Category: Old People Names

Old Man Names: Crusty or Cool?

Old Man Names are the new Old Lady Names.

They’re the next frontier of vintage names, we mean. Old lady names — from Beatrice to Violet, Florence to Eleanor — have been mostly cool and rarely crusty for several years now. As with other fashionable categories — Old Testament names for boys, say, or Irish names — parents seem to push continuously into new and braver territory, stopping just this side of Bertha.

But old man names have been a different story. Sure, you’d get a girl cutely called Sydney, or a boy named Harold the III — but always called Tripp. And Harvey and Stanley are very trendy in England — though Americans find that totally baffling.

Now, though, we think it’s time to take a fresh look at old man names. For boys, of course, and yeah, even sometimes for girls.

The first tier of Old Man Names are the Grandpa Names, some of them Biblical, that have become popular and have paved the way for their crustier brothers. In this group we’d include:


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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 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:

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