Category: classic names for boys

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Looking for a classic boys’ name that’s also unusual?

Way beyond the Williams and Henrys you hear every day are dozens of boys’ names that achieve this golden combination.  These names have deep roots and have been used for centuries, yet are given to only a handful of boys each year.

These classic boys’ names include choices from ancient cultures and the Bible, names sailing out of style (So long, Sherman) along with those heading in: Welcome, Grey, Linus, and Finnian!

Here, more than 100 classic boys’ names you’ll find hiding below the U.S. Top 1000, ordered from those given to the most babies in 2012 (Gordon, at 194) to the least (Mercury, at just five):

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By Abby Sandel

Looking for the middle ground between cool, edgy boy names like Axl, Legend, and Bodhi, and quiet traditionals like Michael, Joseph, and David? You’re in luck! There’s a crop of boy names that are bona fide classics, with history galore. And yet, they still feel stylish, even fresh, in 2016.

The reigning king of stylish classics for boys has to be Sam. Keri Russell recently shared that she and Matthew Rhys welcomed son Sam in May. Russell is also mom to River and Willa with ex-husband Shane Deary. A few days later, The Bachelor alums Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici Lowe announced the arrival of their first son, Samuel Thomas.

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Comeback Classic Baby Names

By Abby Sandel

The new US Top 1000 list is out, and while it’s easy to focus on the trendy and the novel – Saylor is up for girls, Baylor for boys, and Oakley for both! – plenty of classic baby names are also making a comeback.

Last year we looked at nine boy names and nine girl names that were both traditional and trending. Happily, it was easy to find eighteen more great baby names that were on the rise this year.

Cora, Ezra, and Theodore all broke into the US Top 100, and Benjamin is now in the boys’ Top Ten. But let’s consider the names a little farther down the list – traditional picks that aren’t super popular just yet. If you’re after a name that’s familiar, with history galore, and not too common, this is your list.

Read on for some great comeback classic baby names.

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Name Sage: Traditional Boy Names Needed

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Sarah writes:

My husband and I are expecting our third baby on February 7. We have decided that we won’t find out the gender. We’ve already used the two boy names we have always loved for our two sons: Henry Hiram (often called Hal) and Joseph Magnus. Both names carry personal and religious significance for us.

If this baby is a girl, we are considering Mary Grace. Whenever I tell people we’re thinking about the name Mary, they wince and seem to really not like it! They say it’s too common, even though my kids do not know one little girl with the name and very few people of any age with the name anymore. We also like Elizabeth and Lydia.

I have a gut instinct, however, that this next child will be another boy. My husband and I are so stuck! Nothing seems right.

I like Thomas, James, Patrick, John, or perhaps Charles. My husband doesn’t like any of these, and the name I love the most, Patrick, has been rejected because of the starfish on SpongeBob SquarePants. He has suggested Abraham called Bram, Sven, and Simon Peter – which seems very heavy to me. Ephraim is a possible middle name. We have ruled out Brigham, Phillip, Benjamin, Ezra, Judah, Caleb, and Theodore.

We tend to like more traditional first names with less conventional middles. All of a sudden, February 7th seems so close, and if this baby is a boy, he does not have a name at all!

The Name Sage replies:

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A Celebration of Classic Baby Names

By Abby Sandel

After writing about baby names for the last eight years, I sometimes think that nothing can surprise me. I’m always ready to explain why a baby called, say, Pomegranate, isn’t really so outlandish.

And yet, some weeks I do breathe a sigh of relief when the names feel classic, controlled, inspired by family. Even understated.

That’s not to say that they lack style. A classic name doesn’t have to be dull or stodgy. Call them the George and Charlotte names. They’re traditional, yes, but with a crisp, tailored appeal.

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