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Old Man Names Get a New Lease of Life

May 24, 2020 Emma Waterhouse
Baby Boy On Floor With Toy Dog

Old man names are the new old lady names.

They’re the next frontier of vintage baby names, that is. Old-fashioned girl names – from sweet Alice and Violet to sparky Beatrix and Zelda – have felt almost unilaterally cool for several years now.

But old man names have traditionally found it harder to break back into favor. A few, like Sydney and Aubrey, have seen a surprise early revival for girls over the past two decades. Others, like Theodore, Ezra and Jasper, now rank higher than they did at their historical peak.

But we think now’s the time to take a fresh look at the full range of old man names out there. We’ve split them into three tiers, depending on where you want to shoot for on the cool-clunky continuum.

Read on for our pick of the 20+ best in each category!

Cool Old Man Names

These are the early adopted grandpa names, already back in fashion and now paving the way for their crustier counterparts.

Although they still retain an air of old-school cool, these choices are rapidly losing their “old man” credentials. We now picture cute little kindergarteners when we hear these names, and you’ve probably met at least one or two of them!

Abel
Arthur
August
Calvin
Charlie
Cyrus
Ellis
Everett
Ezra
Felix
Franklin
Gideon
Hugo
Jasper
Louis
Maxwell
Milo
Oscar
Silas
Theodore
Walter
Wesley

Next Wave Old Man Names

These are our top contenders for next vintage comeback kid. They still feel old-fashioned, or even a little fusty – but charmingly so.

Several of these names are already popular elsewhere in the English-speaking world. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent choice of Wilfred is a Top 150 pick, joining other old man names like Reggie, Albert, Stanley, Ralph and Chester near the top of the popularity charts.

Alfred
Amos
Basil
Chester
Enoch
Forrest
Gus
Ira
Leonard
Linus
Lyle
Monty
Otis
Otto
Percy
Ralph
Roscoe
Rufus
Stanley
Truman
Valentine
Winston

Edgy Old Man Names

These are the boldest of the grandpa names: the choices that still make a strong “old man” style statement.

Not that they’re unusable for a baby boy born in the 2020s – in fact, we’ve deliberately chosen ones we think work – but they’re not for everyone.

Clunky-cool or just plain clunky? Your call.

Abner
Aloysius
Archibald
Bartholomew
Bernard
Cecil
Clement
Cornelius
Elmer
Ephraim
Ernest
Eugene
Gilbert
Godfrey
Grover
Herbert
Hiram
Homer
Horace
Humphrey
Ignatius
Jerome
Jethro
Leopold
Melvin
Mortimer
Norman
Orville
Oswald
Reginald
Roderick
Seymour
Sidney
Sylvester
Ulysses
Vernon
Woodrow

Which of these categories best fits your old man name style? What are your favorite grandpa names for babies? Tell us below!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from pregnancy and birth to unique baby names from fiction and fantasy. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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