that had been among the Top 1000 for all of the 130 years the U.S. government has been tracking baby names.

The boys’ group of classic boys’ names as defined the same way is nearly twice as large, encompassing 208 names to the girls’ 114. As with the girls’ names, we broke the classic boys’ names down into categories.

There are the Core Classics, about 20 percent of the group, which include those names everyone commonly thinks of as classics:  John, Henry, William.  Then there are the Biblical names that have endured in modern usage, from Moses to Matthew. Variations and short forms such as Anton and Andy make two more groups of names that have consistently been in the Top 1000.

And then there are those names that are quantitatively more enduring that you might guess: Harley? Riley?  Hard to believe, yet the numbers bear it out. And then there are the Outliers, names whose continued use defies explanation and in some cases, sanity.

All of this gives you a wider range of options in classic boys’ names than you might initially think.  Any of the following qualify.

Core Classics

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The Lost Boy Names of 1880

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The boys’ names that ranked among the Top 1000 in 1880, the first year for which statistics were kept, include hundreds of choices no longer in use – or at least very rarely heard.  Some of the categories of lost names overlap with the now-obscure girls’ names, while others are different.

Nickname-names, for instance, so packed with lost names for girls, include some lost choices for boys, though more of the nickname names in use in the late 19th century are still widely used today: Joe, Jack, Jake, Jim, and so on.

Those nickname names we’re not hearing much of any more but which were popular in 1880 include:

CHAS

CLEM

DELL

DOSS

DUFF

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