Category: retro boys’ names
Boy names have inspired me lately. Here are some brilliant names with masculine swagger and a bit of 1960’s charm. If I were to write a novel with beatnik characters, these would be the names of the male characters. In my opinion they embody the motorcycle-riding poet.
These names were loosely inspired by the media portrayal of beatniks from the late 50’s-early 60’s. Beatniks were portrayed young adults who wore black turtlenecks with berets, hung out in coffee shops, recited poetry and expressed anti-establishment sentiments. They were precursors to the hippies.
These weren’t necessarily names of real beatniks or popular baby names in the 60’s, but most have a retro feel and many have artistic or literary associations. These names seem cultured with an edge.
Is this another case where the Yanks will follow the Brits in baby-naming trends and revive such previously verboten Grandpa names as Harvey, Arthur, Leon, Walter and Stanley— all once considered distinguished in their day? Or similar in style name like Gilbert, Murray, Ralph, Howard or Ernest?
Which, if any, of the names of this genre would you consider?
Would you choose it only to honor a relative with that name? And/or only as a middle name?
If you did use one, would you consider it cutting-edge or pleasingly retro or perenially stylish?
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: