Category: classic names for boys
The Theo family of names is moving on up, en masse.
The pater familias, Theodore, progressed thirty places this year on the Social Security list, rose 115% on Nameberry searches and was the only boyâ€™s name to register more than once on our latest Quarterly Report, plus itâ€™s been the choice of several celebrities, including Dallas Bryce Howard, Natascha McElhone and Ali Larter.
Â Itâ€™s a name with so much to recommend itâ€”as one of the classic namesÂ that has a lot more personality than many others, being serious but with a sense of humor, and boasting a choice of great nicknames.
In this country, Theodoreâ€™s history is very much tied to our youngest president ever, the ebullient, energetic, charismatic Theodore Roosevelt (who was a Theodore, Junior), the U.S. Chief Executive from 1901 to 1905. It was in that period that the name hit its highest peak, reaching Number 30 in 1904, then staying in the Top 100 until 1944. One thing thatÂ didn’tÂ catch on, though, was his childhood nickname of Teedie.
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 bottomâ€”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.
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:Â John, Henry, William.Â 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?Â 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.Â Any of the following qualify.
The boysâ€™ 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 â€“ or at least very rarely heard.Â Some of the categories of lost names overlap with the now-obscure girlsâ€™ 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 weâ€™re not hearing much of any more but which were popular in 1880 include: