Classic Boys’ Names: The hottest choices now

Classic names are just as hot for boys as they are for girls right now—but there’s a difference. Most of the vintage boys’ names that are rising in popularity aren’t the  traditional classics like William and James, which have never been subject to the whims of fashion, or fusty Victorian vestiges like Clarence or Elmer, but are mainly names that date from further back in time.
The classic boys’ names that are hottest–and coolest–at this moment are either a) offbeat biblical choices rarely heard in modern times, or b) true classics dating from the Roman era.  Those listed below—some of which might surprise you—all feature on the official list of fastest-rising boys’ names in the past year.


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Another biblical A-boy, Abel, despite his unfortunate Old Testament fate, is a modern hit in both the Anglo and Hispanic communities, pronounced with the accent on the second syllable in the latter. Abel, given a bump when chosen by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett for their second son, rose 56 points this year.

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27 Responses to “Classic Boys’ Names: The hottest choices now”

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Darci Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:25 am

Arthur, Ezra, and Theodore are all on my name list. I also love Abram, Atticus, and Silas.

CaraMichelle Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:48 am

I adore Gideon!

susan.n Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 1:59 am

I love Atticus, Ezra,Gideon, and Leo!

capturedcastle Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 2:39 am

Oh no so many of these are on my short list! Abram, Abel, Gideon, Silas

stairwaytoastar Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 4:35 am

I love Abram. Such a different feel from Abraham.

aunt_ning Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 6:47 am

I love Ezra, it has been a favorite since the TV show the Magnificant Seven was on…there is actually a 14 year old boy in my nephews class named Ezra, I love it!
I also love Gideon and Silas, what a great way to get to Sy as a nick name

maggiemary Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 8:02 am

I pretty much love all of them, except for Maximus, I can’t really get into that.

mermuse Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 8:54 am

Everybody please leave Arthur alone. He has been “my” name since before he started going up the charts. My sister used to say that I couldn’t name my kid Arthur or I’d be dooming him to be a bully magnet. I guess I am glad that maybe that won’t be the case. I just don’t want it to get too high! 🙁

Lo Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 11:34 am

Arthur did jump 50+ places but it’s not ranked number 52. I was stunned to read that and double checked it and saw that it’s ranked #338. Angel is ranked #52.

Isolde Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

@stairwaytoastar: I totally agree with you on that. Not a fan of Abraham but just adore Abram :)In fact it’s our top choice for a boy due in 3 weeks 😉

Alexia Mae Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

This list actually made me sad, because all of my personal favorite boys names are on here. I hope they don’t get too popular by the time I have my brood!

GoodHope Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Love Gideon, Emmett, and Ezra. Actually, with the exceptions of Maximus and Atticus, I like them all.

mayday_fridaybabe Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I can’t believe so many of these names are on my shortlist! Gideon, Arthur, Atticus and Theodore will always be my top choices, regardless of how popular they get.

spotlightstarlit Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This post could also be titled, “My Short List.” Abram, Emmett, Gideon, Silas, Ezra & Arthur are all possibilities.

Saracita00 Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

It’s great to see antique gems getting some love. We considered Leo, Arthur and Gideon earlier this year. I don’t really care for Atticus or Maximus but they are options far more interesting than many. Abel is the dark horse surprise to me.

Mara_lyn86 Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I like a few of these names. I would use Arthur, but I already want to use an A name for a girl and I don’t want to repeat any letters.

I actually like Simeon and whole lot more than Gideon. Both are biblical classics, and Simeon sounds similar, but it is a little more uncommon.

Emmett is the name that I don’t really like on the list. It could be because of twilight, but I just don’t like it. Curse Stephanie Meyer for ruining good names.

I also really love the nickname Leo, mainly because it means lion and that was the main theme that I used for my son’s nursery. I love lions.

moxielove Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I am surprised Silas is so popular — it puts my all time love Finn in perspective (as in, it’s not as popu,ar as I thought even though it feels rampant!)

I know babies and little boys by almost all these names except Arthur. Thank you for reminding me of the grandeur of the name, and help me get over the who.e roch-boy-alchoholic slash glasses wearing mouse imagery that has ruined the name for me.

Love love love Atticus.

googoogixie Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Ok, I’m sure this is really nitpicky and annoying but the pic used for Arthur is actually a picture of Tristan from the movie King Arthur and not King Arthur. Not that it matters I guess lol. Love the name Arthur!

Flick Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Great names, Theodore is my favorite.

Aurra Says:

September 15th, 2012 at 11:51 am

Arthur has been on my list since I became a name nerd- with the combo Arthur Alexander.
Ezra is a guilty pleasure girl name of mine, so I would never use it on a boy.

Skylark Says:

September 15th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

It would be really nice to have the option of reading these names in a list instead of clicking through each slide. I don’t need a picture of each name.

UniqueNameLover Says:

September 15th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Arthur, Gideon and Silas are all on my list. I even named a character Arthur.

skizzo Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Emmett, Silas and Ezra are pretty cool.
Arthur still sounds like a grandpa name to me.
Gideon is just awful, giddy-up indeed!

skizzo Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

@Aurra: its not a girl’s name.

ShandyJill Says:

February 25th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I think Abel got its boost from Sons of Anarchy more than anything.

maggiekathleen Says:

February 25th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

My 8 month old Arthur wears his name so well! I can’t believe the amount of people we meet that comment on his name (positively.) Before he was born we wondered if anyone would like it as well as we did.

I hope it doesn’t get popular though!

chilly9296 Says:

April 3rd, 2013 at 11:29 am

I agree ShandyJill I also think its why we’re seeing a jump in Gemma and Jaxon/Jackson too

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