Category: traditional boys’ names
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?
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.
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:
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.
A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the favorite girls’ names on a Nameberry Message Board thread–led by the lovely Beatrix, Penelope and Clementine–and now it’s time to look over at the boys’ side.
The most striking result is the strong showing for the good old traditional, timeless classics, with many votes for William, Henry, Charles, James, Edward, Joseph, George, and Thomas, and a resurgence of interest in Theodore (#2!–perhaps because of the popularity of nickname Theo), Frederick, and Peter. Does this mean that parents are still (or once again) looking at safer, more conservative choices for their sons than their daughters? Is it somehow a reflection of the cloudy economic climate?
Some smaller trends noted: a preponderance of names starting with the vowel E–Elliot (in its various spellings), Edward, Emmett, Everett, Ethan, Ezra, Elias; and the characteristic nameberry love of some quirkier choices, several not found in the Top 500 of the Social Security list–Gideon, Amos, Emmett, Dexter, Atticus, Asa, Harvey, Callum and Cullen–and some not even on the list at all–Dashiell, Archer, Malachy, Laszlo, Ambrose. It takes time for the rest of the world to catch up!
So here, as of today, are your top choices: