Baby Men Names

photo by Georgia Brizuela

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Baby Men Names are names that sound perennially middle-aged, born wearing ties and carrying leather briefcases, buttoned-up and oh-so-adult.

These names carry several advantages: They’re rooted in tradition, of course, and so give your child a solid base for any grownup pursuit.  And since so many of them have been out of style through the past decades of hippie names and androgynous names and nature names and invented names, they feel distinctive now and even fresh.

And if they feel too forbiddingly adult to bestow on a baby, many of these names come packaged with cuter, more kid-friendly nicknames, so that Frederick can be shorted to Freddy and Philip can be called the playful Flip.

Along with stalwarts such as Edward and James and Thomas, the Baby Men names we like best today include:

Arthur — Arthur was a Top 20 name until 1926, when it began a long, steady descent, touching bottom in 2010 at Number 389 only to bounce back.  We see that new upward trajectory to continue, as Arthur has two prime advantages: It’s an ancient king’s name (and may even be a choice of Kate and Will) and it has the creative nickname Art.

August — We love all forms of this venerable name, drawn from the ancient Roman Augustus, but the simplest is also the most fashionable: August.  August also has a day name gloss and the cute nickname Augie or the more mannish Gus.

BorisThe Russian saint’s name Boris is definitely on the outer fringes of the Baby Men names, still carrying a Cold War era Boris-and-Natasha taint — at least to Americans.  In Europe, it’s fashionable along with many other things Russian.

Edmond Twilight made the more conventional Edward chic, but Edmond and near-identical twin Edmund like outside the Top 1000 and make the name more grownup and more distinctive.  And you can still use short forms Ed, Ned, or even Ted.

Frederick Will or won’t Frederick take off?  That’s the question many parents attracted to this attractive classic have been asking, and truthfully it could go either way.  Our best call: Frederick will remain in that golden zone between geek and chic.

Leopold A royal name as well as a literary one, Leopold is a an adventurous choice with the user-friendly nickname Leo.

Lionel Jazzy Lionel is a member of the leonine group of names so fashionable in Europe now: you might also consider similar Baby Men names Leon and Leonard for boys or Leona or Leonie for girls.

Montgomery — Gorgeous, tortured Montgomery Clift was the best-known bearer of this surname-name, and short form Monty definitely cutes it up.

Raymond Raymond is definitely a mannish name, while RayCharles, LaMontagne — sounds like the coolest guy on the block.  Excellent combination.

Victor Victor is a somber-yet-triumphant choice, while Vic is a midcentury-chic short form.

Vincent — The glamorous lead character of Entourage along with Vince Vaughn have done much to polish up the image of Vincent, a famous saint’s name and also an honorific for artist Vincent VanGogh.

Winston Winston stands out as a name honoring British statesman Winston Churchill and also carries the inspiration short form Win.

Photo by Georgia Brizuela

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25 Responses to “Baby Men Names”

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namelover77 Says:

July 22nd, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I saw the title and immediately thought of Roger 🙂

Nyx Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 12:39 am

Oh, and Walter 😉

emekct Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 12:55 am

I immediately thought of Theodore nn Theo or my fave Teddy! Always makes me think of Little Women and our former president of course, what a great associations!

BasicSand Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 2:52 am

I feel Franklin should be on this list. Frank seems like the new Jack to me.

milasmama Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 4:46 am

Oscar, Wilfred, Sylvan, Wilbur

maggiemary Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 6:02 am

I love Arthur, August, Edmund, Leopold and Winston.

ninkynonk Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 6:29 am

I knew that was little Theo in the photo! I have a Theodore and think it fits this category.

Missmolly Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 6:30 am

Henry! I know a little Henry, and he fits the description of ‘little man’ perfectly. I once had to pick him up from kindergarten. All the other little boys streamed out the door wearing T-shirts with dump trucks and lizards emblazoned on the front. Henry emerged wearing khakis, a button-down shirt and a leather belt…..all he needed was the briefcase…..

Saracita00 Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 6:47 am

August, Boris and Leopold don’t really belong here. August carries too much of that aforementioned nature vibe; Leopold is too romantic to be a Baby Man in a tie with a briefcase; and Boris misses the briefcase altogether, having a lab coat and bushy eyebrows instead. Lionel is borderline too, in my opinion: it’s another nearly-nature name. Leonard was more what I was expecting for this article, along with Walter (which I’ve already seen on a little guy), and Harold nn Harry as the “outer fringes” offering.

I think the rest of the list does a good job of walking the line between buttoned-up and able-to-return, though Montgomery was a surprise (I would have guessed that one to make a preppy/pretentious list instead, but maybe the Nameberry forces are coming around a bit?) Winston is the best suggestion here. Way off radar, but perfect for this genre description and so old, it’s new again.

EmilyVA Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 10:56 am

I really like this list. My favorites are Boris (a long time fav with little love from any else), Leopold, Montgomery, Victor, and Winston. I agree Walter should be on this list. I disagree respectfully with Frederick, Theodore, etc. With nicknames like Teddy and Freddy I don’t see those name as old. I also don’t see Henry as old.

I hope you do a list for girls like. I feel like one of the big trends for girls are “little girl” names. Names that sound very young, and won’t age well. I would love to see a list of stylish Women names for girls (key word being stylish).

Sparkle Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 11:14 am

I have a soft spot for Eugene. I would love to see it less vilified.

iwillpraise Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I would love to meet a little Winston! How adorable! With all the directional names in vogue right now – i.e., Weston, Wesley, North West etc. – I can definitely see him popping up quite nicely without a hiccup, while also keeping minimal popularity. It’s so cool, only a few parents could unearth the treasure. Then again, I can’t necessarily see a teenage boy thinking it’s cool…

I still think he’s my favorite on this list, regardless.

OhLuna Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 1:11 pm

LOVE August, I think it’s very masculine. I also like Vincent.

dregina Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 3:47 pm

My son’s name is Victor! My husband preferred macho (MACHO) names, I liked names that were more countrified, and we needed something that worked well in English and Spanish. Hence Victor. We love that it’s so international and classic but still distinctive. It was a long process to come to agreement on a name for us but I am so happy to be Victor’s mama now.

alphabetdem Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I love Arthur and Frederick…. and I’m really torn on August. I’m not really a fan of August, but I looove the nn of Gus! August seems to be the best of the longer forms of it.

I would have never thought the nn Win! That’s really cute.

I think Charles belongs on this list… I can’t imagine a baby Charles, only a Charlie. Or Chuck.

jenagain Says:

July 23rd, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I nominate George.

roseclear Says:

July 25th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Absolutely loving this list. I have one son called Montgomery and another with Frederick as a middle name. Just need to convince my hubby to go with another few of these if we have another boy. Agree with other posters that I’m hoping you do a female equivalent list. Or how about a Russian inspired list Boris, Ivan etc? What are the hot eastern European names that could make it big over here in the next few years?

tfzolghadr Says:

July 28th, 2013 at 4:41 am

I love August, Frederick, Montgomery, and Winston!

vivienbevan Says:

August 2nd, 2013 at 8:58 pm

What about Alistair? Does that fit into this category?

chan Says:

August 10th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

August has grown on me.

seanic21 Says:

September 3rd, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Love this list!

Does anyone else find it hard to convince their partners the merits of picking old man names?? I tried to sell my husband on Theodore for #3 but it was a no-go but we are very happy we ended up with Archer (Archie as a nn).

I think any of the royal names belong on this list – William, Charles, Henry, Albert, George etc etc

I do like the name Frederick (my Opa’s name) and if we ever used it, I would use Freddy (more modern than Fred) or even Fritz as a nn.

pausey Says:

October 28th, 2013 at 11:49 am

would you think Clark or Klark would be a little man’s name? That’s what we’re naming our son who is due in February/March. Klark that is.

wickedjr89 Says:

November 10th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I like Arthur, Raymond and Vincent. 🙂

BabyNameCrazy95 Says:

December 27th, 2013 at 10:39 am

What about Eddison 😛 x

Addie88 Says:

June 19th, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Love this list. I vote George. Why can’t people understand that babies aren’t babies forever?

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