Old People Names

Old people names – or rather #oldpeoplenames – has been this week’s hottest Twitter craze, with thousands of people tweeting their ideas of names that sound, well, old.

The fact that the Old People Names thing has reached this level of mania is evidence that there are a lot of secret name nerds out there. And it’s not the first time it’s happened; twice before in @nameberry’s Twitter lifetime, the #oldpeoplenames hashtag (that’s tweetspeak for subject matter) has flared up, only to quickly die down again.

I first heard about the current Old People Names resurgence yesterday when my friend Debbie Galant passed along Katie Couric’s tweet on the issue: “Dot, Herman, Frank, Betty

I dunno, berries, do you think Katie got it right?

In fact, Katie was more on the mark than a lot of the #oldpeoplenames tweeters, whose ideas evidenced a wide range of definitions for the term.

Some took it to mean really Old People Names, nominating Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus, Voldemort and Copernicus.

Funny Or Die tweeted that any name with @aol.com after it was an Old People Name. And names that have devolved into rude words, like Dick and Fanny, are pretty much only borne by people so old that, waaaaay back when they were named, their parents didn’t see the problem.

Old People Names might be defined as those that carry the terminal whiff of nursing home. I know some berries love these names, but many of the tweeters nominated the following for this category:


Disconcertingly, some Middle-Aged Names seem to have tipped over the hill into being Old People Names, at least in the eyes of the teens and twentysomethings on Twitter. These include:

There are cultural differences. In the Philippines, @ivychang29 tweeted that Juan, Pedro, and Jose are #oldpeopleneames. An Indonesian tweeter said in that country, Old People Names include Oekarno, Soebardjo, Soeharto, and Mohammad, Muhammad being the Young People spelling.

And then there are the Old People Names beloved on nameberry for modern-day babies. While some of the Twitterati may not have mentioned these in a flattering way, we consider the following Old People Names to be very appropriate for New People:

But why let the tweeps have all the fun? How would you define Old People Names? And what names do you think fit the bill??

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