Traditional Boy Names: The Ultimate Guide

Traditional Boy Names: The Ultimate Guide

Traditional boy names remain perennially popular with parents today, in spite of the broader trend towards ever more unique baby names for both sexes.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all traditional names for boys are popular. As well as the core classic boy names – like John, James and Joseph, which have all ranked in the Top 50 since records began – there is also a whole host of uncommon traditional boy names which have a rich history, but are rarely used today.

Other cool categories of traditional boy names include vintage boy names and Bible names for boys, which are full of stylish choices with a quirky classic feel.

Here, we present our ultimate guide to finding the perfect traditional boy name.

Top Classic Boy Names

The most enduring traditional boy names are the elite group of timeless classics that have proved popular throughout the centuries.

The top classic boy names include royal names for boys like Henry, James and Edward, as well as a core group of Bible names for boys and male saints’ names, like Samuel, Joseph and Peter.

Other top classic names for boys might surprise you. Did you know that Victor only dropped out of the Top 200 for the first time in 2021? Or that hipster favorite Oscar has ranked in the Top 250 since records began?

Below, 25 timeless traditional names that have always ranked in the US Top 250.

Unique Traditional Boy Names

Traditional names don’t always have to equal popular names!

There are a whole host of cool classic boy names that are rich in history, but rank outside of the current US Top 1000.

Some of these are once-popular choices which now feel ripe for revival, like Edmund and Wilfred (already trending in the UK). Others are simply highly unusual names with a long history of use, like Auberon, Inigo and Leander.

Here are 25 unique traditional boy names below the Top 1000.

Cool Vintage Boy Names

Vintage names are a stylish subset of the traditional boy names. They have a quirky old-fashioned feel, but also a cool, current appeal.

The most popular vintage boy names of the moment include fashionable favorites like Ezra, Jasper and Theodore. Less popular vintage options with even more old-school cool include Cyrus, Otis and Roland.

Here are 25 of the best cool vintage names for boys.

Traditional Biblical Boy Names

Bible names for boys have proved enduringly popular throughout the ages, with classic Biblical choices like Elias, Moses and Solomon ranking among the US Top 1000 boy names since naming records began in 1880.

But even rare Biblical boy names have a cultural and historical weight behind them which grants them traditional status.

Here, 25 Biblical boy names from all over the popularity spectrum, which all share that traditional feel.

Traditional Nicknames for Boys

If some of the traditional boy names above feel a bit too heavy or formal for you, there’s always the option of using a short form on its own.

Although nicknames as full names are currently much more popular in the UK than in the US, there is actually a long tradition of nickname names in America. Billy, Charlie, Harry and Jack have all ranked in the Top 20 in the past, and all feel fresh and youthful again today.

Here are 25 traditional nicknames for boys which feel substantial enough to stand alone.

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at